7 Most Important Costa Rica Travel Tips
1. Costa Rica travel can be exciting, but it is important to stay safe and protect your belongings while you are abroad. Instead of carrying a purse or wallet you should use a fanny pack or money belt which fits securely around the waist. This will prevent any pickpockets from taking your money and important documents. You should also leave any valuable or precious jewelry at home, or at least locked in the hotel safe if you must bring these items with you. Never leave money or valuables in your room while you are gone.
2. Only use the red taxis when trying to find a taxi. These taxis are red and they have a license plate with red numbers, making them very easy to spot. At times there are illegal cabs on the streets and these taxis do not have the red numbers and color. When you get in the taxi look at the meter, and make sure it is set at zero. It is possible to negotiate the price of your trip before the meter is started, and if this is the case then you will know before you reach your destination what the exact price is for the fare.
3. Instead of carrying around your original passport and other important documents take a copy of them, and leave the originals locked in the safe at your hotel. This tip while enjoying Costa Rica travel can help you prevent a nightmare of delays and bureaucracy if you do have your wallet or purse stolen. The black market offers a high price for passports and other stolen identification papers, especially when they are from an American citizen.
4. Use common safety precautions. While Costa Rica does not have a lot of violent crime this activity can occur anywhere and in any country. Only use well-lit parking lots and ATM machines, and do not exchange currency out on the street where anyone can see you do so. Never carry more currency than you will need for the day. When driving keep your doors locked and windows rolled up, and never roll down your window while stopped at a traffic light even if someone is trying to get your attention or talk to you.
5. One Costa Rica travel tip is to watch out for teamwork among thieves. One common technique is for one person to bump into you while another is stealing your money and valuables. If you get a flat tire do not leave your vehicle unmonitored while you change the tire. Another common tactic is for one person to distract you and help with the tire change, while an accomplice is emptying your vehicle of everything that has any value at all.
6. When shopping and dining out make sure you know what taxes will be imposed. While you are shopping it is important to note that there is a thirteen percent sales tax on purchases, and this can be calculated into the price you pay or added to this amount. Before you make a purchase determine whether the sales tax is included, and do not be afraid to negotiate. In restaurants and bars there is an added ten percent tax on top of your total price. Tipping is optional but appreciated.
7. Make sure that you pack properly for Costa Rica travel. Light clothing and natural fabrics are a must, but you will also need a light jacket or sweater for when it is rainy or when the nights turn cool. If you will be exploring the forested areas then boots, jeans, and a long- sleeved shirt should be included in your packing list.