Alcoholic Beverages PDF Print E-mail
People who are at least 18 years old may bring in free of duty up to five (5) liters (1.3 gal.) of alcoholic beverages - beer, wine, liquor - for personal use. Quantities above the five-liter (1.3 gal.) limitation are considered commercial imports and are subject to Customs duty that ranges between 103% and 135% of market value of the liquor and an alcoholic beverage import permit issued by the Ministry of Health in Costa Rica. If you do not have the permits, your merchandise will be stored at a Customs warehouse until you obtain the permits.


Costa Rica Alcoholic Beverages
Leads the list of traditional alcoholic drinks in Costa Rica. It's a generic term for rum, and the taste and quality varies in different parts of Latin America. Some locals insist guaro was invented by the Guaro Indians, but they are so tiny that no one has been able to find them to confirm this. Many find it a potent, even crude spirit. But some tourists go home raving about the stuff. If you want to experience it safely, the main thing to know is to not to drink it straight like tequila: a couple of shots may numb various parts of your body you might have planned to use later in the day. Based mixed drinks usually consist of pouring a shot or two into a glass of Fresca and ice. That's how most Costa Ricans prefer it (except those sleeping in cardboard boxes in downtown San Jose). It also mixes well with other tangy soft drinks, Coke (but not coke!) and fruit juices.

Costa Rican guaros are bottled by Cacique. Red label and black label are most common, both with an image of "Cuatro Plumas," the four feathered Indian Cacique (which means "chief"). Blue and orange labels are also available; one is a gin-type booze, but no one who has drank both blue and orange can recall which was which.

Costa Rica distils a wide variety of liquors, and you'll save money by ordering these rather than imported brands. The national liquor is guaro, rather crude cane liquor that's often combined with a soft drink or tonic or mineral water. If you're looking to buy or try some guaro, stick to the Cacique brand. Both the Cafe Britt and Salicsa brands produce a couple of types of coffee-based liqueurs. Cafe Rica is similar to Kahlua and quite good. You can also find delicious cream style coffee liqueurs.


Imported wines are available at reasonable prices in the better restaurants throughout the country. You can usually save money by ordering a Chilean wine rather than a Californian or European one.
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Steve Roe 2009-09-09 09:35:11

I'm looking for a place to purchanse Cacique in the US. Please help!!
flavored liquors
Barbb 2010-09-07 14:28:55

20 years ago or so we purchased some flavored liquor in Costa Rica and since we'll be back there this winter, I'd like to know the brand to research the flavors. BUT I can't find the brand. Do you know it?
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