Generally speaking: Is Costa Rica safer than Mexico?

Old Jun 10th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Generally speaking: Is Costa Rica safer than Mexico?

Yikes! Last night I was reading Tripadvisor.com about Manuel Antonio and I became just a bit concerned. We're heading there for 4 nights. Staying at Villas Nicolas. We've traveled quite a bit to Mexico and we travel 'wisely, and we've never had any problems. Well...one time a fellow tried to give us the incorrect change (in his favor), but that's been it. Just wondering how safe Manuel Antonio is. REally... there've only been two major incidents REPORTED on Tripadvisor. But it's enough to make me stop and reconsider. Also, I recently purchased one of those Pacsafe carry-on pieces of luggage that has wire mesh inside it, so it can be locked and the luggage can be secured around some other object like the underside of the sink. Maybe that's going a bit overboard, but it seemed like a good idea and allows for a bit more 'peace of mind'.

Carrie
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 03:37 PM
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I've been to CR 3 times in the last 3 years and as a solo female traveler never felt scared or concerned. I've traveled the world & have common sense not to go to the beach (or anywhere else for that matter) at 3 am, if that's what you're referring to. Heck I live in a popular resort town in FL and I wouldn't even do that here. You're looking at one, two isolated events that get press simply because it's not something that happens often. These things happen where we live, everyday, all the time & we don't even blink.
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Much crime in CR is petty Nica related: act big and strong.
The AHs would never attack us.
M (SMdA, Gto., MX)
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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I've always felt very safe in CR, and safe in Manuel Antonio. There is a bar on the beach there called Mar Y Sombra. If you go there, get out by midnight. Lots of drinking and drugs there, and things can get out of hand. You can go to a disco in Quepos late at night and be OK because it's in an enclosed venue. Don't walk on the beach in the middle of the night anywhere -- including the US. Really, the violent crimes like the one you read about are very rare.

Sandy
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 09:31 PM
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Well.. I'll be traveling with my 80 year old mom. Don't think we'll be out past dark. Both of us are the early to bed, early to rise type.
Carrie
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 09:43 PM
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Never felt threatened or unsafe in CR with my three small children. Manuel Antonio was no exception.
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Old Jun 11th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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Mexico is a lot bigger with a larger population and larger tourist population, so that means more crime. Maybe it all evens out on a per capita basis. Who knows?

I've never bought the rationale that "these incidents can happen at home too." They do. Obviously. But when we're at home, we know the lay of the land, we know the language, we know which areas are safe and which are not, we know how to take public transportation, we know the local customs ... We don't inherently know those things when we travel and that creates a certain vulnerability and the need to exercise a certain caution that we don't think about when we're on our home turf. But I think the skills you've developed to travel wisely in Mexico will serve you well in Costa Rica too. Enjoy.
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Old Jun 11th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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My daughter had her purse stolen in Cozumel. We had to run into a Jai Alai fonton to get away from a Salvadoran street gang on a busy street in Acapulco. Fortunately our taxi driver/quide saw them heading our way and crossing the street when we did while using sign language and told us to move quickly.

In 14 years of travel to CR I have had nothing but big smiles and warm greetings. I travel with my husband and I travel alone down there.

Crime does happen anywhere and it is much more frightening if you don't know the laws, speak the language, and know where to stay away from. Two reports when there have been millions of visitors to CR is pretty darn good in my book. Petty theft is a problem in CR but using your head and not leaving items in your rental car while touring and using a safe for important items while in a hotel are ways to keep safe in that respect. I have some beautiful jewelry but all I wear anywhere I am traveling is a simple gold band.

We visited Guatemala recently and had a wonderful, safe trip. When we moved to a different area/hotel we would just ask where the safe areas were and the areas that aren't safe. Same thing goes anywhere you travel. I have used this method in 20 countries and other than the above scare in Acapulco, I have had no problems. We also had some great advice on these boards.

Sounds like you have your radar activated when you travel and use your heads. I would just relax and have a wonderful time while using your travel skills. There wouldn't be so many of us on these boards talking about how wonderful it is down there if it was all that bad.
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Old Jun 11th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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I do a lot of pre-planning (i.e., where to stash money while moving place to place; plan for the 'just in case - worst-case scenerio, where to put valuables in the room, extra copies stored here and there). My husband doesn't care whatsoever, and I'm sure he'd be a prime target if he wasn't traveling with me. But once I get there, I tend to relax because I know I've done all I can. But on this upcoming trip, I'll be traveling with my mom, so I'm feeling a just a bit more apprehensive. I've never been to CR, but I'm sensing it may be safer than Mexico.
Carrie
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