Is Costa Rica Safe? My Take as a Solo Female Traveler

If you’re thinking of traveling to Costa Rica on your possess, you are in for a world of all-natural elegance, helpful persons, and experience close to every single corner. From the dense jungles of the country’s inside to the idyllic shorelines on both of those coasts, you’re in for a address no make any difference where by you go.

Is Costa Rica harmless, even though? I imply, it is in Central America, after all, which has a complicated track record.

There are a lot of viewpoints about what qualifies a country as “safe” or not, which I sense seriously underqualified to decide. Even so, the feeling of safety frequently will come from within, and how perfectly we prepare ourselves to vacation in a individual area.

That reported, these are my protection ideas for solo travelers building their way by way of Costa Rica, with unique thought for my fellow women who are heading there by itself:

Costa Rica Safety Strategies

Go away your high priced jewellery at property.

This suggestion goes for just about anywhere you journey and surely applies to Costa Rica. Wearing flashy jewellery can make you an easy goal for petty theft or pickpocketing. Because these are two of the most common crimes in opposition to holidaymakers below, it is vital to stay clear of making on your own a focus on.

This is not to say that you just can’t or shouldn’t don any jewelry at all when in Costa Rica. Just preserve in mind that the flashier it is, the additional notice you may perhaps get from petty burglars, primarily in huge towns like San José.

Lock your valuables in a safe position.

I understood immediately that not each resort, hostel, or Airbnb in Costa Rica has a safe for your valuables. In order to make sure that you are going to have somewhere to lock up your items, you can do a person of two factors. Very first, you can ask your possible lodging just before reserving if there are safes in every area. Or, you can take issues into your own palms and journey with a transportable protected, which is essentially just a theft-evidence bag that you can attach to a fastened object.

I went with the latter, and brought my portable harmless from Pacsafe with me. This issue was a lifesaver. Owning my computer, passport, cards, and further funds stowed away inside of it really aided me have peace of brain although I was out and about throughout the working day. It’s modest more than enough to healthy easily into your backpack or suitcase, and can conveniently connect to a fixture in your hotel place.

Only bring tiny quantities of money with you when you go out.

Since my lender prices me per worldwide cash withdrawal, I are inclined to withdraw substantial quantities at a time. On the other hand, I really don’t have all that income with me although I’m out performing factors. Leave most of your income in a safe position within your home, only taking with you what you assume you may well need.

I was amazed at how many places in Costa Rica get cards, so jogging out of funds although you’re out is no massive deal, as it is most likely you can use your card in a pinch. Just enjoy out for steep global place-of-sale (POS) fees.

Maintain your baggage with you on public transportation.

On buses and boats, in some cases people will try out to influence you to put your baggage on top. Really do not go for it.

At times at bus stations or taxi pickups, you could see men and women going all-around inquiring if you have to have assist with your bag. These are most likely scammers, so do not give them your belongings below any circumstance. When you trip general public buses or consider community boats, preserve your luggage with you as a substitute of positioning them in the overhead bins. Pickpocketing right here is extremely frequent, specially on general public transportation. There is also a possibility that your whole bag could be stolen if you go away it unattended.

If you are using a lengthier bus trip to one more vacation spot in Costa Rica, you can examine your bag into the compartment beneath the bus. Make confident the driver places a tag on your bag and provides you a slip of paper that corresponds to it. That is how you be certain that absolutely nothing comes about to your bag, and it is also how you will get it again when you get off the bus, so really do not drop the slip of paper!

Be cautious with unofficial taxis.

In Costa Rica, all official taxis are pink. Even if the product of the motor vehicle varies, only the pink types are official taxis, and all of them ought to have a taxi selection. In some locations like Uvita, formal taxis are very exceptional. The unofficial taxis have all but monopolized the sector there, and without the need of Uber, they are the only possibility.

In Uvita and some other tiny towns in Costa Rica, the unofficial taxis are no significant offer. Nonetheless, do not for any explanation get a person of these in massive towns like San José, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and many others. If there is the option to get an formal red taxi, get it.

The explanation for this is that taxi frauds are widespread in Costa Rica, and getting into an unofficial taxi in some places is just as risky as hitchhiking. If anything occurs, it’s more durable to track these men down and maintain them accountable. Each time achievable, just take photos of the license plate of the car before you get in, just in scenario you need to have to report a driver to the law enforcement.

Uber is unlawful in Costa Rica.

I’m torn on how I come to feel about Uber in Costa Rica. On one hand, it’s unlawful there. Drivers may possibly ask you to sit in the front seat with them in purchase to discourage suspicions that they’re driving for Uber, which can be not comfortable as a rider.

Having said that, at least in San José, Uber was a much more reliable alternative and even felt safer for me. It was more affordable than taxis, way too.

Generally I can wholeheartedly say that Uber is a safer choice for solo feminine vacationers, since it gives you the possibility to report a driver if something goes completely wrong. Nevertheless, contemplating that Uber is illegal, I do not know how this approach would go down if you did have to report a driver.

Stay away from strolling alone at night.

I touched on this a little bit in my write-up about Tortuguero Countrywide Park, but it applies any where in Costa Rica. It is not a excellent thought to stroll around alone at night time in this article, just as it would not be in most locations. I noticed that especially in Tortuguero, San José, and Monteverde, there are quite a few streets that are not properly lit at evening.

To prevent going for walks alone at night time, constantly have a system for how you will get again to your accommodations. If you’re out for supper (you know I like a solo supper date), just take a taxi or only decide on a location that is just a couple minutes away.

Make positive you have vacation insurance plan.

Whether or not you’re heading to Costa Rica to chill on the beach front and not a lot else or arranging to pack in a ton of adrenaline-pumping activities, make sure to get vacation insurance policies. Amongst the chance of obtaining unwell, wounded, or robbed, having journey insurance policies will have your again in case of an unexpected emergency. Particularly at private clinics and hospitals, health care costs can be pretty significant in Costa Rica.

If you’re doubtful about which journey insurance plan is suitable for you, look at out this overview of Planet Nomads or this comparison amongst World Nomads and SafetyWing.

Pay back no interest to catcallers.

I have to admit that often in Costa Rica the catcalling was brutal. In particular when strolling alone by San José and La Fortuna, it seemed like each number of minutes a new catcaller appeared out of nowhere. This receives beneath my skin, like it does for lots of girls, but just after many years of traveling, I know improved than to give these fellas a response.

Occasionally holding your tongue feels truly unfair. Like, “Why do I have to be careful with my text when this dude is blatantly disrespecting me?” I get it. However, if someone is bold sufficient to catcall, they may be daring enough to adhere to you, stalk you, or worse. If you disregard them, it is fewer likely that they will have a response to your reaction. It’s challenging, but it’s the finest way to get care of you.

Speak up if you experience not comfortable.

While Costa Rica still has machismo engrained into its society in lots of approaches, I understood quickly that neighborhood ladies would have my back again. I had a poor practical experience with a tutorial in La Fortuna who created inappropriate remarks to me throughout the tour. I wasn’t sure if I really should say just about anything, fearful about how he may well retaliate. Soon after all, he understood the place I was keeping, because I was picked up there that early morning.

I resolved to communicate up and went to the tour office environment afterward and was greeted by the supervisor, a girl, who was horrified when I told her about the feedback. I never know what took place after that, but it felt great to get it off my upper body.

I’m sharing this, since I assume it’s critical that we communicate up when factors like this happen. There’s no assure that there will be repercussions for the creeps that make us uncomfortable, but I nonetheless have hope that reporting them will make it tougher for them to continue on with their BS. Immediately after all, I felt like I was talking up for all the other females who he experienced manufactured unpleasant who didn’t experience protected adequate to occur ahead.

Never buy into phony excursions.

In Costa Rica, there is a well-liked fraud wherein phony tour providers provide serious bargains for popular excursions in the spots. Typically these swindlers will hold out in bus stations or all over other popular landmarks. They’ll need a deposit to reserve the tour, just take your facts, and then never show up the up coming working day to choose you up for the tour. Ripped off.

A rule of thumb for staying away from these pretend tour companies is building absolutely sure to e book either as a result of your hostel, a reputable third occasion like Get Your Guidebook, or right at the company’s business office. If the tour business does not have a storefront or place of work, which is not a good sign.

Under no circumstances go away your matters unattended at the seashore.

Burglars are pretty prevalent on beach locations in Costa Rica, even in the national parks. Do not ever go away your factors unattended at the seashore. If you are touring solo, this can be tough, as there most likely is not any one with you that can keep an eye on your points when you make a decision to consider a dip in the h2o.

To make guaranteed your belongings are secured, think about bringing a bag protector, like this 1 from Pacsafe. This would still allow someone to slip their fingers in and pull out any valuables from your bag, but they wouldn’t be equipped to steal the full issue in one go. A much more protected option would be a transportable safe and sound that you can clip on to your seaside chair or even a nearby tree. Since the thief will not be able to get into the bag or choose it without having taking the total beach chair or chopping down the tree, your things will be safe and sound.

Be careful about what you eat.

I likely sound like a broken history with this a person, as I place this tip in every solo woman travel security information I have ever created, but it’s a pretty essential matter to try to remember. Alcoholic beverages or other substances can result in us to lessen our guard and hence make us less informed of our environment. They also could possibly inhibit our better judgement, generating us extra inclined to inadequate determination making.

In some components of Costa Rica, specifically on the coasts, there is a pretty large drinking and partying society. This is unquestionably true for tourist hot places. If you do drink, make certain not to eliminate management and always have a prepare for how you’ll get back to your lodging safely and securely.

In latest decades, drug trafficking has also come to be a lot more popular in Costa Rica. As holidaymakers are amid the most significant sector for traffickers, they are frequently qualified to buy. Besides the point that medicines are illegal and seriously penalized in Costa Rica, it’s pretty harmful to partake, due to the fact you just do not know what you are receiving for guaranteed (i.e., it could be laced or worse). Moreover, do you definitely want to get combined up with this sort of a soiled enterprise? Likely not.

Shield on your own in opposition to critters.

Costa Rica’s lush jungles are complete of creatures that are typically harmless. Aside from the simple fact that most of the spiders and snakes are not even venomous, they undoubtedly really do not go out searching persons at night and are undoubtedly far more concerned of us than we are of them. It is clichéd, but it is accurate.

That claimed, it would be clever to have a flashlight at the completely ready for late-night walks to the rest room. Scorpions and spiders arrive out at night time and in some cases make their way into hotel rooms, and stepping on a person is disagreeable, to say the least. Also make certain to bring bug spray for the mosquitos, as mosquito-borne health problems are nevertheless a rather typical prevalence in Costa Rica.

Is Costa Rica Safe for Solo Female Vacationers?

The brief reply is of course. It’s perhaps the safest state in Central The usa for solo feminine travelers, possibly even all of Latin The usa. Nonetheless, like any other put in the world, it is important to be watchful with by yourself and your things. I felt harmless taking general public transportation almost everywhere on my possess, climbing by yourself in the national parks, and venturing to components of the shorelines wherever there had been no other men and women all over. That stated, I followed all of the guidelines over and nevertheless had a pair unusual, unpleasant encounters right here.

No matter who you are, walking all around by yourself as a female places a target on your back again. It doesn’t subject if you are a regional or a foreigner: there are risks linked with currently being a female, unaccompanied by a person. I detest that the environment is this way, but it’s the real truth.

My working experience

In addition to the terrible experience with a tour guide that I described above, there had been a handful of other unsavory times during my trip by Costa Rica that built my skin crawl. It was mainly catcalling on the road, but from time to time I’d hear a remark below or there from a taxi driver, waiter, or tour guidebook that was just uncalled for. Unfortunately, it seemed really typical for adult males to behave this way toward solo women of all ages in Costa Rica, which was unsettling for me.

I really do not want to scare any person or deter any person from touring to Costa Rica solo. Rather the opposite! I still believe it is a fantastic put for solo feminine tourists. Even so, expertise is electrical power, and the far more you’re ready, the simpler it is to overlook the creeps and focus on possessing a great time (at the very least in my practical experience).

Hold in brain that my vacation ideas and encounters are exclusively my personal. What you do to sense safe and sound in a new position is completely up to you.

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If you’ve traveled to Costa Rica, what other safety suggestions do you recommend?

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