Is San Jose Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
San Jose, Costa Rica
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 67 / 100 based on 3 user reviews.

The capital city of Costa Rica is located on a plateau at 1200 m elevation, surrounded by mountains and valleys.

San Jose is the most populous city and its population is probably half of the whole Costa Rica.

He offers tourists miscellaneous cultural, architectural and historical venues with numerous museums, galleries, parks, and markets.

Some of the most visited museums are Museo de Oro Precolombino and Museo del Jade.

Caribbean and Pacific white sand beaches are also extremely popular and among top holiday destinations.

San Jose gives endless opportunities for adventure and it is considered a paradise of Central America.

Warnings & Dangers in San Jose

Overall Risk


Tourists need to practice the same kind of behavior as in any other city, even though San Jose authorities are doing its best to improve the security of foreigners by introducing constant police surveillance. Crime is a very serious problem and tourists need to keep a watchful eye on their personal belongings.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Once you need to take a taxi, use only those that are red or orange and bear in mind that it is safer to call them than to stop them on the street. Traffic in Costa Rica is risky, and pedestrians are not respected, so it is advisable to cross the street in a group.

Pickpockets Risk


As in most tourist destinations, travelers are targets for pickpockets. Be extremely careful when in public transport and crowded areas in front of the monuments. Car theft is also very frequent, so make sure that you parked your vehicle in locked fence areas.

Natural Disasters Risk


Due to its location and climate, San Jose is prone to flooding and landslides during heavy rains, hurricane risks from June to November, as well as volcanoes and extreme weather conditions.

Mugging Risk


There were reports of tourists being mugged and robbed in San Jose at night. If you happen to be the victim of this kind of crime, it is better to give them your money and valuables than to resist.

Terrorism Risk


Having in mind the fact that recent history has no records of terrorism in San Jose tourists can feel free and safe. However, suspicious activity is always possible, so remain attentive.

Scams Risk


High-level strategies when stealing, like spilling something on you, is applied on the streets of San Jose. Taxi drivers are constantly trying to overcharge the negligent passengers. Also, tourists need to watch out their credit cards.

Women Travelers Risk


When solo female travelers are in question, it is safe to travel to Costa Rica. You just need to pay attention to your clothing and showing off the expensive electrical gadgets. The closeness of the beaches makes it normal to wear beachwear, but rural areas demand more modest dressing. Machismo is still dominant in Costa Rica, so just do not pay attention to shouting or whistling and try to ignore them.

So... How Safe Is San Jose Really?

Once a tourist decides to visit a certain city, the main question is the safety standards of travelers there. In comparison to other cities in Costa Rica, San Jose has a higher rate of crime.

It is usually packed with tourists during the day and it is a generally safe city, but the situation gets worse during the night.

Petty crime and car theft are very frequent and the area to be avoided is Hatillo, a district full of drug dealers.

Also, the area around the Coca Cola Bus Terminal is very deserted and risky.

If you carefully watch your belongings and do not show off your wealth, you will not attract attention and will not become a possible prey.

As long as you bear in mind the economic situation and machismo in San Jose, and practice common sense, you will remain safe while in the city.

How Does San Jose Compare?

CitySafety Index
San Jose59
Santa Teresa72
Manuel Antonio58
Puerto Viejo52
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71

Useful Information



The necessity for a visa to Costa Rica depends on your nationality and the best way to inform yourself is to visit sites that will explain everything in relation to the documentation that is obligatory.



The colon is the official currency in Costa Rica and you need to exchange your money in the exchange offices unless you have U.S. dollars which are accepted. You can also use your credit cards in major cities.



Costa Rica has a tropical climate and only two seasons: summer, which lasts from December to April and the rainy season from May to November. There are regions where it constantly rains. Due to the elevation of San Jose, it can be a bit chilly at night.



There are two international airports in Costa Rica, both of which can be used when coming to San Jose. The Juan Santamaría International Airport 23 km away from the center of San José and The Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, the second busiest international airport in the country.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Each journey can pass without any instance of trouble, but there are cases when accidents can ruin it. That is why it is always better to have travel insurance which will make you feel relaxed and protected while in other countries. If you are interested in adventures, bear in mind that it also needs to include the coverage of medical problems in cases of incidents during those activities, which standard insurance policies do not comprise.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

San Jose Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 11° C
Feb 12° C
Mar 14° C
Apr 15° C
May 18° C
Jun 20° C
Jul 21° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 18° C
Nov 13° C
Dec 10° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Costa Rica - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Manuel Antonio58
Puerto Viejo52
San Jose59
Santa Teresa72

Where to Next?

3 Reviews on San Jose

  1. A
    Alex Glover says:

    Glad I didn't go...

    I almost went to Costa Rica in 2019… ALMOST. I changed my mind at the last second. I was going to be going with my brother and a group of friends but I didn’t want to fall behind at work. Needless to say, I am thankful I didn’t go. My brother and one of his friends got jumped and robbed twice in one week. Both times were at night so I am sure this plays a role in it. Either way, if I can’t feel safe somewhere, I won’t be able to enjoy it.

  2. Private tour guide

    Get a private car and you will feel safe and more secure in your travel. I heard taxis were dreadful to ride, and having a private tour guide would do wonders. Thats what we did and it was a breeze. A lot of national parks and reserves to visit, the fees do add up so keep that in mind.

    1. Costa Rica is an amazing destination IF you do things right.

      I totally agree with what was said here. Get a guide and Costa Rica will be an amazing trip for you! The guide knows exactly what to do, what not to do and where to take you to so you don’t get robbed or overpay for a taxi. Costa Rica is an amazing destination IF you do things right.

San Jose Rated 3.33 / 5 based on 3 user reviews.

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