With nearly 200 different shops and studios selling painted boxes and trays, jewelry, furniture, textiles, and carved wood utensils, the town of Sarchí is Costa Rica’s crafts hub. Once you get away from the overly touristed center of town to its outskirts, you’ll see where the crafts are actually produced. The most famous shop is the Joaquín Chaverri Oxcart Factory, which opened in 1902 and is recognized as the birthplace of Costa Rica’s iconic brightly painted oxcarts. Many smaller items, such as miniature replicas of the carts, use similar painting techniques and will fit in a suitcase.
Free coffee served at shops throughout town keeps you moving among the overwhelming offerings.