Stay Safe

Safety in San José





Stay Safe


In San José and throughout the nation's urban centers, the traffic is wild and dangerous. It is not the norm for cars to stop for pedestrians; in fact, they generally drive very fast, which can make walking across streets difficult and even dangerous.

The area around the Coca Cola Bus Terminal, and most other terminals, is not as safe; especially at night. And some, like the aforementioned bus terminal, are not safe during the day and night. You should watch your belongings and stay with a group of people you trust at all times if walking through the city.

If you travel by bus, try not to put your luggage into the storage space above the seats. If you put your rucksack between your knees you will have better control of your belongings. Car theft is a problem in San José, make sure you take the necessary actions to reduce the chances of having your vehicle stolen; or anything within your vehicle. For example, bring a club (steering wheel lock) or park in locked fence areas or the city's parking buildings.

Always wear your seat belt. Going off of the scenarios of dangerous drivers, the taxi cabs that you choose to travel in MUST have a yellow triangle sticker on the front doors with the plate number. This demonstrates that that particular vehicle and the driver are legitimate. If anything were to happen, you (as a tourist) would know who to file a complaint with, etc. As a warning: Please do not enter any vehicle that does not have this larger triangle sticker on it (usually on the door) because the driver is most likely an illegal taxi; which means that you are choosing someone who may not be properly licensed or have met the requirements for transporting other people. The airport is a frequent "hot-spot" for these sort of incidents to occur quickly, because someone can come up to you (knowing that you are a tourist, not aware of their customs or regulations, and will exploit that), grab your luggage, and start loading it into their car - but be sure to check the vehicle for the yellow triangle as well as wrestling your luggage back out of the car. The orange taxis at the airport are the official airport taxis.

Generally speaking if you stick to the tourist spots in the city you will be safe, just try to avoid showing off valuables more than necessary, if you're taking a picture put your camera away as soon as its taken, never show big amounts of cash, exercise caution. Avoid at all costs walking at night, either right downtown or in the suburbs, cabs and buses are too cheap, so walking at night is a very unnecessary risk. As with any big city, use common sense and keep your belongings in front or beside you - never on your back. San José is known for its abundance and skill of pickpockets.

Stay healthy

San José, as the largest city in C.R. has the largest hospitals, both public and private. Tourists can use the private hospitals, and pay with cash or credit card. The wait is significantly shorter than at public hospitals. Also note the bigger private hospitals in the country are considerably more expensive than the many, smaller private hospitals throughout the city. Most doctors can speak medical English, and they provide translator services