Official Travel Advice for Costa Rica
Summary, Safety and Security and Terrorism. Addition of information on protests, strikes and recent attacks in San Jose
Travelchimps aims to provide ALL the information you need (see our Travel Dashboard). This page uses data from UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The usual caveat: we cannot guarantee import of this information was error free and therefore the accuracy of this page. Always use a number of sources to check important information
Advice current as at 4:00 am 14 Dec 2019.
Around 95,000 British nationals visited Costa Rica in 2018. Most visits are trouble-free, but incidents of violent crime against tourists have increased. There have been incidents of robbery at gunpoint involving groups of British visitors, and 2 incidents in August 2018 which led to the deaths of tourists. See Crime
There has been disruption to local travel and public services due to protests and strikes by various groups opposed to certain Government policies. These have taken place in different locations around the country, at times affecting access to San Jose airport, and could reoccur without warning. Check local traffic information before planning your journey and avoid demonstration gatherings. See Safety and security
Although there’s no history of terrorism in Costa Rica, attacks can’t be ruled out. Attacks involving an explosive device occurred in front of a parliamentary office building and a TV station in San Jose in June and July 2019 respectively. See Terrorism
There have been a number of deaths and cases of serious illness in Costa Rica caused by drinking alcoholic drinks containing methanol. See Safety and security
While air accidents are rare, there have been 2 fatal accidents since September 2017 involving light passenger aircraft. See Air travel
UK health authorities have classified Costa Rica as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Cases of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases continue to be reported, particularly during the rainy season (May to November). See Health
Increased activity of several volcanoes has caused national park and airport closures and this could happen again at any time. See Natural disasters
If you need to contact the emergency services, call 911 (English speaking operators are available).
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel, particularly if undertaking adventure sports where safety standards can be variable. Beaches in Costa Rica may have dangerous currents and these aren’t always indicated by signs. Life guards aren’t usually present. Seek local advice and take extreme care. See Safety and Security – Swimming and Watersports.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Costa Rica
Drive on the: right
Visitors/Tourists: 2,192,000 in 2011
San José (also largest city)