Is Costa Rica Safe?

Costa Rica is a very clean and safe place to visit. The people are friendly and there aren't major weather events (like earthquakes or hurricanes) that happen here regularly.

There are some concerns that you should be aware of before entering Costa Rica. First of all, countries that are located closer to the equator experience larger amounts of sunlight. The UV light is more intense in this part of the world, so wear sunscreen and remember to drink lots of water. Guanacaste is one of the sunniest regions of Costa Rica. There are lots of places to avoid direct sunlight too, including high up in the mountains of San Gerardo de Dota.

While swimming in the ocean, be conscious of riptides. If you do get stuck in a riptide, don't swim against the current; rather, swim parallel to the shore. No matter what, don't panic – usually strong currents will bring you to calmer water. Not all beaches, however, have strong currents. Calmer areas include Playa Manzanillo and beaches along the Papagayo Gulf.

Video: Words from a Costa Rica Traveler

Beat Travel Bugs

Be sure to wash your hands before meals – a good idea is to bring a small container of hand sanitizer to kill germs. Additionally, simple first aid kits with band-aids, pain relievers, tape, scissors, bug spray, sunscreen, and diarrhea medicine may come in handy. Very few cases of dengue and malaria have been reported in Costa Rica. These diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes. Areas like Monteverde and Arenal lack mosquitos, so travelers will be safe from these diseases while traveling in places set at higher elevations.

You can check with your local physician for the most current requirements, but as of January 2020, no inoculations are necessary for North Americans to travel to Costa Rica. If you do become sick, over the counter medicine can be found at a drugstore (farmacía) or medical attention can be provided at a clinic (clínica). You will be able to find a hospital in most of the major cities, although in cases of serious emergency, simply dial 911.

Want Safety advice from Local Advisors?

At any point if you want realtime safety insight about visiting Costa Rica just call +1-888-456-3212 or email us safety@anywhere.com. Feeling and actually staying safe while abroad is essential and we are here to help.

Be More Relaxed When You Know How to Stay Safe

Safety is an everyday concern whether we find ourselves in big cities or foreign countries. On the whole, Costa Rica is one of the safest and friendliest nations you can visit. The ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle and fantastic weather encourage a friendly disposition; however, bad apples exist in the best of places. When it comes to personal safety, it’s as simple as keeping your wits about you and exercising common sense:

Use reputable transportation services. Do not carry and display large amounts of cash. Pay attention to your surroundings and the people within them. Keep your personal belongings in your hotel’s safe or a hidden travel compartment. Do not wander around unfamiliar areas, side streets, and alleys after dark – especially when alone.

Anywhere’s comprehensive travel services add another layer of safety to your trip because we have relationships with all of the service providers we work with – accommodations, activities, and transportation. You’ll enjoy your vacation more when you have the peace of mind you deserve, whether you’re bringing the children for a family adventure; are finally treating yourselves to an exciting getaway for two; or want to go exploring on a solo adventure. We create amazing itineraries that will keep you safe without sacrificing authentic experiences or your sense of adventure.

Zika Virus in Costa Rica

Travelers to Central and South America have increased concerns about the threat of the Zika virus. As of yet there have been no cases of Zika contracted in Costa Rica (the only cases of Zika reported in Costa Rica were contracted in other countries), and the Costa Rican Ministry of Health is working to prevent it from spreading here. There have been so few cases reported in Costa Rica that an epidemic seems highly unlikely. Before your travel, it is important to inform yourself of the risks, but also to take into account the safety measures that are in place to keep Costa Rica healthy.

Zika is transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. An infected man can also spread the virus through sexual contact. It is not deadly, but pregnant women run the risk of passing the virus on to their fetuses, and the illness has been associated with birth defects. The only travelers who face significant risk from Zika are pregnant women, women who plan to become pregnant, and travelers with newborns.

Contracting Zika can result in a mild flu for a week. (It is estimated that 80 percent of people who contract the virus remain asymptomatic.) This flu’s symptoms include headache, fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, rashes, and fluid retention around the feet and legs. The incubation period is from 3 to 12 days, and then symptoms appear and continue for 4 to 7 days.

Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health has ongoing efforts in place to reduce mosquito populations. In order to mitigate the number of cases imported from other countries, Costa Rican authorities have increased precautions near the border. Cargo areas on airplanes are fumigated, as are areas around docks that might serve as mosquito breeding grounds. Officials are presenting visitors and migrants from countries with Zika outbreaks with information about Zika symptoms, as well as information about where to get medical help.

Anywhere Costa Rica works with hotels and tour companies that hold themselves to high standards of cleanliness. Our company also participates in environmental programs that prevent mosquito populations from growing. In many of our locations we participate in CST and Blue Flag programs, which means our tour operators are dedicated to environmentally friendly practices, which help reduce the number of mosquitoes. We help with efforts to keep trash out of rivers – water that flows quickly is less prone to becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. High-end hotels throughout Costa Rica are especially rigorous about their standards of cleanliness, and therefore have fewer mosquitoes on their properties.

While you’re traveling, you can take steps on your own to prevent mosquito bites. Wear insect repellent and clothing that covers your arms and legs. Stay in hotels that have air conditioning so you can keep the windows closed, or sleep under a mosquito net. Keep in mind that mosquitoes are most active around sunset, and are most likely to gather near stagnant pools of water. In Costa Rica’s cooler, drier climates mosquito populations are quite low.

Our Anywhere Costa Rica team is doing their part to help prevent Zika. Team members properly dispose of trash, helping to eliminate sites where standing water could accumulate. Because our team is comprised of locals we are especially invested in making sure Zika does not become a problem for our communities.

Recent news about Zika: Multiple existing drugs have been show to prevent the Zika virus from replicating in the body. One such drug Niclosamide which is used to treat tapeworm and is safe for use during pregnancy.

Travel with Confidence in Costa Rica

Most tours and activities you do in Costa Rica all adhere to strict safety rules, provided that you book through a reliable agency or provider. An Anywhere Agent can assure you of all your questions and concerns if you are considering Costa Rica as your next vacation destination. In fact, your Anywhere Local Expert has the knowledge and resources to help you with everything from trying a new activity to offering a recommendation for an anniversary or birthday dinner. Make this the year you’re an active participant in your own vacation – when we help you plan your hotels, tours, and transportation, your free to live in the moment and focus on the experience instead of the logistics. Live a life of adventure when you travel with Anywhere.

Keep yourself as safe as possible when you purchase travel insurance. Learn how it can protect you – read "Going Abroad? This is Why Travel Insurance is A MUST!" Then, get your personalized quote here.

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