a volcano surrounded by mountains and jungle in Costa Rica

Posted: 11/three/2019 | November 3rd, 2019

Tropical jungles bursting with wildlife, mountainous landscapes extending into the horizon, image-best beaches on each sides of the nation, and a never ever-ending provide of enjoyable activities no matter your price range.

Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s paradise — and it is 1 of my preferred nations in the globe also. It was the very first nation I ever traveled to and it was the nation that sparked my wanderlust.

The beaches really feel like paradise, there’s good surfing, diving, and lots of locations to get away from the hordes of retired Americans that reside right here. No matter what your interest, there are tons of items to see and do in Costa Rica with out breaking the bank.

But is Costa Rica protected to pay a visit to?

The nation was fortunate to escape the Cold War conflicts and brutal gang violence that impacted other nations in Central America. Even so, in current years, Costa Rica has turn into additional involved in drug trafficking and funds laundering.

But the nation is super protected for vacationers. At worst, you will get scammed for a couple of bucks. I imply the nation is so protected it does not even have an army!

Although Costa Rica is 1 of the safest nations for travel and backpacking in Central America, that does not imply you must let your guard down. Right here are some strategies to assure a protected and strain-absolutely free encounter:

1. Steer clear of isolated locations – If you are someplace isolated, you will be at a higher threat for finding robbed, specially at evening and in huge cities. Attempt to remain exactly where the crowds are. That is the greatest way to keep away from getting singled out by possible muggers.

two. Do not put on flashy products – Petty theft is typical right here, so get rid of any jewelry or watches, and do not wave your telephone about. Do your greatest to blend in, so you do not turn into a target for pickpockets. If you come about to locate your self a victim of a robbery, adhere to the directions of the robber and give up your valuables these material products can be replaced but your life can’t.

three. Do not leave your products unattended – If you are spending the day on the beaches in Puerto Viejo, Santa Theresa, or Manuel Antonio, do not leave your belongings unattended when swimming or walking along the sand locals or vacationers alike can effortlessly take your valuables if you leave them about. Just take what you require with you and absolutely nothing additional.

four. Be alert when utilizing public transportation – Petty theft (which includes bag snatching) is the most typical variety of crime you will face in Costa Rica. Most of the theft in Costa Rica happens when taking the bus. Maintain your bag containing valuables and identification on your lap and remain vigilant.

five. Usually take an authorized taxi – Crimes against cab riders are infrequent right here but it is greatest you use a licensed taxi. Also, spend close focus to the meter and make certain it is operating. Cab drivers can turn the meter off and claim it is broken (a typical scam, see beneath).

six. Acquire travel insurance coverage – This is specially essential if you strategy to join in on activities like ziplining, white water rafting, or surfing. Travel insurance coverage will safeguard you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It is extensive protection in case something goes incorrect. I never ever go on a trip with out it as I’ve had to use it quite a few occasions in the previous.

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We suggest Planet Nomads for travelers below 70, when Insure My Trip is the greatest selection for travelers more than 70.

For additional information and facts on tarvel insurance coverage, verify out these posts:

  • What Does Travel Insurance coverage Basically Cover?
  • The 7 Very best Travel Firms in 2019
  • How to Acquire the Very best Travel Insurance coverage

How to Steer clear of Scams in Costa Rica

There are seriously only two typical scams discovered in Costa Rica:

1. Taxi Scam
You hop into a taxi and comprehend the meter is not operating. You mention this to the driver and their response is the meter is “broken,” and quotes you a price tag that is outrageously higher. Or you could possibly notice that the meter is functioning but the fare is rising more quickly than a operating cheetah.

Do your analysis and get an thought of how considerably a ride must price from your hostel or hotel employees ahead of hailing a taxi. In my encounter, if the cabbie tries to negotiate the price, I use the price quoted to me and if they refuse, I get out and locate somebody who will turn the meter on. If the meter appears as although it is increasing unusually rapid, ask the driver to pull more than and get out promptly.

two. The “Cheap Tour” Scam
You are exploring the web sites and sounds of the city and a nicely-mannered, nicely dressed particular person approaches you and asks if you are hunting to go on a tour. They do a superb job describing the most unforgettable trip you will ever take in your life, and at a fraction of the price of other tour firms. You are sold and hand them a deposit. You wait the subsequent day for them to choose you up, but no 1 shows up. You comprehend there was no incredible tour at 50% significantly less you’d been tricked.

To keep away from this scam only use authorized firms when booking tours. Your hostel/hotel can generally assist you, and if you strategy to book via a tour enterprise verify their on line testimonials ahead of time. Under no circumstances trust somebody attempting to sell you a tour on the street who does not have an official workplace or storefront.

These scams are the most typical ones you will face when in Costa Rica. If you are worried about scams, study this post on travel scams to keep away from. Avoiding travel scams demands a lot of typical sense and a wholesome dose of suspicion.

Zika Threat in Costa Rica

Although there are no reports of a Zika outbreak in the nation, Costa Rica has had reported instances of the Zika virus. Although dangers are low, travelers are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Use mosquito repellent on your physique to stop bites and sleep below a mosquito net to keep away from finding bit when when you are asleep
  • Put on breathable garments that cover your arms and legs (if you are asking yourself what you must apply very first, apply sunscreen very first followed by repellent).
  • Maintain doors and windows closed as considerably as feasible to stop mosquitos from getting into your space
  • Pregnant ladies or couples thinking about pregnancy must seek advice from a healthcare practitioner prior to travel
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FAQ on Costa Rica Security

Right here are the most typical inquiries I get asked about staying protected in Costa Rica (and my answers to them):

Is Street Meals in Costa Rica Protected?

In Costa Rica, street meals is protected to consume and not to be missed! I’ve had my fair share of empanadas, fresh fruits from open markets, and other regional foods and have been completely fine.

That getting stated, if one thing does not appear cooked via (such as chicken) or has been out in the sun for also extended, then trust your gut and do not consume it. But I would encourage you to attempt the street meals as it is the greatest way to encounter the cuisine and help regional companies (plus, it is low cost!)

Is the Tap Water Protected to Drink in Costa Rica?

The tap water in Costa Rica is protected to drink, on the other hand, it is advisable that you keep away from drinking the tap water in most beach destinations. The greatest way to make certain your drinking water is protected is to bring a SteriPen or LifeStraw for your reusable water bottle. This way you will be in a position to purify the tap water so you do not get sick — and keep away from utilizing single-use plastic bottles in the method.

Are Taxis in Costa Rica Protected?

The taxis in Costa Rica are protected and reputable, although you will generally want to make certain you are finding in an authorized taxi. For the duration of the day, you can hail a taxi from the street safely, but make certain you spend focus that the meter is turned on and operating correctly.

If you are taking a taxi at evening it is greatest to have your accommodation contact it for you. That will assure you get a trustworthy enterprise. Under no circumstances hail a random taxi at evening.

As described earlier, taxi drivers will sometimes attempt to take benefit of travelers by overcharging them. Usually stay alert and if something feels suspicious ask the driver to cease the cab and get out. Do not take any possibilities with your security.

Is Costa Rica Protected for Solo Travelers?

Costa Rica is a protected nation to pay a visit to for solo travelers. As extended as you remain away from isolated locations, do not wave your valuables about, and do not travel alone at evening you will be in a position to keep away from the most typical hazardous scenarios.

Also, be certain to download offline maps and an offline language app (like Google Translate) so you can appear up directions if you get lost or communicate with the locals in an emergency. If you can, attempt to find out some Spanish ahead of you go also. Even a couple of crucial phrases can go a extended way!

Is Costa Rica Protected for Solo Female Travelers?

Costa Rica is 1 of the safest nations in Central America so if you are new to solo female travel, Costa Rica is a good nation to commence with. Even so, you will nevertheless require to take some precautions of course. Usually keep away from isolated places and do not travel alone right after dark. If you come about to encounter cat calling or harassment from strangers on the street, be confident, keep away from eye speak to, and stroll away.

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Solo female travelers will want to stay further vigilant at bus terminals, bars, and taxi stands exactly where harassment is additional typical. When traveling about the city, ask your hotel what the safest route is and also which locations you must keep away from. Also, keep away from taking taxis at evening — specially by your self.

By taking some precautions and preparing accordingly, solo female travelers will be in a position to have a memorable time in Costa Rica. Just make certain to adhere to the suggestions and strategies above!

Right here are valuable posts on security written by our solo female travel specialists:

  • How to Keep Protected as a Solo Female Traveler
  • eight Myths About Solo Female Travel Debunked
  • 10 Prevalent Inquiries About Solo Female Travel
  • Females Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Travel Alone


With any tourist location, you will run into folks attempting to pull rapid ones on guests. By utilizing caution, typical sense, and following the strategies above, you will be in a position to remain protected and wholesome throughout your pay a visit to to Costa Rica.

Book Your Trip to Costa Rica: Logistical Guidelines and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Obtain a low cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two preferred search engines due to the fact they search web-sites and airlines about the globe so you generally know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
To locate the greatest price range accommodation, use Booking.com as they regularly return the least expensive prices for guesthouses and low cost hotels. You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the most extensive inventory. Some of my preferred locations to remain in Costa Rica:

  • Arenal Backpackers Resort – This is a luxurious, laid-back hsotel with a pool that is good for hanging out and meeting folks.
  • Rocking J’s (Puerto Viejo) – The coolest hostel in all the nation. This hostel situated on the beach is the prime spot to meet other backpackers.
  • Hostel Vista Serena (Manuel Antonio) – With good ammenities, employees, and a pime place, it is the greatest spot in the region.

Do not Neglect Travel Insurance coverage
Travel insurance coverage will safeguard you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It is extensive protection in case something goes incorrect. I never ever go on a trip with out it as I’ve had to use it quite a few occasions in the previous. I’ve been utilizing Planet Nomads for ten years. My preferred firms that offer you the greatest service and worth are:

  • Planet Nomads (for every person beneath 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for these more than 70)

Seeking for the greatest firms to save funds with?
Verify out my resource web page for the greatest firms to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save funds when I travel – and I assume will assist you also!

Want A lot more Details on Costa Rica?
Be certain to pay a visit to our robust location guide on Costa Rica for even additional preparing strategies!


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