Costa Rica Safety Tips and Emergency Numbers Costa Rica Travel Guide
Costa Rica is overall a safe country to visit, much safer than many major cities in industrialized countries. As long as you follow these simple tips we can assure you’ll have the vacation of a lifetime. Just in case we’ve also included a list of important phone numbers you should keep with you at all times.
Costa Rica Safety Tips
Take advantage of your hotel safety deposit box and leave your travel documents and valuables there. If you rented a car you’ll need your driver license with you at all times. Carry a legible copy of your passport including your picture and the page with your entry date.
If you need to change your currency do it in banks, do not accept any sort of currency exchange from non authorized stores or individuals. Banks won’t accept copy of your passport for any transaction.
Don’t carry more cash than you’ll need, credit cards are widely accepted throughout Costa Rica, specially Visa and Master Card. Amex, JCB, Discover, Diners Club and other minor credit card brands are accepted in most hotels, car rentals and bigger restaurants.
Take advantage of your hotel front desk for information, driving routes or to call a taxi.
Only use red taxis with the yellow triangles on their doors, at the airports the official taxis are orange and the trip is prepaid after you pick up your luggage. Always make sure the red taxis use the meter or as it is locally called “the maria”.
Only use ATMs in public illuminated places and “watch your back”. For security reasons unattended Public Banks ATMs in Costa Rica shut down after 10pm.
Never leave valuable items in your car unattended, if possible never park your car on the public street, when available take advantage of the private parking spots.
If someone tells you have a flat tire or you feel you are being followed DON’T STOP until you get to the closest open gas station, shopping center or any busy public place.
Avoid walking at night in desolated places and beware of pickpockets.
If you want to make a donation, do it to authorized charities.
In Costa Rica it is a felony to have sex with a person under 18 years old, you will go to jail and “I thought he/she was older” won’t save you.
Drinking and driving or driving over the speed limits in Costa Rica can get you in jail with an expensive ticket.
Costa Rica is famous for its surfing conditions, this means that rip tides are frequent in many beaches, even if you are an avid swimmer make sure there is always someone watching you.
If you want to take an un-escorted hike in the natural parks never leave the marked trails.
Use your common sense, Costa Rica is way safer than many big cities in industrialized countries, but as anywhere else in the world thieves are always ready to take advantage of tourists
Important and Emergency Numbers in Costa Rica
911 is the general emergency number from any phone.
800-8726-7486 in the case of a traffic accident.
1113 Phone Directory (call it for embassies and consulates not listed in our site)
International Collect Calls 1175
MasterCard Global Service in Costa Rica 0-800-011-0184
Visa Global Customer Assistance in Costa Rica 0-800-011-0030
American Express Lost or Stolen card 229-9494
Costa Rica Tourism Board 229-5800 / 2291-5764
U.S. Embassy 2519-2279
Embassy of Argentina 2234-6520
Brazilian Embassy 2295-6875
Canadian Embassy 2242-4400
Chilean Consulate 2224-4243
French Embassy 234-4167
German Embassy 290-9091
Israeli Embassy 2221-6444
Italian Embassy 224-6574
Mexican Embassy 2234-9171
Dutch Embassy 296-1490
Portuguese Consulate 2221-4092
Russian Embassy 256-9181
Spanish Embassy 222-5745