Health and Safety in Costa Rica
Costa Rica safety is easy to come by here in this stable and functioning democracy with the most cosmopolitan capitol in Central America, which is a relatively safe place to visit. Making a few common preparations and reading the following Costa Rica safety tips will increase your chances of having a safe and stress free vacation.
Costa Rica safety tips are similar to precautions you would want to take in any foreign country. Travel warnings for Costa Rica and other countries can be found on your government"s website. Out of all the places you can visit in Central America, its easy to ensure your Costa Rica safety. Traveling here, you will want to carry photocopies of your Costa Rica airline ticket, your passport, and have enough cash in case of an emergency. Keep one of these documents on your person and another copy in your hotel"s safety deposit boxes in case your luggage goes missing, which can happen if you are not careful.
Luggage can be taken while you are looking in the other direction or at luggage storage facilities. Make sure the person you give your bag to at the airport is a porter, who is supposed to carry an official ID. For additional peace of mind, put locks on your luggage.
In public one has to be aware as well. Purse slashers and pickpockets prefer crowded places like buses, stores, and they work often on busy sidewalks. When you are out at the outdoor market, for example, walk on the street side of the vendors and not the congested area of the sidewalks behind the stalls. Theft and pick pocketing make up most of the crime in Costa Rica, so if you are aware and follow these above Costa Rica safety tips you can get through your visit unscathed.
If for some reason someone what seems like accidentally spills food on you, make sure you keep their distance; they will try to help you but are really more interested in cleaning out your pockets. Northwest of the central market is the seedy red light district, which you will probably want to avoid. Walking around the Parque Nacional late at night is also not advisable.
If you are renting a car, avoid leaving your car in a conspicuous place such as a main street, or in front of your hotel. Use the parking lots whenever possible, since many of them are watched over by guards. Even at the many national parks can be subject to break in, thieves will wait for the rangers pass outside viewing range and will strike when and where they can.
Even if you think you have a good grip on your daypack, it is recommended that you wear a money belt and avoid wearing much jewelry or expensive watches to add to your Costa Rica safety. Bring only a minimal amount of cash when you go out, and do not take them all out at once when making purchases and when you are at an outside café paying for your meal.
Use your common sense and do not trust anyone who approaches you on the street and wants to be your tour guide. Women have to be especially careful, don"t let yourself be distracted, or separated from your tour group. Travel warnings for Costa Rica are the same as they would be for most relatively safe tourist areas, so be vigilant and enjoy your Costa Rica Safety. Travel here is well worth the extra preparations.
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