I've been through Santa Cruz many times, but cannot recall the location of the Auto Mercado (or even seeing one there for that matter). One word of advice is to make sure someone stays with your car while in the store as it sounds like you are stopping along the way and if so will have luggage.
Good advice by EXPLORIN...and as far as I know is not a Auto Mercado in Santa Cruz..
Thanks for the advise. There will be four of us and we're all adults, so one or two of us should definitely be able to stay in the car. Since you said you have been through Santa Cruz many times, can you please suggest a good place for us to buy groceries in Santa Cruz or closer to Playa Azul. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We are from the U.S., so there are certain "gringo" items we will want for our week at the condo.
Thank you.Edited: 31 August 2013, 06:36
The only Auto Mercados in Guanacaste are in Tamarindo and Playa del Coco. There is a grocery store an your right as you come up to the traffic light at the northern edge of Santa Cruz, ( I can't remember the name) but it is more of a warehouse-style store and they don't have any "Gringo" items. I'm not sure where the other grocery stores in Santa Cruz are but it is not a large place and you could easily drive around until you find one (or try out your Spanish and ask directions). Another option would be Belen, the town you will be passing through on the highway north of Santa Cruz. There is a large Super Compro on your right as you pass through. There is also an excellent supermarket in Liberia, in the shopping complex just at the lights on the Inter American highway, but that would have you backtracking into Liberia from the airport (about 10 km).
Thanks you so much. I was able to locate the Super Compro on Wikimapia.Edited: 31 August 2013, 19:04