They are often looking for tips, at least, some have sticky fingers too and tourists are prime targets for these pickpockets.
This is just inviting thieves… Keep in mind much of what you may have is outside of what many locals maybe able to obtain, don’t tempt them.
Most things will close at sundown. This is for your safety. Snake, bats, and many insects are often out at night…not to mention those few who “mean no good”.
As daring or romantic as it may sound, it’s not a good idea.
It gets dark here around 6 pm, and the roads are often foggy, poorly lit, with little or no signage, windy, dirt roads, or with potholes. In addition, landslides are common during the rainy season.
Even locals avoid night driving when possible.
Check with the locals, check the tide charts, before jumping in. Some of our lakes and rivers have high sulfur and other mineral contents, which may cause allergies, in addition to the most obvious dangers of rough waves.
Drowning is always a danger in any body of water. Know how to swim or stay near the shore. Sharks are not a regular danger in Costa Rica.
Especially when in or near the ocean, a swimming pool, or on forest trails.
These are the only official and legal taxis. The exception being airport taxis which are orange. Other “pirate” taxis are not controlled and you ride at your own risk.
This makes you a vulnerable target.
Don’t forget important things like sunscreen, insect repellent, allergy medications, your regular meds, band-aids, etc. Pharmacies will have everything you need as well. Also pack a flashlight, good shoes, and poncho depending on the activities you have planned.
Or carry a cheat sheet of popular phrases you may need. While most people in the most popular destinations will speak English, you never know what problems you may have along the way, where communication will be important.
The original is best left in the safe at your hotel, though you will need it for bank transactions, and any tours operated near the borders.
These are documents you don’t want to lose. You may need a confirmation code, telephone number, or other detail.
If you have your phone unlocked by your service provider before you come, you can purchase a SIM card with some prepaid minutes and add as you go. You will have access to wifi in most of the country. Whatsapp is the most popular comunication app here, allowing you to chat and send messages internationally for free. Skype also works well.
To release any international travel bans on your account, and avoid any difficulties once you arrive.
They are not a reliable source of funds in Costa Rica and are often held by the local banks for up to 45 days, therefore not accepted by local merchants.
Or “nice people” you meet on the road that are full of suggestions. There are con-artists out there, and some will sell you a reputable company and give you something else, or nothing at all. Be safe and reserve directly with the tour operators or your hotel reception desk.
Check them out on TripAdvisor. Don´t be afraid to ask for copies of their insurance policies and guide certifications.
Stay on marked trails, remember there are countless inherent dangers in the rainforest, rivers, oceans, and adventure activities. The guides are the experts. Trust them.
Whenever possible pay colons for things priced in colons (supermarket, gasoline, clothing stores) and dollars for things priced in dollars (tours, hotels, souvenir shops). This will save you from losing out on the exchange rate. It is only pennies on the dollar though, so don’t stress it too much.
Count your change and make sure it is correct.
Especially when travelling on public transportation or when paying in highly visible areas. Credit and debit cards are welcomed in most places.