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Safety & Security
IS COSTA RICA COSINDERED SAFE?
YES! Costa Rica is considered the safest country in Central America. One of the reasons that Costa Rica continues to be one of the world’s top destinations for eco-tourism and medical travel is because a visitor can feel completely safe exploring all of the country.
Costa Ricans are honest and friendly people. A common saying is: “Pura Vida” (translated means, “Pure Life”). One defining characteristic is the lack of a standing army and outsanding education system. Wealth is evenly distributed when compared to North America or European countries. Extreme poverty is rare and this translates into low crime.
As in every country you must be smart and use good judgment when travelling into the wilderness. Remember that Costa Rica is extremely bio-diverse, and that critters abound! Ask for advice from tour guide or hotel managers before heading off the beaten path.
STAYING SAFE AT HOTELS
Wealthy people stay at hotels and this can attract some petty criminals so make sure to lock your doors and watch your belongings. Almost every hotel has safety deposit boxes in the room, use them!!
STAYING SAFE IN SAN JOSE
San 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…
1. don’t flash large amounts of money
2. keep your hands on your camera, only carry it when you need it
3. wear less jewelry; don’t advertise wealth
4. don’t get drunk in public
5. don’t walk around in secluded areas of the city at night
Areas to Avoid
The U.S. Consulate recommends avoiding areas with high concentrations of bars and nightclubs, especially at night. Be extra careful in the Zona Roja region of San Jose, in and around the Coca Cola Bus Terminal.
Beaches that are known for riptides:
• Espadilla at Manuel Antonio
• Dominical Beach
Beaches that are considered the safest in Costa Rica are:
• Playas Rajada and Jobo near La Cruz
• Bahía Junquillal Wildlife Refuge
• Play Hermosa in northern Guanacaste
• Plays del Coco
• Bahía Ballena/Tambor
• Beacheson the Golfo Dulce between Puerto Jimenez and Golfito
• The third beach at Manuel Antonio
• Little Dominicalito in Dominical
For police emergencies, dial 911
To call the police directly, dial 117
To contact the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, call (506) 519-2000, or (506) 519-2280 after hours
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