Over the many years that we have been living in San Ramon Costa Rica, we have had plenty of occasions to help newcomers with directions while they acclimate to the city and become comfortable making their way around. Knowing what is available and locating specific and unique places to help your transition to your new life in San Ramon, Costa Rica creates a feeling of belonging more quickly. To aid you in that endeavor, we have created a list that includes the ‘waze’ phone app locations for your convenience to allow you to easily get yourself to each of the locations.
What is ‘Waze’?
‘Waze’ is a life-saving phone map application that you can download for free if you want to easily find your way around Costa Rica, especially in San Ramon Costa Rica! It has proven to be very accurate in its mapping and is great a getting you back on course if you take a wrong turn. We would recommend it to everyone, simply because a good majority of Costa Rica isn’t exactly known for its robust street signs and numbers and clear addresses! Just click on the location name in the list below, and it will open you up to ‘waze’ so that you can mark it as a desired location for immediate or future use.
*Scroll to the bottom for a directory list of directions*
SAN RAMON’S BEST
San Ramon Costa Rica is full of diversity. To give you an overview of the best that San Ramon has to offer, here is a snippet of some of the places we personally frequent, places popular with expats and Ticos alike, and places of interest to help you get better acquainted with San Ramon, Costa Rica. For the ‘waze’ locations of these recommendations and more, be sure to see the ‘waze’ directory links below.
Lodging in San Ramon Costa Rica
Because San Ramon Costa Rica has so many microclimates, and so much cultural diversity, you can enjoy lodging at several different locals and feel like you’re experiencing a different side of Costa Rica at each one. Hotel La Posada sets you right in the heart of the Centro, affording you the luxury of seeing San Ramon Costa Rica on foot as you are able to quickly and easily walk to anything you could want or need during your stay. The hustle and bustle of town can be exhilarating as you immerse yourself in the culture while staying at a popular, comfortable, and affordable hotel. For a different climate, both in weather and way of life, Villa Blanca Cloudforest Hotel and Nature Reserve offers the tranquility of nature, a fine dining experience, and spa within its property. To have a little bit of the best of both human interaction and privacy, you could always check in at Casa Amanecer, just a few minutes from downtown. The ‘waze’ location for you to add to your ‘waze’ app is available under lodging on our ‘waze’ location list below.
Restaurants and Fast Food
Visits to vacation destinations always include discovering new foods, dining styles, and exploring the favorites of both locals and travelers alike. San Ramon Costa Rica has come into its own in recent years, exploding with new varieties of foods, cultures and dining experiences all while maintaining their love and respect for the local cuisine. World cultures come together at many of the restaurants and ‘fast food’ places as Costa Rica, Europe, North America, Thailand, Cuba and many more countries are represented not only in the cuisine, but in the camaraderie. Try a little bit of Costa Rica’s most beloved foods at a typical restaurant called a ‘soda’ like Soda Las Tinajitas, and you can sample a little bit of everything and decide what your favorites are. Cross over into Thailand with authentic Thai food at Savory A La Thai, or grab a ‘caldoza’, which is a typical serving of fresh ceviche over your choice of tortilla chip, for a snack at El Cevichazo while you sit in the Centro Park and observe life in Costa Rica before heading into the Museum. Check the dining options list at the end of this article for the ‘waze’ location of both restaurants and fast food to mark in your phone and easily get yourself to your next meal!
Groceries and Markets
As you settle in for a bit, knowing where the markets are can be a lifesaver on your wallet. If you are staying longer than just a night or two, or are stocking up as you get settled in on your new adventure of living or retiring in Costa Rica, a quick overview of the types of markets available is essential. There are grocery stores, both big chain like Maxi Pali and Mas x Menos right along side of small local favorites like Molina. Some of the other favorites are the specialty stores for fruit, veggies and meat like available at La Gran Bodega, or the places where you can take a break from shopping and peruse the cakes (queques), breads (pan) and other dessert (postre) goodies at La Duequesa Bakery. Of course, no trip into San Ramon would be the same without making sure that you put the Friday Farmer’s Market on your calendar! Be sure to add the San Ramon Costa Rica markets on our ‘waze’ location list into your phone’s ‘waze’ app right away!
Where Do I Pay My Bills
You can pay most of your utility bills on line if you have a Costa Rican bank/bank account. If you don’t have an account, or don’t like paying online, there are many locations throughout San Ramon Costa Rica that offer bill paying services. You just need to bring a form of identification (passport, cedula), and the proper information for the account that you are paying (NISE number for I.C.E. electricity, phone number for phone, etc.). If you have a receipt from the original set up of the account, you can bring that in and they can instruct you on what information is necessary for them to help you make the payment. Maxi pali and Mas x Menos both have a service inside of the store called “Servimas” that can take care of everything from paying your bills, to ordering tickets for an event like a concert at the National Stadium in San Jose. Bingo cruz roja (bingo, red cross), accepts cash bill payments. Prepaid phone chips are easily available at I.C.E.’s main location in the Centro, or for quicker service regarding phones, their location at the Mall. Be sure to bring your passport and a copy of it if you are purchasing a chip for the first time!
Shopping is a creative experience in San Ramon Costa Rica, and the more you walk in and out of stores to get a feel for the kinds of things they offer, or might offer in the future, the better off your shopping experiences will be! We have learned a few things during our time here, and think that you will benefit from us going before you!
1) If you see something you need, get it then – it might not be around the next time.
2) If you need more than one, get them all at the same time, as it is unlikely more of the same thing will be brought in again.
3) Typically, returns don’t happen unless there is something inoperable about it, and even then, buyer beware.
4) For most large items, delivery is possible – you just need to ask.
5) Many times, specialty items can be ordered from local vendors. If you don’t find what you need in San Ramon, other cities may have options that vendors can check with, however, we like to buy locally to support our neighbors whenever we can.
6) Most vendors prefer cash (inefectivo) over credit card, but both options are available at the majority of locations.
Where to Shop For What
With those few tips/details in mind, you can freely roam the Centro of San Ramon Costa Rica to try on some clothes at one of the many clothing stores like Ropa Americana or little boutiques throughout town, take in the craft section at Pamela’s, purchase your household goods at Aliss, Alarsa or Ekono, or check out El Rey for a little bit of everything! Stores like Gollo and Artilec offer a variety of large and small appliances, with a few pieces of furniture sprinkled around as well. Don’t forget about the hardware stores like Alvarado, Jorcel or La Camara for those everyday little things – the employees there are wonderful, helpful, and a lot of them love to practice their English when they get an opportunity! There are so many more stores available with huge varieties of items, so be sure to check out the ‘waze’ location list at the bottom for some ideas to get you started on your shopping journey!
One of the bigger challenges can be knowing what local services are available and where to find them to get your life set up in San Ramon Costa Rica. Whether it be for your cell phone, electricity, house phone, internet or satellite tv services, San Ramon offers several options depending on your location. I.C.E. is the overall electric company, and land line service provider for the immediate area, while places like TIGO, Claro, and others also provide cell phone, cell phone chips, internet and satellite services. Banks are a plenty, with locations throughout the whole of San Ramon Centro. From Scotiabank at the Mall to Banco Nacional and the biggest bank in Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica with two San Ramon locations alone. English speaking lawyers, reliable mechanics, and mail services, both local and forwarders from the states, definitely help with those every day needs. Buses throughout San Ramon as well as to other Costa Rican locations, taxis and shuttle buses can be used for your travel purpose. Many more available services are listed below in our ‘waze’ location directory.
What About Medical Care?
If you are in need of minor medical care, many of the pharmacies are able to help you with medications that don’t require a doctor’s prescription and some minor medical services. Farmagap pharmacy (farmacia) in the Centro of San Ramon Costa Rica is a very friendly, helpful and trustworthy pharmacy where English is available. For a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, the San Ramon public Hospital Carlos Valverde Vega emergency room is always available. For specific medical needs, see the ‘waze’ location directory below.
For a Piece of ‘Home’ Just an Hour Outside of San Ramon
Visiting or living in a new place is full of adventure and excitement. Every now and then, however, it is likely that experiencing a little bit of something more familiar could be welcomed. If you are looking for dining that brings a piece of home while you are visiting San Ramon Costa Rica, there are some locations about 1 hour away that you can visit to reminisce and relax. PF Changs has always been one of our favorite restaurants, and we were thrilled when they opened a location in Escazu, Costa Rica! You can also visit Escazu to enjoy Tony Roma’s for some good ol’ barbeque, Outback Steakhouse at Plaza Itskazu for your favorite cut of meat, Applebees at Plaza Real Cariari for your appetizer fix, or Smashburger at the Lincoln Plaza Mall near Tibas. Let us not be remiss in forgetting to mention one of the many Starbucks locations right near Cima private hospital and the Escazu Mall, Multiplaza, as well.
The Central American version of Costco/Sams’ Club, PriceSmart, is a favorite among expats and locals alike and has many locations throughout Costa Rica including: Escazu, Alajuela, Curridabat, Santa Ana Rio Oro, Tres Rios Cartago, and several more.
For the hard to find, unique items that are not readily available at your local grocery store like horseradish, wasabi, chili powder, curry paste, snacks, provolone cheese, turkey and pepperoni, you can always enjoy a trip to Auto Mercado at its various locations in: Escazu, Alajuela, Santa Ana, and Herradura,
Day Trips From San Ramon
Whether you are looking to do some shopping, eat out at your favorite restaurant, get away and relax, or add a little spice to your day with some adventure, within one hour or so from San Ramon Centro there are plenty of things to choose from! You could head up to La Fortuna to go to Baldi Hot Springs, hike the volcano Arenal, or ride the rapids with Desafio Adventure Company while viewing Costa Rica’s unique wildlife. If the beach is more to your liking for the day, Dona Ana‘s private beach offers a great opportunity to enjoy the sand while viewing Capuchin monkeys in the surrounding trees in the park. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and make use of the available barbeque pits and picnic tables! Shopping is another way to have some fun, so you can head off to Escazu to get office supplies at Office Depot, stock up on supplies at PriceSmart and Walmart, get gardening and hardware supplies at Epa, or visit several of the Malls (Multiplaza/Lincoln Plaza).
As you can see, San Ramon, Costa Rica and it’s surrounding areas has much to offer all within one day! Enjoy your stay and welcome to San Ramon! Be sure to check out the locations in our ‘waze’ location directory for your specific needs and be sure to tell them that you saw them on “Why Not Costa Rica“!
San Ramon Costa Rica Waze Directory
Maxi Pali, San Ramon – Supermarket/Clothes/Housewares
La Gran Bodega De Frutas Y Verduras – Fruit/Veggies/Meat
Legumbres R y M – Fruit/Veggie/Meat Market
Perimercado – Supermarket
Mas x Menos, San Ramon – Supermarket
La Pescaderia – Fish Market
Musmanni – Bakery/Breads
La Duquesa Bakery (excellent cakes), breads, sweet treats
Molina – Affordable, local favorite
October 29 Gastrobar/Pizza (English spoken)
Aromas Cafe #2, San Ramon – Food, coffee, gelato
Kofi – Creperia, Coffee (English spoken)
Elements Coffee House – (English spoken)
Chepe’s – Gourmet Pizza/Bistro
Sushimakitake – Sushi
Azucar – Cuban Food Restaurant/Bar
Olga’s – Restaurant/Bar
Sal Marina – Seafood/Bar
Kami Sushi Express – Sushi
Mi Choza – Bar/Restaurant
Casa Columbia Restaurant (English spoken)
Texas Craft Pizza -Pizza/Burgers
Fory Fay – Restaurant/Bar
Rancho Carrucha – Trout Fishing and Dining
Soda Las Tinajitas – Typical Soda (Costa Rican Local Food)
El Jardin – Typical Soda (Costa Rican Food), Gift Shop, Butterfly Farm
El Suino – Locally recommended beef and pork specialists (dine in or prepared to BBQ at home)
Ohana Cafeteria – Coffee, sandwiches, crepes and desserts
The Corner Pub – Bar and Grill with local and imported beer selection including craft options
The House – Tap and Sports Lounge offering local and imported beer selection including craft options
Local Post Office – Correos, San Ramon
INS – Insurance (car, home, business)
Public Parking – By The Park
Claro – Phone/TV
Tapias Barber Shop (English spoken)
Cemilan – Christian Church
Driver’s License Dept. – Cosevi, San Ramon
Llamaron – Mechanic Shop, Riteve Preparation Service
Key Shop – Lock Smith
Scotiabank – San Ramon Mall
Tigo Cable Co.
Milagro y Ivan – Lawyer (English spoken)
Aerocasillas – Mail Forwarder
Bus Station – To San Jose
ICE – Electric/Internet/Phone Service
Jervahos Ice Cream/Fresh Fruit Popsicles
Twins – Fried Chicken/Ice Cream Parlor
Green Garden – Sandwich, Wrap, Salad, Smoothie (English spoken)
Crispy Wings – Wings/Fried Ice Cream
Tacos Serrano – Burgers/Fast Food
Pollolandia – Fried/Roasted Chicken
Charly’s Sandwiches – Hot/Panini style
Perro Bravo – Hot Dogs
Pops – Ice Cream
El Cevichazo – Ceviche
Cosechas – Smoothies
Eye Dr. Optica Rosan (English spoken)
Dr. Stephanie Solis. Dentist (English spoken)
Medical Center – Jackson Memorial – San Ramon (English spoken) – General Practitioners and Specialists
Farmagap Pharmacy (English spoken)
CIMA Hospital – Private Hospital, San Jose
Alarsa – Housewares and Decoration
Aliss – Housewares, Decoration, Clothing
Camara de Productores de Cana del Pacifico – Hardware, Fixtures (English spoken)
Jorcel– Hardware, Fixtures (English spoken)
Choyca – Used Auto Parts
Ekono – Clothing, Housewares
Gollo – Appliances/Furniture
Artilec – Appliances/Furniture
Alvarado – Hardware (English spoken)
El Rey – ‘Everything’ Store
Alvarado Hardware/Printshop/Office, Craft and School Supplies
Pamela’s Craft/Office Supply/Plastics
El Jardin – Typical Soda (Costa Rican Food), Gift Shop, Butterfly Farm
Cafe Altura, Coffee Plant
10 Degrees – Coffee Roasting Company
Plaza Deportiva – Indoor Soccer Field, San Juan
El Jardin – Gift Shop, Butterfly Farm, Typical Soda (Costa Rican Food),
Las Musas Eco Park – Swimming Pool, Waterslide, Waterfall and pool, Hiking Trails, Picnic, Cafe
Rancho Carrucha – Trout Fishing and Dining
Dona Ana – private beach – great monkey sightseeing spot (Puntarenas)
Escazu Multiplaza Mall, San Jose
Lincoln Plaza Mall, Tibas
Baldi Hot Springs – La Fortuna
Canopy San Lorenzo – zip line
Desafio Adventure Company – La Fortuna – water rafting
City Mall, Alajuela
Office Depot – Escazu/San Rafael