In general, travelling in Costa Rica is safe. Incidents happen, particularly some involving pickpocketing and scamming, but by staying vigilant and keeping an eye on your belongings, you should have no problem enjoying your trip without incident.
To stay as safe as possible while travelling, particularly in Costa Rica’s urban areas, we recommend walking around in groups of two or more. Also, refrain from flashing around your valuables, try not to find yourself on the streets late at night, and keep your head up, showing you’re alert, when walking around.
In tourist areas, scamming is fairly common with vendors trying to overcharge tourists for goods and services. While not always avoidable, we find it helps to familiarize yourself with local phrases, and remain polite but firm if you feel you’re being taken advantage of. As in most tourist destinations, vendors are known to haggle, so chances are if you refuse to overpay for goods you can argue your way down to a price you’re comfortable with. Remember, the country’s motto is pura vida; it’s all good!
Some of the tourist areas, such as the beach towns in Costa Rica’s rural provinces, can grow a little seedy at night, so try not to walk around with too much cash and jewelry on you.
In some tourist areas, as well as when leaving the airport, you may find a lot of taxi drivers somewhat aggressively offering you a ride.
Official taxis in Costa Rica are red, so be sure to only take red taxis and decline the services of any other drivers. When taking a red taxi, make sure the driver turns on the meter to avoid any misunderstandings about the rate.
Since the introduction of Uber in Costa Rica in 2015, there have been some tensions between Uber drivers and the regular taxi drivers; if you do opt for taking Ubers while in Costa Rica, we recommend that you be discreet when requesting, entering, and exiting your Uber car.
Overall, you should feel no more unsafe in Costa Rica than you would travelling abroad in any unfamiliar territory. Be aware, keep your wits about you, use your common sense, and be sure to check in periodically with your people at home; prioritize your safety above all else. Costa Rican locals are a generally friendly and welcoming people. Build a rapport with your local guides and hotel staff, and you’re sure to enjoy your stay!
With Asuaire Travel you can travel safely and learn many local tips to enjoy your trip in Costa Rica with a total peace of mind.