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Is San Jose a Safe or Dangerous City?The capital, San Jose, is usually packed with foot traffic throughout the day. However, the streets rapidly become empty after dark when the public buses stop running. It is dangerous to be walking in San Jose after dark when the area is deserted. If you find yourself in this situation, it is recommended you find a taxi to go to wherever you need to go. San José has several safe attractions during the day, but you should avoid walking around the city at night. Petty crime and car theft (especially theft of luggage from parked cars) are very common. Crowded tourist areas attract pickpockets, so keep an eye on your belongings. Avoid Hatillo, a district of San José, especially at night. This is a low-income neighborhood that has one of the worst reputations in Costa Rica. It is home to many low- and mid-level drug dealers. The city has a different ambiance from the beaches and rainforests of the more rural areas. There is a higher rate of crime than in most other Costa Rican cities. However, you can still enjoy this beautiful city and what it has to offer as long as you take care of your personal belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK :
Standard safety precautions are recommended in Costa Rica. Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour as you would in any other country. Watch out for petty crime in tourist areas and protect your valuables. Costa Rica has created the Policía Turística, a tourism police force dedicated to improving the security of foreigners.
PICKPOCKETS RISK :
Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation.
MUGGING RISK :
Muggings have happened in urban areas, especially at night. People walking alone are often the targets, especially at night. In case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables.
SCAMS RISK :
As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you like a tap on the shoulder, spitting or getting something spilled on you. Credit card skimming is also common.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK :
Make sure you book a ride or use radio taxis from places like a hotel when possible as there have been reports of traveler being robbed and assaulted by taxi drivers. Only take taxis that are red (with a yellow triangle on the door), or orange. Public bus transportation is unreliable, yet relatively safe. Buses and bus stops (especially those that go to San Jose) are frequent locations for theft. Any bus rider who falls asleep has a good chance getting his baggage stolen. Don’t trust anyone on the buses to watch your things. Traffic in Costa Rica is dangerous, so be careful. Pedestrians in general do not have the right of way.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK :
Flooding and landslides can happen during heavy rains and may result in public transportation disruptions. Costa Rica is located in an active seismic zone. The hurricane season extends from June to November. Monitor
TERRORISM RISK :
There is no recent history of terrorism in Costa Rica. However, they should not be ruled out, so remain vigilant for suspicious activity.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK :
Many women travel safely without any issues. However, there have been reports of sexual assault throughout the country. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Remain extra vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis.