Five Minute Read: “Is Costa Rica Safe? Yes, If You Travel Consciously, Cleverly, And With Common Sense. Here’s How.”


This article is a summary of our full blog post: Is Costa Rica Safe? Yes, If You Travel Consciously, Cleverly, And With Common Sense. Here’s How.
Five Minute Read Brief: If you are at all like us, you have more items on your to-do list than there are minutes in the day to accomplish everything. We understand that your time is limited, so we’ll keep this short. For a deeper and more comprehensive explanation of our suggestions, recommendations, and tips offered below, please click on the link to the full article above (if and when you are able to carve out some extra “you” time in your hectic schedule, we recommend reading the full blog post in its entirety; your trip experience will thank you!). Otherwise, if quick snippets of information are all you are currently after, you have come to the right place. Pura vida! 🙂


Costa Rica is a country we feel comfortable recommending to travel groups, families with children, senior travellers, and independent backpackers under one condition: that travellers act responsibly. We would argue that acting responsibly while travelling throughout Costa Rica requires travellers (you, yes you!) to do and consider the following for the purposes of physical safety, identification and possession safety, and money and spending safety:

Watch out for sticky fingers at the airport

  • Given the high volume of traffic that the airport exits see, bags can go missing pretty quickly if they are left unattended.

Avoid driving after dark

  • Many roads do not offer sidewalks and individuals walking along the side of the road (or stray animals) can be difficult to spot. In addition, Costa Rican roads can offer unfavourable conditions that can be tricky to navigate in the dark.

Avoid visiting the beach after dark

  • Touring the beach after dark makes you a vulnerable target.

Avoid visiting an ATM machine after dark

  • Visiting an ATM machine after dark makes you a vulnerable target.

Avoid swimming when the water/surf/waves are rough

  • Swim cautiously and keep little ones close (within arms reach).

Do not take a taxi that is not an official “red” taxi (i.e., red in colour with a yellow triangle on the door) with the exception of airport taxis (which are orange in color)

  • Do not use taxi services other than the official type unless you know and trust the driver.

Plan for your tours/activities accordingly

  • Bring the right equipment, apparel, first aid supplies, and accessories with you to Costa Rica according to the activities you plan to participate in during your trip.


Keep a list of common Spanish phrases and questions with you throughout your trip (great for travellers with allergies and/or dietary requests)

  • Draft a small cheat sheet of Spanish words or phrases to keep on hand throughout your trip.


Bring/carry a copy of your passport with you

  • Just in case; you never know if, how, or when you will lose your passport.

Email yourself a scanned copy of all important receipts, confirmations, and travel documents

  • Email yourself back-up copies of all important travel documents; internet access is widespread throughout Costa Rica

Do not leave possessions unattended and unlocked in vehicles

  • If you have your own car, keep it locked at all times and parked in a secure and well-lit area. Do not leave your possessions in any vehicle overnight.

Call your credit card provider prior to leaving home to release any international travel bans on your account

  • Avoid being in a foreign country and finding out that international access to your own money at your home bank is restricted.

Do not rely on travellers cheques

  • Most hotels, tour operators, transportation service providers, restaurants, and shops do not accept them (with the exception of some all-inclusive resorts).


Do not purchase tours from street-corner salesmen

  • Reserve your preferred nature/adventure tours, hotels, and transportation services in advance through reputable companies.


Check and double-check your currency conversion

  • Make sure you know the going currency conversion rate and make sure you understand the exchange between currency types.


Split your cash and credit cards
  • Hide collections of cash and/or credit cards in separate pieces of luggage in case one piece is lost or stolen during your trip.

Pura vida!

As a reminder, the above article is a summary of our full blog post: Is Costa Rica Safe? Yes, If You Travel Consciously, Cleverly, And With Common Sense. Here’s How. For complete information, please read our full article.

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4 responses to “Five Minute Read: “Is Costa Rica Safe? Yes, If You Travel Consciously, Cleverly, And With Common Sense. Here’s How.”

  1. I have just returned from Costa Rica, myself and a friend travelled around and we felt safe by just keeping a common sensed head on our shoulders. The Caribbean was the only place we found ourselves walking back to our hotel at night which was okay but just not the best idea considering no street lights and cars not seeing you!

  2. And as long as you don’t use Go South Adventure Tours while your in Costa Rica. Very unsafe

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