Planning for adventure in Costa Rica can be an exhilarating, memorable experience but before traveling to any foreign country, it is imperative to prepare yourself fully and be as knowledgeable as possible about what to expect and how to the best plan for your adventures.
Getting Around Costa Rica
Driving in Costa Rica is often a memorable experience. It’s not uncommon to see a pothole the size of a small crater, and while on the move, keep in mind that stop signs in this country are treated like yield signs in North America. Roadways are often narrow, and it’s rare to see a guardrail.
If you plan on renting an automobile in Costa Rica, agencies are strict about things like dents or scratches so take off the car as you would your own back home. If you prefer taking a taxi, be aware that several unofficial “taxi services” in Costa Rica do not use the taxi’s meter, so make sure you agree upon a price if this is the case beforehand.
Hotels, resorts and even many bed and breakfast’s have their transportation service using taxis to places like the airport or the beach, so use these rates as a gauge if you’re unsure of a fair price.
Fortunately, the locals of Costa Rica are friendly people and more than willing to help a foreigner find their way around, and English is widely spoken in the country, but most especially in tourist areas and the larger cities.
Safety in Costa Rica
While it’s true that violent crimes exist in every society and every country and Costa Rica is not exempt from this fact, crime rates are notably lower here than anywhere else in Latin America. However, do keep all of your valuables out of sight and never leave them in your vehicle. Wallets should be in front pockets and ask a local if you are unsure of a particular area and its safety, especially while walking after dark. Take a look at a recent article on safety warnings in Costa Rica.
Emergency services are available throughout the country by dialing 911 and if you plan on swimming either the near Pacific side or the Atlantic or Caribbean side, keep in mind that sharks make their homes in these waters, especially all around the country’s small islands. Another word of caution in regards to swimming off the coast while visiting its beautiful beaches pertains to rip tides.
When to Visit Costa Rica
Costa Rica claims two seasons, dry and wet, the former lasting from December to April and the latter from May to November. But, because the country is situated near the equator, be sure to take along plenty of sunscreens whatever time of the year you visit while staying amply hydrated. Wet, or green season as it’s often called, is when you will find the biggest discounts for hotels as the crowds are at a minimum.
Of course, it is often a matter of personal preference as to the very best time for visiting this beautiful country, taking into consideration the activities and sights you’re interested in before planning your vacation, suffice it say you will have a memorable time whenever you choose to visit.