If you’re a woman planning a trip for yourself to Costa Rica, you may have some extra concerns or questions about do’s and dont’s for the road.
First of all, let us assure you that Costa Rica is generally a very safe country for everyone. Costa Ricans are kind and friendly folks, women in Costa Rica are held in high regard, and you have picked a great vacation destination. Women who are used to rolling on their own already know how to make good, safe choices while having a fabulous time, and know how to avoid many safety concerns. Personal safety issues for anyone in Costa Rica are an exception to the rules. Most people in Costa Rica, no matter where they’re from, intend no harm—but it only takes one who wants to get ahold of your purse to ruin your vacation.
1.Take the trip
Absolutely. Whether you’re traveling alone because it’s easier to explore that way or because your available vacation dates don’t coincide with friends or family, take the trip. Costa Rica is a great place to make friends or to search out solitude—whichever will make your vacation better for you.
2. Watch your personal possessions
This important piece of advice applies to everyone traveling in Costa Rica, so of course we wouldn’t want to miss emphasizing it for you. Violent crime in Costa Rica is very rarely directed against the country’s guests, but petty theft is everywhere. Keep your things where you can see them, as much as possible. Don’t leave things in rental cars. Stay awake on the bus. Keep your purse on your lap in restaurants, not hanging over the back of your chair. If you are walking through San Jose’s crowded streets, make sure purse zippers are closed and wear your backpack on the front of you instead of the back. Why not? Better safe than sorry. Don’t leave stuff lying on the beach while you swim. Sorry, but don’t. Get a little wrist wallet for your money, key, and credit card (it’s ok for those things to get wet) and leave your phone in your vacation rental if you want to swim.
3. Remember to lock your door/s
You know this, and you do it at home, but sometimes in the excitement and distraction of vacation, it’s easy to forget what we already know. Car doors, hotel doors, the front and back door of your Tamarindo vacation rental… Make sure anyone who’s curious about whether or not you remembered to lock the door finds out that yes, you did.
4. Understand that unsolicited compliments are a common Latin American cultural custom
They even have a name: piropos. Piropos break a lot of first-world rules about mutual respect between the sexes, but they are still fairly common in Costa Rica and not considered, by most Costa Ricans, to be offensive. In other words, expect to be called beautiful by people you’ve never met and perhaps even receive a few amusing declarations of love from passersby. It’s alright to ignore them. Their authors expect to be ignored. Piropos, however, are not supposed to be crude. Crude comments are not part of piropos; crude comments are crude comments and hopefully you won’t hear them.
5. Get out there and explore the things to do in Tamarindo:
Book tours, trips, take surf lessons, go to the beach, climb the volcano, go horseback riding, plan to go to a spa in Tamarindo, go sport fishing—do it all! Walk down the street to restaurants. Go out dancing. Do all the things on your Costa Rica bucket list and have a blast. Make friends. Come back again.
6. Use the common sense you use every day
Getting into a car with strangers, accepting drinks you didn’t order in a bar, and walking alone after dark in secluded areas all belong on the don’t list—but you knew that already. Be thoughtful about who you allow into your hotel or vacation rental. Use the common sense that got you this far in life, and you should have no problem on vacation in Costa Rica.