The Colorful Farmers Markets (Ferias) Here in Costa Rica!
Oh So Fresh Fruits & Veggies. . a Cultural Icon. . a Social Event for Your Entire Family. . a Part of the "Pura Vida" Lifestyle. .
One big reason people move to Costa Rica is that they want to recreate themselves, both mentally AND physically! Starting fresh is indeed a reawakening of one's soul and a confirmation to oneself that change in life can always be for the better! On the physical side of it all, eating healthier is way on the top of the list. So many of my friends have lost so much weight after they moved here. It happens for most in the first few months. And the weight loss starts with eating lots fruits and veggies, no doubt. .
Costa Rican farmers markets are a perfect introduction into the simple life and culture afforded to us all. As a foreigner, arriving at your local farmers market for the first time especially is so much fun. It’s a great first step into adapting to Costa Rican society. You can practice your Spanish, get to know your neighbors and try local specialty items perhaps available only in your specific area of the country. Not only that, but you get to stock up for the entire coming week with lots of very inexpensive, colorful and delicious fruits and veggies!
Even if you’re not living in Costa Rica, visiting the farmers market is a fun experience for tourists. I highly recommend finding out if there is a local feria near where you’re staying and visiting one day if you’re the least bit interested in learning about Costa Rican culture and local life.
For those of you who have not been to Costa Rica, the fruits and veggies offered at these pop-up markets are fresh, inexpensive, colorful, juicy and so tasty. Every little town has its own market. The farmers gather usually in the central area of the town, or at the bus station and for about 5 hours, they sell what they just picked! It's fun to make an appearance every weekend and stock up your pantry with all of the old standbys. . tomatoes, corn, watermelon, onions, lettuce, okra. . and many more (fruits) that are so hard to pronounce!
You'll find fruits that you have never heard of before! Rambutan, Guanabana, Zapote, Jocote, Maracuya are the superstars here! Move over oranges and apples! Take some time today and google all of the "fruits of Costa Rica". . just one of the many reasons for packing up and moving to one of the happiest countries on the planet!
In addition to the rows and rows of fresh produce, you can also find aromatic, freshly-cut flowers, locally-made cheeses, fresh honey, fresh herbs just-laid eggs, homemade bread, tortillas and tamales. . this country’s treasured culinary tradition. . made from seasoned cornmeal stuffed with diced chicken or pork, chopped vegetables and wrapped in a banana leaf.
Refrigerated displays of chicken and meats are also available, plus a choice of freshly-caught fish that is normally very good.
You will also find a stand selling organic produce, plus other less-popular items such as artichokes, Swiss chard, snow peas, mini vegetables and an assortment of dried legumes, herbs & spices.
I would like to point out one of my favorite reasons to visit the farmers markets. . the purchase of a green coconut with a small hole in it and a straw sticking out of the hole! The pipa is a popular drink here in Costa Rica. It's only going to cost you about a dollar! Fresh coconut water does wonders with quenching your thirst and assuring that you are indeed on your way to falling in love with this country.
Here's some farmers markets around the Central Valley and within 30 or 40 miles of San Jose. Be sure to doublecheck on the days and location as they change without notice:
Grecia – across from Lagar on route 118 – on Fridays and Saturdays
Naranjo – 100 south of the high school – on Fridays and Saturdays
Sarchi – 50 south of the soccer stadium – on Fridays
San Ramon – 150 north of UCR – on Fridays and Saturdays
Atenas – On the Radial to Route 27 – Thursday Afternoon and Friday morning .
Escazu – south side of Central Park – on Saturdays
Guachipelin – inside Guachipelin public school’s gym – on Sundays
Santa Ana – north side of the Catholic Church – on Sundays
Ciudad Colon – across from Municipal Plaza – Saturdays
Pavas – East side of Pali – Saturdays
Belen – west side Belen soccer field – on Saturdays
After a few trips to the market, you'll be hooked! Again, just one of the many ingredients that make up the entire "Pura Vida Lifestyle" mindset!
Enjoying your visit to the local feria may be the FIRST item on your list of reasons why you may want to start your new life here in Costa Rica SOONER rather than LATER!