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Is Costa Rica Secure? My Take as a Solo Feminine Traveler

If you’re considering traveling to Costa Rica on your own, you’re in for a world of natural beauty, friendly people, and adventure around every corner. From the dense jungles of the country’s interior to the idyllic beaches on both coasts, you’re in for a treat no matter where you go. Is Costa Rica safe, though? […]



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For those who’re contemplating touring to Costa Rica by yourself, you’re in for a world of pure magnificence, pleasant individuals, and journey round each nook. From the dense jungles of the nation’s inside to the idyllic seashores on each coasts, you’re in for a deal with irrespective of the place you go.

Is Costa Rica secure, although? I imply, it's in Central America, in any case, which has an advanced fame.

There are lots of opinions about what qualifies a rustic as “secure” or not, which I really feel severely underqualified to find out. Nonetheless, the sensation of security usually comes from inside, and the way nicely we put together ourselves to journey in a specific place.

That mentioned, these are my security suggestions for solo vacationers making their method via Costa Rica, with particular consideration for my fellow women who're heading there alone:

Costa Rica Security Suggestions

Depart your costly jewellery at house.

This tip goes for nearly anyplace you journey and definitely applies to Costa Rica. Sporting flashy jewellery could make you a straightforward goal for petty theft or pickpocketing. Since these are two of the most typical crimes towards vacationers right here, it’s necessary to keep away from making your self a goal.

This isn’t to say that you may’t or shouldn’t put on any jewellery in any respect whereas in Costa Rica. Simply needless to say the flashier it's, the extra consideration you could get from petty thieves, particularly in huge cities like San José.

Lock your valuables in a secure place.

I spotted rapidly that not each resort, hostel, or Airbnb in Costa Rica has a secure in your valuables. In an effort to make sure that you’ll have someplace to lock up your issues, you are able to do one among two issues. First, you'll be able to ask your potential lodging earlier than reserving if there are safes in each room. Or, you'll be able to take issues into your individual palms and journey with a conveyable secure, which is mainly only a theft-proof bag that you may connect to a hard and fast object.

I went with the latter, and introduced my portable safe from Pacsafe with me. This factor was a lifesaver. Having my pc, passport, playing cards, and further money stowed away inside it actually helped me have peace of thoughts whereas I used to be out and about throughout the day. It’s sufficiently small to suit simply into your backpack or suitcase, and might simply connect to a fixture in your resort room.

Solely convey small quantities of money with you while you exit.

Since my financial institution costs me per worldwide money withdrawal, I are inclined to withdraw massive quantities at a time. Nonetheless, I don’t carry all that money with me whereas I’m out doing issues. Depart most of your money in a secure place inside your room, solely taking with you what you assume you would possibly want.

I used to be stunned at what number of locations in Costa Rica take playing cards, so working out of money when you’re out is not any huge deal, because it’s possible you should utilize your card in a pinch. Simply be careful for steep worldwide point-of-sale (POS) charges.

Hold your baggage with you on public transportation.

On buses and boats, typically individuals will attempt to persuade you to place your baggage on high. Don’t go for it.

Sometimes at bus stations or taxi pickups, you would possibly discover individuals going round asking in the event you need assistance along with your bag. These are most probably scammers, so don't give them your belongings below any circumstance. When you trip public buses or take public boats, hold your baggage with you rather than putting them within the overhead bins. Pickpocketing right here is extraordinarily widespread, particularly on public transportation. There’s additionally a threat that your entire bag may very well be stolen in the event you depart it unattended.

If you're taking an extended bus trip to a different vacation spot in Costa Rica, you'll be able to verify your bag into the compartment under the bus. Be certain the motive force places a tag in your bag and provides you a slip of paper that corresponds to it. That's how you make sure that nothing occurs to your bag, and it’s additionally the way you’ll get it again while you get off the bus, so don’t lose the slip of paper!

Watch out with unofficial taxis.

In Costa Rica, all official taxis are pink. Even when the mannequin of the car varies, solely the pink ones are official taxis, and all of them ought to have a taxi quantity. In some locations like Uvita, official taxis are very uncommon. The unofficial taxis have all however monopolized the market there, and with out Uber, they’re the one choice.

In Uvita and another small cities in Costa Rica, the unofficial taxis aren't any huge deal. Nonetheless, don't for any motive take one among these in huge cities like San José, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and so on. If there’s the choice to take an official pink taxi, take it.

The rationale for that is that taxi scams are widespread in Costa Rica, and stepping into an unofficial taxi in some locations is simply as dangerous as hitchhiking. If one thing occurs, it’s tougher to trace these guys down and maintain them accountable. At any time when potential, take footage of the license plate of the automobile earlier than you get in, simply in case it's good to report a driver to the police.

Uber is against the law in Costa Rica.

I’m torn on how I really feel about Uber in Costa Rica. On one hand, it’s unlawful there. Drivers would possibly ask you to take a seat within the entrance seat with them with a view to deter suspicions that they’re driving for Uber, which could be uncomfortable as a rider.

Nonetheless, at the very least in San José, Uber was a extra dependable choice and even felt safer for me. It was cheaper than taxis, too.

Normally I can wholeheartedly say that Uber is a safer choice for solo feminine vacationers, as a result of it provides you the chance to report a driver if one thing goes unsuitable. Nonetheless, contemplating that Uber is against the law, I don’t understand how this course of would go down in the event you did must report a driver.

Keep away from strolling alone at evening.

I touched on this a bit in my submit about Tortuguero National Park, however it applies anyplace in Costa Rica. It isn't a good suggestion to stroll round alone at evening right here, simply because it wouldn’t be in most locations. I observed that particularly in Tortuguero, San José, and Monteverde, there are various streets that aren't nicely lit at evening.

To keep away from strolling alone at evening, all the time have a plan for the way you’ll get again to your lodging. For those who’re out for dinner (you realize I really like a solo dinner date), take a taxi or just select a spot that's only a couple minutes away.

Be sure you have journey insurance coverage.

Whether or not you’re heading to Costa Rica to relax on the seaside and never a lot else or planning to pack in a ton of adrenaline-pumping actions, make certain to get journey insurance coverage. Between the opportunity of getting sick, injured, or robbed, having journey insurance coverage could have your again in case of an emergency. Particularly at personal clinics and hospitals, medical prices could be fairly excessive in Costa Rica.

For those who’re not sure about which journey insurance coverage is best for you, take a look at this review of World Nomads or this comparison between World Nomads and SafetyWing.

Pay no consideration to catcallers.

I've to confess that typically in Costa Rica the catcalling was brutal. Particularly when strolling alone via San José and La Fortuna, it appeared like each couple of minutes a brand new catcaller appeared out of nowhere. This will get below my pores and skin, prefer it does for a lot of ladies, however after years of touring, I do know higher than to offer these guys a response.

Generally holding your tongue feels actually unfair. Like, “Why do I've to watch out with my phrases when this dude is blatantly disrespecting me?” I get it. Nonetheless, if any individual is daring sufficient to catcall, they may be daring sufficient to observe you, stalk you, or worse. For those who ignore them, it’s much less possible that they'll have a response to your response. It’s onerous, however it’s one of the best ways to maintain your self.

Converse up in the event you really feel uncomfortable.

Though Costa Rica nonetheless has machismo engrained into its tradition in some ways, I spotted rapidly that native ladies would have my again. I had a nasty expertise with a information in La Fortuna who made inappropriate remarks to me throughout the tour. I wasn’t certain if I ought to say something, anxious about how he would possibly retaliate. In spite of everything, he knew the place I used to be staying, since I used to be picked up there that morning.

I made a decision to talk up and went to the tour workplace afterward and was greeted by the supervisor, a girl, who was horrified after I informed her concerning the feedback. I don’t know what occurred after that, however it felt good to get it off my chest.

I’m sharing this, as a result of I feel it’s necessary that we communicate up when issues like this occur. There’s no assure that there will likely be penalties for the creeps that make us uncomfortable, however I nonetheless have hope that reporting them will make it tougher for them to proceed with their BS. In spite of everything, I felt like I used to be talking up for all the opposite ladies who he had made uncomfortable who didn’t really feel secure sufficient to come back ahead.

Don’t purchase into faux excursions.

In Costa Rica, there's a in style rip-off whereby faux tour firms provide excessive reductions for in style excursions within the areas. Normally these swindlers will hand around in bus stations or round different in style landmarks. They’ll require a deposit to order the tour, take your data, after which by no means present up the subsequent day to select you up for the tour. Scammed.

A rule of thumb for avoiding these faux tour firms is ensuring to guide both via your hostel, a good third social gathering like Get Your Information, or immediately on the firm’s workplace. If the tour firm doesn’t have a storefront or workplace, that’s not a great signal.

By no means depart your issues unattended on the seaside.

Thieves are quite common on seashores in Costa Rica, even within the nationwide parks. Don't ever depart your issues unattended on the seaside. For those who’re touring solo, this may be difficult, as there in all probability isn’t anyone with you that may regulate your issues while you determine to take a dip within the water.

To ensure your possessions are protected, contemplate bringing a bag protector, like this one from Pacsafe. This could nonetheless permit somebody to slide their palms in and pull out any valuables out of your bag, however they wouldn’t be capable to steal the entire thing in a single go. A safer choice could be a portable safe that you may clip onto your seaside chair or perhaps a close by tree. Because the thief gained’t be capable to get into the bag or take it with out taking the entire seaside chair or slicing down the tree, your stuff will likely be secure.

Watch out about what you eat.

I in all probability sound like a damaged report with this one, as I put this tip in each solo feminine journey security information I’ve ever written, however it’s an important factor to recollect. Alcohol or different substances may cause us to decrease our guard and due to this fact make us much less conscious of our environment. In addition they would possibly inhibit our higher judgement, making us extra vulnerable to poor choice making.

In some components of Costa Rica, particularly on the coasts, there’s a reasonably heavy ingesting and partying tradition. That is undoubtedly true for vacationer scorching spots. For those who do drink, make certain to not lose management and all the time have a plan for the way you’ll get again to your lodging safely.

In recent times, drug trafficking has additionally turn into extra widespread in Costa Rica. As vacationers are among the many largest marketplace for traffickers, they're usually focused to purchase. Moreover the truth that medicine are unlawful and closely penalized in Costa Rica, it’s very harmful to partake, since you merely have no idea what you’re getting for certain (i.e., it may very well be laced or worse). Plus, do you actually wish to get combined up with such a unclean enterprise? In all probability not.

Defend your self towards critters.

Costa Rica’s lush jungles are filled with creatures which can be principally innocent. Moreover the truth that many of the spiders and snakes are usually not even venomous, they actually don’t exit searching individuals at evening and are undoubtedly extra afraid of us than we're of them. It’s clichéd, however it’s true.

That mentioned, it might be sensible to have a flashlight on the prepared for late-night walks to the toilet. Scorpions and spiders come out at evening and typically make their method into resort rooms, and stepping on one is disagreeable, to say the least. Additionally make certain to convey bug spray for the mosquitos, as mosquito-borne diseases are nonetheless a reasonably widespread incidence in Costa Rica.

Is Costa Rica Secure for Solo Feminine Vacationers?

The quick reply is sure. It’s maybe the most secure nation in Central America for solo feminine vacationers, possibly even all of Latin America. Nonetheless, like another place on this planet, it’s necessary to watch out with your self and your issues. I felt secure taking public transportation in all places by myself, climbing alone within the nationwide parks, and venturing to components of the seashores the place there have been no different individuals round. That mentioned, I adopted all the suggestions above and nonetheless had a pair bizarre, disagreeable encounters right here.

Irrespective of who you might be, strolling round alone as a girl places a goal in your again. It doesn’t matter in the event you’re a neighborhood or a foreigner: there are dangers related to being a girl, unaccompanied by a person. I hate that the world is this manner, however it’s the reality.

My expertise

Moreover the unhealthy expertise with a tour information that I discussed above, there have been a handful of different unsavory moments all through my journey via Costa Rica that made my pores and skin crawl. It was principally catcalling on the road, however sometimes I’d hear a remark right here or there from a taxi driver, waiter, or tour information that was simply uncalled for. Sadly, it appeared quite common for males to behave this manner towards solo ladies in Costa Rica, which was unsettling for me.

I don’t wish to scare anybody or deter anyone from touring to Costa Rica solo. Fairly the opposite! I nonetheless assume it’s a implausible place for solo feminine vacationers. Nonetheless, information is energy, and the extra you’re ready, the better it's to disregard the creeps and deal with having a great time (at the very least in my expertise).

Remember that my journey suggestions and experiences are solely my very own. What you do to really feel secure in a brand new place is completely as much as you.

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For those who’ve traveled to Costa Rica, what different security suggestions do you suggest?

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!