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 And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise.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, March 20, 2015


I've started this list (below) of the various MAIN grocery stores•market chains around Costa Rica - especially so people thinking of moving to Costa Rica can get a reality check both on what all they can & can NOT find - but also the reality check on PRICING!!!  A few of them I've also created a separate Photo Page so you can see some of the items.

MY FAV store is AutoMercado as they have many of the Gringo•Expat goodies•things I might have a craving for & they are by far THE BEST one-stop-shopping for holiday foods like for Thanksgiving & Christmas (but what's cool is MANY of those things you can get YEAR-ROUND in Costa Rica!!).  They're a more upscale store & usually are more expensive - but they have the HIGHEST QUALITY & largest selection.  Heck, I can now even get Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream (though that often ranges between $8-$10 for a PINT!! [but in all fairness - ice cream costs LOTS more to ship with the refrigeration & it is a luxury item so the tax is higher]) & their level of Customer Service is AWESOME!!!  (recently I was at the AutoMercado in Escazu up from Scotia & I asked in the produce department if they had something hard to find [can't remember what it was but it was something like Arugula & they didn't & the guy ASKED ME if I wanted him to CALL THE OTHER NEARBY STORE to see if they had it in!!!!  AMAZING!!!  In my 9+ years living in Costa Rica - I have NEVER had a store ASK ME if I wanted THEM to call!!!  Heck, even when I asked store managers to call other locations for me at other stores, almost always they were shocked at the concept!!!]).

In time I'll post here some of the popular items it's still hard to find:

#1 - GOOD - not real expensive PEANUT BUTTER!!

FYI - WALMART OWNS a LARGE percent of grocery stores • super markets in Costa Rica. (well - Walmart Mexico.  Same scenario throughout Central America):

Maxi Pali (28)
Mas X Menos (29)
Pali  (151) 
WalMart Supercenter (formerly Hipermas) (8)
I THINK they also own Maxi Bodega
but I didn't see it on their list
TOTAL Retail Stores = 216

facebook.com/AutoMercadoCostaRica  •  AutoMercado.co.cr  •  2-257-4242  •  cliente@AutoMercado.co.cr

PICTURES of a sampling of the gringo products you can often find go to: SarongGoddess.com/Other/AutoMercadoCR

The largest selection of gringo products/things from the U.S. (hence higher prices of course).  NICE store with a GOOD butcher department for meat (packaged OR - ASK for the quantity YOU want!!) and seafood (the BIGGEST selection of seafoods!!)(I WOULD buy my meat here!!!!).  They also have frozen KOSHER MEATS.  GREAT for gringo HOLIDAY fixin's like Turkey, Stuffing, Pumpkin Pie Mix (year-round), cans of Cranberry (year-round). 
MY FAVORITES  - Amaretto Liquer Cake (BEYOND Linguasmo!!  Also Jamaica Rum, Black Forest and Contreau), MALTED (for Malted Milk!!)!!!!!  Jared Horseradish (at AM I find that in the refrigerated section - near the chilled bagels, cheeses (NOT the cheese stand alone gourmet section.  I find their Horseradish to be a bit stronger than the other stores though I still like it STRONGER!!  SunRa uses Wasabi instead to add to things as that is usually stronger and lots cheaper than horseradish!), Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream (though this varies from $7-$10 for a PINT!!!  But sometimes ya just GOTTA HAVE IT!!).

 Auto Frecuente ClubAutoMercado.cr/auto-frecuente
The way I understand it, for every 300 colones you buy at AutoMercado - you get a point which you can exchange for various things.
You can choose from a small rebate after you've accumulated a certain amount of points (YOU have to ask to cash it in) plus discounts for some other businesses (including 20% OFF at one of MY FAV ROMANTIC restaurants Le Monastere!!  Also off car rentals, hotels, stores) & cool things greatly reduced (like wine glasses - 4 for some really cheap price)  •  Exclusive Discounts & Promotions. 
Order online & have it delivered to your door!!  This is especially great when you're coming back from being away &/or for Tourists with kitchens where they're staying.
AMIDomicilio.com  -  800-800-2886 (note to North Americans - you do NOT put the "1" in front of this number)

WEDNESDAYS20-30% discounts
MAINLY on Meats • Veggies•Fruits & Alcohol & some different items.

LOCATIONS  -  AutoMercado.co.cr/aam/showEmpresaLocalizaciones.do;jsessionid=0727CA744FE84C7D59707350AA9FF299:

Alajuela  (2-431-2420)

HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 7am-10pm. Sun. 7am-8pm
LOCATION:  de los Tribunales de Justicia 800 mts al Norte

Coco  (2-670-2232)

HOURS:  Sunday-Thursday - 7:30am-9pm.  Friday-Saturday - 8am-10pm
LOCATION:  Centro Comercial Pacífico, frente al Banco Nacional en Playas Del Coco - Sardinal de Carrillo

Curridabat  (2-253-5306)
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday•Lunes-Sabado - 8am-10pm.  Sunday-Domingo - 8am-8pm?
LOCATION:  Centro Comercial Plaza del Sol, carretera a Curridabat

Escazu-San Rafael (2-588-1742) 
HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 7am-10pm. Sun. 8am-9pm
LOCATION:  200 meters Sur/up the hill from the Scotia Split in Plaza Atlantis
MANAGER:  If you're looking for something specific ask for one of the managers - Javier Madrigad Soto who is AWESOME!!  He's REALLY Customer Service oriented and speaks a fair amount of English (he's called me in the past when a special hard to keep in yogurt I was wanting was in!! [tell him Vicki shared how GREAT he is and Connected you!])

Escazu – MultiPlaza (2-201-6174)
HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 8am-9pm. Sun. 8am-8pm
LOCATION:  As you come in at the main entrance (off the Rotunda) - it's the entrance on the Right - by Scotia Bank

Heredia  (2-262-2833)
HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 8am-9pm, Sun. 8am-?pm

LOCATION:   Carretera a Barva, 500 norte de la Comandancia de Heredia

Herradura  (2-637-8440)

HOURS:  Sunday-Thursday - 8am-9pm.  Friday-Saturday - 8am-?pm
LOCATION:  Centro Comercial Plaza Herradura, entrada a Playa Herradura

Los Yoses  (2-225-0361)
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday•Lunes-Sabado - 8am-10pm.  Sunday-Domingo - 8am-8pm
LOCATION:  Carretera a San Pedro, frente a Barrio Los Yoses

Moravia  (2-297-0635)
HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 7am-10pm, Sun. 9am-?pm
LOCATION:  del antiguo Colegio Lincoln 800 m. oeste, cruce Moravia -Tibás

Pozos de Santa Ana•aka Lindora  (2-203-5335)
HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 7am-10pm, Sun. 8am-??pm.

LOCATION:  on the road heading towards the Airport - Frente a Residencial Lindora, radial entre Santa Ana y San Antonio de Belén.

Rohrmoser – Plaza Mayor  (2-232-5555)
HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 7am-10pm, Sun. 8am-8pm?
LOCATION:  Centro Comercial Plaza Mayor, Boulevar Rohrmoser

San Jose-Central  (2-233-5511)
HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 7am-8pm, Sun. 8am-3pm
LOCATION:  Avenida 3 and Calle 3

Tamarindo  (2-653-2414)
HOURS:  Sunday-Thursday - 8am-9pm.  Friday-Saturday - 8am-10pm
LOCATION:  Centro Comercial Garden Plaza, contiguo entrada a Tamarindo Heights.


facebook.com/FreshMarketCR  •  FreshMarket.CR   •   2-258-2626-Corp

Basically an upscale/expensive
Mas x Menos (similar products but for LOTS more $$) but in a NICE, clean, spacious, gringo-ized environment that’s open fairly late!!!  Fresh Baked Breads•Pastries (GOOD Croisants), nice Deli, fresh Flowers, Plants.  I was there late one night just before they closed and they were handing out free bread (since it was the end of the night).  Sometimes they have Wine Tastings.

HOURS in Most Locations:  Daily 6am-10:30pm

LOCATIONS - FreshMarket.cr/tiendas:
Cariari  (2-239-2224)
En el Centro Comercial Plaza Cariari, ubicados 125 metros al sur del hotel Doubletree  - OR - 1 block before the Cariari Country Club
Curridabat-Guayabos  (2-271-4709)
LOCATION: Ubicado 100 metros este de la Embajada de Italia en Guayabos
Curridabat-Pinares  (2-272-0545) 
LOCATION:  in front of•Frente a la Farmacia Fischel
Escazú-Centro (2-228-2695)
LOCATION:  Up the Scotia Split about 7 blocks - on your Left - at the light where you to Right to go into Centro Escazu (you're NOT supposed to turn Left there but . . . [otherwise - a block before turn Left at ChiChi's bar.  Turn Right at the stop sign and it's on your left])
in Centro Comercial Monte.

Escazú-behind Paco Plaza (2-588-1162)
En el Centro Comercial Paco en Escazú, frente al BAC San José, carretera a/the Old Road to Santa Ana
Escazú-Guachipelín-Multipark  (2-215-0452)
LOCATION: en el Centro Comercial Multipark, contiguo a Construplaza

Heredia-San Francisco de  (2-260-8847)

De la iglesia de San Francisco de Heredia 150 m sur y 800 m suroeste Plaza Comercial Multiflores local #12
Heredia-San Pablo de Heredia  (2-238-4103)LOCATION: Del Restaurante La Casona de mi Tierra, 500 metros al este

Rohrmorser-West•Oeste  (2-296-5176)
LOCATION: Plaza Mayor - 100 metros al West•Oeste y 200 metros al Norte.

Rohrmoser Nunciatura  (2-291-8952)
LOCATION: Frente a la Nunciatura
Sabanilla-El Cristo  (2-273-3590)
LOCATION: Costado Oeste del Cristo

Santa Ana – East of the Cruz Rojo/Red Cross  (2-282-2909)
LOCATION: 1 block Easte•Este of the Cruz Roja•Red Cross


Alajuela - It is a fairly basic "warehouse" type place where you can purchase large quantities of rice, corn and beans, ketchup etc.

facebook.com/JumboSuperMercados  •  2-247-2300

Bigger and more products than their sister store PeriMercado.  Promotions are similar
HOURS:  Daily 7am-9pmSPECIALS:  Wednesday•Miercoles Fresco - Fruits and meats on sale at 25-50% off.  Saturday•Sabado -  - Fruits, vegetables and chicken - 25% off CarritoEnlinea.com/index.php?dispatch=pages.view&page_id=13

Alajuela: 2-442-1953/ 2-441-6660 

Cartago: 2592-1652/ 2592-1606
Desamparados: 2-250-6845/ 2-219-0962
Guadalupe: 2-221-0329/ 2-223-8469
Liberia: 2-665-7002/ 2-665-7004
Moravia: 2-240-6484/ 2-240-6328


facebook.com/MasXMenosCR  •  MasXMenos.co.cr
Customer Service (WalMart Corporation):  800-8000-722

Now owned by WalMart.  More of a Tico market though they have some great things like the ONLY place I’ve found Bryanas salad dressing.  Light blue building (ya can’t miss it).  
Bag Boys/Empacadores  here ARE employees hence you aren’t supposed to take tips BUT, I’ve found when they bring them out for you – they often sort of wait around for one (so I guess you don’t try to tip them IN the store). 
LOCATIONS: http://MasXMenos.co.cr/loca.htm
Escazu  - San Rafael  -  (2-228-0954)  -   HOURS:  Mon.-Sat. 6:30am-MID, Sun. 6:30am-10pm.  LOCATION:  Just West of the Scotia Split
Rohrmoser   (2-231-3815 / 2-231-3852 / 2-231-3936 / 2-231-3978 / 2-231-3691)  -  LOCATION: Plaza Rohrmoser – The main road in Pavas – 200 mts West of the big blue AYA office.
Sabana  (2-248-0968 / 2-248-1396)  -  LOCATION:  100 Mts. North of Sabana Park
Christmas Season:  till Dec. 31 – Sun. 6:30am-mid.  New Years Day ’09 – 9am-7pm.
At Más x Menos, the supermarket said it will extend its Sunday hours to midnight until December 31 and will open until 10pm


I FINALLY made it to a Maxi Bodega (in Grecia) and I think the best way to describe it is it's a mini-WalMart where you can find everything from food to appliances and many things in between - but it seemed cheaper than WalMart - at least in Costa Rica (and many cheaper quality products as well)(NOTE:  They are OWNED by WalMart - Mexico)

Alajuela  (2-443-6196)  -  LOCATION: Plaza Ferias    

Cañas  (2-668-7550)  -  LOCATION: Se ubica 300 mts oeste del redondel de toros.
Ciudad Quesada  (2-461-1333)  -  LOCATION: Plaza San Carlos

Desamparados-El Cruce    (2-259-9185)  -  LOCATION:  San Miguel and Aserri
Grecia (2-494-1955)  -  LOCATION:  In the Grecia Mall.  (or Tico directions - Se ubica contiguo al Centro Comercial Plaza El Ingenio, sea 900m hacia el Nor-Oeste del Parque Central, carretera a Sarchí)
Guapiles  (2-711-1615)  -  LOCATION:  100 mts oeste de la Estación de Servicio Santa Clara. Sobre Autopista Braulio Carrillo.
Jaco  -  LOCATION:  Antigua Coca Cola, costado Norte del cementerio    

Libería  (2-665-1796)  -  LOCATION:  Contiguo al mercado Municipal
Limon (2-758-1318)  -  LOCATION:  Contiguo Mercado Municipal
Nicoya (2-685-6203)  -  LOCATION:  Sobre Ruta Nacional N° 21, en intersección principal de entrada a la ciudad de Nicoya
Puntarenas  (2-664-0248)  -  LOCATION:  1km West de la Planta de Sardimar    

San Isidro   (2-770-3929)  -  LOCATION: South Carretera InterAmericana – across from Restaurante Brazilia    
San Ramon  (2-445-9615)  -  LOCATION:  200 mts North del Hospital  
Tibas  (2-236-8237)  -  LOCATION:  Costado Norte del Cementerio Tibás.
Turrialba  (2-556-9410)  -  LOCATION:  Frente al campus de la Universidad de Costa Rica


facebook.com/CorporacionMegaSuper  •  www.MegaSuper.com  • 
2-246-0400-Cartago • 800-MEGA-800

My impression of it is it’s more basic/generic/Tico style products BUT, I was surprised to find .  Popular with Ticos.   IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (2-200-300-colones or so depending on how much) and more if they’re taking it out for me (2-400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan).
SPECIALS:  Looks like they have 25% off Fruits and Veges on Thursday.  30% off Chicken•Pollo on Sunday. 

HOURS:  Couldn't find them yet
HOLIDAYS:  Samana Santa•Easter - Holy Thursday•Jueves and Good Friday - 9am-7pm.  Saturday-Sunday•Sabado•Domingo-Normal

LOCATIONS - they have LOTS so best if you go to it yourself - www.MegaSuper.com/supermercados.html:
Santa Ana/Pozos (on the South side of the Pista where you get off for Santa Ana and the Airport)
San Antonio de Belen (Mall)


Pali.co.cr (I'm not finding a Facebook page)
(website is currently not working if you type it up but if you google it - parts of it still open and work)
Customer Service (WalMart Corporation):  800-800-0722

My impression – it’s at the bottom of the food Chaín of low-end products.  DEFINITELY generic/Tico style products.  Popular with Ticos.  I’ve actually found some cool kitchen chachkis here (in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua I got these WAYYY COOL purple funky square plastic plates for SOOO cheap!!). Bring your own grocery bags to bag your groceries as they just put things back in the cart after they've scanned them and you step aside to a counter and bag/box it yourself (they do have some bags you can BUY).   I've found they don't usually credit cards or U.S. $s in Costa Rica. 
LOCATIONS - they have over 100 locations throughout Costa Rica so I'm going to let you look them up off their HARD to navigate "map" at Pali.co.cr/pali_en_costa_rica.htm
Escazu  -  Central  (2-288-1372 / 2-288-1373)  -  LOCATION: 100 mts. North and 50 mts. West of the church/park.
Santa Ana –  Downtown  (2-282-4805 / 2-282-4456)  -  LOCATION:  200 mts. North of the church
Pavas  (2-231-7730 )  -   LOCATION: 600 West of the American Embassy
Rohrmoser  (2-231-4125)  -   Del antiguo Rancho Luna, 400 mts. North of Pavas
Ciudad Colon  (2-249-1773 / 2-249-1769)  -  East of the Municipalidad on the road heading OUT of town - towards the Pista/highway

facebook.com/PeriMercados  •  Peri.CR 
Corporate Office - 2-247-2300  •  mercadeo@GessaCR.com

My impression of it is it’s more generic/Tico style products.  Popular with Ticos.   IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (200-300-colones or so depending on how much) and more if they’re taking it out for me (400-500-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones. They are owned by Gessa - GrupocoMecaCR.com/soluciones-de-empaque/retail/gessa-supermercados.html - which owns a bunch of markets - PeriMercado (22), Jumbo (6) - facebook.com/JumboSuperMercados, Super Compro (31) -  facebook.com/SuperCompro (mainly in Guanacaste and Puntarena), Cadena Diboyco (3) (a few stores in Turrialba) - Diboyco, Turribásicos and Bógaro and Saretto's.

SPECIALS DAY:  TUESDAYS - where you can save up to 40% off select fresh VEGETABLES and MEAT!!  PLUS - you can save 25% off Vegetables during the rest of the week!!  They have some of cheapest specials BUT, if it were me, I'd immediately clean & freeze the meat. Check their website and Facebook page for the specials. 
"Peri Frescos" is the Tuesday Meat and Veggies Sale. 
"Peri Ofertas" is the things on sale for the MONTH

RULES:  These offers are valid while supplies lastMaximum 3 units or 3 kilos per person, per product, per day for each different product identified on offer. Offer does not apply to fresh packaged products.
EXAMPLE from March 17, 2015

LOCATIONS  -  Peri.cr/ubicaciones.html:
Cartago-Paseo MetroPoli: 

HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm

Coronado: 2
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm. 

Curridabat: 2-224-97182-224-9718
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 8am-9pm.  Sunday 7:30am-9pm. 

Del Sur: 2-226-83632-226-8363
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 6:30am-10pm.  Sunday 7:30am-10pm. 

Desamparados-Carritos: 2-275-4161 • 2-275-4161
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm. 

Escazu-San Rafael-Los Anonos:  2-228-00232-228-0606. 
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 6:30am-12am/Mid.  Sunday 6:30am-10pm. 
LOCATION:  From the Pista/WalMart - it's at that first intersection/light - by
Tony Romas and TGIFridays.

Grecia: 2
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm. 
Guapiles: 2
HOURS: Daily - 6:30am-10pm 

Montelimar: 2
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm

Naranjo: 2-451-40712-450-3912
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm 

Orotino-Laurent:  2-428-5013
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 6:30am-12am/Mid.  Sunday 6am-8pm. 

Paso Ancho: 2
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm

Pavas: 2-232-13762-296-4859
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 6:30am-10pm.  Sunday 6:30am-9pm. 

Plaza Pavas: 2-231-55222-231-5511
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm 

Peri Orotina:  2-428-86832-428-5013
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 6:30am-12am/Mid.  Sunday 6:30am-10pm. 

San Jose-Central - Gran Via: 2
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 6:30am-12am/Mid.  Sunday 6:30am-10pm. 

San Ramon: 2-445-40752-445-4115
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 6:30am-10pm.  Sunday 7am-10pm. 

Santa Rosa: 2-244-0339
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm 

Tibas: 2-235-03392-235-0339
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm

Tres Rios-TerraMall: 2-278-68512-278-6883
HOURS:  Monday-Saturday - 9am-9pm.  Sunday 68:30am-10pm. 

Vargas Araya: 2
HOURS:  Daily - 6:30am-10pm


Membership "Club" (I believe they're owned by CostCo since they carry their Kirkland brand) so you need to join. Heavy with large quantity of popular American brand processed foods, meats/seafood (I WOULD buy my meat here!!!!), produce and packaged things as well as bulk on household cleaning products, etc.   Some things are REALLY GOOD prices and others you can get cheaper elsewhere.  Electronics, Computing, Home and Kitchen Appliances (often pretty good prices including including Stackable Washer/Dryer [around $1,000]), Tools•Hardware, Office Supplies, Toys and Baby items, Fruits and Vegetables, better quality USDA meat, Bakery, Deli (the best cheeses and hams), Juices (MY FAV is the Pink Grapefruit juice), Wines (BEST price on 3 box wines) and Spirits, Food items, Frozen Goods (sometimes they have Corn Dogs!!), Rotisserie Chicken (I LOVE their Roasted Chicken the MOST and it's LOTS cheaper than most of the other stores - I think it's around 3,700-c/under $8).  Some clothes.  Bedding (they usually have 1/2 decent sheets for a GOOD price!!!).  Cleaning products.  Nuts - peanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts+.  GREAT PRICES on Restaurant•Party Supplies (plastic plates, flatware, cups, serving things/chafing dishes!!).  Many people get their Dog food or some real generic cleaning products in bulk for CHEAP!!  Much of their items are their own CostCo/Kirkland brand products which are good quality.  Fast food (MANY rave about their pizza and pick a whole 18" one up to take home for dinner or their Chicken Baked Roll (very cheesy).  I like their REALLY cheap 100% beef [?] Hot Dogs).  Digital Photo DevelopingA wide range of SEASONAL item (GREAT for holiday decorations).  GREAT place for "SUMMER" items like tents, above ground pools, kayaks, pool and beach toys•things, + (example - bit.ly/DeportesAcuaticosCR)Sometimes they have a few selections of furniture (usually Patio furniture), stuff of outdoors.  Electronics, Computers (they're now carrying Apple•Mac's!!!!).  GREAT place for Rechargeable Batteries for a decent price.  Good prices on phones and Home Security Systems. 
MY FAVS•basic staples/Gotta Haves when I go - #1 - Extra Virgin Cold-Pressed Olive Oil - around $16 for a Gallon. 1 pound of Almonds and Walnuts UNDER $10. My FAV•FAV•FAV (and why I'm such a BIG HIT at parties and with workers and people) - their Ghiradelli TRIPLE CHOCOLATE Brownies!!  There are 6 packages in a box for UNDER $13 - making it a bit over $2.25 per BATCH!!  You can't make them for cheaper!!!  & they're SOOOOO Linguasmo/TongueGasmic!!!!  BIG jar of Peanut Butter is under $6!!!). 3 one liter "boxes" of Clos Chilean Wine is WAYYYY cheaper at PS than anywhere.  1,000 ply Scott Toilet Paper lasts the LONGEST of ANY toilet paper I've tried!!  I got all my flatware for my guest house here for SOOO cheap!!
They have locations throughout South and Central America and the Caribbean. 

PHARMACY:  I’ve found their prices pretty high compared to other places THOUGH - OFTEN their most popular gringo main brands are often LOTS cheaper (you know - Prozac and the like) and often they’re not into selling you smaller quantities. 
DISCOUNT:  5 or 10% off if you pay with cash (they never ask for your membership card in the pharmacy).

AUTO:  TIRES - their tire store (inside) I hear often has some GREAT PRICES!   CAR BATTERIES.  OIL CHANGES.  Installation Center for Tires and Battery and Oil Changes (MOST people I know seem to go here as they're quite cheap!).
ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTS:  They also have additional discounts at some other businesses.
Join their Facebook page to get occasional discounts.

MEMBERSHIP:  Diamond (the standard one) $35/year gives you 1 additional card.  Business - $60 - gives you 4 additional cards (you MUST have some sort of PROOF you're a business or non-profit like business license, . New Platinum price depends on which other card you have + up to $40 for Diamond and $45 for Business (depending on when you join).  Their website says "Your membership is valid at ALL PriceSmart™ locations worldwide." so that means in Nicaragua and Panama also!!!  Bring a photo id with you to join (passport or cedula)

HOURS (for all locations):  Monday-Friday•Lunes-Viernes - 10am-8:30pm.  Saturday•Sábado - 9:30am-8:30pm.  Sunday•Domingo - 10am-8pm
HOLIDAY HOURS:  Semana Santa•Easter - Holy Thursday•Jueves - 10am-6pm.  Good Friday•Viernes - Closed•Cerrado.  Saturday-Sunday•Sabado-Domingo - regular hours

LOCATIONS (PriceSmart.com/Local/Membership/Club-Locations.aspx):
Alajuela  (2-441-7700)
LOCATION:  Barrio San Jose - in front of Mutual AlajuelaEscazu  (2-288-0008)
LOCATION:  Westbound on the Autopista Prospero Fernandez – get off at the first exit (note there is NO exit sign!!) –go straight down to the end passing the gas station, Jazz Café-West, Plaza Itzkazu (with Hooters and Outback), it curves around and goes under the Pista cutting back.  Past the new bridge, Office Depot – Before CIMA hospital.  Eastbound  -  Again – no sign.  Get off 200 meters West mano izquierda - from the toll on the left.  Get off at the gas station and go all the way to the end and loop around under the Pista, pass Office Depot and it’s on your right.  If you hit CIMA Hospital – you’ve gone too far.

Heredia  (2-262-4848)
LOCATION:   300 m. north of Atlas Electrica 

Llorente  (2-297-2343)
LOCATION:  Llorente de Tibás in front of the Monseñor Anselmo LLorente School of Tibás

Tres Rios
  (4-032-2000)  -  OPENING OCTOBER 18
LOCATION:  Adjacent to Terra Campus and TerraMall La Union, Cartago Zapote  (2-283-4494 / 2-280-8359)
LOCATION:  SouthEast of Fuente de la Hispanidad – in front of the National Registery


Unfortunately in 2012 Saretto's was bought out by Gasso that owns PeriMercado so the selection has changed a LOT and there's LOTS less international or gourmet foods geared towards the ExPats as in the past.  But they still do have a pretty large selection (though I don't think anywhere near as many as before) of Alcoholic Beverages (especially wines) with some pretty good prices.  Last time I was there they were still carrying Entenmann's Baked Goods but only 2-3 selections (& not MY FAV Raspberry pastry).  Produce section - Pretty good selection and some nicer things including lots of herbs (NOTE: Once you select your produce, you need to take it over to the area to get it weighed and priced).  GOOD quality on Meats (I WOULD buy my meat here!!!!) and vege section seemed smaller but they have THE MOST unique/harder to find things (they get them from the Ark in Heredia!). 
IMPORTANT:  Bag Boys here are NOT employees (no salary, no insurance) so PLEASE make sure to tip them (I tip them if they’re just bagging me (200-300+-colones or so depending on how much) and more if they’re taking it out for me (400-500+-colones or so).  If I don’t have much to bag or don’t have much $, of course I bag it myself or at least give them 100 colones (I’ve found MANY of them are Nicaraguan - hmmmm - last trip there - February '15 - I don't recall seeing these guys so they may have cracked down on that.  I'll check next time I go).
SPECIALS:  Check with them as it is always changing.

HOURS:  Mon-Sat. 8am - 9pm and Sun. 8am-7pm.  
LOCATION:  Escazu (San Rafael) - Coming from the highway/Pista del Sol - get off at the first Escazu exit if coming from San Jose - or the last one coming from Santa Ana.  At the fist light turn LEFT (on your right is WalMart and on your Left is PeriMercado and a small strip mall - Plaza Trejos Montelegre). Pass through the next light and it's on your LEFT JUST after the gas station.  There is parking in front or in the building at the street where the gas station is.
COMING FROM WITHIN ESCAZU:  Take the road heading towards WalMart/the Pista and at the light where you can veer to the right or keep going straight - at PeriMercado (JUST before WalMart) - Veer RIGHT/heading East (towards San Jose).  Pass Pizza Hut, a small strip mall on your right, then on your left - an Italian restaurant and a gas station and there it is - on your left.
COMING FROM SAN JOSE ON THE OLD ROAD:  Saretto's is 200 mts AFTER/west of the Los Anonos Bridge - on the Right side of the street.


Super Compro

32 stores mainly in Guanacaste and Puntarenas.  Sister store to PeriMercado.  Cheapest prices of all their stores. 
SPECIALS:  Fri. and Sat. - fruits, veges, chicken - 25-50%

HOURS:  Daily 7am-9pm???  (check first)

25 Julio: 2-666-5242
27 de Abril: 2-658-0434 / 2-658-0628
Arenal: 2-694-0049
Bagaces: 2-671-1313
Barranca: 2-664-3398 / 2-664-3393
Belén: 2-651-1133
Cañas: 2669-4747 / 2-668-6081
Cartagena: 2675-0471 / 2675-4505
Ciudad Quesada: 2460-9204 / 2460-5692
Cuajiniquil: 2679-1034
El Coco: 2670-2178
Esparza: 2635-5628
Filadelfia: 2688-8633 / 2688-7633
Huacas: 2653-6359 / 2653-6361
Jacó: 2643- 3639 / 2643-1755
La Cruz: 2679-5007
Laurent ( Orotina): 2428-5014 / 2427-9512
Liberia: 2666-1265
Monteverde: 2645-5068 / 2645-5331
Nicoya: 2685-5711
Pital: 2473-9009 / 2473-9016
Plaza Anexion: 2686-6314
Plaza Diría: 2680-1285 / 2680-1464
Plaza Sardinal: 2697-1070 / 2697-0427
San Martín: 2685-6832
San Roque Centro: 2666-1795
San Roque: 2666-3635
Santa Cecilia: 2677-7086 / 2677-8077
Santa Cruz: 2680-1786 / 2680-2214
Tamarindo: 2653-1410
Tilarán: 2695-6050
Upala: 2470-0092


(formerly HiperMas)  
Customer Service:  800-800-0722

Note that there's no escaping WalMart in Costa Rica as they now own 214 groceries stores throughout Costa Rica (Maxi Pali (26), Mas x Menos (29), Maxi Bodega (?), Pali (151), Walmart (8) employing over 12,000 people IN Costa Rica - BUT - the good thing•BIG DIFFERENCE in Costa Rica from in the U.S. is in Costa Rica they MUST pay for insurance on ALL employees (this is a BIG issue/reason MANY people boycott WalMart in the U.S.)

WalMart stores are the largest markets in Costa Rica though they're more in between a regular WalMart and a WalMart Super Store we're used to in the U.S.  BEFORE WalMart came in, many of the stores were known as HiperMas.

They're also the most one-stop-shopping store!!  You can find everything from foods (though more geared towards the Tico/Latin clients as they do not have a lot of Americana/"Gringo" products as say AutoMercado does).  They have one of the better selections of ORGANIC things (NOTE:  Lately I have not noticed as many options).  Plus they have a GREAT selection HOUSEHOLD things, APPLIANCES, STEREOS+, COMPUTER things, the BIGGEST selection of GOOD priced PLASTICS (plastic containers and boxes, etc.  Man has Costa Rica come a LONG WAY with decent priced plastics as they used to be OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive!!  Prices aren't as great as in the U.S. yet but this is one of the few areas prices have gone DOWN in Costa Rica!!), SPORTING GOODS, PAINT+++!!

HOURS (all stores): Sunday-Thursday•Domingo-Jueves - 8am-10pm. Friday-Saturday•Viernes-Sabado - 8am-11pm.

Alajuela  -  2-441-8533 • 2-441-8508
LOCATION:  400 Mts sur del Hospital San Rafael de Alajuela sobre la Radial Francisco J. Orlich en el sentido San José Alajuela

Cartago  -  2-553-4820 
LOCATION:  Cartago De la Basilica de los Angeles 800 metros camino a paraiso frente a la Bomba los Angeles

Curridabat  -  2-272-1994
LOCATION:  Autopista Florencio del Castillo, Kilometro 2, frente a escuela Josefina Jurado   - or - 1 KM este de Bomba la Galera carretera a Tres Ríos

Escazu  -  2-288-4270 • 2-288-4103
LOCATION:  Just off the Pista (the Prospero Fernandez Highway #27) coming off La Sabana Park in San Jose - in front of•frente Centro Comercial Trejos MonteAlegre

Guadalupe  -  2-283-7170
LOCATION:  Frente a la Rotonda de la Antigua Fabrica Gallito

Heredia  -  2-262-5353 
LOCATION:  Heredia 400 oeste del estadio Rosalbal Cordero sobre carretera principal hacia Alajuela - or - Carretera Heredia Frente Colegio Santa Cecilia

San Sebastian  -  2-286-0033
LOCATION:  Carretera de Circunvalacion, frente a la Rotonda de San Sebastian


Ivo with Go Dutch Realty has written a great article on Grocery Shopping, FOOD PRODUCTS and Department Stores at:



I would like YOUR input on these markets•grocery stores - especially what of their more UNIQUE items they carry that you LOVE!!!
Comment Below!


Have some other information to add to this?  Email me at:


PLEASE "SHARE" this with all your friends moving to or living in Costa Rica
.1442 - 3/20/15


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