Home » Costa Rica » Costa Rica – Retail and Consumer Issues

Costa Rica – Retail and Consumer Issues

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is known for its diverse wildlife, stunning beaches, and eco-tourism. With a population of around 5 million, Costa Rica is a small but bustling country that attracts tourists and expats from all over the world. In this article, we will explore the retail and consumer issues in Costa Rica, including opening hours, major supermarkets, online shopping, shops for expats, and consumer rights.

Opening Hours and Forms of Payment

Most shops in Costa Rica are open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, many shops close early, with some opening only in the morning. However, opening hours can vary depending on the location and type of shop.

As for payment, cash is still the most commonly accepted form of payment in Costa Rica. However, major credit and debit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are also widely accepted. Some shops may also accept mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

Major Supermarkets

There are several major supermarkets in Costa Rica, including Walmart, Mas x Menos, AutoMercado, and Pricesmart. Walmart is the largest supermarket chain in the country, with multiple locations across the country. Mas x Menos is another popular supermarket chain that offers a variety of products at affordable prices. AutoMercado is a higher-end supermarket that offers premium products and a wider variety of imported goods. Pricesmart is a membership-based warehouse store that offers bulk purchases at discounted prices.

The major supermarkets in Costa Rica differ in terms of pricing and product selection. Walmart and Mas x Menos tend to be more affordable, while AutoMercado and Pricesmart offer a wider range of products but are more expensive.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica, with more and more people opting to shop online for convenience and variety. Some of the main online shopping websites in Costa Rica include Amazon, MercadoLibre, and Linio. Amazon offers a wide range of products and international shipping options, while MercadoLibre and Linio are local e-commerce platforms that offer a variety of products at competitive prices.


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.


Shops for Expats

There are several shops in Costa Rica that cater specifically to expats and offer international products. Some of the most popular expat shops include Pricesmart, Walmart, and Fresh Market. Pricesmart and Walmart offer a wide range of imported products at affordable prices, while Fresh Market is a higher-end supermarket that offers a variety of imported goods and organic products.

In addition to supermarkets, there are also several specialty shops that cater to specific international markets. For example, the Gourmet Shop in San Jose offers a variety of imported products from Europe, while the Asian Food Market in Heredia specializes in Asian groceries and products.

Consumer Rights

Consumers in Costa Rica are protected by the Ley de Protección al Consumidor (Consumer Protection Law), which outlines the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses. Some of the main consumer rights in Costa Rica include the right to receive clear and accurate information about products and services, the right to receive products and services that are of good quality and safe for use, and the right to file a complaint or seek compensation if a product or service is defective or unsatisfactory.

Consumers who feel that their rights have been violated can contact the Dirección de Apoyo al Consumidor (Consumer Support Directorate), which is responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws in Costa Rica. They can also contact the Asociación Consumidores de Costa Rica (Consumer Association of Costa Rica), a non-profit organization that advocates for consumer rights and provides legal support and guidance to consumers.


Latest Videos

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feed settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.