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Off The Beaten Path | Shopping for Clothes

Your Guide to Clothing Shopping Around Tamarindo

It turns out going nude in public is still frowned on. Even in Costa Rica. Even in Tamarindo. The beach may not require much in the way of “clothing” but the elements sure do their best to destroy what we wear. The average half-life of quality clothing at the beach is six months.
Tamarindo ShoppingWhen it comes to buying new duds in Tamarindo you have several options. You can hit one of several surf shops, and find just about any style t-shirt, board shorts, bikini, or sarong. You can also try one of the specialty shops for other items. Expect to pay L.A prices for these clothes but they are sometimes hand-crafted locally.
If it’s September or October, you may find purchases at a price you can afford. Rainy season discounts! Maybe. For the rest of the year, and for the rest of us cheapskates, we need more options. A recent survey of Tamarindo residents turned up some local clothing outlets for filling your closets. Some aren’t so local.

Consignment Shops

Tamarindo ShoppingThere are two shops a short distance from Tamarindo where you can find pre-owned clothing for cheap. The first one is in Huacas, next door to Casa de Plastico. It’s wall-to-wall used clothes, but plan to dig. The other option is Conchal Consignment, by the Costa Rican International Academy, almost to Brasilito. Dana, the shop owner, has an entire room full of clothing, and she would love it if you came to make a mess of her place.
Farther north, if you have the time and gas money, you can find another consignment shop in Coco. Pamela Honey runs it, and she would also love you to come make a mess. Kidding aside, Pamela claims to carry many brand name Gringo clothes.

The City of Santa Cruz

Tamarindo ShoppingSanta Cruz is where you will find the nearest department store: Ekono. The store is pretty large and carries everything from clothing to housewares. The clothing you will find there is from all over the map, literally. The quality also varies. Buyers beware, but you may find some name brands there too, like Body Glove.

Ropa Americana

Also in Santa Cruz, you can find Empressas Cleveland, a Ropa Americana style shop. It’s across from the big hardware store. This place has a good selection of imported clothing at reasonable prices. In general, clothing stores labeled “Ropa Americana” are considered by those in-the-know to be worthwhile. There may be only one of what you find there, but if it fits, and if you like it, then plan on it lasting. If Santa Cruz is too far, there are a couple of Ropa Americana shops in Villarreal.

Bright Lights, Big City: Liberia

The big city of Liberia is reported to have a very large Ropa Americana. That’s where the information trail ends. You are going to have to search a little once you get there, but don’t worry, Liberia isn’t that large of a town. This store is reportedly a gold mine for name brands and good prices.
Okay, this list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a good start. If you were really ambitious you could make a day of it, starting in Coco, heading over to Liberia, cutting south to Santa Cruz, and then through to Brasilito, doubling back to Tamarindo. That may be more trouble than it’s worth. Either way, it seems the words “Ropa Americana” are key for flagging your attention.


Horizon Pacific Management & Rentals logoHorizon Pacific Management & Rentals is located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Horizon Pacific offers vacation rentals, property management, long-term rentals, as well as a complete concierge service. Providing you with a local contact during your stay, Horizon Pacific is a company you can trust, with the experience you need.

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