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Unlock the secrets of Costa Rica: is it safe to travel there?

Find out if Costa Rica is safe and learn about safety tips, female solo travel, adventure tourism, public transport and street food in this beautiful country.



Are you considering traveling to Costa Rica? Here you are going to discover if is it safe to travel there and what should you know before going. From adventure tourism, volunteering with Worldpackers and local culture - we will cover all the tips that can help make your trip a safe one. 

We'll also talk about how is costa rica safe when it comes to crimes like scams or solo female travel as well as public transportation safety and how to make good choices when it comes to street food. So let's dive right into finding out if costa rica is really as safe of a destination as they say.

Costa Rica: a paradise on earth

Situated near two oceans, Costa Rica is home to a variety of aquatic creatures such as dolphins, whales, turtles, rays and manatees. One way visitors can get up close with this beautiful wildlife is by taking boat tours which operate from most coastal towns across both sides. 

But if you prefer more independent experiences, then renting kayaks or stand up paddle boards will allow you access into coves where boats cannot go, giving you a chance to observe even more species in their natural habitat.

Outdoor activities in Costa Rica offer a wide range of exciting experiences for travelers, from exploring lush rainforests to enjoying the many beaches and water sports. But the country is also rich in tradicional culture and great people to connect with. 

For those looking for an unforgettable nature and cultural experience, Costa Rica is the perfect destination. With its stunning national parks, picturesque beaches, great communities and local arts and food - there’s something for every taste. For those who want to enjoy the natural world or get a journey of self-awareness, Costa Rica has it all.

Safety tips for travelers in Costa Rica

When it comes to security, Costa Rica is generally a safe place for travelers. Still, visitors should be aware of potential dangers before starting their journey. It is important to take the necessary precautions, as in any urban city, to stay safe while traveling in this beautiful country.

Crimes in Costa Rica

Crimes against tourists are relatively uncommon in Costa Rica, but petty theft does occur occasionally. Pickpockets and purse snatchers may target crowded areas such as bus stations and tourist attractions so it’s best to keep your valuables close at all times. When sightseeing, it's best to keep your valuables concealed and not display expensive jewelry or carry large sums of money.

Scams in Costa Rica

Unfortunately, there have been reports of scams targeting tourists in Costa Rica so it’s important to be vigilant and know what signs to look out for. Common scams include people asking for donations from unsuspecting victims who don’t realize they are being taken advantage of until it's too late. 

Be wary if someone approaches you offering goods or services at an unusually low price – these could be counterfeit items or fake tours which won't deliver what was promised. But it’s important not to confuse being carefull with being rude to people. Not everyone will be trying to take advantage of you, and this attitude can hinder your attempt to immerse yourself in the local culture and meet wonderful people.

Solo female travel in Costa Rica

Solo female travelers in Costa Rica should always remain alert and trust their instincts when traveling alone in Costa Rica, particularly after dark when street crime can increase significantly in certain areas of the country. 

If you are volunteering with Worldpackers in Costa Rica, you can let your host and other volunteers know whenever you are going to go on adventures and, if you are planning to go out at night, you can invite other volunteers to go with you.     

Before embarking on a journey to Costa Rica, it is essential to be mindful of potential risks and take the necessary precautions, yes. But despite the potential risks, Costa Rica still offers numerous chances for thrilling activities and life experiences. 

Adventure tourism in Costa Rica

For the thrill-seekers, Costa Rica offers a lot of exciting activities and experiences. Getting around Costa Rica is possible without worry, with a lot of options for transportation and food. Costa Rica offers an efficient network of buses that can move travelers around the country at affordable costs. 

Outdoor activities to enjoy

For those seeking adventure, Costa Rica offers a variety of outdoor activities to explore. From hiking trails and national parks to surfing spots, snorkeling sites, diving locations, and wildlife watching opportunities - you’ll find something for everyone, as Costa Rica is one of the leading nations when it comes to ecotourism.

Hiking trails and National Parks

  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Corcovado National Park
  • Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park
  • Arenal Volcano National Park 
  • Manuel Antonio National Park 

So be sure to wear proper footwear and bring plenty of water while exploring these areas.

Surfing, Snorkeling & Diving Spots

If you’re feeling adventurous why not try your hand at surfing? With its warm waters and stunning beaches, Costa Rica is an ideal spot for catching some waves. The Pacific Coast offers some excellent breaks with Tamarindo Beach being one of the most popular surf spots in the country. 

Other activities such as snorkeling or scuba diving can also be enjoyed in various parts along both coasts, including Playa Hermosa on the Nicoya Peninsula or Cahuita National Park on Caribbean side.

Street Food in Costa Rica

When exploring Costa Rica, remember that "the early bird catches the worm" - get up early so you don't miss the street markets. With its stunning landscapes, diverse products, friendly locals and vibrant culture, this Central American gem will surely not disappoint your taste. Street food in Costa Rica is abundant and delicious. You have to try:

  • Tacos al pastor (marinated pork) 
  • Empanadas (stuffed pastries) 
  • Gallo pinto (rice and beans)
  • Fresh fruits (pineapples, papayas and bananas)

Be sure to check out local markets or roadside stands for some truly authentic eats. Just be mindfull to go to street markets frequented by locals - there is where the best food is.

Volunteering with Worldpackers in Costa Rica

Volunteering with Worldpackers in Costa Rica is a great way to have an immersive and meaningful experience while traveling. From eco lodges to holistic centers, there are plenty of opportunities available for volunteers who want to make a positive impact on the world.

Eco Lodge in Platanillo

Nestled in the mountains of Platanillo, this eco lodge offers volunteers the chance to meet people from all over the world and help protect their environment. Volunteers can help build trails, plant trees, create composting systems, and more. For those looking to make a difference, this is the perfect opportunity for an immersive experience.

Holistic Center in Bijagua

Located near Tenorio Volcano National Park, this holistic center provides volunteers with unique experiences such as yoga classes and meditation sessions led by local experts. Volunteers can also learn about traditional healing methods from native healers or take part in workshops focused on sustainable living practices like permaculture gardening and natural building techniques.

Ecovillage in Drake Bay

This ecovillage in Drake Bay gives travelers the chance to explore one of Costa Rica's most beautiful regions while helping out at various projects throughout the area. Volunteers can participate in reforestation efforts or assist with research related growing organic food. They may also get involved with educational programs aimed at teaching locals about sustainability initiatives they can implement within their own communities.

No matter what kind of volunteer project you choose, volunteering with Worldpackers allows you to gain invaluable knowledge while giving back at the same time. If you want to experience something more than the usual tourist attractions and shoreline trips, then why not try out volunteering while traveling?

Volunteering with Worldpackers in Costa Rica is an incredible opportunity to gain invaluable insights and make a difference globally. Next, we'll explore local communities and their culture to help you understand language barriers, communication tips, cultural norms, and etiquette that should be followed while traveling there.

Local communities and their culture

Before visiting Costa Rica, it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with the local culture and customs. Language barriers can make communication difficult, but with a few tips, you can easily overcome them. 

Before traveling to Costa Rica, brush up on some basic Spanish phrases in order to facilitate communication with locals. Many people in Costa Rica also speak English, so don’t hesitate to ask if they understand what you are saying in English or need help translating something into Spanish.

It is also essential for travelers to familiarize themselves with cultural norms and etiquette guidelines before visiting Costa Rica. Women should take note of a more conservative dress code when out in public areas, such as churches and museums; wearing shorts or tank tops is usually considered inappropriate. 

It is also considered rude not to greet someone when entering their home, always take off your shoes at the door and say hello. Lastly, always show respect for local traditions and ask for permission before taking photos of people or sacred sites like churches or temples.

Costa Ricans are renowned for their hospitality to international travelers, granting them the opportunity to get a firsthand look at their culture. By following these guidelines and exhibiting politeness towards the traditions of Costa Rica while journeying through, you can guarantee a hassle-free experience that will leave all whom you encounter with an optimistic impression.

Accommodation options for travelers in Costa Rica

When it comes to obtaining lodgings in Costa Rica, visitors have a broad selection of possibilities. From volunteering to Worldpackers, hostels and hotels, Airbnbs and home stays, there’s something for everyone.

Volunteer with Worldpackers

Volunteering are an increasingly popular choice among travelers looking for an authentic experience in Costa Rica. Worldpackers opportunities allow visitors to live like locals by staying in ecovillages, NGO's, and holistic projects. 

There are often included meals and other benefits. This type of accommodation is perfect if you’re looking to immerse yourself in local culture and make meaningful connections along the way.

Hostels and Hotels

Hostels and Hotels are the most popular choices among budget-minded travelers. Accommodations from economical two-star lodgings to lavish five-star resorts can be found in both hostels and hotels, with the former providing shared bathroom dormitory rooms for as low as $10 a night. If you’re looking for a bit more privacy, many hostels also offer private rooms with en suite bathrooms at slightly higher rates.


For those seeking affordability and the comforts of home, Airbnb is a great option. Plenty of rental options can be found in Costa Rica, spanning a variety of prices to fit any budget. Many Airbnb hosts will even provide breakfast or other meals during your stay.

Home stays

Before booking any type of homestay, always do your due diligence by researching reviews online and asking around for recommendations. Read reviews online, check out photos on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, and ask around locally (or virtually) about what people recommend. Doing research beforehand can help guarantee that your stay is just as expected, avoiding any unpleasant surprises when you leave.

Tips for staying healthy while traveling in Costa Rica

Before venturing to Costa Rica, it is essential to make sure you have received the recommended vaccinations from your physician or a travel clinic. It is also important to consider the availability of medical services and facilities

Be sure to research local hospitals and clinics that offer medical services, as well as pharmacies where you can purchase over-the-counter medications if needed. It’s also a good idea to have contact information for any medical assistance available in case of an emergency during your stay in Costa Rica.

Finally, eating safely at restaurants is key when trying to avoid getting sick while traveling abroad. Ensure edibles are fully cooked and served steaming - avoid consume uncooked dishes and always wash fruits and vegetables before ingestion. By taking heed of these straightforward strategies, you can savor scrumptious dishes without fretting over contracting an illness from tainted food.

Costa Rica is safe for volunteering with Worldpackers

Costa Rica is a safe destination for travelers of all ages and backgrounds. By utilizing the safety measures discussed in this article, travelers can have peace of mind while exploring Costa Rica's many attractions and offerings. 

From thrilling outdoor activities to luxurious beach resorts, Costa Rica offers an abundance of options for travelers looking for the perfect vacation experience.

Volunteering with Worldpackers allows you to experience local communities while making an impactful contribution - giving back has never been so easy. Don't let fear hold you back from discovering the splendour of Costa Rica, as it's possible to make your trip there both thrilling and safe if done correctly. 

I'm Raquel, travel writer from the blog @solanomundo. I’m super excited to know how was your amazing journey through Costa Rica, and I'll wait for your news in DM's. Experience the world, have fun and make a positive impact with Worldpackers.

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