Fruit Stand on way to Jacó from San José
Fruit Stand on way to Jacó from San José

Costa Rica isn't known for its rainbows, but I have been all over the country and I can tell you that there is one form of Costa Rica rainbow that you don't want to miss: the tropical fruits!

I love to visit all the local markets to see all the colorful, different fruits piled high for the taking. When I visit restaurants during my travels, I also check to see which fruits are available and I can't help but order something as a side or mixed into a delicious tropical treat.

There are many things in Costa Rica that you might not be able to do since your travel time is limited - but the tropical fruits are plentiful, so you have no excuses. I recommend that the following fresh fruits become a part of your visit to Costa Rica.

You can find all this amazing fruits all over the country, in local farmers markets but one of the most popular hot spots for fruit lovers is Orotina

Tropical Granadilla very similar to Maracuya (Passion Fruit)
Tropical Granadilla very similar to Maracuya (Passion Fruit)

1) Maracuya (Passion Fruit)

Maracuya or Passion Fruit is an edible fruit that is shaped like an egg. It has a orange / yellow color, and the tough skin of the fruit is your ripeness beacon - it wrinkles to let you know it is ready! This fruit has an outer shell that protects the jelly and seeds on the inside.

This is by far my favorite tropical fruit of Costa Rica!

How to Eat Maracuya

Maracuya are great for any meal; any time of day. The fruit can be prepared with utensils, or without if you are in a pinch. If you don-t have anything to cut it with, just make a hole and suck out the tasty insides!

If you are going to open it up, simply cut it in half with a knife after giving it a good washing. You can scoop out the insides and eat them up! Oh - just avoid scraping the inner skin. I did it once and I can tell you that it is not delicious. Not at all.

Where to Find Maracuya in Costa Rica

The best time to get Maracuya is in the rainy season. You can get the fruit all year, but you'll have the best crops to pick from in the rainy season.

Check local restaurant menus and markets to get a taste of this top fruit, it is often made into a fresh juice.

Carambola (Star Fruit) on the tree
Carambola (Star Fruit) on the tree

2) Carambola (Star Fruit)

Sometimes, you can find something that is delicious and great for you. That is Carambola or Star Fruit!

It's a great choice for those with an active lifestyle, and it's a guilt free way to get something sweet in your body. The fruit looks similar to a star when its ridges converge, which is where its nickname comes from.

The Best Way to Eat Carambola

Carambola is a fruit that is entirely edible. While some people will just eat it out of their hand is also used for cooking, salads and for making smoothies and juices. The best time to eat a Carambola is right when it ripens.

You can tell if it is ripe because it will lack any green coloring.

If you see brown spots, that means that the fruit is overripe and its sweet taste will be compromised.

Where to Find Carambola in Costa Rica

Carambola can be found in Costa Rica during all months of the year, but the best picks will be available in the dry season. If you want to get some for yourself, check the local markets.

Restaurants may also list it as an ingredient for some delicious dishes.

Cas or Costa Rican Guava fruit perfect for juicing
Cas or Costa Rican Guava fruit perfect for juicing

3) Cas (Costa Rican Guava)

Cas or the Costa Rican Guava is a fruit mostly used to flavor a favorite of visitors to Costa Rica - their drinks!

The fruit itself is small, but unlike some of the sweet fruits on this list, it is tart.

Be warned that each fruit is hiding a tiny surprise in the form of a white worm. These are ok to eat, and many don't remove them. If you are squeamish about that sort of thing though, you may want to get the fruit and prepare it yourself instead of ordering it from a menu.

The Best Way to Eat Cas

Cas isn't typically eaten by itself, because it is sour. Once the fruit turns from green to yellow, it is ripe and its flavors are ready to be added to your favorite drinks or jams.

Cas that has brown spotting is ok, unlike other fruits this does not mean it is overripe. You should try to avoid fruit that is bruised though.

Where to Find Cas in Costa Rica

Cas can be found in Costa Rica all year, but you'll find most of it available in late rainy season and then again in the prime dry season months. It can be bought at groceries stores or local farmers markets.

Mamon Chino (Rambutan)
Mamon Chino (Rambutan)

4) Mamon Chino (Rambutan)

Mamon Chino or the Rambutan in English is a strange-looking fruit on the outside but with a delicious and sweet flesh on the inside. Its consistency is gelatinous and very soft.

The Best Way to Eat Mamon Chino

Mamon Chino is mostly eaten raw. Just peel the skin off and eat the flesh of the fruit.

Where to Find Mamon Chino in Costa Rica

You can commonly find it at local farmers markets or at markets on the side of the highways in most parts of Costa Rica.

Delicious & Sweet Guanabana (Soursop)
Delicious & Sweet Guanabana (Soursop)

5) Guanabana (Soursop)

Guanabana or Soursop as it is known in English is an amazing fruit.

First, research has shown that it has properties that help fight cancer. Also, it grows big - like, 5 pounds or more. It is a fruit that is green and prickly when it is growing.

The fruit itself is often compared to ice cream due to its rich and sweet nature.

The Best Way to Eat Guanabana

Guanabana is a fruit that can be enjoyed raw - if you can get the enormous shell open! You'll want to plan to eat it with your fingers though, since it is too hard to scoop with silverware.

If you don't want to eat it raw, you should consider using it for a fruit juice or tropical smoothie.

Where to Find Guanabana in Costa Rica

You can find Guanabana being sold by vendors at farmers markets in Costa Rica - but don't pass this fruit up when you see it. It can be elusive and you will definitely regret missing out on this delicious fruit.

Typical Costa Rica Guaba fruit stand
Typical Costa Rica Guaba fruit stand

6) Guaba

That is not a typo. I didn't mean to say "Guava", I do mean Guaba, a fruit (though technically it is a legume) that is common in the backyards of Costa Ricans. The fruit has pods, like a bean, which are long and green.

The Best Way to Eat Guaba

Guaba makes a great snack, since its pulp is sweet. You can open a pod and eat the pulp, but you don't want to eat the seed. You should spit those out. Guaba is also a favorite for dessert.

Where to Find Guaba in Costa Rica

Guaba is not hard to find in Costa Rica, and should be readily available throughout markets, stands and stores. Each new year will bring a new crop, and the fruit is available through the start of summer.

Pejibaye (Peach Palm Fruit)
Pejibaye (Peach Palm Fruit)

7) Pejibaye (Peach Palm Fruit)

Pejibaye or the Peach Palm in English is a fruit that grows in a specific variety of palm trees throughout Costa Rica. Its texture is very dry and fibrous and has a seed in the center.

The Best Way to Eat Pejibaye

Pejibaye has to be boiled to make it soft and then usually eaten with mayonnaise or mixed into a ceviche.

Where to Find Pejibaye in Costa Rica

Pejibaye is found throughout the country and can be obtained at most local farmers markets or at "Mercados" that are usually located on the side of highways in Costa Rica.