Costa Rican coffee in three hours?

 
Old Feb 23, 05, 12:41 pm
  #1  
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Costa Rican coffee in three hours?

I have a flight to Quito in two weeks (have not been there since million mile run) with three hour layover in SJO on way back. Question is: I want to buy a bunch of Costa Rican coffee while in San Jose, wife and freinds love it, but do not want to pay gift shop prices at airport.

My plan: I want to take taxi to nearest supermarket, or coffe distribution point, buy coffee and get back to airport in time to connect with flight. I have been to Costa Rica a couple of times but do not know of any places I could buy coffee that are real close to airport. Does anyone have any suggestions. Does this idea seem feasible or am I just dreaming.
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Old Feb 23, 05, 5:02 pm
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Keep in mind you'll be an international arrival and departure. Immingration/passport control coming in and leaving. If you happen to be there when it is busy, you won't have enough time to go through the process twice.

Also, does Costa Rica impose any sort of fee for entering and/or leaving the country?
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Old Feb 23, 05, 7:18 pm
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Buy it in the airport and forget it. By the time you pay a cab to the nearest 'colmado,' you're likely to have more invested than 'the extra' that the airport would be charging you.
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Old Feb 23, 05, 7:47 pm
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But I need a lot of coffee, maybe fifty pounds. Airport chages 5 to 6 bucks a bag and available in San Jose for 2 dollars. Airport only has Cafe Brit which I can buy in US for about the same price as airport in Costa Rica.

I have actually used some miles just to go down there and get coffee before. Just do not have the time. Could send one of my sons down. Still have the miles.

Last edited by cygone; Feb 23, 05 at 7:51 pm
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Old Feb 24, 05, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by cygone
But I need a lot of coffee, maybe fifty pounds. Airport chages 5 to 6 bucks a bag and available in San Jose for 2 dollars. Airport only has Cafe Brit which I can buy in US for about the same price as airport in Costa Rica.

I have actually used some miles just to go down there and get coffee before. Just do not have the time. Could send one of my sons down. Still have the miles.

Fifty pounds of coffee??? Holy smokes!
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Old Feb 24, 05, 10:54 am
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But doesn't Quito have good coffee, too?

Anyway, you could always grab the van to either of the Hampton's which is about 5 minutes from the airport, walk toward the chicken place, then past it, until you find a colmado or store. Grab a taxi back, or return as you came.

Or just grab a taxi and 'coffee hunt.' Work a deal w the cabbie for say 1 hour.

Facil. No problema!
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Old Feb 27, 05, 9:15 pm
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The exit process is usually fast in SJO. Just fill out immigration form with Transit marked on form. Cabs are all over and most speak good English and can get to store in 5-10 min tops.

On return, go to the Immigration office on far left - just before the security. They have a form to complete for transits. After competion, they do some paperwork and send you to the airline ticket counter (TACA) which enters your approved transit status. Then thru security and to gate. When I did it, not many there - so took total of 15 min.

SJO runs in streaks. Sometimes packed to the gills; then a lull where it is only about 20% full. If I remember, the 12 - 3pm is heavy, then light afterward. Seems like lots of flights left in the 2 - 3 pm slots.

Hope your 50 lbs of coffee is ok for carryon. TACA is getting tough on their carry on weight limits, which I think is about 25 lbs.
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Old Mar 9, 05, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by SAPMAN
Hope your 50 lbs of coffee is ok for carryon. TACA is getting tough on their carry on weight limits, which I think is about 25 lbs.
Flights to/from the US have a greater alllowance. May be a little strange to check a bag in SJO if SJO was just a transit point, but worst case scenario, you could bring extra extra collapsible duffles as carry-ons then gate check one/some if someone makes a fuss.

I recall that the transit tax to leave the SJO airport was around $5--- much, much cheaper than the other airports. BOG is like $40!
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Old Mar 9, 05, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by Viajero Joven
I recall that the transit tax to leave the SJO airport was around $5--- much, much cheaper than the other airports. BOG is like $40!
Much better than the (IIRC) $26 departure fee.

One would think you could get someone to deliver the said 50# of coffee to the airport ... and when they fail to show up grab a cab .

But I for one understand OP's love for the coffee . Since my second trip to CR a few years ago I almost always have some in the house. And yes, I've bought coffee in Colombia with Juan Valdez's picture on it ..... I'd say Brazilian would be a close second
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Old Mar 10, 05, 5:38 pm
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We had a six hour layover on our way to Buenos Aires in October, was able to leave airport and get coffee that time. The store seemed to be quite a distance away, or the cab driver may have been taking us for a ride. We had plenty of time on that occassion. If I could find someone to deliver the coffee I would do that but I have no contact in the country.

Last time I was not charged to leave the airport, maybe this is something new but five dollars certainly will not kill me. The coffee is just not for me. I have turned my relatives and neighbors on to it and whenever I travel they now ask for some on my return. Do not get me wrong I love it also, but the vast quantity is for freinds and relatives. Having 5 brothers and two sisters does not help either as no one person can be treated better than another. I did use two fold up duffle bags last time and that worked fine.

When we landed in LAX last time one of the customs agents remarked to one of my children that the area smelled like a coffee factory. Any way we are leaving March 17th and I will report on how it went when we return.
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Old Mar 10, 05, 6:52 pm
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Love Costa Rican coffee, and go to San Jose about once every 6 weeks on business.

There is an Auto Mercado supermarket about 4 miles from the airport using the road past the San Jose Marriott to Santa Ana which has all the brands.

Recently I have started buying Cafe Britt online at cafebritt.com and price is about the same or less (depending on the deal) than what you'd pay in San Jose. You can also ship large quantities most times for free. Service is excellent, and they deliver to me in Ohio (from Miami) in about 3-4 days.
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Old Mar 10, 05, 10:27 pm
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If I remember correctly If you buy it at the so called duty-free shop in the SJO airport they will get it put onto the plane, which I assume means no payment from the passenger for an extra bag.
While down there my last time 2 yrs ago I was toying with buying a couple of cases for a friend, didnt in the end as I wasnt sure which type he would have wanted. But the guy said they take care of getting it onto the plane. So amybe you pay alittle more but at least you wont have to pay for any extra baggage. id do it on the way back rather than on the way to where ever Im heading.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 11:28 pm
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There is an extremely well stocked supermarket on the road to Alajuela not 1.5 miles from the airport. I don't have the name offhand, but if you tell a taxi driver to take you to the supermarket on the way to Alajuela they should know where it's at. It's on the left hand side of the road. After leaving the airport and doubling back in front of the Hampton Inn you get on the road to Alajuela and then it's about a mile down the road on the left.
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Old Mar 13, 05, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by tfjim
There is an extremely well stocked supermarket on the road to Alajuela not 1.5 miles from the airport. I don't have the name offhand, but if you tell a taxi driver to take you to the supermarket on the way to Alajuela they should know where it's at. It's on the left hand side of the road. After leaving the airport and doubling back in front of the Hampton Inn you get on the road to Alajuela and then it's about a mile down the road on the left.
I have stayed in the Hampton Inn a couple of times and have walked down the road past the chicken place, even eaten in a couple of those restaurants down that way but I am still unclear where the market is. As you leave the Hampton Inn parking lot, there is a confusing intersection. Do you mean you go right out of the parking lot or back on main road toward airport. Thanks for the help.
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Old Mar 14, 05, 1:52 pm
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The road to Alajuela is the one immediately in front of the Hampton Inn, NOT the main highway or the road towards the airport. Turn right out of the Hampton and it's probably about a mile down that road. You go down the hill and then back up, the supermarket and other stores are in a development on the left side of the road. If you happen to be flying into SJO and renting a car and leaving for the coast (Jaco, Quepos, etc.) I believe this is the best, cheapest, most convenient place to provision.
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