Costa Rica Safety
Put your mind at ease & follow basic safety tips!
is Costa Rica Safe? Yes!
Without a doubt Costa Rica can be called the safest country in Central America. One of the reasons that Costa Rica continues to grow as one of the world's top destinations is because it is one of the few destinations where travelers can feel safe exploring almost any part of the country.
First and foremost Costa Ricans (whether foreigners or Ticos) are honest and friendly people. They have a saying, "Pura Vida" (Sp. "Pure Life") - and that does not brook great greed or desire to steal. Wealth is very evenly distributed in relation to North America or European countries. Simple living without great material excess is the rule, and education, health, and welfare are freely available. Abject poverty is rare, and therefore crime is reduced considerably.
Costa Rica does not have a standing army (although there are many military retirees from America here!) and has not had the strife that neighboring countries have had.
Drugs are not a big factor, either. Costa Rica is not a convenient pipeline to North America from Central America for the distribution of drugs, and certainly not the 'harder' drugs. Enough said. Many dangers over the years of Central America has saturated the minds of foreigners, which is unfortunate, because crime here is much lower than in the states. Most of this is not necessarily due to exaggeration, but rather the way the media works, producing a rather negative focus on things. The dangers of travel anywhere can be minimized by simple common sense, awareness and precautions.
THE WILDSBe smart and safe when moving off the beaten path. Remember that Costa Rica is extemely biodiverse, and that critters abound! Ask a guide or hotel manager of any dangers if you feel uncomfortable.
SAFETY AT HOTELSHotels in Costa Rica are like any other; rich people stay there and that attracts certain types. Watch your things and make sure you lock your doors. Almost every hotel has safety deposit boxes in the room that you can easily program with your own code. Hotel attendants are very much interested in keeping their guests safe and comfortable. You can see that even though they are a laid back group of Ticos, they are hypervigilant about strangers moving about their hotel grounds. Vagrancy is not tolerated.
SAN JOSESan Jose has had some problems in previous years, part of the growing pains of an ever increasing travel population. It has all but disappeared now. However, a few safety tips that you would use in ANY big city should be used...
- don't flash large wads of money
- keep your hands on your camera, only carry it when you need it
- reduce amount of jewelry that you wear; don't advertise wealth
- don't get drunk in public
- don't walk around in secluded areas of the city at night
- don't argue with locals no matter how ridiculous, it's their country
In Conclusion...As we said, some basic safety tips and you'll have the time of your life! We hear again and again from our clients how friendly everyone is, some saying they never met an unhappy person in two whole weeks!