How Safe Is Quepos for Travel?

Updated On January 10, 2024
Quepos, Costa Rica
Safety Index:
55
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Quepos is a small and friendly Costa Rican town directly south of San Jose on the Pacific Coast.

Most locals know English due to the extensive tourism, so communication is generally simplified.

Most locals are respectful and friendly toward all travelers, but it’s always a good idea to remain vigilant, cautious, and aware of your surroundings, especially once the sun goes down.

Street crime, like petty theft, is prevalent in Quepos, so securing valuables is crucial.

When visiting, it’s advisable to utilize licensed, reliable transportation as incidences occasionally occur.

If you’re traveling to Quepos, it’s essential to understand the potential dangers and utilize the safety tips below to ensure a fantastic stay in this vibrant country.

Keep reading to learn more!

Warnings & Dangers in Quepos

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

Visiting Quepos has its share of dangers, primarily petty theft and scams. Unfortunately, you will need to be highly vigilant when traveling around Quepos and throughout the country to maintain a high level of safety.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM

Mass transit is typically safe in Costa Rica, but be aware of your surroundings to avoid a pickpocketing incident. Also, being vigilant at bus stops is essential since this is where petty thieves operate. Most importantly, don’t fall asleep on the bus as you could wake up without valuables.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH

Pickpocketing is a significant issue across Costa Rica, and Quepos is no exception. Tourists are told to remain vigilant in crowded places or on the street. Also, be aware of who is around you when withdrawing money from the ATM, and store all valuables in the hotel safe; don’t bring them in public. When storing your phone during sightseeing, keep it in your front pocket.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

The most common natural disaster in Quepos is earthquakes. Small, minor earthquakes occur daily, but a strong tremor occasionally shakes the buildings. The deadliest earthquake on record was in 2009, which claimed the lives of 34 individuals. NaturalNatural threats include severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

Mugging is common in Quepos streets, especially in secluded, poorly lit areas. If you are subjected to such violence, then never resist and hand over your possessions. Most criminals are out to steal, not injure their victims.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

No terrorist attacks have occurred in Quepos in recent years, so this is a low risk while visiting. However, it’s essential to remain vigilant and never let your guard down.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: HIGH

Scams are common in Quepos, so always negotiate costs upfront, especially with taxis, never pay in advance, and double-check your change. Also, if you’re planning to drive, be aware of the typical robbery where someone slashes your tires, and when you stop to fix the flat, a few friendly locals help you while attempting to grab everyone you own and run away.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Traveling to Quepos is typically safe for solo female travelers, but never explore secluded areas, walk alone at night, go hiking alone, or let your guard down. Also, dress moderately so you don’t draw attention, stay away from visibly intoxicated individuals, and never leave your drink unattended at a bar or nightclub.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The tap water in Quepos is considered safe because the country has exceptional water treatment facilities with strong sanitation standards. While that could be the case today, tomorrow might be different, so it’s crucial to remain updated on the latest health advisories. For sensitive stomachs, bottled water is always a safe choice.

Safest Places to Visit in Quepos

The main draws for tourists headed to Quepos are the pristine beaches and lush rainforests.

Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most beautiful in Costa Rica, known for its monkeys and gorgeous sea colors.

Given its proximity to Quepos, it’s an easy day tour, but you should go with a guide who knows the trails.

While there are the normal risks when entering the jungle, this is one of the safest places to visit in Quepos.

Also, walking down to the Marina Pez Vela will introduce various charter fishing or cruising boats, which are safe to book.

This marina has transformed the town into a vibrant destination, offering many exciting adventures.

Most of Quepos is safe for exploration, although it’s not advisable to wander around late at night.

Places to Avoid in Quepos

Heading into the jungle alone is an activity that must be avoided since you don’t know the paths and can quickly become lost.

Also, you don’t want to drive outside the city at night since plenty of dangerous nocturnal animals and opportunistic humans are looking to steal your belongings if you break down in the rough terrain.

The only area in Quepos to avoid is the Central Pacific Area, a pocket of crime.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Quepos

  1. Ask Hotels for Written Confirmation of the Service Policies. Always request written confirmation of their cancellation policy and services when booking a hotel, regardless of which brand you select. This will protect you from any unnecessary charges that may suddenly appear. Having this documentation is a legal validation to show your credit card company so they can fight the charges for you.
  2. Ask the Hotel for the Safest Routes. When traveling around town or out of the area, always ask the hotel for the safest routes, especially if you plan to drive at night. Areas outside of Quepos have plenty of thieves looking for unsuspecting tourists who don’t know their way around. Hotels will have the latest information on closures and other issues in town and nationwide.
  3. Avoid Unsolicited Help. While it can be challenging to differentiate between a scam and a friendly local, you must assume anyone offering unsolicited assistance is attempting to scam you. If a stranger approaches you asking for help, politely but firmly decline and walk away. Since Costa Rica has high scams, you maintain safety by declining assistance.
  4. Bring a Copy of your Passport. Never bring your original passport out sightseeing or on tours. Instead, bringing a copy as an additional identification will ensure you don’t lose it or thieves don’t steal it. Only the major cities have embassies and consulates, and reaching these buildings without a passport can be challenging.
  5. Carry your Backpack in the Front. Thieves are searching for tourists who have their bags in their packs so they can reach in and grab your belongings. When you discover an item is missing, it’s too late. To avoid this issue, keep your backpack and bags at the front of your body so you can see anyone attempting theft.
  6. Check your Phone in Secure Locations. A common theft method in Quepos is for one or two criminals on motorcycles to ride next to you on the street, grab your phone, and drive away. Therefore, you should only check your phone inside or at secure locations with plenty of police. Just because you’re in a tourist area doesn’t mean it’s secure, so check with the hotel before leaving.
  7. Don’t Leave Valuables in an Unattended Car. While this tip is relevant to every destination worldwide, it’s important to reiterate that you should never leave valuables in an unattended car. If you have items you must leave inside, place them out of sight and in the trunk so you don’t become the break-in target. Many criminals in Quepos are opportunistic, so they will not hesitate to smash the window if they see a valuable item.
  8. Don’t Walk in Isolated Places. Avoiding secluded, abandoned, and poorly lit areas is always the best advice. If you wander into one of these areas, opportunistic criminals will use this chance to rob you or worse. The best action is to calmly walk back in the direction you came or hail a licensed taxi if they happen to be in the area.
  9. Rent the Proper Vehicle for Your Journey. When leaving the Quepos, the terrain can become incredibly mountainous, with poor roads even for the day. Therefore, knowing your route will help you choose the best vehicle to get you between points. Opt for the proper automobile that can handle the terrain since you don’t want to break down in the jungle without cell phone service.
  10. Watch your Valuables. Whenever in public, always keep your valuables secure. Women must keep their handbags in front and purchase a snap-free strap. Men must keep their wallets and phones in the front pockets as the back pockets are easy to lift. Also, only bring the cash and credit cards you plan to use that day, so if they are stolen, you have a backup plan.

So... How Safe Is Quepos Really?

Due to the continually increasing tourism to Costa Rica and Quepos, the government has increased police presence and security in touristic areas to ensure visitors are safe and keep returning.

However, many dangers exist for visitors, the most prevalent being non-violent, petty street crime.

While larger cities experience more violent crimes, Quepos has less of an issue, but you should still proceed with caution during the day or night.

Quepos and the surrounding area have plenty to offer, so you should still visit; use common sense.

How Does Quepos Compare?

CitySafety Index
Quepos55
San Jose59
Monteverde74
Santa Teresa72
Manuel Antonio58
Puerto Viejo52
Tamarindo57
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

Visitors from most countries don’t need a visa for less than 90 days to enter the country. Costa Rica has a lax passport requirement, with the document only needing to be valid for one calendar day past the entry date. Many visitors are asked to show proof of financial means to cover the trip costs.

Currency

Currency

The official Costa Rican currency is the Colon, named after Christopher Columbus. Given the strength of the U.S. Dollar, it’s accepted in almost all locations, including Quepos, but it’s important to still carry Colones for rural shops, bus fares, and souvenirs from street vendors. Credit cards are accepted at most places, but having Colones as a backup will help eliminate issues.

Weather

Weather

Costa Rican is situated only between eight and 12 degrees above the equator, which means Quepos experiences a year-round tropical climate that’s hot and humid. This also means that plenty of rainfall is guaranteed, with the rainy season occurring during the spring, summer, and fall.

Airports

Airports

Quepos Domestic Airport is the only option in the area and doesn’t operate international flights. However, the flight from San Jose is only around 25 minutes, so it’s easy to get a connecting international flight.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

In case of a medical emergency, theft, loss, or other issue, carrying travel insurance and holding travel insurance when visiting Costa Rica is necessary. Travel insurance will financially protect you if an incident occurs during or after your trip. The two airlines that fly out of Quepos are Sansa and Nature Air, which fly to several locations nationwide.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Quepos Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 28° C
Feb 28° C
Mar 29° C
Apr 29° C
May 28° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 27° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 28° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
313233333131313030303031
Low
°C
242425252525242323232324
High
°F
889091918888888686868688
Low
°F
757577777777757373737375

Costa Rica - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Manuel Antonio58
Monteverde74
Puerto Viejo52
Quepos55
San Jose59
Santa Teresa72
Tamarindo57

Where to Next?

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