This article about the farmer’s market in Guadalupe in Costa Rica which is really more of a guide for tourists and newcomers to Costa Rica that I wrote because I have been getting several requests from foreigners to write about this topic.
Since I live a short bus ride away from the Farmer’s Market in Guadalupe, which is located it right behind the “Pilar Jiménez y Pavas school “, I thought I would write about my experience there.
Like Most farmer’s market in Costa Rica, it is an outdoor market that is part located in a parking lot with stalls that overflow into the streets.
The farmer’s market in Guadalupe is open on Saturdays and starts at the wee hours of the morning and stalls start closing around 1pm.
Wanting to get the freshest fruits and vegetables I could without having to get up too early I arrived at the market at 9am where I was greeted by the sound of farmers and vendors trying to sell their produce to everyone and anyone within hearing distance.
Armed with my trusted cart that I purchased for a mere $8 at Pequeno Mundo in Moravia, I began my shopping adventure. A carrito is not necessary if you do not buy a lot of produce but it does make carrying 2 kilos of potatoes and a kilo of oranges a lot easier.
If you intend on buying just a few items, a canvas bag that you place over your shoulder may be a better choice.
They are available for purchase at the market itself ranging from ₡1.500 to ₡3.500($3-$7) depending on the size and material.
Most of the time I have gone to the farmer's market, it has been a very sunny day so I recommend that you put on some sun block and bring along a bottle of water.
Getting the Most for Your Money
The trick to shopping at the farmer’s market is to first make a quick round around every aisle and inquire about prices before buying anything.
This will give you an idea as to what each item goes for and how much bargaining power you will have when you are ready to start buying.
For example, one stall was selling these beautiful tomatoes at 500 colones per kilo while most stalls around the market where ranging in price from 300-400 colones.
So near the end of my shopping trip(the latter in the day the more likely the vendor will sell you his product at a lower price) I was able to talk the vendor into selling me a kilo for 350 colones.
Eating at the Farmer's market
If you get thirsty or hungry while grocery shopping. No worries as they are plenty of entrepreneurial ticos that have opened food stands in the market.
If you are looking for food, go towards the back of the market where you will find a row of food vendors that sell fried chicken, empanadas, chicharons and much more at a very reasonable price starting around ₡1.000 and more.
Looking for something natural to drink, check out this stall where they used an old juicing press to make their own natural drink right in front of your eyes.
You do not see to many of these machines around anymore but there main seller is their sugar cane juice which you get from pressing all of the sugary liquid from a sugar cane.
Be Aware of Yoru surroudings
Thieves and pickpockets come in all sorts of sizes and looks so be aware that they are pickpockets at the farmer's market and often they are not someone you would think is one.
Just a couple of months ago, some sweet looking old lady tried to steal my wallet by placing her hand in my pocket gently groping for something. As I caught her in the act, she just said excuse me and quickly walked off.
Enjoy the Shopping and the Atmosphere
The most important parts for newcomers and tourists in Costa Rica is to enjoy this wonderful market as it is truly part of the culture in Costa Rica. As you walk through the rows of vendors and farmers, take the time to capture every sight and sound for the farmer's market experience is one that will last you a lifetime.