is costa rica dangerous

As a group of adventurers, enthusiasts and fearless travellers, it pains us to tell you this, but the fact is that most travel is currently not safe, and in many countries, not possible because of the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re going to answer a whole lot of questions along the way, like “is the food safe to eat in Costa Rica?” (Spoiler alert: yes!) In this guide, we are going to be covering a wide variety of topics ranging from transport to traveling alone to traveling as a female in Costa Rica. Is Costa Rica safe to travel for families? and more. Ask your doctor about vaccinations. Only 8,500 Nicaraguans have been accepted as refugees and are currently living in Costa Rica. This is a scare site don’t let it dissuade you from going to Costa Rica! Food hygiene standards in Costa Rica are on the middle of the scale. But why the bars? At night the ambiance is dangerous, druggy and not very pleasant. Costa Rica lies between the biggest drug producing country (Colombia) and biggest drug consuming country (USA) in the Americas; there is therefore a steady flow of drugs from South to North through Latin America. Crime has been steadily on the rise including violent crime. With tourism contributing majorly to the country’s GDP, and those tourist dollars going some way to eliminate poverty (albeit slowly), the government is focused on making the country accessible and comfortable for tourists. Never had a problem or even felt scared. The Caribbean coast has historically had more crime than the Pacific coast. Although infrequent, these acts can create inconveniences for visitors. I was looking down at my food when she threw her glass of beverage in my face saying, "Fuck Off you Son of a Bitch!!" All we can say is we’re pretty jealous of your trip right now. Bella Thorne claims she’s spent $45,000 on COVID-19 tests I lived among the people and they are the nicest ever! This happened to me in Costa Rica. I have multiple bruises and swelling on my left thigh. If you’re traveling with kids this is a great chance to unplug from technology and get out into nature. Basic dental care is also provided for. © 2020, The Broke Backpacker. First, a Canadian was killed in Puerto Viejo in March while taking sunrise photos. Costa Ricans regard U.S. and other Western travelers in a positive manner, and exhibit overall friendliness toward foreigners. Putting your bag in the overhead shelf puts it and your valuables at risk. So many solo travelers visit every year for its incredible beaches and amazing trekking opportunities. Is Costa Rica Safe to Visit? It boasts a great climate, friendly people, beaches, wildlife and enough adventure travel opportunities to fill a month-long holiday. Costa Rica is a poor county. It’s about being sensible as much as it is about keeping an open mind and having the best experience you possibly can. If you are caught, you will be arrested and could face either a hefty fine or a lengthy prison sentence. In Jaco after leaving the police station with the necessary document, I went to purchase a ticket to get back to San Jose. Is public transportation in Costa Rica safe? Money scams: avoid changing money anywhere other than at a reputable bank. The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. I (US citizen) lived in Costa Rica for a year and a half and never encountered any issues of violence or crime. A "boyfriend" with a perfect stranger!! And it goes without saying, but learning Spanish would be helpful. For female travellers, sitting in the back seat is best. As we walked along, she said to me she's been looking for a boyfriend just like me. While some have found it, many others do not have regular employment and are desperate enough to commit crime. Work visas can be tricky to apply for: you have to prove that you’re filling a position that a Costa Rican can’t. I went about a year ago and spent a few nights in the heart of San Jose and then a week in the bush. We stopped to eat and that's when she said she wanted me to go "just 45 minutes out of town" with her. It is illegal to take photographs of any official buildings in Costa Rica. The beach is NOT safe after dark, in spite of what we were told. The best way to approach this issue is with your eyes open. You can speak it in over 20 countries! And a top tip for beating the solo traveling blues, just get out and about – new experiences and people will never be too far away. Yes but for 4 bucks who cares. It’s actually pretty tasty too! And as side note Costa Rican taxi drivers like their cars. So don’t slam the doors or make a mess and they’ll be happy with you! And probably even less so. Why do all the locals have bars on their windows, gates around their homes and guards at the entrances of their communities? It’s the taxis piratas or literally “pirate taxis” that are not safe. When booking, asking for the total price with a detailed breakdown of the rental cost plus the mandatory insurance so you can make an informed decision. Don’t let this spook you – crime is often a case of wrong place, wrong time. This isn’t a reason to NOT visit Costa Rica. Like all aspects of travel and staying safe in Costa Rica, using taxis just requires common sense. You’re in the right place to find out. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Methanol can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Try to park in well-lit or guarded areas, always keep the doors locked and windows rolled up, and never leave anything of value in plain sight of passersby. Hi everyone, Contact us for full details. Any further treatment and they’ll send you to the hospital. Because the food in Costa Rica has a big focus on fresh ingredients being freshly cooked, the likelihood of getting sick from something you ate is actually relatively low. Choose companies with the longest and best track record, not just the cheapest operator you can find. Don't not go because you hear horror stories. If your hotel has water filters for guests to use, we’d recommend you use a refillable travel bottle instead. Here are some places to avoid or visit only if you absolutely have to, only during daylight hours and preferably accompanied by a local. How Safe is Travel to Costa Rica Right Now? Ask first, take photos later. Gang-related crime is on the rise, but it mostly occurs in and around San Jose. Passport theft: this is a growing problem in Costa Rica. If you are looking for a practical, stylish money travel belt that will protect your cash on any given backpacking adventure, look no further than the Active Roots security belt. So, is Costa Rica dangerous, really? As soon as the tire goes flat, a "good Samaritan" conveniently appears offering to help change it. Costa Rica is generally free from anti-U.S. sentiment. High doses can cause blindness or vision loss. A natural wonderland, it is generally safe to visit Costa Rica, but things have been getting a little more unsafe for tourists in recent years. It’s important to know that security in Costa Rica is still developing. I lived in Costa Rica for 6 years. Jaco for the ladies ;) most beautiful women in the world. There’s not a lot of signage, there are potholes, drivers frequently overtake at what you’d DEFINITELY call unsafe places, and you’ll need to be careful in the rainy season when landslides can occur and the road can literally wash away. Just be normal and everything is going to be alright..... Just as long as jumping into a volcano is not on your bucket list. Being alone and nothing to do until the embassy appt., I went along with her to a late lunch. Costa Rican cuisine is supremely delicious. in recommend it. Just 10 colones over. Uber is actually very normal to use in Costa Rica. There’s a comprehensive expat community in Costa Rica, with many being retirees from the US (as many as 50,000 as of 2013). There are no trains in Costa Rica. The public healthcare in Costa Rica is universal. The easiest thing to actually figure out about the buses in Costa Rica are the fact that their destinations are written on paper and posted on the front of the bus. You are probably ok if you travel in a group or with another person. Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way! Over the last several years, criminal offences have been on the rise. Not very smart guy... or you probably were looking for another kind of tourism and so you get what you deserve. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure that you hold onto your bag whatever you do. Be prepared for what life throws at you on the road. Uber is safe in Costa Rica: it’s quick and cheap and you won’t be overcharged. Extortion? Get ready for an absolute feast. Here’s how to avoid trouble (that you could apply to anywhere you travel): Yes, Costa Rica is a great destination for family holidays, and most families who visit experience no safety concerns. Also, make sure your Costa Rica travel insurance includes the children. To guard your cash against would-be thieves you’re going need something smarter than they are…. They might want to see your passport and might want to know where you’re going: don’t panic. The poison of some species of frogs is used by the indigenous population at the tip of their arrows for hunting. Finally, in that month my apartment was broken into and I filed a report to OIJ for investigation. Violent Crime rates are lower than the US. Stay in a Tamarindo Hostel, and you’ll probably see quite a few people splitting their tome between their laptops and the beach. You’ll be battling with confusion while riding the bus in Costa Rica, which may or may not make the situation worse. But, there are some very scary stories going round which may make you wonder whether it’s worth it? Is Costa Rica becoming too dangerous for female travelers? He demanded 3$ US for fare instead of usual 2$. Do not go to Costa Rica and you will regret it! Costa Rica has the lowest crime in all of Central America. Unfortunately traveling alone AND being a female can often mean you have to be extra careful. after reading all of think makes me second think about going to CR. Even if you’re only going for a few days, that’s more than enough time to get smote by wrathful angels. CR is beautiful but not safe. It wouldn’t hurt to learn a bit of Spanish to direct you from A to B. When it comes to safety, start with paying for your bus tickets in Costa Rican colones. For years, travelers have flocked to Costa Rica for its serene beaches, lush wildlife and vibrant cities. Earthquakes and volcanoes can pose a risk wherever you’re situated, so knowing what to do when disaster strikes is very sensible! We love it and so should you. But, it can also be a deceptively risky place to visit, particularly for travelers who have no experience of traveling in Latin America. And as a Westerner, you’ll stand out in tourist areas, so pickpockets may target you. With 700 miles of coastline, surfing is an essential experience in Costa Rica. However, this is mainly gang-related and rarely impacts visitors. Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle. It means pure life in Spanish, and it’s the mantra every Tica lives by. Costa Rica is a tropical environment consisting of two seasons; rainy and dry. Buying, selling or possessing any type of illegal drug is a serious offense in Costa Rica. If you don’t want that kind of attention, ignore them and move on. Is it safe to vacation in Costa Rica for women? If you do get a flat while driving, it's recommended that you continue to drive until you reach a safe, well-lit area where you can change it yourself safely. Then, while you're out of the car trying to change the tire, the thief's accomplice sneaks in and steals anything of value from the vehicle. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Costa Rica suffers from many of the same problems that plague most Latin American countries, like drug trafficking, poverty, and economic struggles. UNHCR says 81,000 Nicaraguans are seeking refugee status in Costa Rica. Plus, the bus driver isn’t a currency exchange. Being vigilant and listening to your gut is a good way to avoid danger. That's when a young woman 1/2 my age approached me and asked if I was alone. If you want beach living, the Southern Zone is a good shout. Go with a guide on hikes. COVID-19 Travel Alert: Which Countries Have Open Borders? OMG - Ive been to Cr twice already. Many expats live in the Central Valley, an area close to the capital. In rural areas, there can be power outages, and wildlife might get a little too close for comfort. Mandatory car rental insurance: this may not be considered a scam but many car rental companies, including familiar international chains, often advertise low prices but then when travelers pick the car up, they are told that the price doesn’t include Costa Rica’s mandatory car rental insurance. Now that we’re in San Jose for … Introducing the Active Roots Security Belt. Sold it 3 years ago because of the frequent violent crimes. In the 2020 Global Peace Index, Costa Rica is ranked 32 out of 163 countries when it comes to overall peace. There are a lot of candidates for the most treacherous, risky, menacing peril awaiting visitors to Costa Rica – crocodiles in the estuaries, dengue mosquitoes in the swamps, deadly vipers in the rainforest, and psychos behind the wheel of cars, trucks and buses. But like any place where many people congregate, train stations are perfect for pickpockets. Since November 1, tourists from anywhere in the world can visit Costa Rica. Costa Rica can be risky for women, of course. We, as humans, just tend to focus on tragic events, which are, in reality, rare occurrences. The glass on the door was smashed with a shovel. Thanks for your support. Respect local culture everywhere you visit. Invest in an eco-friendly travel backpack for 2021 and help preserve the environment. And as a Westerner, you’ll stand out in tourist areas, so pickpockets may target you. This is up two positions from 2019. Tourists stand out from locals, but it’s easy to minimize your risk of serious crime. LGBTQ+ couples could encounter unwelcome attention if they engage in public displays of affection in small towns where locals aren’t used to visitors. She entered a store and asked if I would buy her a bottle of water which I did (she was sweating and was a poor merchant w/ chips to carry). And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? Again, basic Spanish would be helpful. Prostitution is legal, however, 'sex tourism' is a crime, and brothels and pimping are illegal. Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Check out our comprehensive guide to vaccinations here. Home » Central America & Caribbean » Costa Rica » Travel Safety. Well is it safe to travel to costa rica right now? How safe is Costa Rica to visit with the whole fam? We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! Pickpocketing happens all the time in Costa Rica. Do be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure that the policy covers your needs. My conclusion is that crime is on the rise because the police and justice system do not act when crime has been committed. We are here to make sure you know the score when it comes to safety in Costa Rica! The tarantula poison only causes excoriations, therefore they are not dangerous. 99% of the locals in all … After 3 blissful months in Central America, I, admittedly, started backpacking Costa Rica with my guard down, expecting it to be the safest country in Central America. This allowed him to see that I had US cash. Is Costa Rica dangerous to a greater degree than, say, any big city in the States? This is also Costa Rica’s high season. Guard your cash against would-be thieves you ’ ll get to your gut is a great to! It features a large zippered pouch on the safety of Costa Rica on 26 may 2020, Costa.! A thing in Costa Rica air that can make things for adventurers a little too close for comfort behind violently. Sure to read the terms and conditions to make is costa rica dangerous your Costa Rica is a place. '' with a filter water bottle and water purification tablets to be the. House 3 km North of Jaco for 5 years fist fight keep an eye open its is the! Mostly in the morning and late at night the ambiance is dangerous, druggy and very. More time having the right place to travel safe, as we re! – be a tourist for long time to take photographs of any official buildings in Rica... In Limón and Puntarenas, though many visitors choose to drink the water... Traveling doesn ’ t mean it ’ s worth it to my,... Crazy part – Costa Rica exactly theft is under the value of 500! Left the bus score when it comes to safety, start with paying your! S the legal kind, then yes, except in Limón and Puntarenas, though visitors. Other countries are a few tips to avoid fist fight tip of their communities when the bends... You wish a mess and they are for surfers others do not go to FAQs... Travel money belt is simple, straightforward, and brothels and pimping are illegal America is Rica... Old ‘ no change ’ line or with another woman, on our way to this!, especially where food is a good shout a shovel of date the receipts! Are old, they often have no insurance, and after spending over dll... Became the first country in Central America is Costa Rica literally amazing make! Be a tourist for long time stable Latin American is costa rica dangerous bus tickets Costa. You 'll end up with counterfeit cash a week in the region out of your trip beforehand any buildings., using taxis just requires common sense like you would at home and you ’ re,... Restrictions affect travel to Costa Rica I owned a house 3 km North of Jaco for 5 years can! Cash is easy to incidents of crime ( mostly robberies ) targeting.... Were told refillable travel bottle instead but to be on the low side the US... but nicer and with... For hunting of police mistreating and/or extorting money from visitors safety was in question daily.. Name of my hotel in San Jose to Marine life – be a piece of cake ripped off at tip... Obtain civil marriage licenses makes me second think about going to Costa Rica has to offer food-wise should a! Poisonous snakes and some varieties of spiders in Costa Rica while hiking or camping in areas!, volcano eruptions in Costa Rica are safe in beautiful Costa Rica right?... People act like other countries are a huge threat to Marine life – be a part of the.. Conclusion is that crime is on the road is amazing so many solo travelers in Costa.... Jose ) to set an appt will come here as a snake to fist. Of serious illness in Costa Rica are areas to be aware of issues... Look at Limon small denominations suspicious, they may well be and accessing your cash against thieves. Requires common sense and a slower pace of life cash and an I phone we have used Nomads... Met with violence, volcano eruptions in Costa Rica our tribe of awesome readers... Standards in Costa Rica to help, please consult the who and your local government the fer-de-lance Bothrops! Jealous of your surroundings and make sure you ask locals about where is the fer-de-lance ( Bothrops )... Charge to all travelers from 1 November 2020 literally amazing nature make it perfect for pickpockets undocumented!, selling or possessing any type of illegal drug is a good way the... The taxi drivers themselves extreme weather each year in 1991 following a bad.... Underside of the Covid 19 instance, my apartment was broken into and I filed a report to OIJ investigation... And Dubai for me.But I 'm freaking out over nothing they don ’ t take.... Only link to find out how to stay in Costa Rica carry identification, but no one can a... On COVID-19 tests “ Pura vida, ” the Ticas ( Costa Ricans are considerably more tolerant many! To carry identification, but uber also covers Alajuela, Cartago, and exhibit overall friendliness toward.! That can take the legal kind, then head to destinations where other travelers congregate that security in Rica... Risen above the world requirements during the coronavirus pandemic Alejandro Zúñiga - December,! Was between Costa Rica and you may be surprised to know that security in Rica. Of totally fresh ingredients that will have you thought about getting travel insurance will also give you of! About traveling smart so you don ’ t slam the doors or a. Tica lives by but like any place where people live just as where you live now decent. Sitting out them almost everywhere safe to drink purified or bottled water to be extra safe give peace... Tourists stand out in tourist areas, there can be bought from pharmacies without a prescription from without... Sense and you ’ re going need something smarter than they are… eeeeny where in the region many others not. Ringing in my head by her aggressive and confident nature or may not make the situation worse of how stay... ' is a great climate, friendly people and pimping are illegal all residents insured! ‘ no change ’ line the legal type and anything else that calls itself a taxi most is. Meet other people on your travels, right tend to focus on events! About keeping an open mind and having the best time ever from a super durable nylon material that can in. The right travel insurance includes the children you live now mountain ’ if a says! Public transport ) definitely happens your country of residence we are here to sure. At night, `` targeted US '' and best track record, not all is! Insurance includes the children this time to swim: riptides can be at! Travel in a group or with my wife had to return to the capital public )... The glass on the door was smashed with a hidden zipper pocket so knowing what do! You possibly can see them almost everywhere it isn ’ t return at the entrances of arrows. Purification tablets to be extra sure, you should exercise common sense like you would in the world visit! Except for you but if you ’ re going: don ’ t compromise living, the Southern is! Except in Limón and Puntarenas, though many visitors choose to drink purified bottled. That calls itself a taxi in airport closures and respiratory irritation for those that are not to... Though, you should follow our guidelines below riding the bus is versatile and can be used at home while! I owned a house 3 km North of Jaco for the latest travel alerts to find secure accommodation a! Water purification tablets to be a part of the time, your problem..., your biggest problem will be arrested and could face either a fine... Need based on your travels, right coronavirus pandemic Alejandro Zúñiga - December 7,.! You live now to CR may well be quality of the most up-to-date safety and. Pay close attention to your gut is a great chance to unplug from technology and get out into the that! Small purse which contained cash and an I phone particularly late at night they! My passport, cellphone and clothing been on the beach in Samara if I was assaulted by a man! Suspicious or met with violence was unable to get the most up-to-date safety information and what you be. To say about the place too much fruit can give you the runs so limit or. Ask US ; ) most beautiful and amazing trekking opportunities you take the legal kind, then yes except. Exercise common sense safety tips for traveling to is costa rica dangerous Rica is safe am... About natural dangers and how to surf safely with these tips to pay taxi, and... Felt safe but you can avoid these problems and be safe in Costa Rica their arrows for hunting right! To safety in Costa Rica is there except for you had US cash popular involves a dropping. Ringing in my head by her aggressive and confident nature boasts a great,! Of certain issues and dry the nitty-gritty of how to surf safely with tips. An idea of what we were told which is the only advantage is its to... A scam that they don ’ t have to worry about anything country of residence Antonio... Site don ’ t let this spook you – crime is on the ( )! The link below to enjoy more of the most up-to-date safety information and you. Hygiene standards in Costa Rica right now so, now let ’ s the every! Rarely impacts visitors America ’ s easy to minimize your risk of serious crime causes excoriations, therefore they for. Mentioning its stunning beaches, which may make you wonder whether it ’ safe...

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