Is Costa Rica Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Costa Rica is generally safe, particularly in tourist areas. However, like any destination, it can have potential risks. Petty theft or pickpocketing can occur, particularly in crowded places, and it's always important to stay alert. Costa Ricans are warm and friendly, and will often go out of their way to help out a stranger in need. However, avoid isolated areas and stay in groups whenever possible, especially at night. Public transportation is reliable, but be careful with your belongings. Overall, Costa Rica has a strong reputation for safety compared to other countries in the region.

Safety rating

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How safe is Costa Rica?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Moderate

Costa Rica overall is relatively safe compared to many other countries, but just like anywhere else, it has its rough areas. It's usually safe to walk around higher tourist areas, but the situation tends to change at night. It's always recommended to use taxis or Ubers when traveling in the evening, especially if you're alone. Avoid displaying expensive belongings and always be cautious of your surroundings.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Moderate

Costa Rica's public transportation systems, including buses and taxis, are generally reliable and commonly used by locals and tourists. However, incidents such as pickpocketing and occasional minor scams can occur. It's advised to keep an eye on your belongings and to travel mostly by day. Stick to official taxis marked with yellow triangles and make sure the meter is running to avoid scams. As for buses, they're mostly used for inter-city travel and are generally secure, but can be crowded, so vigilance with personal belongings is needed.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Low

Costa Rica is generally known for being fairly safe and respectful towards women. However, like any country, it isn't immune to instances of street harassment. It's not widespread or aggressive but it can occasionally occur in more populated areas. It's mainly limited to catcalling or unwelcome comments. Always be vigilant, but don't let it deter you from enjoying all the beauty this country has to offer.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:Moderate

In Costa Rica, as a solo female traveler, you may encounter issues like pickpocketing and bag-snatching, primarily in populated areas and public transportation. It is best to remain vigilant and keep your possessions secure, especially in busy areas like markets and bus terminals. While not extremely common, these crimes do occur, so caution should be taken. However, overall, the country is relatively safe if you stick to recommended tourist areas and follow standard safety practices.
Tap water:

Tap water:Safe

In general, tap water in Costa Rica is quite safe to drink. Major cities and tourist destinations rigorously treat and monitor water. However, in remote areas and the countryside, the quality can vary. If you have a sensitive system or just to stay on the safe side, it might still be a good idea to stick to bottled water, especially when traveling outside larger towns and cities.

Is Costa Rica safe to travel?

4.5 /5

Based on 54 experiences

Dhana

Dhana

Argentina

Solo travel experience

I felt safe and walked around at night alone. I would definitely be vigilante, especially if you are out drinking but i would say that about anywhere Definitely do the chocolate and coffee tours. See all the waterfalls and take a dip in a hot springs. La Fortuna and Guanacaste are my favorite

Posted: June 29, 2024
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Juju

Juju (28)

France

Solo travel experience

Actually, I went there as a volunteer in a rescued animals sanctuary, so if course it was safe, and also very exotic. But the local I met there were adorable, and the food really good, based on meet, vegetables, and lot of exotic fruits.

Posted: June 17, 2024Experienced: August, 2021
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Solo travel experience

- people nice - lots of European expats - helpful to know Spanish and not assume people speak English - VERY HOT- you will sweat through everything - pack lots of sun screen , bug spray, and lotion you will need it all - safest I’ve felt to this date as a solo female walking around - wouldn’t dream of walking on the street elsewhere without serious fear

Posted: June 15, 2024
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Solo travel experience

I went to Costa Rica alone and had the absolute best time of my life. So safe, so friendly, no catcalling and met tons of friends.

Posted: April 1, 2024
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melissa

melissa (24)

France

Couple travel experience

I think it's a pretty safe country for a single woman or two. We've had nothing but good experiences on our trip in 5 months, the only less dirty places are mainly in San Jose, the capital. The country is safe and fairly modern, and it's easy to get around even on public transport! All in all, a great experience.

Posted: March 21, 2024Experienced: October, 2023
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Mariam

Mariam (22)

United States

Group travel experience

I have been travelling around since I was 2 years old, but can only recall trips starting at the age of 4 and after. I say this because of all the trips I have taken in my life, Costa Rica is on my top ten. It was super safe, people live a slow life, things are quiet and calm. The food tastes like heaven everywhere. The entire country is very eco based, so that means sometimes there are power surges but it’s just part of the experience. The people are nice and amazing. Honestly if you just want to exist it’s a place to go, and if you want to go all out with experience and adventure it’s also a place to go. It is expensive nonetheless if you want to do things aimed at tourists, but if you connect with locals they would be able to recommend you alternatives that are much more affordable.

Posted: February 18, 2024Experienced: September, 2023
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Amelia

Amelia

United Kingdom

Solo travel experience

I spent a month volunteering in Matapalo, very safe, you can walk at night and feel safe. I spent another month backpacking, and went to several different places. San Jose I stayed in only to cut journeys in half, not safe there at all I didn’t walk at night because of how unsafe I felt during the day. Santa Theresa was my favorite, lovely and friendly people, very safe and good food and shopping to be done there. Cahuita was good, relatively safe, but not a lot to do there. Puerto Veijo, was also safe, a busy town very good sushi restaurant and you can walk around ok. Nightlife is interesting

Posted: January 20, 2024
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Solo travel experience

My first international solo trip was to Costa Rica. Spent there 3 weeks and it was an amazing journey. I rented a car and visited 4 different places: Playa Hermosa, Playa Flamingo, Samara, and La Fortuna. In each of these places, I met other solo female travelers. This trip was much easier than I imagined. I loved it, I felt safe and had no problems getting around. The local people were very nice and helpful. Almost everyone spoke a little bit of English.

Posted: December 30, 2023
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Family travel experience

Recently, I went to Costa Rica with my young children and found that people there are very friendly, many of them speak English. I felt safe there, provided that appropriate precautions were taken, as should be done everywhere.

Posted: December 25, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I was alone in Costa Rica in March and had an amazing time. I felt really safe there and there were plenty of things to do. I also met a lot of people along the way, so I didn't feel lonely at all. I speak Spanish, but I was surprised that most of the locals I met spoke English.

Posted: December 23, 2023
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Is Costa Rica safe for women?

Johnna

Johnna

It is safe as long as you do not visit uncrowded places or walk at night, but tourist places usually have many police officers always watching. The part that I least recommend is the capital San Jose, there is not much to see and it is more unsafe.

Posted: June 2, 2024
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Is Costa Rica safe right now?

Before your visit to Costa Rica, it's essential to check travel advisories for Costa Rica, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.
🇺🇸

United States Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The United States Government advises exercising increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 17, 2023
🇨🇦

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Costa Rica due to crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 4, 2024
🇦🇺

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Costa Rica due to the threat of violent crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: November 10, 2023

Is Costa Rica worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 54 experiences

Nikki

Nikki (25)

United States

Group travel experience

I absolutely loved my experience in Costa Rica! The country is beautiful with the mountains, rainforest, and beaches. I traveled to Playa Jaco, La Fortuna, and San Jose. Personally, La Fortuna felt like a vacation away from the vacation. Also, I would say to be prepared to conduct extensiver research regarding renting a vehicle. Never, I repeat, never pay upfront for a car rental. I traveled to Costa Rica with three other ladies. I organized, planned, and executed everything pertaining to the trip. The itinerary was jam packed with one free day to frolick. I will definitely be back to explore other parts of the country and revisit some unforgettable locations.

Posted: July 6, 2024Experienced: July, 2024
Things to do: 4/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 4/5
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Family travel experience

i have spent the majority of my time in costa rica near heredia and san jose de la montaña! although i love the beach and all the beaches are gorgeous here, i cannot recommend the mountains of costa rica enough! the climate is perfect, its insanely beautiful, and the people are some of the kindest i’ve ever met!

Posted: June 15, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 5/5
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Meet locals in Costa Rica

Meet local women in Costa Rica who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
andi

andi

About Me

i love to meet new people and i’m always on the lookout for new experiences :)

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NicolaG

NicolaG

About Me

Hi there, perpetual expat, traveller and Entrepreneur who loves meeting people from all cultures. On a spiritual awakening path. Embracing nature with the best of technology. Interested in politics from the perspective that it does not clip freedoms and makes policy that allows good people to thrive. I am Apolitical. History major so love history and observing history unfoldfold. All in on crypto. Feel very responsible to be the change I want to see in the world. Been on personal development path for 40 years. Feel 20 years younger than my number.

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Stay with locals in Costa Rica

Stay with local women in Costa Rica who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Lilly

Lilly

Colorado Tortuguero Pococí

Can host for:

2 days

About me

I am a nature lover and very friendly....

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Emma

Emma

San Isidro del General Pérez Zeledón

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hi there, I am a single mom ane real estate agent. I live in a little farm house in a tico neighborhood. Happy to host someone but we wake up early and the house is small. If I have time, I can show you the area.

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Upcoming visitors to Costa Rica

Connect with upcoming visitors to Costa Rica who are looking for travel buddies or meet ups.
Evelyn

Evelyn

About Me

Hello! My name is Evelyn, I'm a Peruvian backpacker currently traveling through Central America.

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Koliane

Koliane

About Me

Hi, I'm all about backpacking and travelling lightly whenever I travel, doesn't matter if it's for a day or for a month. I usually take public transports, tours aren't my thing. I'm not the most sociable person, but I'm always happy to meet new people for a picnic, kitchen party, hiking, strolling in the street, museums, and dancing. Travelling is like a language, the more you know, the more you want to discover new places. A place quite often becomes special when you meet great people on the way.

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Safety in Costa Rica