Is Crime a Problem in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has a very low crime rate. Violent crime is rare and guns are, in fact, illegal in Costa Rica. Most of the crime that continues to occur is considered to be opportunistic - as opposed to orchestrated - assaults. With the right combination of caution and common sense, most thefts can be easily prevented. Tourists are usually very safe while traveling in Costa Rica.
Please keep the following precautions in mind during your visit to Costa Rica:
Avoid walking alone at night, especially in the downtown areas of San José and Limón. Do not walk on the beach at night. In San José there are a variety of museums and exhibits, but it is better to visit these with a tour group or guide. Do not wear expensive jewelry or pull out a large amount money on the street. There are money changers in San José but always change money at banks or ATMs. Do not get overly intoxicated with strangers or purchase drugs, and avoid carrying your passport with you (just keep a copy with you on excursions).
Visitors that choose to rent a car should keep the following in mind:
Avoid driving at night, always lock your car, don't leave valuables in your car, and don't park along the street in large cities like San José, Alajuela, Puntarenas or Limón - rather, try to park your car in a secure lot with an attendant. You likely won't have any problems with a rental car, but it's still important to remain diligent to keep your possessions safe.