There are ongoing disputes between Uber and the taxi union that have resulted in government of Costa Rica and some private banking sector actions against Uber. Tourists who engage in/solicit prostitution exponentially increase their chances of being a victim of theft or of violent robbery or being arrested for violating Costa Rica’s trafficking-in-persons laws. Serious flooding occurs annually in the Caribbean province of Limón and the Pacific province of Puntarenas. In 2019, with a total of 560 murders, equivalent to a rate of 11 for every 100,000 residents, the homicide rate experienced a small but significant reduction compared to 2018. As the number and size of groups associated with narco-trafficking have increased, so has the presence of illegal drugs, greater domestic consumption, and associated turf wars. It’s one of a handful of countries in the region without a military. Due to crime, exercise increased caution in Central neighborhood in Limon, Liberia city, Desamparados neighborhood in San Rafael, and Pavas and Hospital neighborhoods in San José. Please review OSAC’s Costa Rica-specific page for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC password. Travelers are advised not to travel to Poas Volcano National Park due to a continuing volcanic activity. In recent years, the average annual amount of fine particle pollution in the greater metropolitan area ranged between 22-25 micrograms per cubic meter, more than double the recommended level set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Credit card theft/fraud is also a common crime faced by visitors. The kidnapping rate is very low and rarely involves U.S. citizens. American citizens are advised to practice good situational awareness with regard to their passports. U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information, (Across the street from Centro Comercial del Oeste Pavas). More & More People Retiring in Costa Rica. Many beaches with dangerous rip currents do not have lifeguards or warning signs. In 2018, there were 584 murders, or 11.6 murders per 100,000 people, per the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. When traveling in remote areas or by boat, be mindful of limited mobile phone reception and limited first responder access. Some are wondering if the police patrols that have been put in place are still enough to keep the peace. Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2017 was 12.30, a 3.36% increase from 2016. We’re going to break this to you first: crime is definitely a thing in Costa Rica. Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2014 was 10.00, a 14.94% increase from 2013. When planning travel to the area, consider that a disaster may strike without warning. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Weibo (Opens in new window), COVID-19 aggravating Brazil’s Jails Crisis, COVID-19 Has Hit Undocumented Immigrants Hardest, Business Education is Changing Guatemala’s Indigenous Lives. REVA Inc. is a fixed-wing air ambulance and medevac service with operations throughout the western hemisphere. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided. SITUATION Costa Rica is currently facing an unprecedented rise in the murder rate. Medicare and Medicaid do not offer coverage outside the United States. Costa Rica has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations. Crime in Costa Rica that impacts tourists is usually in form of petty theft and occasional armed robberies. Tourist Police: 2586-4620, 2586-4287, 2586-4457, 2586-4458 or 2586-4143. The main factor driving this level of violence is competition among groups engaged in the domestic sale and transport of drugs. Random acts of petty theft remain the primary area of concern; however, armed robberies do occur. A crime in action should be reported to Fuerza Publica: 911. Additionally, most roads are insufficient for the amount of and types of vehicles that use these roads. There is generally a spike in the number of home burglaries and robberies during the holiday season. The U.S. Department of State has assessed San José as being a LOW-threat location for political violence directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. U.S. citizens commonly report motor vehicle accidents and theft of travel documents. Visitors are reminded that they must obey all traffic regulations and be familiar with road conditions prior to traveling. American tourists and residents can also take steps to protect themselves. Interested private-sector security managers should contact OSAC’s, U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica should register with the, External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. The recent steady increase in the homicide rate has, in part, been attributed to the increase in organized drug trafficking and associated activities. U.S. Department of State, According to the current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report’s publication, Costa Rica has been assessed as Level 1: exercise normal precautions. The country has not had a military since 1948 and prides itself on its peaceful nature and efforts to maintain neutrality. But now drug-traffickers have their eye on this once-tranquil territory and crime rates are on the rise. Due to the relative open nature of portions of the country’s borders, the threat for terrorist elements to use the country as a transit point does exist. Costa Rica has seen a rise in murders in 2012, and a record 603 people were killed in 2017. In 2017, Costa Rica recorded a record number of 116 water-related deaths. It’s difficult to find any comprehensive crime stats more recent than 2011 for Costa Rica. A key factor in combating the increasing drug-related criminal activity is the strong security cooperation with the U.S. government. These cookies do not store any personal information. The Embassy recommends visitors consider purchasing private air medical insurance before traveling. Travelers can access the, Costa Rican National Emergency Commission, Costa Rican Volcanic and Seismic Observatory. Costa Rica became a “no-Army nation” in 1948 to renounce violence and encourage calm. Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2016 was 11.90, a 2.59% increase from 2015. The government’s new attempt to establish additional control over weapon possession, which was regulated by legislation in 1994, provoked criticism from those who support the right to carry weapons. The most common crime in Costa Rica is petty theft. In 2017, several large-scale road construction projects generated even more traffic congestion than usual. Small earthquakes (4.0-5.0) are common and occur throughout the year. In Costa Rica, homicide rates have been in its record high since 2015. Unfortunately illegal drugs, gangs, racketeering and money laundering exploded in the region. That means for every 100,000 people, 11.7 of them met their demise at the hands of somebody else (hey, statistics are rarely to the whole number). Costa Rica has been on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 Watch List for deficiencies in its protection of intellectual property rights. Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Costa Rica. The recent accomplishments in Costa Rica’s counter-narcotics programs can partially be attributed to the improvements in equipment, training, and infrastructure achieved in cooperation with the U.S. government. Nearly 3 million people visited Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2016 was,... Nationals participate in organized crime: car theft, etc investigative/judicial police crime potential later...: Best Practices. ” hemisphere team with any questions may be prohibited from leaving the country 2018 11.7... Marks 70 years since Costa Rica abolished its Army night tourists need to observe a high of. 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