Arenal Shopping

As you can expect, the Arenal shopping experience is full of souvenir shops that make bank selling all sorts of volcano-inspired t-shirts, postcards and other knickknacks, but if you’re looking for truly remarkable gifts and mementos, you will also find a handful of highly-specialized craft shops and art galleries that are a delight. Not only are these galleries wonderful for browsing and shopping, but they are also extremely important in helping the local and indigenous artists thrive and in ensuring the survival of traditional artwork and crafts.

La Gavilana Herbs & Art

El Castillo, La Fortuna, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
+506 8533 7902
Run by a young couple, La Gavilana is friendly, quirky little shop-bakery-coffee house-gallery in the town of El Castillo, not too far from the Butterfly Conservatory. Here, you can sip on locally-grown coffee and nibble on homemade baked goodies while perusing the paintings, crafts photography by local artists – including Hannah, one of the shop’s owners – displayed on the walls. If you’re shopping in Arenal for unique mementos or gifts from your travels, La Gavilana sells artwork and crafts, locally cultivated and prepared products like medicinal plants, coffees and herbal teas, artisan breads and homemade ferments like hot sauces, vinegars, pickled vegetables, etc. We recommend giving their El Millon hot sauce or Gavilana Bitters a try!

Coco Loco Art Studio & Gallery

Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica
This magnificent, fair-trade art gallery in La Fortuna features original artwork and crafts both by owner Ruth Deiseroth-Kweton and by other artists she has hand-chosen from the local art community and indigenous tribes. The artwork displayed and sold by the gallery ranges from bright tropical paintings to custom-made mirrors, traditional Costa Rican masks and weapons, ceramics, jewelry and much more. Ruth’s personal art studio is located just adjacent to the gallery, so if you’re lucky you may be to get a glimpse of her in her creative element.

Onirica Art Gallery

Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
+506 2479 7589
The Onirica Art Gallery in La Fortuna, located just next to the post office, is a stunning little world of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and other artwork by a select few artists from across Costa. Here you’ll find the vibrant, tropical colors and nature so typical of Costa Rica represented in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional and folkloric to contemporary and abstract. It’s a true homage to Costa Rica’s incredible artistic wealth.

Souvenir Leo

Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Not by any means your typical souvenir shop, Souvenir Leo is a tiny establishment owned by a famously hospitable Costa Rican couple and a must on every Arenal shopping itinerary. The shop sells locally handmade crafts of excellent quality, many of which have been created by the owners themselves, so every keepsake is unique. The shop is located near La Fortuna (address: 150 Mts. Sur Bar, La Vega, La Fortuna de San Carlos), but as it’s not right in town it can be a bit tricky to find; however, it’s been around for years and is extremely well-known so don’t hesitate to ask.

Galeria Aguas Verdes

Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica
+506 2479 9805
The Aguas Verdes gallery, located about two kilometers west of La Fortuna along the route to the volcano, has a wide range of hand-crafted artwork inspired by the local nature and wildlife. The gallery was started by two local artists, who now work directly with about twenty artists and craftsmen across Costa Rica, whose pieces are on display and available for purchase. There are all sorts of pieces, but the gallery does have a particular specialty in fine woodworking and paintings.

Wood & Art Gallery

Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica
The Wood and Art Gallery, which is part gallery and part active workshop, is located just outside of La Fortuna on the road to the La Fortuna waterfall. The operation is run by a local artist, who creates and shows work from local artists as well as his own incredible pieces, most of which are crafted out of fallen wood. Find beautiful wooden sculptures large and small, traditional carved masks and much more.

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