Yes, there are Malls in Costa Rica… Plaza Real Cariari

Yes, there are malls here in Costa Rica.  The Multiplaza in Escazu is supposedly the nicest, but I have not been there yet (it is the “Rodeo Drive” of Costa Rica) .

The other day, me and my love hopped on the bus and went to the Plaza Real Cariari (you can find their website here, and their Facebook page here).  I have been there before with my awesome friend Lucy, who showed me the way, but this was the first time for Greg.  He was pretty excited about it.

We hung out in the Grecia Central Park for a bit while waiting for our bus time to arrive.


In Grecia Central Park

Then we went to the New Grecia Bus Station – which has buses going to San Jose, Naranjo and Alajuela.  Directions: from the park in Grecia, if you are facing East and looking at the front doors of the church, head North on the street that runs between the park and the church (there is an ICE building there on the corner), and the new bus station will be on your left.

We took the San Jose bus, which leaves about every 30 minutes or so during the week (depending on the time of day).  The bus was pretty comfortable for me:


But not for 6’3″ tall Greg:


You stay on the bus, past the airport.  Then start looking for EPA, a huge hardware Ferretería-EPA-3-300x225store similar to Home Depot, on the right hand side of the Pan American Highway.  You can’t miss it because 1.  it’s huge, and 2. it has a HUGE SCORPION picture on the logo.  When you see the scorpion, pull the cord, and the driver will let you off at the Hard Rock Café / Strip Mall.  You then take the stairs and the bridge that passes over the highway to the other side.



Where you’ll find McDonald’s, the Mall, and apparently 20 taxi’s:



There’s a pretty good food court in the mall (featuring yet another McDonald’s), and also outside the mall, a string of 3-4 restaurants with outdoor patio seating.  I can’t really tell you what stores are in the mall, as I normally just go to my bead supply store (Zodiac) and then to Universal (which has a limited supply of small padded envelopes – I always buy everything they have).


Going home, you catch the bus that says “Grecia”, right on the side of the highway:


A little dangerous, but it is what it is (hey, I didn’t move to Costa Rica to live a normal, non-adventurous life, right?).    The Grecia bus leaves San Jose about every 30 minutes or so (you can get a schedule at the New Grecia Bus Station), so usually appears at the Plaza Real Cariari stop about 30-40 minutes past the San Jose departure time.     The bus takes you straight to Grecia and lets you off on the same block as the Old Grecia Bus Station.  Perfecto!

That’s all for now, folks!  Ciao! — Jen

Latest posts by Jen (see all)

4 Responses to Yes, there are Malls in Costa Rica… Plaza Real Cariari

  1. Cool info… thanks! And the pics really help as well. I like that little mall. I take my granddaughter there once in a while. Next time check out Alyss… is a pretty good store and has a little bit of everything at good prices. I’ve heard the second floor has household items. It kinda reminds me of Fred Meyer, or one of those one stop has all places, but a step up, for sure. A trip to Grecia is in order as I’ve never been there, and when I do I’ll be sure to order up lots of sweets from you for the freezer and family!! Thanks for your posts.

    • Thanks so much Niki! I’ve been in Alyss briefly, and you’re right – lots of household items on top floor, pretty nice. YES – be sure to tell me when you come to Grecia, would love to get together for lunch or something (and of course I’d love to bake you whatever you want!). 🙂

  2. Hi Jen,
    I’m curious how you decided what to bring when you moved there? I know all those suitcases weren’t filled with clothes! and I did read the clothes post.
    I’m planning the move in the next year but I wander around my place trying to determine what’s really important and what I should purchase there.
    Love reading your posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *