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Never again!!!

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Costa Rica aka Land of Thieves!
4 years ago, June 14th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #113137  
N Posts: 6
My wife and I along with our 3 yr. old grandson just spent 10 days in Costa Rica aka the Land of Thieves.
What a nightmare, three times we were robbed, once within 30 minutes of being in this lovely country aka Mexico South. We even had a nebulizer(grandson has asthma) stolen from our room. From the Gringo pricing to nasty towns(it doesn't cost a dime to pickup your own trash), Costa Rica is on the downhill slide towards sub third world status. So if you'd like to get robbed in an Eco-friendly country hop on the plane and head for the Land of Thieves aka Costa Rica. Reply to this

4 years ago, June 14th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #113149  
Sorry to hear your story. Im sure there were some positives to the trip? Reply to this

4 years ago, June 15th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #113244  
N Posts: 6
Yes there were a few positives , the few thing that were not stolen. Reply to this

4 years ago, June 23rd 2010 No: 4 Msg: #113883  
I have lived here in Costa Rica for almost 15 years. It, as many countries is not without its problems. I am sorry to hear you had such bad experiences in the country. I would be curious to ask where you went because that can largely explain what happened to you.

Costa Rica has some Hot Spots of Criminal activity, as any country or city will. Most of Costa Rica is actually quite harmless. Having lived in one of those hotspots for a few years (popular beach town) my house was broken into 3 times, at the same time, where I have been living for the past 5 years crime is unheard of. It can all depend on where you are.

Prices are all over the place and one can visit here for $25 a day up to $2000 a day and everything in between. Costa Rica is by no means a cheap country to visit or live in, some things are cheaper and some are more expensive than the USA for instance.

For myself I cant think of many places that I would rather be let alone live.

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ Reply to this

4 years ago, June 23rd 2010 No: 5 Msg: #113904  
N Posts: 6
We were in San Jose and Escazu. Reply to this

4 years ago, June 24th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #113912  
Ah, San Jose would be the worst of the "Hot Spots" in the country. Escazu isn't bad at all and I am little surprised to hear you had trouble there. Again, I am sorry you had such a bad time. The legal system here does not work very well and criminals have gotten used to not being punished which can make them brave. Most crimes are not violent here but theft is a big problem in some areas. Reply to this

4 years ago, June 24th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #113914  
N Posts: 6
I appreciate your info, maybe I'll try Costa Rica again. It is a beautiful country. Reply to this

4 years ago, June 24th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #113998  
I'm glad to hear thats your attitude, you would be well understood to write Costa Rica off completely after your experience but to say you might try it again shows that you are open minded and that is a great attribute.

It is a beautiful country but we have issues for sure. There is a lot of hope right now with the new, and first, female president. She is already cracking down on crime and I think the country could use a womans touch.

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4 years ago, July 1st 2010 No: 9 Msg: #114560  
Good to know...
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4 years ago, July 8th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #115162  
B Posts: 3
I spent 11 days in Costa Rica and I loved it. No complains..sorry to hear that your trip didnt go well. Reply to this

3 years ago, December 1st 2010 No: 11 Msg: #124041  
I think that this could be the worst thing that can happen to any person on a journey. Being robbed 3 times in a single journey is simply horrible. I pray that this should not happen to me on my any trip to costa rica (Next is fixed in January, just after Christmas holidays). Reply to this

3 years ago, December 2nd 2010 No: 12 Msg: #124063  
I am sure you will be fine Capt. Jack, I have lived here a long time with no troubles, just use common sense and you will be fine. Reply to this

3 years ago, December 13th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #124652  
I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I was in Costa Rica for a study abroad trip a month after you and I was also robbed, along with a lot of other people. We were in Puerto Viejo, and then staying in San José. In San José, my friends were robbed again with a fake gun. However, we know that crime is constant here- and I will be returning to San José at the end of the month as this did not deter my entire experience in Costa Rica. I was robbed my first week and lost an iPod touch, a camera, credit cards, at least a hundred dollars, a watch my grandmother gave me-- all in my first weekend. I am a STUDENT with hardly anything! I know though, that the people there are wonderful people because I met so many of them... I stayed with a host family who treated me like their own daughter and the host mother I had cried when I left...this is why I am going back. I rode on horseback all day through the rainforest in Quepos and met two really nice girls from Holland and I swear I felt like I was in a movie- this is an experience I will never forget. We tied up horses and got to see a waterfall and then swim in a small pool midway through our ride. This was no boring trail ride either- these horses could RUN! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life.

I had many more, too-- but I won't go on and on in this post. All I am trying to say is that in my one month study abroad, yes, people were robbed, including myself, but you really must read up and be prepared. I read several books before going to Costa Rica, and when I was robbed, it was on the beach at midnight. That could have been avoided. There are several precautions you can take to avoid any of that from happening-- some of it is bad luck but a lot of it is being a smart tourist, like holding your backpack and purse in front of you at all times and never falling for gags like someone dropping change on a bus and helping them pick it up, or helping someone stranded with a flat tire, etc.

If you do go back, I would suggest staying in the Barceló Hotel-- it is at least 4 star and has gotten very good reviews. I've been there and it's very beautiful and has great food as well. My parents may stay there if they visit me this summer during my last week in San José.

Also, one last comment-- the gringo pricing can be avoided if you know a little Spanish. Ticos don't barter but if you show a little disenchantment with their price, they may lower it for you.
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3 years ago, January 5th 2011 No: 14 Msg: #125967  
Why go back lots of other countries to see. For one thing always get out of the main cities first I say then when you have a better understanding of the country and its way you can explore on your way out. You really have to watch your stuff when in poor countries most of the time they have nothing to lose. Skip Belize they really know how to steal! Reply to this

3 years ago, April 19th 2011 No: 15 Msg: #134162  
I agree with Wandering Gal to a certain point. If you are just being a world traveler, you might as well go explore other countries first and then try Costa Rica again.

I myself love Costa Rica and travel there quite often as I bought some property there and its fairly cheap to go there from the US but whenever I can, I love to try other countries. he he he,. my next one on the agenda is Peru!! Reply to this

31 months ago, January 5th 2012 No: 16 Msg: #149892  

In response to: Msg #113883
So I'm worried about this... I will be leaving on the 24th of Feb to costa rica... Would appreciate to know what cities are the hot spots for crime...

I am planning to go to:
San jose
La fortuna
Jaco
Manuel Anotonio
Alajuela

is there any danger to any of these places? Reply to this

30 months ago, January 15th 2012 No: 17 Msg: #150380  
I am sorry to hear that you had such a bad time...I visited Costa Rica a few years back and we loved it, and we had nomajor issues.

Knowing that San Jose has some crime issues we decided to stay at Hotel Presidente a block away from Plaza de Cultura...there are other affordable hotels across the street too...we chose this location because it was on Central Avenue Bulevard ( a street close to pedestriens that connects some turistic points. We noticed a lot of police walking around and it felt very safe, however we were worned not to start wondering on the small alleys and keep to populated areas.

We also visited Tortuguero, La Fortuna (Arenal), Manuel Antonio....we had no problems and found prices reasonable, we booked the tours through the hotels we stayed at and avoided the All Inclusive hotel ...we had great service and met a lot of nice people.

Angelrinoa116...if I can help you with more let me know...

BTW we loved CR so much we will renew our vowel there in 2014 (10yr anniversary) Reply to this

30 months ago, January 18th 2012 No: 18 Msg: #150590  

In response to: Msg #150380

thank you for replying loove2trvl!
That would be great help! How did you get around CR? Did you drive or bus everywhere? I am so excited!

and that's amazing! congrats on your 10 year anniversary that's coming up! Reply to this

30 months ago, January 31st 2012 No: 19 Msg: #151217  
The center of San Jose is a bit dangerous, day and of course late night, the bus terminals are full of bag snatchers, avoid this tourist trap hell and vacation in El Salvador and Guatemala and a bit of Nicaragua for half to a third of the CR prices, depending where you are, here are some websites from a new 'hot spot' surfing beach El Tunco only 43 km or 25 miles west of the Airport, 35 minutes by vehicle or 46 km. or 26 miles south of capital city of San Salvador, some websites
http://www.surfestravel.com/playaeltunco.html
http://www.hosteltrail.com/ca/elsalvador/playaeltunco/
http://www.rootscamping.es.tl/HOME.htm
http://www.papayalodge.com/
http://www.ecosurfelsalvador.com/
http://www.rocasunzal.com/english/home.htm
http://www.tekuanikal.com/home.htm Use common sense here and lock up your passport and valuables while at the beach, lots of friendly little bars and restaurants, surfing and more surfing, quiet Monday to Friday, travellers here from all over the world, read my article on this forum WHY NOT El Salvador and Guatemala? I live here and know many ex pats, travelers and volunteers here in El Salvador who encounter few problems, why??? Far fewer tourists, far fewer con artists and theives, locals wish you to return, if you need more information on travel to Central America and live in the USA have Magic Jack and able to call you free, or type and video on Skype if you prefer, send me a private message, most of the 'danger' is in your mind or from the media or from internet bloqqers who have been robbed here and there, second hand information, join my group on facebook as well and ask a question
http://www.facebook.com/groups/discovercentralamerica/ also have a primer for first time travellers to Central America, request it Whereever you go buen viaje y buena suerte saludos Reply to this

30 months ago, January 31st 2012 No: 20 Msg: #151218  
Hi,
sorry I was away and not able to answer until now.
We used all kinds of transportation in CR with no issues at all. We used the bus in San Jose (to do to the airport) with no issues at all....travel light, keep your eyes on your bag at all times and do not put it in the cargo area of any bus.
We also used a public bus to get from Manuel Antonio to San Jose, people were friendly and compleatly safe.
In San Jose we stayed in the touristic area and avoided any empty streets especially after dark....staying sober also helps.
We used Jungle Tom to get from San Jose to Tortuguero and it was not only a plesant tour/transfer but very educational (banana plantation and breakfast included)....we used a private transfer from Tortuguero to Arenal. It was safe but it took more then if I would have went by bus, for a more comfortable transfer you may wanna return to San Jose and then go to Arenal from there.
from Arenal we used a private driver to take us to Manuel Antonio...In Arenal we stayed at Arenal Vista Lodge and they arranged for the driver...
we used public bus to get from our hotel to the public beach in Manuel antonio (for 3 days every day) and we had no issues...very safe...public beach was nice to and no vendors to bug you...they were a few but if you said no once they just moved on....
if there is anything else I can helpyou with just send me a PM.
regards,
and have fun Reply to this

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