A Traveler’s Guide to the Candy of Costa Rica

The candy I found while traveling around Costa Rica

When discovering any new place or culture, I find it important to look into what kind of candy they eat too. Whether you like sweets or not, it’s a small glimpse into what a given country is really like. Recently I went to Costa Rica and discovered what the Ticos eat when it comes to sweets. Here is what I found:

Costa Rican Chocolate

Costa Rica Candy - Chocolate Cacao

As you can imagine, chocolate is big in Costa Rica. Any “supermercado” you walk into is bound to have some of your standard American favorites. There are Snickers, M&Ms, Milky Way. Mars is an international company and you can find them just about anywhere, so this is far from surprising.

Also far from surprising is the presence of heavy cacao chocolate bars. However, the majority of the bars are produced by small, artisanal chocolate makers – not international candy conglomerates.  When in Costa Rica, give one a try! You might be able to stumble onto a chocolate tour like I did.

Not only does it help local cacao growers by exploring chocolate tourism like this, but often they are far better than your normal candy bar. The one I tried, for example, was a 70% cacao with pink salt! You pay quite a bit more, but it’s better for the Costa Rican economy and probably better for your health.

Costa Rican Fruit

Another thing that Costa Rica is famous for is their fruit. Ticos are big on pineapple, papaya, banana and plantain (at least what I can judge from the breakfast buffets). However, if their delicious fruit isn’t enough for you and there is more to be desired, I recommend Choco Frutas.

I found them at a supermercado in Tamarindo but quickly found that they are readily available around the rest of the country. The packaging is fantastic – I mean there is a sloth on every box!

Costa Rica Candy - Choco Frutas

They come in 3 flavors too (at least which the ones I found) – all of which are very Costa Rican:

  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Banana

The packaging is one of the coolest that I have ever seen. It even has Pura Vida and the flag on the side of the box – just in case the sloth wasn’t enough!Costa Rica Candy - Choco Frutas

The candy consists of a very small piece of fruit covered in chocolate. Think of a Raisinette, but covered in a more exotic fruit – it’s a great snack on the go as you explore the wonderful volcanos, rainforests and beaches of Costa Rica.

The conclusion:

When in Costa Rica, eat sweets! It’s amazing how health-focused and environmentally conscious Costa Rica is in general. It’s reflected in their lifestyle, food, and most importantly…candy!

You can find the same old sweets that you can find anywhere so why not try something new in Costa Rica. The country and their candy selection is something to experience.