I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

PHARMACY • FARMACIAs - Where to find Pharmaceutical Medicines & Info on Medications in Costa Rica

Pharmacies / Farmacias in Costa Rica are DEFINITELY MUCH CHEAPER than in the U.S., BUT MANY people have shared with me that they feel that prices seem to be rising on many items BIG TIME!!! 

Below are some
Pharmacies • Farmacias I've found that seem to be cheaper and are having later hours as well as notes on what you can•can NOT get in Costa Rica withOUT a prescription and other helpful information.

Pharmacies / Farmacias (aka drogueria) in Costa Rica are quite different than those in North America. Pharmacists / Regente’s in Costa Rica are just a rung down from being MD’s though MANY have a doctorate - hence they often “diagnose” you as well as TRULY assist you in choosing medicines and providing advice. 

Most can give INJECTIONS and check your blood pressure for FREE (of course with you buying the medicine you need for the injection from them)!!!



Can I buy Prescription Drugs withOUT a Prescription?
They tend to be lots cheaper than in the U.S. though they seem to be going up a LOT in Costa Rica (I know, so what else is new).
You can find most prescription drugs* AND, you can buy MOST prescription drugs withOUT a prescription.  

What you're NOT "supposed" to buy are the strong pain relievers and narcotics which fall into 2 categories that USUALLY (operative word) require a special prescription.  SOME of these you can just get a prescription from a doctor (some pharmacies actually have doctors there that you can pay $20-$40 to give you an exam and write a script for you.  Otherwise, a regular doctor visit can be $30-$80. 
BRING YOUR PRESCRIPTION WITH YOU from your doctor at home as PROOF you are able to get such items.
With that said - make sure to keep that on you as Customs back at home may demand proof you have a legitamite reason for having those pills you're bringing back with you.

These would be the: 
Estupefacientes, morphine, narcotics, things to help you to concentrate (?), things for pain, ANTIBIOTICS  
(not many pharmacies will sell antibiotics to a Tico because of the threat to loosing their license.  The logic/purpose as people tend to take antibiotics at the drop of a hat hence become immune to them and when they REALLY need them, they may not be as effective.  With that said, MOST gringo’s I’ve known have been able to get antibiotics with EASE!!!).

 Psychotropics (because they create a dependency)


I have found a contact in Nicaragua what MANY say is
one of the cheapest pharmacies • farmacias in Central America! 

How I found this out was I went in to see how much my Blood Pressure pills were. 
In Costa Rica they are now ranging from 220-240-colones (44¢-48¢) a pill (
which equals around $13.20/month = $158.40/year.  FYI - the price of these pills have gone up a LOT in Costa Rica just in the past 2 years!!).  So I went to this pharmacy in Nicaragua and said "Here's $20-U.S.$ and $10/U.S. worth of Cordobas (their $$) 
and I walked away with . . .
OVER 3 YEARS worth of pills - ALL STILL good till beyond those 3 years!!!
It was UNDER 4¢ a PILL!!!!

"VICKI - I'D LOVE that Contact of that super cheap pharmacy • farmacia in Nicaragua!!!!"
Because I've spent a couple years researching this every time I went to Nicaragua (every 3 months at least), I am happy to share this contact information with those that
MAKE A DONATION to my blog!
What's this contact worth to you?  Has it helped save you $$$ and if so, you determine what the value is in what you saved.  I also ask that you do NOT share this information with others unless THEY make a donation also (don't create negative Karma for yourself or know the lack of honesty WILL come back to bit ya on the big one with someone doing something similar to you).

If when you come back and you've seen the value of it and you're like "OMGoddess - I can't BELIEVE it was $____ cheap!!  THANK YOU!!   THANK YOU!!  THANK YOU!!  Vicki!!!"
Please consider making another Donations since the rare donations that come in is my source of income these days & I spend LOTS of hours each day trying to find you helpful time saving &/or money saving info•details.

I go to Nicaragua every 90 days on my Visa Runs and will check on the price for you for a $20 Donation ($10 if I have 3+ people I'm checking for) since I do NOT normally visit this city).  IF it's something that won't get me in trouble to bring or a lot, SOMETIMES I MAY consider buying LEGAL things for you but let's talk about that.
Details on this:


One of my tourism friends & I are working on creating a
8 day - 7 city
"Intro to Nicaragua Visa Run, Medical Tourism and Pharmacy Tour"
Nicaragua is a MEGA budding Medical Tourism Destination since they have a couple REALLY GOOD medical facilities for MEGA CHEAPER than Costa Rica (Costa Rica has now priced themselves up to be towards the high end of the Medical Tourism world).
Example - my Lab I go to for blood & more related things in Centro Escazu - LivingLifeInCostaRica.blogspot.com/2010/09/blood-tests-laboratory-phlebotomist.html
that caters to the locals & has REALLY CHEAP prices, now charges around $140 for the Basic panel that tests Cholesterol & such (when I had my last one done 4 years ago it was around $90 [for those thinking of moving to Costa Rica - heed this warning as this IS the reality here with how expensive Costa Rica has gotten]).  At the main/best hospital in Nicaragua, the same thing is around just $50.  A pap with the Vaginal Probe in Costa Rica at one of my main English-speaking Female OB-Gyn's charges $____
but at this hospital it's just $50!!

Details coming
Email me at  



A BIG PLUS in Costa Rica - you do NOT have to buy a WHOLE Bottle of Pills if you don't need them (vs the U.S. where you MUST - even if you need just 2-3)!!!
Another AWESOME difference:  Heck, you can even BUY JUST 1 PILL if you want - or whatever amount you want/have the money for - hence you’re not wasting all that money on pills you don’t finish (how many of us have unfinished bottles?!?!?! 

THOUGH, if you do have any unfinished UNexpired medicine you no longer need, PLEASE DONATE them!!!  They're MEGA NEEDED in Costa Rica!!  I usually donate what I collect to Gail Nystrom’s AMAZING Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation - http://CRHF.org  An organization that helps MANY people around Costa Rica!! (tell her Vicki Connected you).

The negative part of this is sometimes you NEED more and don’t complete the advised scripts hence it could take longer to heal, you may be mixing drugs that shouldn’t be mixed, you may have asked for a drug you saw on tv or somewhere that has LOTS of SERIOUS side-effects+++!!  Do this at your own risk!!


MOST Pharmacies / Farmacias in Costa Rica will give you a 5-10+% DISCOUNT if you PAY with CASH!

ALWAYS ASK IF THERE ARE ANY SPECIALS GOING ON with a drug you’re using or that is similar.  It’s not unusual for the pharmaceutical companies to offer promos like buy 2-4 or 6 boxes and get one FREE.  So SAVE YOUR EMPTY BOXES and RECEIPTS (in case it’s retroactive or you have a WELL connected pharmacist).  Sometimes you have to return them to the pharmacy and sometimes they will mail it in for you. 

I have found that it is RARE for most Pharmacies / Farmacias to tell you this so YOU NEED TO ASK!!

If you have residency and are over 65 - GET THE Ciudadana de Oro card (the "Gold Card" is issued at the CAJA to people over 65) (HINT - don’t have one?  Sometimes if you just smile at the clerk, he’ll/she’ll give you the discount anyway!!).  You often get extra discounts with this card!


I find MOST pharmacies • farmacias I've found in Costa Rica DELIVER (though it tends to be more during the daytime hours.  ACTUALLY - if you know of any that deliver at night, PLEASE email me so I can add them here - LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com)


A friend of mine (Maria) goes there regularly to get her brothers meds all the way from Escazu - OR - when she has a bunch - she has it DELIVERED!!  If my semi-functioning memory serves me, I believe Maria said that the story is that the dad owns the pharmacy / farmacia and the son owns the gas station (hence the name [”bomba” is a gas station]).  The only negative thing about this place is that people come from around the country because their prices are so GREAT hence they’re usually VERY BUSY and can have LONG LINES (to say nothing of the pain to get over to San Pedro - especially from the West end but if you’re needing a LOT of things - it can be VERY worth it!!!)!!!  They have EXPRESS service BUT I’ve heard they rarely answer the phone as they are so busy.  I don’t believe they speak much, if any English.  Maybe if you call later - like in the evening, you’ll have a better chance of getting through.
HOURS:  7am-10pm
DIRECTIONS:  San Pedro (2-280-9983 • 2-280-9982) - across the road to the church and next to the outlet Mall, inside a gas station.  WikiMapia.org/26245424/es/Farmacia-La-Bomba
(WOW!!  Did I JUST hear when I called them to update this - something about another location in Curridabat - 2-272-1073 [goes into a fax] and  Zapote - 2-234-7289 • 2-253-3485?!?!?!  [I've called these various numbers MANY MANY times over the past couple years and so far it's either busy, I go into the system and am on hold and then it just goes dead or I've left them MANY voicemails but no return calls so haven't verified this!)

THOUGH . . . lately I've been hearing of a couple of newer pharmacies•farmacias in Costa Rica that are possibly cheaper!!!


(Facebook.com/pages/FarmaValue-Costa-Rica/189413011148218  •  facebook.com/FarmaValueCR  •  FarmaValue.co.cr  •  2-215-6453 (delivery with cash) • escazu@FarmaValue.co.cr)
Example - Atenolol - 100mg (my blood pressure pills) = 4,825-c for 30 pills = 160 per pill!
FarmaValue - Escazu  (2-288-2156 • 2-288-7248)
HOURS:  Daily - 9am -9pm
LOCATION:  Escazu - Plaza Itskatzú

FarmaValue - Guachipelin  (2-215-6389 • 2-215-6453)
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 9am -9pm
LOCATION:  Guachipelin - Deco Plaza

FarmaValue - Heredia  (2-239-2685 • 2-239-3263)
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 8am -8pm
LOCATION:  Heredia - Plaza Rubí, la Aurora de Heredia

FarmaValue - Rohrmoser  (
2-290-6157 • 2-291-0526)
 HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 8am -8pm
LOCATION:  Rohrmoser - 250 metros Oeste del Parque La Amistad, Boulevard de Rohrmoser


(FarmaciaSantaLuciaCR.com [Español]  • 
http://FarmaciaSantaLuciaCR.com/home.htm [in ENGLISH!!!  Now THAT's Customer Service-oriented!!!] 

My former Chavaria/pharmacist buddy Olga told me that this pharmacy•farmacia is AS CHEAP as (or at least sometimes even cheaper than) La Bomba!

HOURS: All are open Monday thru Friday - 8am-8pm.  Saturday - 9am-6pm

LOCATIONS (all located in ALAJUELA):  

HEADQUARTERS (2-440-0404)  -  Downtown/Centro - 75 South/Sur of the Cupula Catedral (huge domed building) - OR - 100 metros al Sur de la Mutual Alajuela Centro (Tom gave a hint to help avoid the traffic at the airport:  If you're coming from the west from like Grecia, get off in La Garita and drive into Alajuela Centro through Barrio San Jose. If you're coming from San Jose - get off at the Fiesta Casino and come into Alajuela Centro past the Tropicana gas station).
Example - Atenolol - 100mg (my blood pressure pills) = 6,000-c for 40 pills = 150-pill!!

(while you're over there, if you like Mexican [well, more Tex-Mex] - you MUST stop in at Norman's Jalapeños restaurant - Facebook.com/pages/Jalapenos-Central/352800718089986 - and tell Norm that Vicki Connected you.  He's just 50 mts South/Sur of the Post Office/Correo (they don't have a website so best to call them - 2-430-4027)

CORAZON DE JESUS  (2-440-1011  /  RegenciaCorazonDeJesus@FarmaciasSantaLucia.co.cr

LOCATION:  100 mts North/Norte and 275 mts West/Oeste of the Post Office/Correo

CIRUELAS  (2-438-2969  /  RegenciaCiruelas@FarmaciasSantaLucia.co.cr)

LOCATION:  In front of the school

EL CARMEN  (2-442-0404  /  RegenciaElCarmen@FarmaciasSantaLucia.co.cr)

LOCATION:  175 mts West/Oeste of Jumbo Supermercado

LA AGONIA  (2-442-9800  /  RegenciaLaAgonia@FarmaciasSantaLucia.co.cr)

LOCATION: 150 mts East/Este of the Cruz Roja/Red Cross Bingo location

La Ceiba  (2-430-0808  /  RegenciaLaCeiba@FarmaciasSantaLucia.co.cr)
LOCATION:  La Ceiba Plaza - 800 meters North from the Court of Justice


2-208-5500-Headquarters  /  Info@FarmaciaChavarria.com)

A few years ago I did some research on who had the best prices in the West/Escazu end and found that the chain Farmacia CHAVARRIA DID - in the PAST - have some of the best prices but not any longer. DELIVERY•EXPRESS.  They have their PROMOTIONS
on their website at FarmaciaChavarria.com/promociones.html

This chain has many locations around the country:
I HEAR THIS HAS MOVED (though their website still shows them there) - Escazu (San Rafael) (2-588-0609) - LOCATION:  JUST after you turn onto Calle Vieja at the Scotia Split (on the North side)  - almost across the street from Mas x Menos.
Example - Atenolol - 100mg (my blood pressure pills) = 6,760-c for 30 pills = 225 per pill.


Santa Ana

Farmacia Centro
Paula said they have the cheapest prices in Santa Ana plus they give an automatic 15% off if you pay cash and are generally cheaper to begin.
LOCATION:  Santa Ana-Avalon Condominiums on the Calle Vieja (the East-bound street), about 200 meters west of the Cruz Roja.   

They NO LONGER have a pharmacy.

WalMart has opened their own Pharmacies in/near various stores they own like Mas x Menos and in WalMarts (can't remember the name) BUT - they are VERY by the book when it comes to what you can NOT get so don't even try (including antibiotics)
Escazu (San Rafael) - There's one behind Mas x Menos - where Fischel used to be.



Trust me - the cheapest pharmacy around is NOT in Costa Rica!!!  

I have a contact for a pharmacy • farmacia in Nicaragua that's INCREDIBLE!!  WELL Worth the trip or paying someone to bring it back for you.

I walked in one day and said (in my amusing "VickLish") "Here is $20-US$ and $10-US$ worth of Cordobas.  How much Atenolol (for high blood pressure) can I get for that ($30 in total)?" and I literally walked out with 8 boxes - each with 10 strips and each strip with 10 pills on it!!!!  
That's LESS THAN .04¢/US$ per pill - vs the 205-215 colones - around .41¢/US$ - per pill I was paying in Costa Rica!!!!!!

I am ONLY sharing this DIRECT contact information with people that make a SEPARATE $25 donation specifically for this information
(add more to your donation if you're also wanting me to check on prices while I'm in Nicaragua).




Fishel is THE biggest pharmacy chain in Costa Rica with the LARGEST SELECTIONS - BUT - they seem to have the HIGHEST PRICES I’ve found.  With that said, they tend to have longer hours (convenience) and many things many farmacias don’t have, plus USUALLY the pharmacist can give you SHOTS (like Vitamin B Complex if you're going into a mosquito ravaged area, Anti-Biotics [OUCH!!] +!).  Also, you can PAY YOUR UTILITY BILLS here (ICE, RACSA, Amnet, AYA, CableTica, CNFL, SecuroSocial, Alo Prepago+)!  Sometimes they have promotions for discounts if you use a bank cards (debit or credit) that they have a promotion with at the moment!



I’ve found the MOST EXPENSIVE Pharmacies tend to be in/near hospitals (I learned this the hard way)!!

(more information above)


You can usually find pharmacies open late hours (sometimes 24/7) usually IN or near hospitals.

There’s are 2 Fischel’s in Escazu with late hours. 
AutoFarmacia Escazu - Across the Pista/highway (on the North side) from CIMA.  HOURS:  Mon.-Fri. 8am-MIDNIGHT and Sat. and Sun. 9am-9pm. 
•  Escazu - North/East corner across from Paco Plaza (they call it “Guachipelin”).  HOURS:  Daily from 7am-MIDNIGHT.  See more information on Fischel above.


Where can I get a SHOT??  
I find MANY pharmacists will give you shots if you buy the product from them!!!  If you need multiple shots they'll give you the vial & needle and you just keep coming back.  If you've purchased the meds from them, most likely they will NOT charge you to give you the shot!!!


Bio-Identical / BioIdentical Hormone Replacement Therapy - BHRT / Hormonal Optimization,  Estrogeon Replacement, Menopause, Compounding Pharmacy in Costa Rica


Do you have a favorite for CHEAP PRICES on pharmaceutical things???

Have extra time on your hands to help with extra research? Help us do a cost comparison of some more popular/commonly used drugs might be a fun project and I'm sure GREATLY appreciated by many!!

PLEASE share with me/us at LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com


Has this DETAILED information been helpful to you - brought more ease into your life, saved you time and/or $$$/¢¢¢¢?

Please consider showing your appreciation for and helping keep this detailed blog going by making a

You can do it via PAYPAL (you do NOT need to have a PayPal account.  Just give your credit card information and send it to me at
LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com) -

or send me an Amazon.com Gift Card!!!

ANY amount is appreciated since this is my ONLY source of "income" and VERY FEW people give back/donate!!!

Go to the top LEFT column of the blog for details.



Coming into the Central Valley and need help shopping/finding things?  An English-speaking driver?  A place to stay?  A doctor or dentist (I've researched many of those over the past 5 years!!)?  An Airport Pick-Up/Greet?  Help planning a trip around Costa Rica?

Let me Connect you with some really helpful people!

1-941-312-7569-from U.S. / 8-378-6679-within CR / 
Skype:  VallartaVicki)


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1 comment:

Julie said...

Also, Asembis (http://www.asembiscr.com/) has very good deals on blood tests, eye and hearing exams.
La Bomba is in Curridabat and Zapote, as well as San Pedro: http://www.telefonicaamarilla.com/?costa-rica=FARMACIA%20LA%20BOMBA&envio=Buscar&origen=Telefonica&paginas-amarillas-costarica=9qjtd3d2cga2rt4idgpcs3pno120110718204710