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

Meet new people

Get the Travel Ladies app to meet new people, find travel buddies, share experiences and stay with locals for free through hospitality exchange.
Download from App StoreDownload from Google Play
Get the Travel Ladies App

How safe is Costa Rica?

Safety at nightModerate

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 transportationModerate

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 harassmentLow

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 crimesModerate

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 waterSafe

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 right now?

When traveling to Costa Rica, exercise a high degree of caution since there are significant observed crime-related issues, including a notable threat of violent crime. This is a recommendation shared by the US, Canadian, and Australian government advisories. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times, avoid traveling alone at night, and remain vigilant to ensure your safety during your visit.
🇺🇸

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, owing to crime-related issues. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: February 26, 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 safe to visit?

4.6 /5

Based on 46 experiences

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
favorite_border 3
mode_comment 0
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
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

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
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

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
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

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
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

Solo travel experience

I traveled to Costa Rica to learn Spanish. I always felt safe, and it is a very warm and hospitable country. I traveled all over the country and there was always a different landscape and experience to absorb. I would return there in a heartbeat.

Posted: September 25, 2023
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

Solo travel experience

I undertook my first solo overseas trip to Costa Rica for 3 weeks. I rented a car and visited 4 different places: Playa Hermosa, Playa Flamingo, Samara and La Fortuna. I met other solo traveling women in each of these places. Making this trip was much easier than I had imagined. I felt safe and had no problems driving around the whole country. Locals were very kind and helpful. Almost everyone spoke a little English.

Posted: August 8, 2023
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

Solo travel experience

I spent ten days alone in Costa Rica and it was an amazing experience. The landscapes were extraordinary, with beaches, mountains, and delicious food. The people were very friendly. I definitely recommend this place. I stayed in La Fortuna and Tamarindo and felt safe. I rented a car and driving around the area was an exciting experience.

Posted: July 30, 2023
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

Solo travel experience

Costa Rica is a very safe country. I traveled there alone for 8 days in April. I visited all of San Juan, then rode around and spent time in other places. I definitely recommend going to El Yunque on your own. All trails are very well marked, and hiking in a group is very annoying.

Posted: June 8, 2023
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

Group travel experience

I spent two weeks in Costa Rica, an amazing country that can be easily and safely explored using public transportation and shared minibuses (to save time). The people we met were very friendly. I didn't travel alone, but I don't think that would be a problem.

Posted: May 15, 2023
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

Is Costa Rica safe to live?

Is Costa Rica worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 46 experiences

Rating summary

Things to do

4.8/5

Safety

4.6/5

Food

4.7/5

Budget-friendly

4/5
Anna

Anna

Germany

Solo travel experience

Costa Rica was overall a beautiful country with stunning nature and wildlife. I felt it was quiet expensive with dorm beds ranging from 35 to 80 dollars a night. However I personally always felt save and would definitely recommend going back. I started on the carribean side and would definitely recommend going to Puerto viejo. Definitely go visit the national park cahuita as it’s stunning and you get to see so much wildlife. As it is so close to Panama I hoped over the border and explored the beautiful bocas del toro for a bit. It’s a great experience and you get to walk across the border which is also quiet fun. I then continued to la Fortuna which I personally found too touristy as it almost seemed like a little Disney land. It’s in the mountains and you can visit the rain forest and hike a Vulcano and visit hot springs. Everything seemed quite overpriced and too touristy to me. Santa Teresa is a fantastic hippiesque beach with lots of restaurants and shops. You can go for a surf or even go to a little tage in the jungle. It’s really fun. I also visited Manuel Antonio however I didn’t manage to go to the national park as it was closed on Tuesday so make sure to check on the times before you plan your trip.

Posted: February 17, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 4/5Budget-friendly: 2/5Safety: 4/5
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0
Agatka

Agatka

Netherlands

Solo travel experience

It was an amazing experience! My first solo travel and it couldn’t have been better. There are so so many things to do ALL the time, the nature is unreal like I have never seen before, the people are great. The only thing I would say is that it’s not really a budget travel destination. Everything is in Western European prices but it’s worth visiting anyways!

Posted: January 2, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 5/5
favorite_border 0
mode_comment 0

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.
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.

Speaking

mode_comment 0
Tamara

Tamara

About Me

"🌍 Hello, sisters from all around the world! I'm Tama, an 18-year-old adventurer from Costa Rica. 🌴🌺 I'm excited to embark on my journey of traveling and connecting with amazing people across the globe. ✈️ If you're traveling to Costa Rica and need a place to stay for a few nights, I offer you my home. I can show you beautiful spots in the city and provide you with recommendations.💓

Speaking

mode_comment 0

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.
Tamara

Tamara

Costa Rica

Can host for:

3 days

About me

"🌍 Hello, sisters from all around the world! I'm Tama, an 18-year-old adventurer from Costa Rica. 🌴🌺 I'm excited to embark on my journey of traveling and connecting with amazing people across the globe. ✈️ If you're traveling to Costa Rica and need a place to stay for a few nights, I offer you my home. I can show you beautiful spots in the city and provide you with recommendations.💓

Speaking

mode_comment 0
Natalie

Natalie

San José

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hello! I am Natalie! I running my travel shop, enjoy doing yoga and cook breakfast

Speaking

mode_comment 0

Upcoming visitors to Costa Rica

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

Kristina

About Me

Hi :) would like to explore the area, grab something to eat or join for a yoga class?

Speaking

mode_comment 0
Meru

Meru

About Me

Hello Hola Namaste Blissings my name is Meru, I’m a creative, kind, musician being person. Love to learn, explore, create and connect with other kind open colorful people!

Speaking

mode_comment 0

Safety in Costa Rica