Crime in San Jose, Costa Rica

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Crime in San Jose, Costa Rica

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11. Posted by jamesey (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

My wife and i were in san jose for 2 days and we saw a mugging on the person walking in front of us in downtown.

It didnt feel very safe.

12. Posted by katy_laing (Budding Member 17 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I suppose it's a risk you have to take. If you have heard stories about crime being bad, the only way you will know for yourself is if you experience that area. The other thing to remember is that every city in the world is going to have people that are involved in crime, and if you don't want to risk it then you should never leave your house.

I would have to agree that in general, the best way to avoid danger is as you would do in any city in the world and avoid suspicious circumstances like dark alleys late at night, always travel with another person, etc. Is it possible to buy things like capsicum spray over there? Is it even legal there? I'm not sure if that would help much, but that's the best I could offer.

I would say take the risk, but be aware and prepared if something like that were to happen.

13. Posted by chelsegull (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I just got back from Costa Rica, and was almost mugged in San Jose the first night there. My boyfriend and I were walking back to our hotel at 7:00 at night. We were followed and approached. My boyfriend was confrontational and they backed down. We were lucky enough to be approached by two men who weren't armed, and were looking for an easier target. But, it could have gone very badly if they were armed.

Also, be careful with your camera. We found out that the camera we bought in New York for 300 dollars, is actually worth 6-700 hundred dollars in Costa Rica.

My advice is to not stay any longer in San Jose than you have to. And, take a taxi everywhere. My boyfriend and I are New Yorkers and we both felt very unsafe in San Jose. :(

14. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

When tourists get robbed in Costa Rica, because of the PR that it is safer, cleaner than "other Central American countries" they are kind of shocked, when they arrive here in El Salvador or over in Guatemala they are at first on guard, hyper aware and 99.8% of the time, if they use common sense, dress down, hide cameras and valuables on the street and public transportation, nothing ever happens.

If theives corner and outnumber you...act crazy, insane and then hopefully you should know how to defend yourself

There are many lodging
bargains in El Salvador , but make sure you do not
in the crowded, dangerous and polluted 'Centro' or
Downtown, when in San Salvador , stay in the western
part of town near Metrocentro Mall and the National
University, the lodgings located on pleasant tree
lined streets in nice areas, near San Salvador 's
'Bohemian District' for overview of nightlife

La Luna Casa y Arte, Google it.

Upload in pdf the 'Guatemala Revue Magazine'
You shall view many, many Adverts and a few very
Articles on this on line edition, same as print
edition, which will
give one a good overview of
Guatemalan and El Salvadorian travel, all the articles
Are archived.
pdf format only

Google it.

The Guatemala Revue Magazine boasts large Guatemala
section, El Salvador section and smaller Belize and
Honduras sections. Monthly, in English. The Editor,
Lena Johannessen, native of Norway is El Salvador
resident since 1993.


  • *When Central Americans do travel within the region,

usually on weekends or holiday periods, they travel
with family members in large groups. This is called
'turismo interno' - internal tourism.. There are
many fine local guides, tour operators and
driver-owners in El Salvador that advertise locally
and will take visitors on tour with advance notice at
reasonable prices. If you speak Spanish you are able
to save a lot of money rather than go with the more
expensive inbound tourism outfits, as well as meeting
and travelling with locals, at times the locals may
invite you to their home after the tour, especially in
El Salvador or Nicaragua ! The local tour operators
advertise in the classified sections of the daily
newspapers and on Spanish language local Internet
portals.During holiday periods El Salvadorian
operators conduct excursions in Mexico , Guatemala ,
Honduras, Nicaragua , Costa Rica and some go as far as
Panama, prices and quality vary so check around,
always ask to inspect the vehicle first and inquire
with local friends as to which companies are
reliable or contact writer of this bloq.
Many locals in El Salvador often travel weekends to
make pilgrimages to Catholic Shrines in Antigua and
Escuintla, Guatemala, etc. Religion is practiced here
in El Salvador by a large majority of people, Roman
Catholic or Evangelical, be polite and respectful of
other's beliefs and opinions at all times.

"Don't EVER go up a volcano alone. Tours are cheap and
have some kind of guard."……" in El Salvador
escorted Volcano and tourist police at no
extra charge..tipping expected..depart from the main
gate of Cerro Verde National park every day except


Remember you are not at home, where you know where and
when to go or
NOT to go..locals on the street in many places in Latin
America will
often give contrary advice and directions if you are
lost, usually
just to be polite…

The writer's own Words…..

For El Salvador and the rest of Central America INCLUDING San Jose CR
warnings about the same, same old, same old:

  • *don't walk alone or in pairs after dark and take a

taxi home (if you don't have a ride)even if your
lodging place is only three or four blocks away,
sometimes it only takes 50 meters outside the bar or
night spot if thieves are following you and they hit
hard and fast.

  • *Be especially aware, never paranoid, in second/third

class bus terminals, crowded outdoor markets and city
bus stops, never carry a digital camera or laptop on
transport unless concealed. Between countries take the
international Tica Bus or other first class bus lines,
remember all of the thieves now have cell phones, most
travelers do not carry cell phones away from home so
try and
keep a low profile, blend in if possible, got it?



"The Police don't really care much if you are not
injured in a crime, just as at home, the police
usually have more pressing things to deal with, and
the Consuls at the Embassies have seen hundreds of
Police Reports and issued many new Passports for a
hefty fee! Never carry your passport unless leaving
the country, carry a photocopy."

  • At your own risk accept drinks, favors, gifts,

lodgings or rides home from
total strangers, say those met in a 'bar', café or
especially young women traveling alone or in pairs,
never tell strangers your itinerary and travel plans,
nor where you are staying. Guys, never take a 'bar
girl' or her 'friends' you do not know back to your
lodging place.
fact if you go out late night in any large Latin
American city stick to the main
entertainment districts, In San Salvador as well the
Bohemian District are 'Zona
Viva' or 'Zona Rosa' and the 'Gran Via', are well lit
and fairly safe.
Every upscale or even 'downscale' Bar or
disco may usually sport an armed guard inside or

If this upsets you..stay home or in your lodging place!

  • Taxi Drivers and Hotel Employees are usually the

worst people you can ask about where to go out,
you'll usually always be directed to the most
expensive places, especially if you don't speak
Spanish. Start learning! Today. Google Live Mocha.

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