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We love exploring Costa Rica by car. In our opinion, it’s the best way to truly get to know the country. We love getting off the main road and passing through small little villages where the drive becomes just as big of an attraction as the destination itself. You never know what you are going to come across when driving around the country.

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But one thing you can expect for sure, especially if you are road tripping in Guanacaste, is Vino de Coyol. Vino de Coyol is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from the sap of coyol palms. It’s produced by locals in their homes by simply cutting down coyol palms, draining their sap, and leaving it to ferment in the sun. Once fermented, Vino de Coyol, is poured into old plastic bottles and sold on the side of the road around Guanacaste province.

Vino de Coyol producer on the side of the road in Guanacaste. Costa Rica
Vino de Coyol producer on the side of the road in Guanacaste

This local drink is cheap as chips. We bought a 2.5-litre bottle for 4,000 colones ($8), and it was plenty for us to split between 4 people. Although we’ll admit, it wasn’t the most enjoyable beverage we’ve had in Costa Rica. It was sweet but bitter, with a slightly chalky after taste. Not appealing enough to become our go to Costa Rican beverage, but certainly something you can only find in this part of the world.

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Cultural Close-ups is a series of photographs and stories from around the world that go beyond the pretty sights and famous attractions. If you’d like to contribute a photo and a short story to Cultural Close-Ups, please email your submission to oksana@drinkteatravel.com

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One thing you can expect to find on the side of the road when road tripping in Costa Rica is Vino de Coyol.

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