Costa Rica Warnings and Dangers

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by FrequentCRtraveler
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by blueskyjohn
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by blueskyjohn

Costa Rica Warnings and Dangers

  • Robbery

    San José Warnings and Dangers

    Do not go out alone at night ! My husband decided to Go out alone for a drink in the town of Puerto Viejo. He met some people who he stupidly started talking to. He ended up at the Lazy Mon. He had one drink with these people and that's pretty much all he remembers. He woke up Robbed Beaten and in someones house in a shanty town. They took the car...

  • Flashing Headlights as you are Driving

    In the United States, if someone is driving behind you and flashes their headlights, that means you are driving too slow for that lane. You need to move over and let the person behind you pass. This is not a written law but a common known practice.In Costa Rica, when someone flashes their headlights at you whether it be on coming or behind you,...

  • Mosquito Bites, Hepatitis A/B, Typhoid

    This posting is meant to be informative, not meant to scare you from visiting the country.I have been reading up on the dangers of mosquito bites that may lead to Dengue Fever or Malaria. I have gathered the best way to prevent mosquito bites is using bug repellant with DEET or Picaridin. Also, most mosquitoes tend to feed during daylight hours.The...

  • There is a fee

    Please, definitely enjoy your time in Costa Rica, but know that upon leaving the country, you'll have to pay an exit fee. When we left it was $29/USD per person.

  • Car rentals

    jp2 - The issue with my co-worker was compounded by the fact when we rented the cars you have to give you license and passport so they can make a photo copy. Well they forgot to give it back to him and he forgot to ask for it! So, stopped for speeding with no license and no passport. Sounds like a mandatory trip to the local police station. Nope!...

  • Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary: WARNING!!

    WARNING: DO NOT GO HERE!! My friend and I spent 3 months in Costa Rica volunteering with various animal organisations. Back in the UK we are qualified animal behaviourists and Zoologists so suffice to say we know a thing or two about correct animal welfare. We were disgusted by Rainsong. The 'sanctuary' is merely Mary's garden crammed with tiny...

  • Coca Cola Station

    San Jose We were more than warn about the danger of this bus stop. And dreading it. But it's an outdoor kind, with bus parking on each side of boarding sidewalk under a roof. Although we never let any of our belongings out of our side and were careful not to do anything stupid, we never felt in danger of anykind.The man that got closer to me was...

  • Hepititis A/B and Typhoid Vaccinations

    These are the reccomended vaccinations from the Ontario Government to travel to Costa Rica.Hepititis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause permanent liver damage. It is contracted through contaminated drinking water, ice cubes or other food related items. Commonly found in the Caribbean and Central America, it is always a possiblity....

  • Theft Warning!

    This is not a subject the travel agents or tour operators like to discuss, but I feel it is necessary. If you are traveling to a country where there is poverty, there is theft. This is not limited to any particular country, it can happen anywhere. Travelers who are informed and aware can make wiser choices. I live on the Caribbean side of Costa...

  • Driving

    During my Trip (July 2009) Some of Costa Rica's Roads were still heavily damaged from the earthquake and so I reccommend you call someone at your destination and make sure you get good directions or at least talk to someone that has come and gone to your next point in your trip. You don't want to head out and find out two hours into your trip that...

  • Road Travel

    Be very careful on the roads. They arent very well made up in some places and the drivers all seem to have a death wish. They disregard road warning not to over take Some of the lorries we observed had VERY bald tyres no chance of stopping

  • Security is a serious Thing

    Make sure you watch out where you are going, and when. They have only 8,000 police for 4.3 million people, the worst in the globe ratio wise. Everything is on good faith, However, the poverty economy and lower end lifestyle leaves people to rob and plunder. Per capita income is $13,000. It is said that if you leave your house over one day, it may...

  • Earthquakes, floods, volcanoes.

    Just one month before our trip, there was a 6.1 earthquake about mid country north of San Jose. It killed 40 people. The supposed after effect was down in Limon, coral reefs upheaveled a bit, and all trash service stopped. But then it seemed like maybe some of this damage was form 2004, or even maybe before that. The railroad, even though not too...

  • Vehicle Repair-Look Out

    It may not be Easy to get help. From what I noted, there are not any service stations that you as a "foreigner" would trust to get work done, properly and swiftly. It looks like the process is slow, and the quality probably less than desired. Be careful if you drive the roads. There is not AA around out here.

  • Trash Lays Around-Abandoned Buildings

    Due to the earthquake from over four years ago, the tour guide said the trash trucks could not pick up rubbish. The people threw it alongside the roads. It is not yet picked up, if ever. Then the railroad also broke down with separated tracks. Cleanliness is not a forte here, but should they be conscious?

  • Oil Lines Are Fragile

    They go from one side of the country to the other. As a result of the earthquake in 2007, the lines were broken, and service to San Jose ceased for a while. It is fragile in that there is only one line going through the terrain; up and downhills and over waters.

  • Irazu Volcano - foggy weather

    We did not have a chance to see the Irazu Volcano due to thick fog and heavy rain. The park was open, but they were turning back all the cars because of the bad weather. On the way to the volcano the weather was changing from sunny to rainy and foggy, but we were hoping that once we get there there would be a break in the clouds that would allow us...

  • They don't call it the Rainforest for...

    Costa Rica has dry and rainy seasons, however the dry season is a relative term in a rainforest. Bring your dependable rain gear and expect to get wet anytime of the year.

  • Traffic light outage dangers in Costa...

    During my stays in Costa Rica over several months of time there were routine blackouts throughout the country. On television following these they showed incidents of cars crashing into one another as the drivers evidently do not treat an unlit traffic intersection as a four-way stop. They assume that no light signal gives them the right of way...

  • Costa Rica fake vendors

    On Conchal and other places, be very careful of vendors. They don't work for the resort ( but wait outside to take advantage of tourists. They will use phrases like 'welcome to my country' and show you things like: 'here is the beach, here is the ocean,' and expect a commission from everything you do on your...

  • If you pay with American dollars...

    We took American dollars with us when we left for Costa Rica and we exchange $50 in colones, therefore there were several places where we ate or bought stuff and we paid in American dollars. I was unpleasantly surprised to see that the exchange rate varied from store to store and from restaurant to restaurant. There was one particular restaurant in...

  • Challenging roads (part 2)

    I am sure you read about the poor road signs in Costa Rica, but I really think that you have to experience it before really understanding this statement. Of course you will see good road signs while you are close to San Jose, but the further you go from the city, the worse the signs get. You can easily get lost on the roads. We got lost few times...

  • Challenging roads (part 1)

    In Costa Rica there are good roads, bad roads and very bad roads. I like to think that we drove on all of them and that there are no worse roads than some of the ones we drove on. If you have a car and you are the driver, make sure you feel comfortable driving a stick car on narrow roads, with lots of sharp turns. Do not attempt to pass the vehicle...

  • Do not feed the animals

    When you are vacationing in Costa Rica, you will most likely come close to some of the animals in the area you are visiting. You will see signs like this one in the picture in a lot of places. Try to stop the temptation to feed the animals. The latest reports issued show a lot of death in the animals due to heart failure triggered by human food. So...

  • Not safe

    I live in San Jose costa rica. It no longer is safe here for tourist or locales.Robberies and assaults are common place day or night.Anarchy reigns, security has decreased AT an incredible rate. You can NEVER leave your house alone any where in this country.People are robbed in their hotel rooms.Maybe 15% of the victims file police reports because...

  • Are There Snakes in Costa Rica?

    Yes there are, but sightings are pretty rare.We went to the serpentarium at 1st Ave., 9 & 11 Streets in San Jose so we would know what the snakes looked like, but other than that, we saw no snakes. We did see big iguanas and Jesus Christ lizards and poison arrow frogs and lots of birds, and monkeys and a couple of sloths and a coati mundi. And...

  • Mom or Dad worried?

    Are you a parent with a child going to Costa Rica and perhaps even further into Central America? Or are you a young person with a worried parent?I could tell you stories, but what good would it do you? A parent will worry. Why make it worst? Rather, let me try to help by making two suggestions: 1) I suggest that the young traveler read the US...

  • Very friendly country but Thieves...

    Many con artists look for innocent tourists/ Such as the old lady who gets on the public bus and drops her bag. Behind her is her accomplis(s) waiting to pick something off your person.Beware of someone who spills something on you and tries to clean you off- but cleans your pocket out too!

  • Don't Get Too Comfortable

    While in Nosara last year, we rented a house with a backyard that bordered what we thought was dense jungle. After a few nights of taking surfboards and bicycles in, (and a full two weeks of leaving everything in our front yard the year before without a problem) we figured it would be ok to leave them in the backyard. In the morning they were gone....

  • Credit Card Phone Calls

    Don't fall for the same thing we did. We used the access code in the hotel room and a credit card to make a call. My girlfriend made two 10-minute phone calls to the US with her credit card and was charged $100 each. I have heard that these phones are all over the world. If you see these at your hotel or at the airport and you have a minute, leave...

  • excessive dampness, mold allergy

    Costa Rica has beautiful rainforrests, and naturally it rains a lot. So if you have certain allergy to mildew and mold, it is best to choose an accomodation that has good air circulation. Check to see if the windows can be open, are netted. Avoid places near rivers, streams, ditch, etc. The hostel rooms in low valley area can have unpleasant mildew...

  • beware of that cup of joe

    If you're like me and love to have your occassional cup of joe in the morning. Beware!! I was so quick to accept a cup of coffee from one of the locals in Monteverde unbeknownest to me to be careful with the drinking water in Costa Rica. I enjoyed that cup of joe for the first 30 minutes and then became very ill the rest of the day. Although Costa...

  • strong Caribbean currents

    be very careful before entering the water as rip tides can be very strong. If you see red flags on certain areas of the beach you cannot enter there, only enter where green flags are in the sand. Keep in mind that there are few to no lifeguards on any of the beaches (on the Caribbean side at least).

  • stray dogs!

    Stray dogs are everywhere in Costa Rica and tend to travel in packs. Most times they don't bother you too much but can make you nervous when they show up and you're all alone on a desolate road.

  • City buses and taxis

    I myself didn't fall prey to the city bus, but I heard of a lot of other people getting stuff stolen on the bus, or getting robbed by a driver with a weapon in a taxi. Just be alert and only take taxis that are authorized to drive.

  • PUNTA UVA-Thieves using SPOTTERS on the...

    THEFT of vehicle contents. There are a group of bandits using SPOTTERS in this location.They are targeting the contents of vehicles. Luggage, laptops, cameras, etc... After our encounter I found out this has been going on for awhile and still continues. We actually had a Tico Guide with a plain white, unmarked van with Costa Rica tags. We parked...

  • Keep your carry on bags on your laps.

    When we were riding on a bus from La Fortuna to San Jose my wife and I made the mistake of putting one carry on bag in the compartment above the seats. When we got to our destination the one bag was gone. Fortunately there wasn't anything valuable in the bag but a couple of cheap souvenirs....

  • Costa Rica.. Road conditions

    If you are planning to explore CR in a rental on your own opt for a 4x4. Some of the roads arent paved/finished/safe/present :). And unless you know your way, i would travel during the day.

  • Land fraud

    If you fall in love with Costa Rica and start to consider buying land consider two facts. 1) Many Costa Ricans are getting very rich buying land, subdividing it and then selling it to foreigners so if you pay too much you many never recoup your investment. and 2) In only 10 days of my visit I read two news articles about land fraud involving...

  • Try not to look TOO tourist

    Costa Rica has become more dangerous over the years and more and more people are being mugged everywhere, specially if you look like a tourist... so try to blend in! There is a way around this though. We know you come here to visit and sight seeing and that sometime you might be a little bit lost, but while you're getting to know your place, just...

  • Scorpions

    As previously mentioned, we had a few run-ins with scorpions in CR. I don't think they are too dangerous for healthy adults (we spoke with someone who had been bitten 3 or 4 times and I guess you just swell up for a while) but it can be quite dangerous for children or the infirm. It is helpful to know that they like dark, cool places like the...

  • Careful with Taxis and Baggage help

    When my friends and I flew into San Jose at the main airport there everything was pretty much a breeze, we ordered a taxi there, had a look around and got through baggage and everything fairly easily. When we got outside there were cars (that appeared to be taxis and busses) all over the place, which you normally wouldn't think much of at an...

  • Highway Robbery

    We recently spent time in Costa Rica, a "safe and peaceful country" we read. We rented a 4WD at the airport in San Jose to get to our small hotel near Dominical and we planned to travel around a bit. We drove through San Jose heading SE onto the main highway. Just past San Pedro we had a flat tire and pulled off onto the roadside.....BIG MISTAKE. A...

  • Funny cops

    A lot of people drive through Costa Rica with a four wheel drive car. Unfortunately, Costa Rican traffic cops are all too aware of that and make a habit (so we were told by a compatriot who lives in Costa Rica quite some time) of fining tourists and keeping the money for themselves. We got a fine for speeding, which was very doubtful (discussing...

  • cheap person

    I read that one turist tolk a non ofical taxi cap and he or she was afried of getting asaltt or somthing my tip is DON'T BE CHEAP and take the taxis that have the licence just like you would do in the country that you from.By taking the official taxi not only secutting your form getting mott but also not sooportting the iligal taxi drivers.


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Costa Rica Warnings and Dangers

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