See me safe up, and as for my coming down, let me fend for myself.
~ On descending a ladder, Thomas More, 1478-1535
Before we list all the precautions you can take to avoid difficulties on
your vacation, we will say that Costa Rica is generally a safe destination,
without the serious problems that plague poorer nations. However,
it would be naive to think that crime doesn’t exist. The murder in 2000 of
two female American students, shot and killed in a car-jacking, brought
the increase in crime to the attention of US travelers. As a result, tourism
figures dropped immediately. Although two perpetrators were caught
and convicted, travelers began to realize that Costa Rica has a growing
crime problem. Theft is a constant concern everywhere, but especially in
San José, Quepos and Limón.
We should emphasize that very few of the huge number of visitors that
arrive annually ever encounter problems. We have been many times and
our only complaint was being short-changed at a highway tollbooth. Annoying,
but not dangerous. In fact, the most common causes of death and
injury among tourists are car accidents and accidental drowning.