Drugs in Costa Rica FAQ

weed.jpgWhat drugs are legal in Costa Rica?

Simply put, none. All of your run of the mill drugs such as weed, coke, mushrooms, etc; are all considered to be illegal here. That said, the enforcement of these rules are generally laid back.

Can I smoke in public?

This all really depends on where you are. Smoking in the streets of San Jose probably isn’t the smartest thing to do, but there are a few hostels where it is acceptable to smoke. If you are unsure if the hostel allows you to smoke, just ask. They won’t call the police just because you asked about smoking. Youth hostels and backpacking hostel staff get asked this a lot, so you dont have to worry about feeling awkward.

Coastal cities tend to have a more relaxed look on smoking in public. Just take a walk around town and you will know right away if you can smoke in public. You probably can’t smoke in most restaurants or stores, but the occasional bar might be ok. Just use your best judgment. Obviously you don’t want to be smoking as you walk by the police building. Many hostels on the beach are pretty lean when it comes to smoking. They may ask you to take it to the beach, but that’s about it.

What drugs are available there?
Hands done, weed is the easiest thing to get. If you consider yourself a connoisseur of sorts, you will certainly be disappointed. The weed here is grown outside and tends to be what most would classify as mids, swag, aka the cheap stuff.

  • Coke is not as easy to get as weed, but is present in most touristy destinations.
  • Mushrooms can be found with ease in the mountain regions.
  • Hash can be found in random places through out the country.

How much do they cost?
Prices have certainly increased of the years, but are still cheap by today’s standards. To give you some ideas of prices:



  • Weed – $40-$50 an ounce
  • Coke – $20 a gram
  • Hash – $20 a gram

How do I get them?

The easiest place to find any sort of drug is in the popular coastal cities. In these places, all you have to do is walk down the street and you will most likely be offered more drugs then you care for. It’s impossible to walk ten feet with out hearing the words “smoke” or “good ganja” whispered as you walk by.

If buying drugs that way is entirely too shady for your liking, there are other things you can do. The best thing to do is find a long term resident of any given hostel and ask them. They will surely know who is trust worthy in the area. If you cant find a long term hostel resident, find others who are smoking and ask them who they got it from. If they got it in town, ask them if they will talk you back to that person. This “repeat customer” act usually results in a slightly lower price.

That said, remember that all of these drugs are still very much illegal in Costa Rica. Should you feel like indulging yourself while down there, do so at your own risk.

Is it safe to travel with drugs?

For the most part, yes. The only places of major concern will come at border crossings. Obviously this means you don’t want to try and bring drugs to Nicaragua or Panama. The thing is, the border check points coming in to Costa Rica aren’t always at the border. Sometimes they can be an hour or more away from the actual border. If you are in a town near country border, ask the hostel if there are any check points on the any out of town.

Although it is uncommon, on occasion, police stop buses to look through peoples bags and check for passports. They usually don’t make you get off the bus and they usually don’t have dogs, but this is Costa Rica and stranger things have happened.

What do they smoke with?
You will be hard pressed to find anything to smoke with other than rolling papers. Some shops and hostels will have blunt wraps, but that is about it. Glassware is pretty much non existent. Every once in a while you will find a shop or hippie that has bowls, but they are usually of very poor quality. You will usually see hand made clay bowls at tourist shops and street vendors. These are crap.

Do a lot of Costa Ricans smoke weed?

Many native Costa Ricans don’t smoke, but it’s not that hard to find ones that do. Costa Rican women almost never smoke. If you find a native Costa Rican woman that smokes, it is a rare commodity. Women here tend to think of smoking weed as dirty and gross.

While pot smoking is common in this country, and many tourists even get involved, it’s nothing like the Amsterdam coffeeshops.