Amenities and Services in Uvita, Costa Rica

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / Amenities and Services in Uvita, Costa Rica

We often get emailed by prospective guests asking about the amenities near us here in Uvita, Costa Rica.

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga we’re based in a beautiful small beach town that really allows you to discover peace and detach from the outside world.

But, this does not mean that you have to sacrifice daily necessities and amenities – we’ve got pretty much everything that you could need during your trip: from banks and grocery stores to pharmacies and laundry services.

We’ve lived here in Uvita, Costa Rica since 2005 – so we’ve watched the town and its businesses grow into what they are today.

When we first came here, hardly any of these businesses existed!

Uvita - Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica

Grocery stores

A very common question that our guests ask us here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga is if there are any grocery stores around.

The answer is yes! There are a few places to buy groceries within walking distance from us.

During your week with us here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga you’ll have a few meals not included, allowing you to check out some of our local restaurants or buy some fresh local ingredients and cook!

*Bodhi tip* – we recommend bringing reusable bags with you, to save using plastic bags!

Grocery store in Uvita

The BM Supermercado

  • Hours of operation: 7am – 9pm from Monday – Saturday; 8am – 8pm on Sundays
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 10 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

When we first came here in 2005, the BM was no such thing!

The chain started off as a single local family run supermarket. Then came another, and then another.

Now, the family chain has a collection of 14 supermarkets across the southern zone of Costa Rica

The BM is the largest grocery store that we have here in Uvita, and it’s easily accessible – it’s just off the main highway.

  • The BM has pretty much anything you could need during your trip, from:
  • Fruit, vegetables, and other produce
  • Canned goods, sauces, and other non-perishables
  • Meats and fish
  • Alcohol, soda, fruit juices
  • Shampoos, soaps, deodorant, and sunscreen

So basically, anything you’d need if you’re staying in and cooking!

Small grocery store in Bahia Ballena

Steve’s Supermarket and Deli

  • Hours of operation: 7am – 8pm from Sunday – Thursday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 5 minute walk. Find directions here

Steve’s is a lot smaller than the BM, but only half the distance from us.

It’s a family-run establishment that started when the Acuña-Jiménez family moved to Uvita 8 years ago.

The owners gave the store the name Steve’s after their youngest son who will take over the store one day!

Steve’s consists of a small deli and supermarket that covers pretty much everything you could need. You can buy:

  • Pre-made meals – perfect for a beach day
  • Fruits and vegetables purchased from our local farmers market
  • Meats, fish, and dairy
  • Sauces, canned goods, and other perishables

You can even grab a coffee and a cake, pastry, or bread!

Our guests usually make a few trips here throughout the week for things like beer, icecream, milk, and chips – you know, the essentials.

Grocery store in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica

Mini Super Tatiana

  • Hours of operation: 6am – 9pm from Wednesday – Monday; 7am – 9pm on Tuesday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 5 minute walk. Find directions here

This is about just as far from us as Steve’s, but in the opposite direction. It’s at the heart of the Bahia community – it’s directly opposite tour operator Bahia Aventuras and close to the local elementary school.

The Super Tatiana was actually one of three small stores in Bahia in 2005 when co-owner and lead surf instructor Travis first moved here!

Right in front of the store was one of two public phones in the town and Travis remembers grabbing a snack from Tatiana’s while waiting in line to make a phone call. This is how life was before WiFi made it to the town!

The Super Tatiana is more of a small convenience store – it’s a great place to buy little bits and pieces like snacks, sodas and alcohol, canned goods and perishables.

Aside from this, you can also rely on them for buying deodorant, shampoo, and sunscreen.

Supermarket Uvita

Supermercado El Pacifico

  • Hours of operation: 7am – 9pm from Monday – Saturday; 7am – 7pm on Sunday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 15 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

This is another larger grocery store that pretty much has everything the BM does, but it’s a little smaller.

It’s also the furthest grocery store (from Bodhi Surf + Yoga) in this guide. However, it’s still cyclable/ walkable.

Supermercado El Pacifico is right next door to the bank and has a range of restaurants across the street from it.

Pharmacies

We have two pharmacies very close to us at Bodhi Surf + Yoga – both walking distance.

The pharmacies are great for non-urgent needs – we have Uvita Urgent Care also nearby for anything more medically pressing.

Our guests sometimes head to the pharmacies to buy pain killers, electrolytes, vitamin supplements, creams, and other over-the-counter medications.

Because we take such great care during our surf lessons, very rarely do we have to deal with an injury. The pharmacies are more a convenience for remedying dehydration or stomach bugs.

Farmacia Costa Ballena

Farmacia Costa Ballena:

  • Hours of operation: 9am – 6:30pm everyday; closed on Sundays
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 15 minute walk. Find directions here

If you’re visiting the Farmacia Costa Ballena, we can’t help but recommend that you stop by their neighbors – Gelato.

Why can’t you mix a pharmacy visit with an ice cream lunch?

Farmacia y Macrobiótica Ibarra Uvita:

  • Hours of operation: 8am – 7pm everyday; closed on Sundays
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 15 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

If you end up stopping by this pharmacy, we recommend you also check out the Costa Verde Surf Shop. No shock there, right?

The Farmacia y Microbiótica Ibarra is another one of Uvita’s family-run businesses.

Parents Olga and Guillermo moved to America and worked as cleaners in order to help send their kids Jeimmy, Michael, and Mauricio to pharmaceutical school, where they successfully worked and helped each other earn their degrees.

Each sibling opened their own pharmacy in Uvita, Cuidad Cortes, and Sierpe. After working seperate for eight years the siblings decided to merge their pharmacies, and thus the Farmacia y Macrobiótica Ibarra Uvita was born.

Banks

There’s nothing worse than being on vacation and needing the bank or an ATM and not having a clue where to find one.

If you’re coming to Uvita, look no further! There are two banks near us at Bodhi Surf + Yoga that we usually send our guests to

Banco de Costa Rica

  • Hours of operation: 9am – 3:30pm weekdays; closed on weekends
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 15 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

This is the main bank here in Uvita. It’s very easily accessible – just off the main highway, right across from a few of our favorite restaurants and cafes here.

You can enter the bank and use their services, as well as their ATM outside (there’s an English language option).

The process for using the bank is simple – you walk in and take a ticket from the counter, wait for them to call your number, and they’re at your service! The BCR has been operating for over 140 years!

Our favorite thing about this bank? Foreign cards are accepted, and you can withdraw both US dollars and local Costa Rica colones.

Banco Nacional

  • Hours of operation: 8:30am – 3:45 on Monday, Wednesday Thursday, Friday; 8:30 – 2:45 on Tuesday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 10 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

The Banco Nacional is also just off the main highway, but closer to the BM.

They offer most of the same services as the BCR and also have an ATM. However, you can only withdraw local Costa Rica colones from it.

Laundry Bahia Ballena

Laundry service

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga we work with a local woman named Doña Isa when our guests want to have laundry done.

Her house is located just a five minute walk from us, and you can book in with her by sending her a WhatsApp on +506 8455-9656. She’ll get back to you and let you know when you can take your clothes in and pick them up.

It usually takes one or two days to get your clothes back depending on what time you took them in… and the weather! She doesn’t have a dryer, so it all depends on how sunny it is!

If you’ve ever been here before, you’ll know that we have no shortage of sun and hot weather.

Directions:

  • Leave Bodhi and walk right (north)
  • Walk for approximately five minutes towards La Fogata
  • Pass the “Gloria de Dios” store
  • Walk into the driveway right after the mint green house on the right
  • Doña Isa’s house is about 20 steps down the driveway

Here’s the Google Maps pin!

Casa del Ciclista in Bahia Ballena

Bicycle rental

As lovers of all things sustainability, we highly encourage our guests to rent bicycles to get around, rather than taking taxis.

Whenever our guests are interested in renting bikes, we send them straight to La Casa del Ciclista:

  • Hours of operation: 8am – 5pm on weekdays; 8am – 1pm on Saturday; closed on Sunday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 12 minute walk. Find directions here

They have high quality bikes and helmets that you can rent for just a few hours, or for the length of your entire trip!

This is a popular way for visitors to get around in Uvita, whether you want to rent a set of bikes as a family or go solo!

They also do repairs should you already have a bike that needs fixing.

And of course, it’s walking distance from most places in Uvita!

Uvita Farmer's Market

The Farmer’s Market

  • Hours of operation: 8am – 2pm on Saturday and Wednesday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 10 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

We cannot recommend attending our local farmer’s market enough. Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, it’s a must-do.

You can get a real taste of Costa Rican culture while wandering around the cancha.

Test out your Spanish by talking to some of the stall-owners, who are always happy to talk to you about what they’re selling!

  • Here, you can find all sorts of things:
  • Locally handmade jewelry, art, souvenirs
  • Teas and coffee
  • Gluten free flours
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh cold fruit juices and kombucha
  • Fresh fish
  • Hot food for lunch, including tofu, empanadas, and falafel stalls

Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, take a bag. The fresh foods are impossible to say no to!

Souvenirs and shopping

Have you really visited Costa Rica if you don’t go back home with a Pura Vida t-shirt?

You can find clothes and other handmade souvenirs here in Uvita. A lot of the shops and stalls are family run, so shopping from them is a great way of supporting local businesses.

The farmer’s market is a great place to find these things, but we also recommend guests shop at some of the family-run stalls that can be found on the way to the national park entrance.

These can be found at the north entrance of the national park (closer to the whale tail). The street leading up to the entrance is full of small souvenir shops that sell:

  • Towels and sarongs
  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Clothes for swimming
  • Hammocks
  • Local coffee
  • Small souvenirs, such as fridge magnets and handmade jewelry

Again, we always encourage our guests to make their purchases as sustainable as possible.

This is easy to do! We suggest taking a bag with you to save using a plastic one. We also have reusable water bottles on site for our guests that we suggest you take out and about with you – another way of reducing your plastic consumption!

Surf shop in Uvita

Costa Verde Surf Shop

  • Hours of operation: 10am – 4pm from Monday – Saturday; closed on Sunday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 15 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we’re huge fans of the Costa Verde surf shop – they’re Uvita’s first full service surf shop!

Although we provide our surf students with all the gear they need, we still recommend it to anyone looking to buy surf goods.

Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, go for a wander around the store admiring their boards and surf gear!

At Costa Verde you can find pretty much anything you’ll need if you want to surf here or continue surfing back home, whether you’re a beginner or experienced surfer:

  • Boards (to rent or buy)
  • Leashes
  • Fins
  • Wax
  • Boardshorts
  • Rash Guards
  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Backpacks
  • Boogie boards

They cater for men, women, and kids for all of their surfwear!

Artifice Souvenirs Bahia Ballena

Artífice

  • Hours of operation: 8:30am – 7pm from Monday – Saturday; 9:30 – 6:30 on Sunday
  • Distance from Bodhi Surf + Yoga: 10 minute walk. Find directions here
  • Online: Access their website here

We very proudly recommend Artífice to our guests week-in-week-out. The store and its owner, Stephanie, have been a staple in our community since 2009.

Stephanie has a very special connection with Costa Rica’s southern zone – she lived here for a part of her childhood and always vacationed at our beautiful beaches.

At the age of 23, this drew her to trade in the noise of San Jose for the tranquility of Uvita to embark on her Artífice project.

At the heart of this project – “to establish a commercial point where art, design, classic, and contemporary would converge, supporting the national producer”.

Stephanie’s community oriented ethos translates into what she sells – souvenirs, clothing, accessories, jewelry, and swimwear; all created by local artificers.

In creating these partnerships with our local artificers, Artífice contributes to the main income of more than 17 local families, and exhibits the work of over 30 artists!

Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, the store is more than worth a visit to see some of the talent that Bahia Ballena has to offer.

Whale Tail Uvita

On your way over to Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica?

As you can see, you certainly don’t have to sacrifice the basic amenities in order to enjoy a tropical vacation here in Uvita, Costa Rica.

This means you can enjoy everything that this magical area of the world has to offer (which you can read our blog about here) without breaking a sweat.

Who wants to stress on their vacation?

That being said, we hope to see you here in Uvita, Costa Rica soon!

Want to do some surfing and yoga? Take a look at our surf and yoga vacations here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga.

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About the author

George Frost

George is a food, music, nature, and football-obsessed blog writer at Bodhi Surf + Yoga. He comes all the way from Bermuda and loves sharing his culture with everyone. He is passionate about traveling, as well as experiencing and learning from other cultures.