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Life Style

Shopping ...

Costa Rica offers you not only Ocean and Mountain Views but also excellent Education, Health System and more... Want shopping tips to know where to find the best shopping area's in Costa Rica. Ask any Tica and the response will be the San José area. Most locals, with the colones to shop, travel to San José for the best selection and bargains. Avenida Central is a pedestrian-only street mall where you'll find store after store of inexpensive clothes for men, women, and children. Depending on the mood of the police that day, you might find a lot of street vendors as well.

The Central valley has three large malls providing great selection, nice ambiance, but few bargains. The Multiplaza mall chain has two locations. San José boasts a wide variety of stylish shopping centers and malls ideal for enjoying a luscious café latte, browsing among local arts and crafts, or purchasing the latest top selling novel. The city of Sarchi is all about street shopping for souvenirs, furniture of all sorts, and home of the Ox cart factory.

The Multiplaza in Escazú www.multiplazamall.com is between the airport and downtown San José. This area is a favorite of expatriates and is home to the best restaurants and an excellent selection of hotels as well as bed and breakfast options.

Multiplaza del Este is in Zapote a suburb of San José and is approximately 15 minutes from downtown. This mall is similar however much smaller to the Escazu location. Includes stores like Carrion, Universal and Zara 201-5045.

Terra Mall between San José and Cartargo is about 20 minutes from downtown and provides a good variety of stores such us Keneth Cole or Nautica and a central place to find what you need. No real bargains in my opinion.

Mall San Pedro The first true mall in Costa Rica, this three level behemoth lies next to the San Pedro traffic circle and includes numerous specialty shops, boutiques, a two level food court, a ten-screen movie theater and a Office Mall.

Plaza Real Cariari Located on the highway to the airport about 20 minutes from downtown San José. Includes three levels with movie theaters and large food court. Department mega stores include Aliss, Blooms and Brand Fashion. Open everyday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Mall International Alajuela Located near the airport in Alajuela, this somewhat run down two-level mall includes a small food court, shops and a movie theater.

PriceSmart Modeled after Cosco in the U.S., offers wholesale groceries and home products for card-carrying members. Central Valley three locations: Zapote, Heredia, Escazú.

Aliss Tel:(506)2830164 is another very good department store that has appeared in the market in the last couple of years and offers furniture, great decorative items, toys, casual clothing. Four locations: Zapote, Tres Rios, Real Carriari and Escazú location: at the old Metrobowl about 200 mts South of Multiplaza.

Cemaco Depatment Store Has few locations one between Zapote and San Pedro with Ace Hardware & Radio Shack.

La Artística the biggest furniture store in Central America. Offers an incredible variety of furniture, accessories for decoration and the most prestigious appliances. Established in San José, Costa Rica since 1933.

Costa Rica Dining, Cultural Directory and Cinemas and more ...

Costa Rica's many Bars and Restaurants offers fine dining experience. San Jose is a culinary delight with a wonderful selection of world-class restaurants and eateries that specialize in gourmet food from the world over. The meals offered here are superb and are set amid a stunning environment with an ambiance par excellence.

Whether you live here or are vacationing, travel to San Jose, Escazu, San Pedro or other town, visit restaurant with the links below...

Tel: (506) 2228-3381
and 2288-3382
Tel: (506) 2224-2432
Pastry Shop
Coffee Shop
Pasteleria Chez Christophe Tel: (506) 2228-2512 Pastry & Coffee
El Chicote Tel: (506) 2232-0936 Restaurant and Bar
El Fogoncito Tel: (506) 2290-0910
and 2232-0393
El Gran Diamante Tel: (506) 2221-5411 Restaurant and Bar
Il Gatto Tel: (506) 2220-4439 Restaurant
Jürgen's Tel: (506) 2283-2239
and 2280-9148
La Nuova Piazzetta Tel: (506) 2222-7896
and 2221-8451
Los Antojitos Tel: (506) 2231-0153 Restaurant
Machu Picchu Tel: (506) 2222-7384 Restaurant
Padrísimo Tel: (506) 2220-0808 Restaurant
Soho Bar & Grill Tel: (506) 2248-0180
and 2248-0151
Bar & Grill
Spoon's Tel: (506) 2231-6359
and 2296-1670
The Golden Horse Tel: (506) 2270-4562 Restaurant
Tin Jo Tel: (506) 2221-7605 Restaurant
Café de Artistas Tel: (506) 2228-6045 Restaurant
Donde Carlos Tel: (506) 2225-0819 Restaurant
Sushi Itto Tel: (506) 2228-7873 Restaurant
RostiPollos Tel: (506) 2228-2494 Restaurant
Henrys's Beach Cafe Tel: (506) 229-6250 Sports Bar
The White House Hotel
Tel: (506) 2288-6362
Fax: 2288-6365
Toll Free Number:
(954) 2272-8566
Restaurant & Hotel

Cultural Directory ...

Also famous for its culture, there are more than 30 museums in San Jose as well as a number of art galleries and theaters. However, if you prefer more fast-paced entertainment then visit the many cinema houses here, where one can watch the latest English blockbusters with Spanish subtitles.

National Museum Tel: (506) 2258-4929 Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm
Costarrican's Art Museum Tel: (506) 2223-1335 Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Teatro Nacional Tel: (506) 2221-1329 www.teatronacional.go.cr
Children Museum Tel: (506) 2258-4929 www.museocr.com
Galeria Namu Tel: (506) 2256-3412 Monday-Saturday 9:30am-6:30pm
Galeria Nacional Tel: (506) 2258-4929 Open Tueday-Saturday
Teatro La Comedia Tel: (506) 2233-2170  
Galeria Alternativa Tel: (506) 2232-8500 www.galeriaalternativacr.com
Museo de Arte Tel: (506) 2257-7202 www.madc.ac.cr
Museo del Oro Precolombino Tel: (506) 2243-4202 Monday-Sunday 9:30am-5pm

Cinemas ...

Multiplaza, Autopista Santa Ana Tel: (506) 2288-1111
Plaza Mayor, Rohrmoser Tel: (506) 2232-327
Outlet Mall, San Pedro Tel: (506) 2234-8868
and 2280-2735
Omni, Plaza De Cultura Tel: (506) 2221-7903
Mall San Pedro, San Pedro Tel: (506) 2283-5716
Cinepolis at Terramall, Tres Rios Tel: (506) 2278-3506
Mall International, Alejuela Tel: (506) 2442-6100
Plaza Liberia, Liberia Tel: (506) 2665-1515
Paseo de la Flores Mall, Heredia Tel: (506) 2237-6263
Mall Paraiso, Cartago Tel: (506) 2592-3133

Costa Rica Nightlife, Entertainment and more...

San José's many clubs, discotheques and dance halls play music for all tastes until the wee hours of the morning; admission is inexpensive or free. International liquors and cocktails, as well as all local beers and beverages are served. Also, keep in mind that many of these clubs serve food and the traditional heaping plates of delicious local appetizers or hôrs d'oeuvres, called bocas. Costa Ricans love to party and dance. There are numerous dance academies in the San José area that offer classes for all levels of experience in various styles of Latin American dance. There is some entertainment here for everyone.

Located a few minutes north of the downtown Holiday Inn, El Pueblo is a mix of more than 100 bars, clubs, restaurants, art galleries and shops. Lining the picturesque cobblestone streets within walking distance of several hotels and resorts, it is a lively place from 9 PM until dawn. For lovers of jazz there are several good clubs in the San José area. The Jazz Café in San Pedro is the best spot to hear the rhythms of soul, blues and jazz.

Clubs ...

Club Vertigo, Centro Colon, San José Tel: (506) 2257-8424
Shehrazad, at Lubnan ,Calle 22-24, Paseo Colon Tel: (506) 2257-6071
Fuzion , San Pedro Mall Tel: (506) 2253-2565
Living Ultra P , Santa Ana Tel: (506) 2221-6655
Night Club Flamingo, Calle 2 Avenida 4 y 6, San José Tel: (506) 2223-4767
Club Star 2 Público, Calle 14, Ave. Central, San José Tel: (506) 2233-1877
Club Puro Platino, Calle 10 y 12 Avenida 3, San José Tel: (506) 2256-9989
Jazz Café Tel: (506) 2253-8933
Volcán Look Disco, La Fortuna Tel: (506) 2479-9616
Bambu Jam, Bar in Manuel Antonio Tel: (506) 2777-3369
Mar y Sombra ( open air dance party ), Manuel Antonio Tel: (506) 2777-0003
El Arco Iris ( latino & pop music ), Quepos Tel: (506) 2777-0449

Dance Acadamies ...

Merecumbé, Rohrmoser Tel: (506) 2220-8511
Merecumbé, Escazú Tel: (506) 2289-4774
El Malecón Escuela de Bailes Populares Tel: (506) 2255-0378
Academia de Bailes Latinos Tel: (506) 2233-8938
Kinesis Academia de Baile Tel: (506) 2440-0852
Inovación Latina Tel: (506) 2255-1460
Academia Salsabor Estudio Tel: (506) 2224-1943

Casinos ...

Costa Rica has a great number of Casinos around the country from which to choose. Try your luck at our legal gambling. Step up to the slots or card tables and play Caribbean stud poker, mini baccarat, blackjack, canasta roulette, craps, rows of slot machines and video machines. Casinos are all over Costa Rica, in San Jose and resorts throughout the country. Select a destination below, and Good Luck!

Casino Hotel Los Suenos Mariott, Playa Herradura
Tel: (506) 2298-0000
Casino Hotel Aurola Holdiay Inn, San José Tel: (506) 2233-9490
Casino Flamingo Beach Resort, Flamingo Beach Tel: (506) 2233-9490
Casino Best Western Coco Verde, Playas del Coco Tel: (506) 2670-0490
Casino Central, Calle 7 y 9, Avenida Central, San José Tel: (506) 2221-4994
Casino San José Palacio, La Uruca, San José Tel: (506) 2220-1310
Casino Concorde, Hotel Best Western Tel: (506) 2232-7910
Casino Club Dominio, Hotel Irazú, San José Tel: (506) 2232-7910
The Jungle Casino, Calle 7 y 9, Avenida Central, San José Tel: (506) 2221-4994
Casino Flamingo Bay Resort, Playa Flamingo Tel: (506) 2654-4350
Casino Cariari, Autopista General Cañas Tel: (506) 2293-3033
Casino Hotel del Rey, Calle 9, Avenida 1, San José Tel: (506) 2257-7800
Casino Camino Real, Intercontinental, Escazú Tel: (506) 2289-7000
Casino Divisamar, Manuel Antonio Tel: (506) 2777-0371
Casino Hotel Cocal, Playa Jacó Tel: (506) 2643-3067


The national currency of Costa Rica is the Colon. U.S. dollars can be easily exchanged throughout the country at any bank, national or private, and also at most hotels and money exchange companies. In addition, nearly all hotels plus some restaurants and shops will accept U.S. dollars as payment. Canadian dollars may be exchanged at branches of Banco Nacional and other monetary currencies should be converted in San José at either Banco Central de Costa Rica or at a currency exchange house. Be certain to check daily exchange rates at local banks, currency houses or in the local newspaper as it changes continually.

Currency data courtesy coinmill.com

Toll Free From the U.S. 1-888-273-9986     In Costa Rica: +506-8885-8112

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