Currently major shopping centres can only be sound in the greater metropolitan area (GAM) of Costa Rica. People living in rural and coastal areas must travel to San Jose.

QCOSTARICA – Finding a shopping mall and entertainment centre outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) can be difficult for those living in rural and coastal areas.

With the exception of a few small commercial centres, like in Liberia, Grecia or San Ramon, the major malls are located in the GAM – an area loosely defined from downtown Alajuela to downtown Cartago.

This means that people living in outlying areas must travel to San Jose.

But that may soon change, as there is a strong interest by developers in bringing their projects to the areas not yet developed.

Plaza Km42 at the Escobal de Atenas intersection of the Ruta 27
Plaza Km42 at the Escobal de Atenas intersection of the Ruta 27 would attract the more than 30,000 vehicles daily on the San Jose – Caldera highway.

Currently, there are four projects under construction in coastal areas, among them are Jaco Walk (Playa Jacó), Tamarindo Beach Plaza (Guanacaste), Ocean Mall (Puntarenas) and Plaza Km42 (Escobal intersection on Ruta 27) and existing ones looking to expand, such as the Plaza El Ingenio in Grecia.

In the case of Jaco Walk, it opened the first phase last December, with construction of the second starting later this month.

Jaco Walk in Playa Jaco
Jaco Walk in Playa Jaco

“In Garabito, the influence of the temporary resident population, the floating and passing through, is of such magnitude and impact that makes traffic in malls equivalent to an economically active population,” said Luis Diego Espinoza, marketing manager for Interra, the project developer.

Major shopping centres in the GAM include: CityMall (Alajuela), Multiplaza Escazu (Escazu), Paseo de las Flores (Heredia), Mall San Pedro (San Pedro), Lincoln Plaza (Moravia),  Multicentro (Desamparados), Terra Mall (Tres Rios) and Mall Paseo Metropoli (Cartago).

Use the comments section below to list your favourite mall or shopping centre and the reasons for your visits.


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