Costa Rica may lack the conifer forests that make great sources of Christmas trees, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without.
Just head north of San José to Heredia.
Located in San Isidro de Heredia, Finca Santa Elena (381-8409) sells cypress trees between 1.5 and 2 meters tall, at prices ranging from ¢4,000 to ¢12,000 ($8-24). Open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends, the nursery is behind Cerros Verdes restaurant in San Isidro de Heredia, 200 meters northeast of the main intersection, on the street parallel to the Braulio Carrillo Highway.
El Zamorano (268-8257), 13 kilometers north of La República on the Braulio Carrillo Highway, also sells Christmas trees. One- to three-meter tall trees cost ¢8,000-15,000 ($16-30). This nursery offers its own delivery service; the cost depends on the mileage.
It’s open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and holidays.
If a plastic tree is more up your alley, the big department stores are your best bet (see story). For example, Cemaco offers more than 20 different types of trees ranging in price from ¢49,000 ($98) to more than ¢400,000 ($800, for a three-meter-high tree found only in the Zapote store).
Other stores such as PriceSmart (with locations in the southeastern district of Zapote; Tibás, north of San José; the western suburb of Escazú; and Heredia) and Aliss (in Terramall, on the highway to Cartago, east of San José; the eastern suburb of Curridabat; Cariari, northwest of San Jose; and Escazú) also offer a variety of artificial trees for about ¢70,000-90,000 ($140-180).