Theft in Costa Rica - An Ugly Truth

June 14, 2019

Costa Rica is a magical place. But it's definitely not all dreamy waves and jaw dropping sunsets here in Pura Vidadise. So what's a not-so-nice thing about Costa Rica?

Theft.

In particular, petty, non-violent theft. Mugging in Costa Rica is super rare, but if you leave your belongings unattended on the beach while taking a dip in the ocean, those belongings may not be there when you return. Unfortunately, I've heard one too many stories of theft here in Costa Rica, from tourists to ex-pats, and I've even had my backpack stolen on a very quiet beach with maybe 10 people on whole two mile stretch of beach. Seriously, if you've ever had anything stolen, it's one of the worst feelings -- such a complete violation. 🤬

Now don't get me wrong, I certainly don't want to deter you from visiting + enjoying Costa Rica, BUT after my friend had his backpack stolen on the bus last week, I also want to share with you the truth about Costa Rica...even if it's an ugly truth.

So what are some things you can do to protect yourself against theft while in Costa Rica?

  • Never, EVER leave any of your belongings unattended. If it's unattended, it's a prime target.
  • Try not to wear flashy clothes or jewelry -- you make yourself an easy target to be watched.
  • Place your valuables in the safe when you leave your hotel or vacation rental. DON'T leave them laying around as an iPad on the couch is an easy target for a break-in. 
  • When traveling, keep your passport on your body at all times...preferably in your front pocket or a chest carrying passport case. Pick-pocketing does happen. And leave your passport in the hotel or room safe while you're on the beach or a zip-lining adventure.
  • In restaurants, don't hang your bag on the back of a chair. Keep the bag on your lap.
  • If you're renting a car, don't leave anything of value in the car if you stop to explore. Place bags in the trunk so they are out of sight. Car break-ins unfortunately happen.
  • AND purchase a travel insurance policy to cover your belongings and/or check with your homeowners/renters insurance about coverage while you're traveling!

Overall, just be mindful of your surroundings and be smart. Theft can happen anywhere you travel or even right at home. It's an unfortunate reality -- and when it happens, all that Costa Rican Pura Vida becomes Puta Vida... . 🙈

Woman laying on the beach as the waves reach her feet in Costa Rica. Photographed by Samba to the Sea for The Sunset Shop.

SHOP “Hola Beaches”

 

Pura Vida,
 

 

Theft in Costa Rica and how to travel safe by Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea.

 


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