Las Catalinas is a one-of-a-kind, smart, sustainable buildout that has been developed in Costa Rica since 2006. Its location could not be better as it is surrounded by the tropical dry forest on one side and the North Pacific Ocean on the other. The extraordinary blend of exquisite European-like architecture and mind-blowing natural beauty is part of the charm of this unique beach town.
Everyone knows that whether it is planned or just wanted, one thing we all do when we travel is shop. For those who wonder if there are any available options for shopping in this tropical paradise, the answer is yes. Everything in this magnificent beach town was carefully planned and designed, including shopping in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica, for residents and visitors alike.
In this article, we will be covering the places where you can buy groceries, retail, souvenirs, and more in Las Catalinas.
General information about Las Catalinas
Las Catalinas is a beautiful 1,200 acres ocean-side village situated in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, specifically on Playa Danta. It aims to promote a healthy, well-balanced, rewarding, and enjoyable lifestyle like no other town in the country. In there, you can find anything from beautifully built houses, resorts, flats, a beach club, swimming pools, shops, and restaurants, all surrounded by spectacular ocean views and hiking trails.
This amazing beach town with panoramic views has the particularity of not allowing cars inside, as it was built to be adapted to people only. There are unique public spaces made of pebbles that are interspersed with fountains and impressive courtyards that invite you to experience nature at a different level.
The restaurants, resorts, and shopping options inside the property are within walking distance. You will only need a car to get there, or if you want to leave Las Catalinas to visit nearby destinations such as Playa Flamingo, Tamarindo, Playa del Coco, and others.
Getting to Las Catalinas
You can get to Las Catalinas by either renting a car, taking an Uber, a taxi, or a shuttle previously arranged by the town’s concierge (you can do so through this email firstname.lastname@example.org). The path leading to this paradise is fully paved, and it is about one hour away from Liberia International Airport. Just be aware that if you choose to rent a car you will have to leave it in a parking lot at the entrance of Las Catalinas.
Shopping in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica
Copper & Stone
Copper & Stone is a unique market with a varied offering of gourmet food, strategically situated in the middle of town. The delicious contributions of this dynamic foodie heaven go from organic fruit and vegetables to local and imported groceries, meat and poultry, baked goods, high-quality coffee, rich smoothies, gluten-free products, deli, breakfast packages, weekly special menus, and more.
Copper & Stone is known for its special wine cellar with an ambitious collection of more than 200 exquisite samples from all over the world.
Chunches Consignment is a special place with a metropolitan city vibe where you can hang out, chat, and shop for consigned luxury items hard to find anywhere else.
The word “chunche” is a Costa Ricanism considered one of the most colorful and folkloric terms in the “Tico dictionary”. It is a word that locals use to call any object or thing that may have forgotten its name or prefer to ignore it. That being said, at Chunches people have a different option to ordinary shopping where they can buy an item consigned or donated by someone else.
If you would like to consign any valuable item, you fill out a form, the product is examined, a price is agreed upon, and then it is put up for sale; 60% of the total sale goes to the former owner of the item while 40% goes to Chunches.
Las Catalinas Collection
This is a stylish beachwear store designed to suit life in Las Catalinas, where you will get your ideal outfit for any occasion and time of the day.
They have at your disposal dresses, trousers, blouses, hats, jewelry, swimsuits, shorts, activewear, shoes, and bags. You can also find items with Costa Rican phrases as well as exclusive designs that will make a great souvenir.
In this store, fashion meets style. When you visit it you will realize that everything there is unique and carries the vibe that is breathed in Las Catalinas.
D-Aqui Design Studio
D-Aqui, meaning “from here” is a studio owned by a Costa Rican architect with vast international experience. This shop highlights interesting and legitimate designs found in Costa Rica through the work of native artisans. The unique handmade furniture, art, and decoration accessories you can in this design studio reflect the way of life and customs of the surrounding area.
From a rustic wooden table to paintings depicting native Costa Rican animals, lamps, vases, cushions, and much more, it’s just some of what you can expect to find at this creatively-packed shop.
Pura Vida Ride
Pura Vida Ride is a full-range store offering a variety of products that will make your experience in Las Catalinas much more enjoyable and fun. Here you can find both local products as well as renowned international brands like Patagonia, Rip Curl, Camelbak, Shimano, Trek, Specialized, and many more.
The different products you can find in this shop are:
Bikes (for rent or buy), bike parts, bike accessories, helmets, and sunglasses.
SUP (Stand up Paddle boarding) and its accessories.
Clothes. Cycling jerseys, tank tops, caps, shorts, swimsuits, sunglasses, and other accessories suitable for outdoor activities.
Food and drinks.
Costa Rica has incredible destinations to explore, and Las Catalinas is one of them. This beautiful 100% pedestrian beach town on the Guanacaste coast offers a unique experience where you go back to basics and in complete harmony with the environment. Staying active while walking through this dreamy town certainly promotes a healthier way of life.
Shopping in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica, will become part of the unforgettable experience of finding everything you need while embracing the Costa Rican culture as well as its worldwide renowned biodiversity. Come here and expect to have a lot of fun shopping in the company of stunning sunsets and perfect weather most of the year.
Special Places is located within the beautiful coastal resort town of Flamingo, in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. With over 15 years of service dedicated to the rental and property management profession, we have an extensive list of rentals in the Flamingo, Potrero, Brasilito and Tamarindo Beach area. Whether looking to plan your next tropical vacation or searching for someone to manage your home, our goal is to provide our clients with the most efficient and personable service in the area.
** In accordance with public health recommendations, Special Places continues to work hard to keep our guests safe. These protocols include enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures for all properties under management **
We are very proud of our professional maid service staff, who provide regular cleaning for some 150 properties — and do it with a smile. A half-dozen maids provide full-time service at a single house, but all the rest rotate among a wide variety of properties from Matapalo to Playa del Coco.
Maids are responsible not just for cleaning but for staging the house, with everything in its proper place, and keeping track of inventory (so that, for example, new clients don’t check in and find there’s no toilet paper). At times, say on Jan. 2, there are so many checkouts and check-ins that the maids bring their sisters, brothers and mothers to get all the work done.
Full-time maids assigned to a single property assist clients with shopping, cooking and laundry, and they often form close bonds with clients. It’s no surprise that our clients often want to take their maids home with them.
Special Places of Costa Rica employs two full-time maintenance men who service all our properties, plus a handful of caretakers dedicated to a single property each.
These men will fix just about any problem that arises — leaks, electrical and plumbing issues, a door that scrapes on a floor, a noisy ceiling fan… you name it. They also paint homes and provide roofing maintenance.
Our maintenance staff are available 24/7 for emergencies like a burst pipe that causes a flood. Special Places of Costa Rica also enjoys a network of qualified subcontractors to handle swimming pool service, gardening / landscaping and repairs to air conditioning units & kitchen appliances.
Steven, from Potrero, is a rental agent for Special Places. He processes rental inquiries, checks on property availability, makes reservations and helps with check-in and check-out info.
Steven has worked at three hotels: as a bellman at Casa Chameleon in Las Catalinas, as a receptionist in the Sugar Beach Hotel near there, and as a receptionist at Jardín del Edén in Tamarindo. He has a bachelor’s degree in teaching English from the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz, and someday he hopes to teach English at his old high school in Cartagena.
Steven likes to ride his Kawasaki 250 dirt bike in the Potrero Hills, around Las Catalinas and in Tempate. He’s also interested in cars and mechanics, and he’s skilled at repairing motorcycles.
Quote: “I think work is a very important tool that helps us to fulfill ourselves as human beings in life and to improve on what we already know.”
Born in Samar Province in the Philippines, Phem has a two-year degree in computer science from the Asian Institute of Computer Studies. She came to Costa Rica at age 19 to work for her aunt, who owned the Mariner Inn in Flamingo. She later worked for House of Rentals, then Special Places of Costa Rica when the companies merged. As a concierge, she books tours, rental cars, chefs or whatever clients need to make their stay enjoyable. “Whatever they request, you do it,” she said.
She enjoys “having a connection to people, meeting different people, helping people.” Her proudest accomplishment was moving from the Philippines to Costa Rica to explore better opportunities. She recommends that visitors to Flamingo try an ATV tour, a catamaran cruise, rappelling or whitewater rafting.
Quote: “I love Potrero. I live in Surfside. It’s quiet, safe, and people there are very accommodating, nice, friendly, always willing to help you. They’re open to anyone. I like that community. And the bars are within walking distance.”
Pascale, Kenny’s mother and business partner, is the head accountant at Special Places. She is responsible for all the accounting, billing and taxes, managing the maid service, setting work schedules and procuring cleaning products.
Pascale is from Antwerp, Belgium, where she and her husband had a food-service business specializing in poultry. But they often traveled to the Caribbean and Central America, and in 2009 decided to move to Costa Rica.
“We thought it was time to follow some dreams, so we sold the business and came to Costa Rica,” she said. They traveled to every corner of the country, but they fell in love with Guanacaste and decided to settle in Flamingo. They couldn’t find a house that satisfied Pascale’s handyman husband, so they built their own on the hills above Potrero in Pacific Heights.
She says her proudest accomplishment is “bringing two beautiful sons into the world.”
Quote: “The way we raised them, they were very independent. We taught them to work also. Of course, school came first. To us it’s white and black, and the gray doesn’t exist. It’s good or bad.”
Norlyng coordinates the maintenance of all Special Places properties, and she’s also in charge of Human Relations and is an assistant to Kenny Segers.
Born in Limón but a longtime resident of Matapalo, she previously worked as a receptionist at the Best Western Seis Playas Hotel. She also spent six years at the Wyndham Tamarindo, working as head of reception and as an administrative assistant.
Norlyng studied law for a year and a half at the University of Costa Rica in Liberia, but currently she is more focused on tourism. She is married and has two daughters, ages 9 and 2. Her interests include reading (the Bible, inspirational works and finance) and going to relaxing places.
Quote: “My philosophy of life is to live in the present and try not to worry about the future, to have clear objectives, to try not to stress too much and to act in the present.”
A native of Brasilito, Karolayn has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz. She is responsible for the billing, accounting and filing at Special Places.
She enjoys hiking and swimming, and her favorite local places are Playa Danta and Playa Conchal. Asked what activity she would recommend to visitors, she said riding a Banana Boat, an inflatable, banana-shaped boat towed behind a speedboat.
Quote: “The working environment here is very nice, very tranquilo. We get along really well, the management, the coworkers, and also the maids and maintenance people. Also, in my job I’ve learned a lot of things that in university classes they don’t teach. It gives you the opportunity to learn and grow.”
A native of Antwerp, Belgium, Kenny emigrated to Costa Rica in 2008. Having graduated from high school in Belgium, he studied economics and business administration in Costa Rica. Eager to go into business, Kenny left university to work as a property manager for House of Rentals in Flamingo, which he acquired not long after starting the job. House of Rentals grew into Special Places of Costa Rica, currently represented by offices in Playa Flamingo and Playas del Coco, and known as one of the leading agencies in the area.
Kenny speaks and writes fluent Spanish, English and Dutch. He is the proud father of a Costa Rican son, Khael, who was born in 2016.
Passionate about his growing vacation rental and management business, Kenny is always looking for investments and opportunities. Hotel Pitaya Lodge (formerly Kakaos Lodge) is also under his management.
In 2020, he began building the first of several homes as part of a newly launched project development/construction company.
Juan Carlos works as a rental agent, attending to any questions about renting a property, explaining the options available, answering any questions and supporting the concierge team in extra services like tours or transport.
Juan Carlos was born in San José and currently lives in Potrero. He has worked for some 15 years in sales or customer service at hotels, including the Hotel Barceló in San José, the Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio and the Lagarta Lodge in Nosara.
He also studied English at the Instituto Norteamericano in San José, earning a C2 certification in English. He has also taken several courses in administration.
Juan Carlos likes walking on the beach (“so I’m definitely in the right place”) with his French bulldog. “They’re very mischievous but very sweet, very good company.”
Quote: “I always say, ‘It costs nothing to smile.’ I always like to convey that people should be happy no matter what.”
Juan Diego, who was born and raised in Villarreal, works as a concierge. That means he helps visitors arrange tours and transportation, rental cars, airport pickup and dropoff, and other services.
Juan Diego studied sustainable tourism management at UNED, the Universidad Estatal a Distancia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2013. He has worked as an admin for the Dream Chaser catamaran in Tamarindo, as a receptionist at the Hotel Pasatiempo in Tamarindo, and as a concierge at the Hotel Dreams Las Mareas in El Jobo.
Juan Diego enjoys watching HBO series and movies, riding his bike, going out with friends and watching the sunset on the beach.
Quote: “I like concierge work because I get to help a lot of people, fulfilling the dreams of tourists who visit a beautiful country like Costa Rica that’s full of nature.”
José does property inspections, check-ins and check-outs for Special Places, making sure that properties are in great shape for new clients.
Born in Limón, he currently lives in Cartagena. He went to high school at Liceo Experimental Bilingüe de Santa Cruz, and he spent seven years working as a waiter and bartender at the JW Marriotts in Hacienda Pinilla and Reserva Conchal.
He enjoys going to the beach, listening to music, watching movies and series, playing video games and spending time with family.
Quote: “If you’re afraid of dying, it’s better not to be born.”
A native of Nicoya who lives in Cartagena, Jhon works in accounting at Special Places, calculating reservation contracts, sales commissions and billing. He has been studying accounting at the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz for a year and a half.
His goal is to have an accounting firm of his own. His favorite hobby is artisanal fishing, usually from a boat out of Flamingo, and he once caught a 70-pound mahi-mahi. He also has caught marlin in Tamarindo and Quepos.
His greatest pride is a nearly 2-year-old daughter named Elizabeth Aitana.
Quote: “I think the most marvelous thing that’s happened to me would be the birth of my daughter. That’s the thing I’m most proud of.”
Jason is a concierge and rental specialist with an interesting job — knocking on new clients’ doors to see if they need anything or would like to book any tours or other services.
Born in Limón and currently living in Huacas, Jason speaks flawless English. He has taken some university courses on websites and social media marketing. He is married, no kids, but has a cat named Kirara.
Jason previously worked as a database analyst at Western Union in San José, typically addressing charge-backs on credit cards and resolving other monetary issues.
Jason loves “adrenaline,” muddy offroad adventures, motorcycling, ATV, video games, surfing and skateboarding.
Quote: “You don’t have to be the smartest person to fulfill your dreams, all you need is to put in a little effort and be certain that you will achieve whatever you set your mind to.”
Gabriel joined Special Places as an accounting assistant at the age of 20. He was born in Liberia and currently lives in Filadelfia with his family.
He studied at the Colegio Técnico Profesional de Carrillo, with a specialty in accounting and auditing. He worked previously as an accounting assistant and secretary for a clinic in Palestina de Belén that serves disabled people.
Gabriel enjoys mountain biking, and for the past eight years he has volunteered at the Red Cross in Filadelfia, working mostly in strategic communication.
Quote: “We never have to give up on a dream just because of the time it takes to achieve it.”
Daniela works as an administrative assistant in Human Resources, helping with payroll, health benefits and insurance, as well as onboarding new personnel.
Born in Liberia, she now lives in Villarreal, and she not only has two dogs but also a horse. She adores animals and loves to go horseback riding in the country. She also likes listening to Latin music like cumbia and salsa.
Daniela has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Universidad Libre de Costa Rica (ULICORI). Before coming to Special Places, she worked as an HR assistant at the Occidental Hotel in Tamarindo, where she learned a lot about Human Resources in a real-world environment.
Quote: “Take risks, because everything good starts with a little fear!”
Carla works as an accounting assistant at Special Places and is also involved in property management.
She was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in Ciudad Guayana, where she earned a law and accountant degree and worked as a lawyer and accountant. Since coming to Costa Rica, she has worked as a manicurist, masseuse, bartender, waitress and artist.
A gifted artist and something of a Renaissance woman, Carla also draws and makes earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Her varied interests include dancing, hiking, scuba diving, traveling and discovering new cultures.
Quote: “My motto is ‘I know that I own the weak and fragile body of a woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king.’ ”
This property is not managed by Special Places of Costa Rica.
Accordingly, rental rates and availability for this property might not be current. Please submit an inquiry and will be be happy to verify the details and assist you with your booking.