Is Costa Rica Secure to Go to?

a volcano surrounded by mountains and jungle in Costa Rica
Posted: 11/3/2019 | November third, 2019

Tropical jungles bursting with wildlife, mountainous landscapes extending into the horizon, picture-perfect seashores on either side of the nation, and a unending provide of enjoyable actions regardless of your funds.

Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s paradise — and it’s one in all my favourite international locations on the planet too. It was the primary nation I ever traveled to and it was the nation that sparked my wanderlust.

The seashores really feel like paradise, there’s nice browsing, diving, and loads of locations to get away from the hordes of retired Individuals that dwell right here. It doesn’t matter what your curiosity, there are tons of matters to see and do in Costa Rica with out breaking the financial institution.

However is Costa Rica secure to go to?

The nation was lucky to flee the Chilly Conflict conflicts and brutal gang violence that impacted different international locations in Central America. Nevertheless, in recent times, Costa Rica has change into extra concerned in drug trafficking and cash laundering.

However the nation is tremendous secure for vacationers. At worst, you’ll get scammed for a couple of bucks. I imply the nation is so secure it doesn’t even have a military!

Whereas Costa Rica is among the most secure international locations for journey and backpacking in Central America, that doesn’t imply you need to let your guard down. Listed here are some tricks to assure a secure and stress-free expertise:

1. Keep away from remoted areas – Should you’re someplace remoted, you’ll be at a larger danger for getting robbed, particularly at evening and in massive cities. Attempt to keep the place the crowds are. That’s the easiest way to keep away from being singled out by potential muggers.

2. Don’t put on flashy objects – Petty theft is widespread right here, so take away any jewellery or watches, and don’t wave your telephone round. Do your greatest to mix in, so that you don’t change into a goal for pickpockets. Should you occur to search out your self a sufferer of a theft, observe the directions of the robber and quit your valuables; these materials objects might be changed however your life can’t.

3. Don’t depart your objects unattended – In case you are spending the day on the seashores in Puerto ViejoSanta Theresa, or Manuel Antonio, don’t depart your belongings unattended whereas swimming or strolling alongside the sand; locals or vacationers alike can simply take your valuables if you happen to depart them round. Simply take what you want with you and nothing extra.

4. Be alert when utilizing public transportation – Petty theft (together with bag snatching) is the commonest kind of crime you’ll face in Costa Rica. A lot of the theft in Costa Rica happens whereas taking the bus. Preserve your bag containing valuables and identification in your lap and keep vigilant.

5. All the time take a licensed taxi – Crimes in opposition to cab riders are rare right here but it surely’s greatest you utilize a licensed taxi. Additionally, pay shut consideration to the meter and ensure it’s operating. Cab drivers can flip the meter off and declare it’s damaged (a standard rip-off, see beneath).

6. Purchase journey insurance coverage – That is particularly essential if you happen to plan to hitch in on actions like ziplining, white water rafting, or browsing. Journey insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now.

We suggest World Nomads for vacationers below 70, whereas Insure My Journey is the only option for vacationers over 70.

For extra info on tarvel insurance coverage, try these posts:

How you can Keep away from Scams in Costa Rica

There are actually solely two widespread scams present in Costa Rica:

1. Taxi Rip-off
You hop right into a taxi and understand the meter isn’t operating. You point out this to the driving force and their response is the meter is “damaged,” and quotes you a value that’s outrageously excessive. Otherwise you would possibly discover that the meter is working however the fare is rising quicker than a operating cheetah.

Do your analysis and get an thought of how a lot a trip ought to value out of your hostel or lodge employees earlier than hailing a taxi. In my expertise, if the cabbie tries to barter the speed, I exploit the speed quoted to me and in the event that they refuse, I get out and discover somebody who will flip the meter on. If the meter appears as if it’s rising unusually quick, ask the driving force to drag over and get out instantly.

2. The “Low cost Tour” Rip-off
You’re exploring the websites and sounds of town and a well-mannered, properly dressed particular person approaches you and asks if you happen to’re seeking to go on a tour. They do a implausible job describing essentially the most unforgettable journey you’ll ever absorb your life, and at a fraction of the price of different tour firms. You’re bought and hand them a deposit. You wait the following day for them to select you up, however nobody reveals up. You understand there was no wonderful tour at 50% much less; you’d been tricked.

To keep away from this rip-off solely use licensed firms when reserving excursions. Your hostel/lodge can at all times provide help to, and if you happen to plan to e book by means of a tour firm test their on-line critiques forward of time. By no means belief somebody making an attempt to promote you a tour on the road who doesn’t have an official workplace or storefront.

These scams are the commonest ones you’ll face whereas in Costa Rica. Should you’re apprehensive about scams, learn this submit on journey scams to keep away from. Avoiding journey scams requires quite a lot of widespread sense and a wholesome dose of suspicion.

Zika Threat in Costa Rica

Whereas there aren’t any stories of a Zika outbreak within the nation, Costa Rica has had reported instances of the Zika virus. Whereas dangers are low, vacationers are suggested to take the next precautions:

  • Use mosquito repellent in your physique to forestall bites and sleep below a mosquito web to keep away from getting bit whereas while you’re asleep
  • Put on breathable clothes that cowl your legs and arms (if you happen to’re questioning what you need to apply first, apply sunscreen first adopted by repellent).
  • Preserve doorways and home windows closed as a lot as potential to forestall mosquitos from coming into your room
  • Pregnant ladies or {couples} contemplating being pregnant ought to seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner previous to journey

FAQ on Costa Rica Security

Listed here are the commonest questions I get requested about staying secure in Costa Rica (and my solutions to them):

Is Road Meals in Costa Rica Secure?

In Costa Rica, avenue meals is suitable for eating and to not be missed! I’ve had my fair proportion of empanadas, recent fruits from open markets, and different native meals and have been completely tremendous.

That being mentioned, if one thing doesn’t look cooked by means of (comparable to hen) or has been out within the solar for too lengthy, then belief your intestine and don’t eat it. However I’d encourage you to strive the road meals because it’s the easiest way to expertise the delicacies and help native companies (plus, it’s low-cost!)

Is the Faucet Water Secure to Drink in Costa Rica?

The faucet water in Costa Rica is secure to drink, nevertheless, it’s really useful that you just keep away from ingesting the faucet water in most seaside locations. The easiest way to verify your ingesting water is secure is to carry a SteriPen or LifeStraw to your reusable water bottle. This fashion you’ll be capable of purify the faucet water so that you don’t get sick — and keep away from utilizing single-use plastic bottles within the course of.

Are Taxis in Costa Rica Secure?

The taxis in Costa Rica are secure and dependable, although you’ll at all times wish to ensure you’re getting in a licensed taxi. In the course of the day, you may hail a taxi from the road safely, however ensure you listen that the meter is turned on and operating correctly.

Should you’re taking a taxi at evening it’s greatest to have your lodging name it for you. That can make sure you get a good firm. By no means hail a random taxi at evening.

As talked about earlier, taxi drivers will sometimes attempt to make the most of vacationers by overcharging them. All the time stay alert and if something feels suspicious ask the driving force to cease the cab and get out. Don’t take any probabilities together with your security.

Is Costa Rica Secure for Solo Vacationers?

Costa Rica is a secure nation to go to for solo vacationers. So long as you keep away from remoted areas, don’t wave your valuables round, and don’t journey alone at evening it is possible for you to to keep away from the commonest harmful conditions.

Moreover, be sure you obtain offline maps and an offline language app (like Google Translate) so you may lookup instructions if you happen to get misplaced or talk with the locals in an emergency. Should you can, attempt to be taught some Spanish earlier than you go too. Even a couple of key phrases can go a good distance!

Is Costa Rica Secure for Solo Feminine Vacationers?

Costa Rica is among the most secure international locations in Central America so if you happen to’re new to solo feminine journey, Costa Rica is a good nation to start out with. Nevertheless, you’ll nonetheless must take some precautions after all. All the time keep away from remoted places and don’t journey alone after darkish. Should you occur to expertise cat calling or harassment from strangers on the road, be assured, keep away from eye contact, and stroll away.

Solo feminine vacationers will wish to stay further vigilant at bus terminals, bars, and taxi stands the place harassment is extra widespread. When touring across the metropolis, ask your lodge what the most secure route is and in addition which areas you need to keep away from. Additionally, keep away from taking taxis at evening — particularly by your self.

By taking some precautions and planning accordingly, solo feminine vacationers will be capable of have a memorable time in Costa Rica. Simply ensure to observe the recommendation and ideas above!

Listed here are useful posts on security written by our solo feminine journey consultants:

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With any vacationer vacation spot, you’ll run into individuals making an attempt to drag quick ones on guests. Through the use of warning, widespread sense, and following the information above, you’ll be capable of keep secure and wholesome throughout your go to to Costa Rica.

E-book Your Journey to Costa Rica: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

E-book Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google and yahoo as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

E-book Your Lodging
To search out the perfect funds lodging, use Reserving.com as they constantly return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and low-cost inns. You may e book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve essentially the most complete stock. A few of my favourite locations to remain in Costa Rica:

  • Arenal Backpackers Resort – It is a luxurious, laid-back hsotel with a pool that’s nice for hanging out and assembly individuals.
  • Rocking J’s (Puerto Viejo) – The good hostel in all of the nation. This hostel positioned on the seaside is the prime spot to satisfy different backpackers.
  • Hostel Vista Serena (Manuel Antonio) – With nice ammenities, employees, and a pime location, it’s the perfect place within the space.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite firms that provide the perfect service and worth are:

In search of the perfect firms to economize with?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of while you journey! I checklist all those I exploit to economize after I journey – and I feel will provide help to too!

Need Extra Data on Costa Rica?
You should definitely go to our sturdy vacation spot information on Costa Rica for much more planning ideas!

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