a VirtualTourist member
I am going to Costa Rica at the end of February for 4 days/5 nights I am a 25 year old woman traveling alone. I will be staying at a hotel in downtown San Jose. Any safety tips for a woman traveling alone? Any advice on what to see and do? I am willing to drive around Costa Rica.
My safety tip would have been don't travel alone. But since you're already going, my advice is to spend as little time in San Jose as possible if you are alone. The evening and night is no place for a solo female traveling, IMHO. Fly in, rent a car and experience the country. With such a short amount of time, I recommend the beach, specifically the Pacific Coast so you can enjoy the sunsets. I'm partial to Samara. Easy to get to and a small beach town. If you go that route, look into Casa del Mar hotel. Carolina is the manager and she is awesome. Traveling alone, she can make great recommendations. I was just here a few weeks ago and updated my travel page: [original VT link]
Better than typing it all out here.
If you want to check out more would be a push with taking travel between locations into consideration. You may enjoy yourself more focusing on one area. If not, La Fortuna is nice to experience some of the hot springs from Arenal Volcano. But four days is a bit much there.
None of the above can be a day trip from San Jose. You will not get a true sense of the country if you stay in San Jose, never mind the fact that it would not be that safe alone.
Safe travels and Good luck!
My daughter about the same age has always had the "watch you 6" advice from a dad that has had to. CR was not too bad according to my daughter. Much better than Guatamala or Hatti. Just be careful of your surondings and youll be fine.
We stayed one night in the capital and had a good time at the museum and walking the streets on Saturday--lots of locals out and having fun with their families, but a young woman traveling alone? Just watch yourself and you should be OK, but try to get out to Malpais/Santa Teresa on the Pacific side if you can!
When in downtown San Jose, as previously mentioned, I wouldn't venture out at night at all. I would suggest having dinner and returning to your hotel before dark. While in town, study a map before you venture out and try to look like you know where you're going at all times. We met some nice people and had no problems, but we got it on good authority that it's not wise to be out at night, even as a couple. Common sense will go a long way!
Also be aware that many roads, particularly smaller roads, do not have names; addresses are sometimes non-existent. On one day of our time in the San Jose area, I had to give a taxi driver a pre-printed map to show him where to go and he was a native.
If you only have 4-5 days, is it really worth it to try to find places to see and things to do on your own? Would you feel more comfortable with a short tour or several excursions? It's great to feel the empowerment of seeing a country on your own, but is this the country to do it in?
In my opinion, San Jose does not have a lot to offer the casual visitor. Alajuela, where the airport is, is smaller, much more manageable and provides a good jumping-off point. Or head straight to one of the coasts or up into the mountains, pick a destination and stay there and in the environs for your short visit. If you like beaches, the Caribbean coast is much nicer than the Pacific, but also much more remote and rustic.