Traveling in Costa Rica: Crime and Safety


Yes, we have lots of “petty” theft — things stolen from parked cars, things stolen by pickpockets in markets. That’s the bad news. The good news, however, is we have very little violent crime in Costa Rica (except related to drug trafficking, but even this is still less frequent, and less violent, than in Detroit or Dallas or San Francisco, so please get it into perspective). When you hear about crime in Costa Rica in America’s press, stop for a minute to remember that the rarity of the act is exactly what makes it newsworthy to the American public. Another piece of good news: Costa Rica really doesn’t suffer from the vandalism we see in American cities — no profane graffiti, no smashed out windows of abandoned buildings, no spray-painted monuments.


How safe are you in your car, or hotel, or bar or restaurant? Using the same standards for selecting where you’d drive, eat, drink, or sleep in Costa Rica as at home will assure the same level of safety you’d have in the USA, if not better. Without our expertise, there’s a higher chance of you making errors about hotel selection, etc. because you aren’t familiar with the “territory” (some really beautiful web site hotels are, in fact, in the middle of high crime or red light districts where “getting rolled” is pretty common…) but since we live here, we really know which areas to avoid. Serendipity Adventures chooses hotels and activities in areas with low population density, which tends to avoid the areas where you are more likely to encounter violent crime.