Benjamin Franklin once said, “The man with the most sense is the man with common sense.”
When traveling and vacationing in Costa Rica use common sense like, don’t flash a wad of money, especially when in a crowded marketplace, thats asking for trouble. And avoid the shaky parts of town (red light district) and never walk down some small alley no matter which part of town you are in, either in the day or night time.
Many travel with money belts and there is a variety you can buy online (keyword: money belts). My friends that surf always have some sort of small waterproof bag they carry with them with about 40-$60 in twenties. And everyone always puts their money in the hotel’s room safe along with their Passports and other important papers, like airline tickets. Credit and debit cards are good, but you do get charged a conversion rate and sometime a service charge that can be as high as $10 a transaction, it all depends on the card and where the ATM machine is. In a Casino the fee is going to be a lot higher then in a hotel. Travelers checks are ‘somewhat’ helpful, but it can cost you to cash them and not everybody takes them.
Tip: Never wear expensive jewelry, its best to leave that at home including wedding rings.
When going out clubbing, bar hopping etc, just carry what you think you need, and always divided it. Put one wad in one pocket and another wad in the other pocket, so just in case you do get robbed, they will only get the wad they saw you put in the one pocket. When the one wad is gone, use the other. And when you exchange money, try and avoid getting the huge bills (like the 100,000+ colon bill) or if you do, break it down into smaller bills at the hotel before going out.
Tip: Costa Rica has a very good emergency number 911 service and is available throughout the country. In major cities, 911 may be staffed by English speaking operators and enables you to connect with medical, ambulance, police and fire services.
A girl I know carries a small over the shoulder purse and puts a few bills in that and has a ‘stylish wrap around’ that she sewed in a pocket where she carries a few extra bills in.
Tip: Take a cab and look for a taxi that is fairly new and the driver is older
In general, Costa Rica is a very safe country compared to other countries, like Mexico. The police will help you and love foreigners, and the people are more friendly, providing you use Faux pas and common sense.
Emergency 911 Service
Address: Llorente de Tibás, contiguo a la Escuela Anselmo Llorente, Oficentro Tecnológico, Edificio No.2. Tibás San José: 141-2120 San José, Costa Rica.
Telephone: (506) 522-2700
Fax: (506) 522-2756