Navigate to our accessibility widget

Monday June 10, 2019

By Michael Walters


Imagine country roads dangerously winding through jungle mountains. Envision volcanoes with hot springs surrounded by forests with the most extravagant butterflies. Hear the sound of the waves crashing in off the Pacific Coast, listen to the trickle as the water washes over a sea turtle on its way to lay its eggs. Awake early from the howler monkeys marking their territory, go zip-lining in the afternoon, and watch a sunset over the ocean in the evening.

Central America is a great place to get a little bit of everything good. The scenery, the people, the energy, the activities, and the peace make it a slice of heaven. Something extra for the cannabis traveler: there’s rarely a lack of product. You just need to know where to look, the etiquette of the region, and how to have the best experience while there. So, take a journey with us as we explore some ways to find cannabis in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, two of the most popular Central American travel destinations.

How to Acquire Cannabis in Costa Rica

One of the first places people go in Central America is Costa Rica because they hear it’s safe. And it is. It might even be too safe. But there’s also plenty of drugs in its capital, San Jose. A few areas like Hatillo and San Pedro are known as areas where foreigners can find cannabis. The latter tends to have the better product as it’s in a bit of a shinier area. In terms of the legality of cannabis, Costa Rican law states that marijuana is illegal – but there is some grey area to the law, though. According to the Costa Rican Narcotics Law No. 8204, large-scale production, possession, and sale of cannabis is illegal. However, the law also states that carrying more than a “small dose” of marijuana is illegal as well, leaving many to interpret that “small doses” of cannabis are legal to possess and consume in private. The law does not state what a “small dose” weighs exactly, but most believe it to be somewhere between one and eight grams.

Small doses of cannabis aren’t technically illegal in Costa Rica. If caught with a small dose, a police officer might confiscate your cannabis, your pipe, and then laugh when they take your lighter, too. Be careful though, if you’re caught with more than what’s considered a small dose you could face arrest.

If you want to find cannabis in Costa Rica, listen to cab drivers and people standing around offering ‘weed’ or what they call ‘la cripe.’ There are roughly two types of cannabis to be found in Costa Rica. The good kind, la cripe. And all the rest which is often slightly brown, has seeds in the bags, and will cost you no more than $20 for an eighth. La cripe can be much more expensive; up to $60 for an eighth. Sometimes it’s definitely worth it. Other times, not so much. You can always ask to see it beforehand. A few haggling skills can go a long way in Costa Rica and the ability to speak in Spanish will go even further.

Costa Rica
Many cannabis consumers enjoy traveling to Costa Rica. photo credit

Any chance you’re going to Tamarindo? Walk past the taxis and get your cannabis, consume it, head to the board shop and rent one, and enjoy the waves for us. It’s the perfect place to learn if you’ve never surfed before, but it also has some great waves for more experienced riders, especially at the river’s mouth. Perhaps no better place to score some marijuana is in Limon or Puerto Viejo. It’s a total Caribbean feel there with tons of Rastafarians. The guy who makes your Caribbean Jerk Chicken Wrap probably has a plate of brownies in his fridge. Sometimes all you have to do is ask to see them.

How to Acquire Cannabis in Nicaragua

North of Costa Rica is a country with a variety of personalities. Its culture still suffers from the Banana Wars and even today their government is violent toward its people. Nicaragua is not well-known for its tourism quite yet, but it might be once the bad press settles down. There’s a giant lake filled with bull sharks that has twin volcanoes at its center. There’s a place to go sandboarding, there are vast jungles, and the surf is picture perfect in some places. Nicaragua is a land full of opportunity for tourists, including cannabis consumers.

Sadly, not as much of la cripe makes its way into Nicaragua, perhaps the demand isn’t high enough yet. Most of the cannabis you’ll find in Nicaragua either resembles seedy brown stuff in Costa Rica, or it will come in the hard shape of a brick. Some have reported being able to pick up an ounce of the brick weed for between $50-$75 dollars. In Nicaragua, the people who have marijuana are the people selling other products. If someone walks past you with a rack of sunglasses for sale, they might have something else in their pocket. The same goes for the lady with the handmade shirts and the one with the hammocks.

Although considered less safe than Costa Rica, you can still find some quality bud in credit

It’s smartest to let them offer it to you, which they generally will after their first offer of sunglasses, clothing, or a new hammock. If you agree, they might not have it on their person and you might need to walk somewhere like next to a building or something so it’s not totally out in the open. Be smart; keep yourself safe. Generally, that’s the same thought of the person selling you the cannabis; they don’t want to get caught selling it. Cannabis isn’t as casual in Nicaragua as it is to its southern neighbor. San Juan Del Sur is probably the easiest beach to score at, guys selling sunglasses walk by every 10 minutes it seems. The calm attitude of the community, the interesting architecture, and the swimming and hiking in the area make San Juan Del Sur an awesome place to visit for a cannabis vacation.

Cannabis in Central America, a Must-See?

The cannabis in Central American countries like Costa Rica and Nicaragua itself can be good, but isn’t anything write home about. It’s the people and landscape that gives Central America its particular appeal to the cannabis consumer. For a low-priced smoke, people can enjoy the waves of the Pacific or drink some of the best coffee in the world. It’s a place full of kind locals who will gladly have a laugh with you if you’ll share your cannabis and practice your Spanish. A personal favorite of our team is dipping into the hot springs around Volcano Arenal. It can’t be beaten as a cannabis consumer getaway.

If you know how to speak some Spanish, you might find yourself in a very unique and special place where you’ll connect with people from another country in a way that is only possible through the sharing of cannabis. Be open-minded, stay friendly, and expect the best of Central America’s people, you’ll be grateful when they truly open their doors to you.

Do you have any tips for finding cannabis in Central America? Share them in the comments below!

Photo Credit: kansasphoto (license)


Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

More From This Author

Related Articles