Costa Rica is a dream destination to visit for many people all around the world. It is a place filled with tropical jungles, beautiful beaches, mountainous landscapes and has a bundle of activities for you to see and do.
It is literally a paradise vacation for any traveler.
With activities like surfing along the waves, diving for beautiful fish, partying in clubs, listening to music and eating good food, you will always find yourself being busy with something to do.
But even with that being said, some people still have a question hovering over their heads. And that question is “Is Costa Rica safe to visit?”
And in all honesty, it truly is a very safe spot. In fact, it is one of the safest countries to visit in the world. Although it is true you might run into some crime if you are unlucky, but that is true for every country no matter where you go.
Millions of people each and every year travel to Costa Rica for fun and many of them have no trouble at all with vacationing there. In fact, many people recall their trip as being one of the best ever.
But if you are still worried about Costa Rica or just want to know more information about that place, you are in the right place.
In this post, we’ll be talking about all the ways you can keep safe in Costa Rica, as well as tips to help make your experience a whole lot more enjoyable.
So if you are ready, lets get started!
- How Safe Is Costa Rica?
- Is Costa Rica Safe For Solo Travelers?
- Is Costa Rica Safe For Female Travelers?
- Is Costa Rica Safe For Family Travels?
- Common Scams To Watch Out For
- Tips To Stay Safe In Costa Rica
- Extra Tips
- Is Tap Water Safe To Drink In Costa Rica?
- Is Food Safe To Eat In Costa Rica?
- Are Taxis Safe In Costa Rica?
How Safe Is Costa Rica?
If you are wondering, Costa Rica is a really safe area to visit. The reason for this is because the country doesn’t have an army, which means they can use that extra money to help make other things around the country better. Plus millions of people all around the world visit Costa Rica with no problem at all.
So you don’t really have to worry much.
But you should know that just like any other country, there is still some petty crime here and there. Things like muggings, scams and more are still pretty common here in this country. But even with that being said, as long as you use some common sense when traveling around, you should be okay.
Is Costa Rica Safe For Solo Travelers?
For solo travelers, Costa Rica is a perfect place for you to travel around all by yourself. In fact, it is probably one of the best ways to experience everything the country has to offer.
Many solo travelers visit the country each and every year for its amazing sights and beaches. The country is very much geared towards tourists, so you shouldn’t have any problem at all roaming around the area.
Plus there are lots of guesthouses and hostels around the country which means you can meet other solo travelers too.
But like we said earlier, just like any other country, crime can happen to anybody at anytime. Which is why you have to be extra cautious and careful about your surroundings.
Also if you are going to plan on traveling solo to Costa Rica, I would definitely recommend you to try to learn a few Spanish words and phrases. After all, Costa Rica is a Spanish speaking country, so learning a few words and phrases can go a long way here. It’ll make traveling around that much more easier.
Is Costa Rica Safe For Female Travelers?
Compared to many other countries in Central and South America, Costa Rica is among the safest of the bunch. Mainly because it is geared towards tourists, the country spends tons of money making sure the country is as safe as it can be.
But even with that being said, you’ll still want to take precautions and make sure you are safe at all times.
Some of the things you should do for instance are:
- Stay away from isolated areas
- Don’t travel after dark
- Don’t wear fancy/expensive jewelry
- Know the emergency numbers
Another thing you should know about is that harassment in this country can be quite common. You’ll want to remain extra vigilant about your surroundings.
One personal thing I would suggest you to do is whenever you are traveling around Costa Rica, ask your hotel staff what the safest areas are to visit as well as the safest route to get there.
Basically as long as you use some common sense and plan accordingly, traveling solo as a female should be no problem at all.
Is Costa Rica Safe For Family Travels?
Costa Rica is an amazing place for family travels. There is simply so many fun things you can do as a family here in this country. It is a great way to get away from technology and be one with nature.
Now in order to stay safe, it is always best to plan your trip out ahead of time. This way you’ll be able to know exactly what you should be doing and how you’re going to be doing it. You’ll also want to plan out safe areas for you to stay at so you won’t run into any problems.
And if some of the information can’t be found online, it is always a good idea to ask some locals for help. The locals are all friendly and nice people so you should have no problem with this task.
I would suggest if it is your first time to go with a tour company or a guide as they’ll be able to help navigate you around and make sure you stay safe.
Basically as long as you plan everything accordingly and find the safe areas to visit, your family travels here in Costa Rica will be a blast!
Common Scams To Watch Out For
There isn’t really many scams that go on in Costa Rica, but there are 2 you should definitely watch out for.
One of the most common scams that go around the country is something called a Taxi Scam. Basically you go in for a taxi ride and notice that the meter doesn’t work. When you mention this to the driver, he’ll simply say the meter is broken and will then usually quote you a price that is extremely high. Another thing that might happen is that the meter is indeed working but the rate of fare is going up way too fast.
So if you want to avoid getting yourself scammed, you should always do some research before hand and know how much a ride should cost from one destination to another.
Try to see if you can negotiate a set rate before hand, some taxi drivers will agree to this. If they say no, try to find a different driver.
Or you can try to find a driver who has a working meter. Just be sure to keep an eye out on the meter and if it is increasing too fast, get the heck out of there.
Another common scam you might run into is something like a tour scam. This is where a random person will approach you and ask if you want to go on a tour or not. They’ll make it seem like they will take you on an out of this world experience for only a cheap cost. If you were to accept his offer, you’ll need to pay a deposit up front.
However once you accept his offer and pay for the deposit, he’ll tell you a time and place for you to wait at for him to pick you up. The only problem here is that once you get to that place and time, nobody shows up. You just been scammed out of some cash.
However this scam can be easily avoided if you stick with authorized reputable companies when making any tours.
Do not accept any tour requests from strangers you don’t know as you never know what might happen.
Now these 2 scams are the most common ones to happen in Costa Rica. But if you want to read a list about more scams that go on when you are traveling around, I suggest you to check out my post here on the common travel scams to avoid.
Tips To Stay Safe In Costa Rica
Here are some tips for you to be safe while visiting Costa Rica.
- Do not wear flashy/expensive items – Theft is a common occurrence here in this country. So to avoid your things from getting stolen, I would recommend you to leave all your expensive things like jewelry or watches back at the hotel or wherever you are staying. And if you are carrying your phone around with you, do not wave it around in public or keep it out for too long.
- Always watch your stuff – if you are having fun somewhere like the beach or hiking around the hills, do not leave your items unattended. That is an easy way for people to steal your things. You never know when a local or a stranger will come up and just snatch your things away. So always keep an eye out on your things and only take what is really needed with you.
- Be careful using public transportation – Theft is common among public transportation’s, for instance when you are riding the bus, a stranger can just grab your things and leave. So when you are using any form of public transportation, always make sure to hang on tight to your items.
- Do not go to isolated areas – Never wander around in an isolated area as that will make you a target for getting robbed. Even if the area looks totally safe and beautiful, do not go there as you never know what might happen. Always be safe and stay where the crowd of people are.
- Do not roam around at night – Night time is where a lot of the crime tends to happen. So if it gets pretty late, just call it a day and stay back in your hotel. If you really must head out for something, try to get somebody to go with you.
- Don’t carry too much money – Try to bring small amounts of cash if possible. This way if anything happens, it’ll only be a small loss. If you must carry a lot of cash, try to separate it into different bundles and put them in different areas.
- Avoid helpful people – This might sound weird, but if somebody is a stranger and really wants to help you out with something, it is better to say no and avoid them. Often times what happens is that once they help you out, they’ll ask for a “tip” in return.
- Get travel insurance – As you know, Costa Rica is a place where you can have all sorts of fun. From white water rafting to ziplining or even surfing. However you never know if an accident might occur randomly out of nowhere. Things like illness, theft, injuries are all possible things that might happen. Which is why you always want to be protected.
Here are a few extra tips for you to be safe in Costa Rica.
Is Tap Water Safe To Drink In Costa Rica?
The tap water here in Costa Rica is totally safe to drink. However, even if it is safe, it is still recommended to avoid drinking tap water from most beach destinations.
So to be 100% safe, it is usually recommended to always be drinking water from a water bottle. Or if your hotel has a water filter system, then you can grab any re-usable water bottle and fill it up.
Is Food Safe To Eat In Costa Rica?
The food here in Costa Rica is amazingly safe to eat. Not only that, but it is also some of the best tasting foods you’ll ever try.
The reason for this is because the locals here love to use the freshest ingredients possible when making their foods. So the likely-hood of getting sick from eating the food here is actually really low.
Here are some tips to help you dine your way around Costa Rica:
- Try to avoid salads. The reason for this is because they are raw and not cooked, so you never know if you’ll get a bad salad or not.
- Try to always eat things that have been cooked.
- Try to always eat at places which are packed with people. If a place is always packed, generally it’ll mean the food is always fresh and be free of any sanitation issues.
- If some place looks very busy, it probably means the food is good.
Are Taxis Safe In Costa Rica?
Taxis are extremely safe if you take the RIGHT kind of taxi.
By this I mean taking the licensed taxis. Generally if you take a licensed taxi to travel somewhere, you’ll always have a safe and good time. Mainly because licensed taxis are required to have their meter on and working.
You can usually tell if a taxi is licensed or not by the color of the taxi. Licensed taxis are always RED.
If you find a taxi that is not red, chances are it is not a legal licensed taxis.
If you take an unlicensed taxis, you never know what problems might occur. Plus the cars they usually drive are in poor condition. The driver might also try to charge you high rates which is just crazy.
So all in all, try to stick with licensed taxis.
Note: Carry small denominations with you when you are traveling around by Taxis. Mainly because if you hand them a large bill, they might say they have no change. Which will put you in an awkward spot.
So at the end of the day, “Is Costa Rica Safe?”
The answer is yes, it is incredibly safe. However you’ll still want to be vigilant about things and keep an eye out for your surroundings. Because just like any other country, there will always be crime.
So to keep yourself safe, try to follow all the tips I have listed in this guide.
This way you’ll have a much better experience when traveling around the country as well as being able to keep yourself safe from harm.
Hopefully this list was able to provide you all you need to know about the safety aspect of Costa Rica.
Also if you are interested in reading up on some of my other posts, be sure to check out my blog section!
Let me know how your trip goes, and have fun~