Travel & Selling Tips / The best souvenirs to bring home from Costa Rica
Here are some of the best souvenirs tourists should look out for as they travel across the country to Costa Rica’s hot spots
Ranging from meticulously crafted ceramics to environmentally friendly textiles, Costa Rica offers travellers the chance to take home one-of-a-kind, ethical and sustainably produced souvenirs and gifts that tell a story. These items go beyond supporting local communities and artisans; they also serve as beacons of the tropical environment.
Since 2011, the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism has implemented the "Crafts with Identity" strategy. In this program, artisans create their own unique design by blending elements of their personal and local identity into their techniques. The goal is to make practical and artistic items that reflect innovation, history, identity, and quality, using materials sourced from the local area.
Below are some of the best souvenirs tourists should look out for as they travel across the country to Costa Rica’s hot spots.
Handcrafted Jewelry, Ceramics & Textiles:
Costa Rican artisans are renowned for their skill in crafting vibrant and intricate jewelry, ceramics and textiles. From colourful items like vases, bowls, and figurines, to decorative plates and mugs, these handmade crafts make for beautiful and practical mementos. Costa Rican artisans embrace sustainable and eco-friendly textile production, and travellers can find items like organic cotton clothing, woven bags, and hats that are not only fashionable but also environmentally responsible. When it comes to jewelry, look for pieces made from semi-precious stones, seashells, recyclable objects, and indigenous materials that create unique and beautiful adornments inspired by the country's abundant wildlife and natural beauty. Ceramics are a national cultural heritage of Guanacaste and can be found in the communities of Guaitil of Santa Cruz, San Vicente and las Pozas of Nicoya.
Favorite product: Forest Spirits Sculptures. This collection of ceramic animals are representative of the different areas of Costa Rica. The artist, Magaly Esquivel, covers her creations with an animistic vision of nature, where the practical and symbolic function of each animal is associated.
Coffee & Chocolate:
Costa Rica is famous for its high-quality coffee production and small batch Cacao farms. Travellers can experience the history, production process and a tasting during their travels when participating in a coffee plantation or cacao farm tour. Freshly roasted coffee beans as well as unique coffee-related products, such as a traditional wooden Chorreador brewing device, coffee mugs, grinders, and even coffee infused body scrubs can be found. Artisanal chocolate makers create delicious treats from locally-grown cacao beans, and travellers can take home chocolate bars, truffles, and hot chocolate mixes
Favorite product: Fine Chocolate BonBons. A wide variety of Bon Bon flavours are offered by Sibu, including Rompope, Passionfruit and Tarragon, Four Spices, and Honey Lavender.
Wood & Leather Goods:
Skilled woodworkers across Costa Rica produce a variety of hand-carved wooden items, including intricate masks, sculptures, and furniture, whilst some indigenous communities are known for their traditional crafts, like woven baskets, masks, and intricate beadwork. These items often feature indigenous designs that are both decorative and functional, and are a great gift for someone special.
Favorite product: Canopy Cheese Board. Inspired by the teak leaf, the Canopy cheese Board is the perfect option for serving a selection of artisanal cheeses, snacks or small desserts at any occasion. The shape of the piece gives it a unique distinction and is an ideal gift to bring as a gift to a friend.
Organic Beauty Products:
Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainability extends to the country’s beauty industry., where travelers will find organic skincare products, such as lotions, soaps, and essential oils derived from Costa Rica's diverse flora and fauna, and reminiscent of time spent outdoors amongst nature.
Favorite product: Moisturising Facial Milk. This moisturising milk with hyaluronic acid has a soft consistency to allow optimal hydration of the skin.
When visiting the capital, be sure to visit Costa Rica’s largest market - The San Jose Central Market, which opened in 1880 and is a must-see for travellers looking for a one stop shop for souvenirs, gifts and culinary delights.