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 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 : MEDIUM
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 : MEDIUM
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 : HIGH
As in most of 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 : MEDIUM
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 : MEDIUM
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 : LOW
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
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 : MEDIUM
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 of the expensive electrical gadgets. 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 travellers 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.
- Visas - 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 documentation that is obligatory.
- Currency - 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.
- Weather - 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.
- Airports - 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 - 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 a travel insurance which will make you feel relaxed and protected while in other country. 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.