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For Women Travelers:

Women traveling alone or in pairs are not uncommon in Costa Rica and rarely encounter extraordinary problems. Stay out of situations where you are clearly vulnerable, such as getting drunk in a bar, hitchhiking or walking home alone at night through an unfamiliar area. Sex crimes are relatively rare in Costa Rica, but a touch of machismo in men is alive and well. Don’t be shocked to be called a macha, meaning a blond or light-skinned girl, by men on the street or ones passing in cars. It can be annoying, but don’t be offended by what they think is good-natured teasing. Remember, it is also stupidly hilarious to hear lines such as Que curvas y yo sin frenos, which translates to
“What curves and me without brakes!” You have to admit that it’s more creative than “Come here often?”
Feminism is also very much a part of modern Costa Rica. Women’s cooperatives are springing up around the country, such as the one in Monteverde. Contemporary, educated Ticas stand up for themselves and don’t tolerate macho men very well. But piroperos (men who make remarks in public) are a part of the Latin culture that is dying a very slow death.


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