San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Holiday Season: What’s Open and Closed

BEFORE you make plans for your vacations and fiestas, take note of the following information in case you require services during Christmas and year-end merry-making.


It’s not uncommon that during the craziness of holiday parties, someone gets sick, but never fear: Hospital emergency rooms are open every day, around the clock. Also, the Red Cross (reached by dialing 128) and INS (800-800-8000) attend emergencies 24 hours a day.


All family members deserve attention, so if your dog, cat or other pet is under the weather, Dr. Bitter’s Clinic (227-5017) in the Centro Comercial del Sur, on the road from San José south to Desamparados, will be open Dec. 24 and 31, 8 a.m.-9 p.m., and Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


In case you overeat during your Christmas or New Year’s dinner, don’t panic. You can get your Alka-Seltzer or other medicines at downtown San José’s Clínica Bíblica drugstore and emergency room (257-5252), Guadalupe’s Clínica Católica drugstore and emergency room (283-6616), and Farmacia Sucre Los Angeles (262-3111) across from Más x Menos, Heredia. They’re all open 24 hours for the holidays.


When you make your calculations and budget, remember that most banks in San José will be closed Dec. 30 according to the laws of the Municipality of San José.


The San José offices of Bancrédito (550- 0202) will be closed Dec. 30, but offices in the rest of the country will be open as usual. San José Banco Nacional offices (211-2000) will close Dec. 24, 25, 30 and 31, as well as Jan. 1; Banco Popular (211-7000) will close Dec. 26, 27 and 30; Banco de Costa Rica (287-9154) will close Dec. 30.


Some embassies also have special schedules for the holidays. The Canadian Embassy (242-4400) is closed Dec. 26-27; the French Embassy (234-4167) is not going to close for the holidays; the British Embassy (258-2025) will close Dec. 26-28; the Japanese Embassy (232-3787) will close Dec. 23 and Dec. 29-Jan. 3; and the U.S. Embassy (220-3939) is closed Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.


Don’t worry about sending late gifts, because most mail services, such as Aerocasillas (208-4848), DHL (210-3939), and Correos de Costa Rica (202-2900), will work normally. And run your last errands of this year without any rush, because most supermarkets will be open as usual, such as Múñoz y Nanne (253-4646) in San Pedro and PriceSmart (283-9464, 262-6365) in Escazú, Tibás, Heredia and Zapote. Saretto (228-6703) in Escazú will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Más X Menos (243-7100) supermarkets at the following locations will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1: Alajuela downtown, Cuesta de Moras, Guadalupe and Juan Santamaría International Airport. The rest will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and until 10 p.m. all other days. In the case of Jacó, the Más x Menos supermarket is open Sun.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Dec. 17-18, 26, 31, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Hipermás (286-0033) in San Sebastián and Heredia are open until midnight through Dec. 31, except on Jan. 1, when they will close at 9 p.m.


Automercado (257-4242) in downtown San José will be closed on Dec. 25; the other supermarkets of the chain (Multiplaza, Moravia, Los Yoses, Heredia and Santa Ana) will have the following schedule: Dec. 10-24, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Dec. 25, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Dec. 26-31, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Jan. 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Live-production theaters are already on vacation and will reopen on the second or third week of January. Check the Calendar section in “Weekend” for more events; call cinemas for holiday movie schedules (contact information on our Movies page, inside back cover).


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