Shopping in Costa Rica
Although bargains are found with relative ease across the country, when it comes to shopping, don't expect deals on items not produced in or around Costa Rica. Imported goods, especially name brand items popular in the U.S., can run as much or more as you'd pay stateside. Of course, locally made goods: crafts, clothing, jewelry, artwork - can be found at bargain prices...depending on where you're looking and how much barting you do. Coffee is a major product of Costa Rica and can be found fresh and inexpensive, but, again, if you're buying in the wrong place (airports and high end resorts) be prepared for familiar prices.
The best shopping in the country is certainly San Jose. Central Avenue is a popular and busy pedestrians only mall in the center of Costa Rica's capital city. A bit on the dirty side and often crowded, the police presence makes it relatively safe, just watch for pickpockets.