If you’re thinking of touring to Costa Rica on your possess, you’re in for a planet of pure beauty, pleasant persons, and journey about each individual corner. From the dense jungles of the country’s inside to the idyllic beach locations on each coasts, you’re in for a address no make any difference in which you go.
Is Costa Rica risk-free, though? I signify, it is in Central America, just after all, which has a difficult reputation.
There are a whole lot of views about what qualifies a place as “safe” or not, which I experience seriously underqualified to decide. On the other hand, the sensation of protection frequently comes from inside, and how properly we put together ourselves to journey in a unique place.
That stated, these are my protection guidelines for solo vacationers making their way by Costa Rica, with unique thought for my fellow girls who are heading there by yourself:
Costa Rica Protection Suggestions
Table of Contents
Leave your high priced jewelry at home.
This tip goes for just about any place you vacation and certainly applies to Costa Rica. Sporting flashy jewellery can make you an effortless goal for petty theft or pickpocketing. Given that these are two of the most widespread crimes in opposition to tourists here, it is crucial to keep away from making by yourself a goal.
This isn’t to say that you just cannot or shouldn’t don any jewelry at all whilst in Costa Rica. Just continue to keep in mind that the flashier it is, the extra focus you may get from petty thieves, specifically in significant towns like San José.
Lock your valuables in a secure position.
I recognized speedily that not each and every resort, hostel, or Airbnb in Costa Rica has a protected for your valuables. In buy to be certain that you’ll have somewhere to lock up your factors, you can do a person of two points. 1st, you can request your prospective accommodation just before reserving if there are safes in each and every home. Or, you can choose matters into your have hands and journey with a moveable safe and sound, which is essentially just a theft-proof bag that you can attach to a set object.
I went with the latter, and introduced my portable risk-free from Pacsafe with me. This detail was a lifesaver. Acquiring my laptop or computer, passport, playing cards, and additional income stowed away inside it genuinely assisted me have peace of thoughts while I was out and about throughout the working day. It’s small enough to in shape quickly into your backpack or suitcase, and can simply connect to a fixture in your lodge place.
Only deliver small quantities of money with you when you go out.
Considering the fact that my financial institution prices me for every intercontinental cash withdrawal, I tend to withdraw substantial amounts at a time. On the other hand, I do not have all that cash with me when I’m out undertaking issues. Go away most of your hard cash in a risk-free position inside of your place, only having with you what you imagine you might want.
I was amazed at how a lot of places in Costa Rica get playing cards, so operating out of money when you are out is no huge deal, as it is very likely you can use your card in a pinch. Just enjoy out for steep worldwide point-of-sale (POS) service fees.
Preserve your luggage with you on general public transportation.
Sometimes at bus stations or taxi pickups, you may well recognize individuals going close to asking if you have to have aid with your bag. These are most possible scammers, so do not give them your belongings underneath any circumstance. Though you experience public buses or just take general public boats, hold your baggage with you alternatively of positioning them in the overhead bins. Pickpocketing right here is extremely prevalent, specially on public transportation. There’s also a possibility that your full bag could be stolen if you depart it unattended.
If you are taking a longer bus trip to a further desired destination in Costa Rica, you can check out your bag into the compartment underneath the bus. Make confident the driver puts a tag on your bag and offers you a slip of paper that corresponds to it. That is how you ensure that very little transpires to your bag, and it’s also how you will get it back again when you get off the bus, so don’t shed the slip of paper!
Be very careful with unofficial taxis.
In Costa Rica, all official taxis are crimson. Even if the design of the car differs, only the purple types are official taxis, and all of them must have a taxi number. In some sites like Uvita, formal taxis are really scarce. The unofficial taxis have all but monopolized the market place there, and with out Uber, they are the only selection.
In Uvita and some other modest towns in Costa Rica, the unofficial taxis are no large offer. Having said that, do not for any motive take a person of these in major metropolitan areas like San José, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and so forth. If there is the selection to acquire an formal red taxi, get it.
The purpose for this is that taxi frauds are typical in Costa Rica, and obtaining into an unofficial taxi in some areas is just as dangerous as hitchhiking. If something takes place, it is more durable to monitor these men down and hold them accountable. When probable, get pictures of the license plate of the car ahead of you get in, just in scenario you have to have to report a driver to the law enforcement.
Uber is unlawful in Costa Rica.
I’m torn on how I truly feel about Uber in Costa Rica. On 1 hand, it’s unlawful there. Motorists may check with you to sit in the entrance seat with them in purchase to discourage suspicions that they are driving for Uber, which can be not comfortable as a rider.
Even so, at the very least in San José, Uber was a far more reliable solution and even felt safer for me. It was more affordable than taxis, too.
Normally I can wholeheartedly say that Uber is a safer selection for solo woman tourists, since it gives you the possibility to report a driver if anything goes erroneous. Nevertheless, looking at that Uber is unlawful, I do not know how this method would go down if you did have to report a driver.
Keep away from strolling alone at night.
I touched on this a little bit in my submit about Tortuguero Countrywide Park, but it applies any where in Costa Rica. It is not a very good thought to walk all-around by itself at evening in this article, just as it would not be in most places. I found that specially in Tortuguero, San José, and Monteverde, there are several streets that are not nicely lit at evening.
To avoid strolling alone at night time, usually have a system for how you’ll get back again to your lodging. If you are out for meal (you know I enjoy a solo meal day), consider a taxi or simply pick out a place that is just a pair minutes absent.
Make sure you have vacation insurance.
No matter whether you’re heading to Costa Rica to chill on the seaside and not much else or arranging to pack in a ton of adrenaline-pumping things to do, make sure to get journey insurance policies. Between the risk of receiving unwell, hurt, or robbed, owning journey insurance plan will have your back again in circumstance of an emergency. Especially at non-public clinics and hospitals, healthcare charges can be very significant in Costa Rica.
If you are not sure about which journey insurance policies is proper for you, examine out this review of Environment Nomads or this comparison concerning Entire world Nomads and SafetyWing.
Spend no interest to catcallers.
I have to admit that in some cases in Costa Rica the catcalling was brutal. In particular when strolling by itself as a result of San José and La Fortuna, it seemed like every couple minutes a new catcaller appeared out of nowhere. This gets under my skin, like it does for several women of all ages, but soon after several years of touring, I know improved than to give these fellas a reaction.
Sometimes holding your tongue feels definitely unfair. Like, “Why do I have to be cautious with my words and phrases when this dude is blatantly disrespecting me?” I get it. However, if somebody is daring sufficient to catcall, they may well be bold adequate to adhere to you, stalk you, or even worse. If you disregard them, it’s fewer probably that they will have a reaction to your response. It is challenging, but it’s the finest way to choose care of yourself.
Converse up if you really feel unpleasant.
Although Costa Rica continue to has machismo engrained into its tradition in a lot of approaches, I understood quickly that nearby women would have my back. I had a terrible encounter with a guideline in La Fortuna who produced inappropriate remarks to me for the duration of the tour. I wasn’t confident if I really should say nearly anything, anxious about how he may retaliate. After all, he realized in which I was being, considering that I was picked up there that early morning.
I made a decision to communicate up and went to the tour business afterward and was greeted by the manager, a female, who was horrified when I told her about the feedback. I don’t know what happened after that, but it felt good to get it off my upper body.
I’m sharing this, since I assume it is significant that we talk up when things like this come about. There’s no assurance that there will be effects for the creeps that make us not comfortable, but I however have hope that reporting them will make it more challenging for them to proceed with their BS. Soon after all, I felt like I was speaking up for all the other girls who he experienced manufactured awkward who didn’t sense protected adequate to occur forward.
Really don’t obtain into fake excursions.
In Costa Rica, there is a well-known scam wherein faux tour firms offer serious special discounts for well-liked excursions in the regions. Usually these swindlers will dangle out in bus stations or close to other popular landmarks. They’ll need a deposit to reserve the tour, acquire your details, and then never ever show up the future day to pick you up for the tour. Ripped off.
A rule of thumb for averting these bogus tour providers is earning positive to e book both by means of your hostel, a highly regarded third bash like Get Your Manual, or instantly at the company’s office. If the tour firm does not have a storefront or place of work, that is not a excellent indicator.
Never leave your factors unattended at the beach.
Burglars are pretty common on seashores in Costa Rica, even in the national parks. Do not at any time depart your factors unattended at the seashore. If you’re touring solo, this can be tough, as there likely is not any one with you that can preserve an eye on your items when you come to a decision to consider a dip in the drinking water.
To make certain your possessions are shielded, take into account bringing a bag protector, like this a single from Pacsafe. This would continue to permit an individual to slip their arms in and pull out any valuables from your bag, but they would not be able to steal the whole matter in one go. A much more secure option would be a moveable secure that you can clip on to your beach front chair or even a close by tree. Given that the thief will not be able to get into the bag or get it with out using the entire beach front chair or slicing down the tree, your stuff will be risk-free.
Be cautious about what you consume.
I likely sound like a damaged record with this 1, as I put this tip in each individual solo feminine journey basic safety information I’ve ever composed, but it’s a pretty important detail to remember. Liquor or other substances can result in us to decreased our guard and for that reason make us a lot less conscious of our environment. They also could possibly inhibit our greater judgement, producing us far more vulnerable to poor selection creating.
In some components of Costa Rica, particularly on the coasts, there is a quite large drinking and partying society. This is surely legitimate for tourist hot places. If you do drink, make absolutely sure not to lose command and usually have a strategy for how you’ll get back to your accommodations safely.
In latest years, drug trafficking has also grow to be more frequent in Costa Rica. As vacationers are amid the premier current market for traffickers, they are typically targeted to get. Other than the point that drugs are illegal and closely penalized in Costa Rica, it is extremely unsafe to partake, because you only do not know what you are receiving for sure (i.e., it could be laced or even worse). As well as, do you seriously want to get mixed up with this sort of a dirty organization? Likely not.
Secure your self versus critters.
Costa Rica’s lush jungles are whole of creatures that are mainly harmless. Other than the point that most of the spiders and snakes are not even venomous, they undoubtedly do not go out hunting people at night time and are unquestionably a lot more scared of us than we are of them. It’s clichéd, but it is real.
That explained, it would be clever to have a flashlight at the all set for late-night walks to the lavatory. Scorpions and spiders appear out at night and occasionally make their way into hotel rooms, and stepping on a person is uncomfortable, to say the least. Also make sure to carry bug spray for the mosquitos, as mosquito-borne sicknesses are however a relatively popular occurrence in Costa Rica.
Is Costa Rica Protected for Solo Female Vacationers?
The quick solution is certainly. It’s perhaps the most secure place in Central America for solo woman tourists, possibly even all of Latin The usa. Even so, like any other position in the world, it is crucial to be very careful with on your own and your points. I felt safe having community transportation in all places on my own, hiking by itself in the national parks, and venturing to pieces of the shorelines where by there have been no other individuals all-around. That mentioned, I followed all of the ideas higher than and however had a couple unusual, unpleasant encounters right here.
No subject who you are, going for walks close to by yourself as a woman places a concentrate on on your back again. It does not make a difference if you are a neighborhood or a foreigner: there are hazards related with currently being a girl, unaccompanied by a male. I dislike that the environment is this way, but it’s the real truth.
Other than the bad expertise with a tour guideline that I mentioned above, there were being a handful of other unsavory times during my vacation by way of Costa Rica that created my skin crawl. It was typically catcalling on the street, but at times I’d hear a remark in this article or there from a taxi driver, waiter, or tour guidebook that was just uncalled for. Sadly, it seemed very widespread for gentlemen to behave this way toward solo women of all ages in Costa Rica, which was unsettling for me.
I don’t want to scare any one or prevent any one from touring to Costa Rica solo. Quite the opposite! I still feel it is a great place for solo feminine tourists. Nevertheless, understanding is energy, and the more you’re prepared, the simpler it is to ignore the creeps and concentration on acquiring a excellent time (at least in my knowledge).
Continue to keep in brain that my travel recommendations and experiences are exclusively my possess. What you do to feel harmless in a new location is absolutely up to you.
Pin me for afterwards:
If you’ve traveled to Costa Rica, what other basic safety tips do you endorse?