As souvenirs I like to bring two things: The ones, that stay longer and can be used more often, and the one that you enjoy just once, but are really delicious. I have made a little list for you, about what I recommend you to take:
The coffee of Costa Rica is one of the best ones in the world. If you visit Costa Rica, you will probably try it. It is grown in cooler and mountainous regions, like Orosí or Monteverde. They all taste aromatic, you will find the coffee that you like the best, since there are many different types. On the Central market, you can choose your favourite one, before it it grounded and sealed in front of you. The coffee keeps its aromatic taste longer, if you store in the cooler, when you are at home.
Cocoa has been the most valuable export good of Costa Rica. The natives also knew about its effects. Because of this, many so called “wonder-drinks” were made with cocoa, today known as hot chocolate with spices (for example. Chili, vanilla, nutmeg). Today, a lot of cocoa is cultivated in the warmer and humid areas like the Caribbean. To make it even more exciting, the chocolate is sold with fruits or coffee beans. So you have 2 souvenirs in 1, if you buy chocolate with coffee.
Probably you have never heard about this. I will explain it to you: The Chorreador is traditional coffeemaker. It is a frame, for example made of wood (which you can also buy for folding) and a something like a cloth bag. The grounded coffee is placed in the cloth bag, a cup is placed under it and then hot water is poured water over the coffee. So the fresh coffee goes directly in the cup. More traditional is not possible! With this you will probably impress your family and friends when you get home!
4) Traditional craftsmanship
On the craft market you can find, beside the Chorreador, other art works. Bags, beautiful and colorful, they are a popular souvenir. A nice saying is the often used Pura Vida, what Costa Rica is known for.
Colorful painted cups of wood are not heavy in the luggage. Masks of wood are a little bit heavier. Yes, there is a lot to find at the market. It’s worth a visit!
A little snack for the flight or later when you are back at your job. I recommend you to take tome small package of Platanos or yuccitas. Those are chips made of plantain which are seasoned with lemon and salt. The yuccitas can also be bought with a barbeque or onion- sourcream flavor. This is definitively something different!
6) Beach towel
Useful, light weighted and cheap is a beach towel, which you can buy in San José or at the beach. With costarican motives like a toucan, a turtle, a sloth or a monkey it looks beautiful and a memory from your vacation.
7) Salsa Lizano
This is a popular and traditional sauce which is used for the preparation and seasoning of many dishes. At the famous Gallo Pinto, which is made of rice and beans, it can’t be missing! At Enyucados, yucca filled with meat, the meat is seasoned with this sauce. Take a little, closed bottle and try it with your meals.
8) Wooden jewelry
Some Ticos make money with carving wood and the production of earrings, necklaces and bracelets of wood. Popular motives are parrots, dolphins and monkeys- animals that you can also see here yourself.
9) Tapa Dulce
The so-called “Tapa Dulce” is a solid lump of pure dark sugarcane. It is produces when the sugarcane is pressed and hen centrifuged. It is the condition before it becomes pure sugar. It is sweet and can be used for “Agua Dulce” (sweet water) for example. With some lime juice and ginger it tastes really refreshing and is even helpful for colds. In the Caribbean this is called “Hiel”
You can buy “Tapa Dulce” as a solid lump, es small lumps or as a powder.
10) T- Shirt of the National soccer team
The Ticos are soccer fans. Whenever there is a game of the best soccer teams or the national team, the streets are empty. Sometimes you hear fans honking or shouting, they really are passionate about it. A T-Shirt of the national team is easy to find. Even on the street you can get one and the Ticos will be super proud to see you in one of their T-Shirts.
Fresh fruits ans vegetables, meat and cheese, are not allowed to bring. But maybe you like a T-Shirt with a typical Tico- saying on it. Then take it!
The most important thing you should think about are your experiences! Those you like to remember, those you share with your friends and family, and those, you would like to experience again and probably didn’t even take photos because you were so excited. So take something for you and for your family and friends, but enjoy your time at this jungle- paradise in Central America!
Do you know about another souvenir? Then contact me!