Safe Travel in Costa Rica Print e-mail this info

Costa Rica is the safest country in Central America. Wealth is distributed more evenly than in North American or European countries. Simple living is common, but education, health and welfare systems are very good and freely available, making abject poverty rare, reducing crime.

Costa Rica does not have a military, and has not suffered the history of civil wars and violence so common among its neighbors.  Combined with the above observation that Ticos rarely live in severe poverty it's not surprising that political battles are fought in the media rather than by subversives and "terrorists" in the streets.


Drugs are not produced in quantity in Costa Rica, and it is not a convenient pipeline from South to North America or Europe.  However, in mid 2007 as other routes became more difficult a couple of small fast boats were intercepted off the Pacific Coast. As it is elsewhere in the world crack use is a growing problem especially in the cities.

The Internet and modern mass media have created a society where we are aware of every little event, especially the negative ones. This isn't to say there aren't dangers, just that they are sometimes overstated, and it isn't to say you shouldn't take precautions, just don't be paralyzed by fear. The dangers of travel anywhere can be minimized by simple common sense, awareness and precautions.

The dramatic things (see crime & disasters) that many people worry about the most before they visit Costa Rica are fortunately the ones that cause the least real problems. Some of the more mundane but common safety risks and precautions are described below.

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Sunburn and Heat Exhaustion
Diving and Car Wrecks
Riptides and Currents
Creepy Crawlies
Snake and Other Bites
Getting Lost
Flash Flooding

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