On occasions I go to ferias because there you can find certain fruits and vegetables not offered at supermarkets. Besides, it's nice to see the large quantities of fresh produce on display. For the buyer who wants to get the very lowest price, he should go there about one or two hours before closing time which is at mid-day. Wanting to return home quickly with their trucks empty, the farmers will lower their prices to the maximum and you'll get a real bargain. You'll always save by buying at the ferias as prices at the supermarkets are much higher.
I prefer to go there earlier so I can get the best fruits and vegetables. But I don't like to haggle with farmers realizing that agriculture is a very risky activity and that these hard working agriculturists must put up with unreliable weather, high interest rates for loans, fluctuations in demand and other hardships. It's hard work raising crops especially in the tropics and many times the farmer sees no profit at all from his efforts.
Prices of fruits and vegetables depend on the months and season. For example, melons, cashews, watermelons, zapotes (from the sapota tree), aquacades and caimitos (star apples) are at their lowest price from January through March. These come mostly from the Orotina area. Although there's no similarity between aquacades and eggs, it's a known fact in Costa Rica that when the aquacade season starts, consumption of eggs drops. Nobody has been able to explain why. Mangoes start coming in during late March and continue through July.
Throughout the year you'll find practically all those fruits but at varying prices. The best guanábanas (custard apples) come from Limon Province. Nísperos (medIar fruit) and guayabas are in season during October. Puriscal and Acosta are known for their good oranges, grapefruit and tangerines. Peaches and small apples are grown in the Los Santos area and some are now being imported from Chile. The Costa Rican apples are small and have a slightly acid taste which many people like. Plums arrive from Guatemala while Nicaragua supplies some aquacades and watermelons. The only big red apples available are from Oregon and Washington State. Costa Rica grows excellent organic vegetables available in all large food stores though at a higher price. From time t o time grapes are grown in Costa Rica but they are not as sweet as the ones coming from California and Chile.