The Esparza Saturday Market is not too large. There may have been about 20 fresh fruit and veggie stands offering local favorites like plantain, mangos, papaya, pineapple, yucca, culantro, and so on. The prices at the market were generally in line with what I've seen at the local supermarkets. So, in my opinion, you wouldn't go to a market if you are just looking for a price savings (unless, of course, you are a good negotiator and want to try to talk a vendor down). Despite this, the Saturday Markets are still fun to visit. You can soak up some culture, interact with locals (vendors and other shoppers), enjoy the outdoors in the morning when it's cooler, and you'll feel kind of like you're supporting the people that need it most (instead of a supermarket chain).
One of the more unexpected sights at the Esparza Saturday Market is the middle-aged Quaker couple that come here to sell baked goods (see pic below -note that most Quakers are based in Monteverde, Costa Rica which is about 2 hours away). If you are in the area on a Saturday morning (it's right next to the BCR Bank off Hwy 1), you must try this Quaker couple's pumpkin pie...it's addictive! According to the wife, Ticos (as Costa Ricans are often called) aren't really big on pies though. So, you'll also find cookies, cakes and other sweet goodies at this stand as well.
Even if you are just visiting Costa Rica for a few days, try to catch a outdoor Saturday market in your area. It will give you an authentic taste of local life in Costa Rica:)
|Vendor at Esparza Saturday Market|
|Fruit and Veggie Stands|
|Locals shopping at Esparza's Saturday Market|
|Quaker couple at Esparza Saturday Market Selling Baked Goods|