by Federico Fernandez, Real Estate Consultant.
Very frequently we see inquiries on Facebook, or people ask us for advice on where to go if such or such thing is needed. As a local resident, with children, I know a few places where to find a variety of goods and services in the area. In fact, nine years ago, I used to drive to San José very frequently to satisfy several needs. Lately such trips have not been necessary for my family. Taking a few hours to do a half day trip to Liberia could be enough to get hard to find items in Tamarindo.
Starting with the stores that are closer to town: if you need home appliances, or electronic equipment, the two largest nationwide appliance stores have locations in Villarreal, just outside of Tamarindo. These are Gollo and Monge. Coopeguanacaste, the only electricity supplier in the area, also sells home appliances, tools, electric materials and garden equipment. They have a store in Huacas right at the crossing and are currently building a larger one just before this crossing. You can even pay your purchase in installments included in your monthly electric bill with Coopeguanacaste.
If you need more specialized electric equipment, from the Huacas crossing just drive one mile towards the airport. In a commercial center called Plaza Izarra you will find quite a variety at Suplidora. In there, Accesos Automáticos has everything related to automatic garage doors and another company sells PVC plumbing parts and processed wood pieces.
If you have not found what you needed in these fifteen-minute drive locations, you might need to go towards the city of Liberia. This would take you slightly more than one hour. Liberia is the largest city in Guanacaste. It has an international airport, hotels, local industries and is used as the base in the area by most, large, nation-wide companies.
In regards to automotive, seven car dealerships have facilities in Liberia. You can buy new cars, parts or get service at Nissan, Kia, Ford, Hyundai, Isuzu, Chevrolet, and Toyota. Dozens of car rental companies are based in Liberia and have hundreds of vehicles in their fleets scattered in their locations around the airport if you needed a temporary ride. Other large garages, and part dealers are present as well (Super Servicio, Auto Mecanix, La Guacamaya, etc). So you can take care of your vehicle´s maintenance with no trouble.
On the way to Liberia, 40 minutes from Tamarindo you will find on the left hand side, just before the bridge over the Tempisque river, a big commercial warehouse and commercial center called ¨Do It Center¨. That is a huge hardware store. In that commercial center there is an interesting coffee roaster shop called Sun Burst. They have a large variety of coffee and will explain you all about it. I never fail to stop in there for a bag of whole bean vanilla scented coffee. Three banks have branches in there (BCR, BCT, Desyfin) and it is rare to find a line in them. Also, right behind that building, CIMA hospital has its local facilities.
Not far from there, in an older warehouse complex on the right hand side, Distribuidora Isleña has a store. They have a variety of wine, imported European beer, canned goods, and Italian cold meats. Farther north, right in front of the airport there is a modern warehouse complex called Solarium Logistic Center. It is worth it to visit there. On the first cluster of shops on the right, Oceanic Foods has a new shop. They offer a large selection of frozen and canned food. In there, you can buy everything from sushi, frozen seafood of all sorts both local and imported, frozen meats, etc. Farther into Solarium there is Carnes San Martin. They have the most tender meat cuts you will find, all imported from Nicaragua.
One of the largest furniture stores in the country has a showroom in Solarium. It is called La Artistica. If the piece of furniture you need is not exhibited in the store, but it is in their inventory, they can bring it for you. The last business I visit in Solarium is Datamax, an office supply vendor with very good prices.
Once you are in downtown Liberia, in a large commercial center called Plaza Santa Rosa right at the city´s main crossing with the Panamerican road, you can buy clothing, there is a Radioshack, a large supermarket, other banks, etc. I frequently need to buy some toys or school supplies for my kids. Then the places to go are Toys Tienda de Juguetes and Librería Universal, the second one with a large store in Mall Plaza Liberia. Also, in that mall, there are Cinemas, so your needs for city-like entertainment can be satisfied before you drive back home.
And that is basically the shopping tour I wanted to share with all of you without having to go too far.