Everyone knows that Costa Rica–the “pura vida” country–is one of the most beautiful places in Latin America. Naturally, tourism is one of the most socially and economically important activities in the country.
Because of its gorgeous rivers, mountains, lakes, forests, and beaches, every year tenths of thousands of tourists travel here looking for adventure. In addition to its natural beauty, this country has some of the happiest people in the world, and foreign residents are quick to say it is one of the best countries to live in.
If you have marked Costa Rica as your next vacation destination, let us say: You will not regret it. We have some tourist safety tips to make your trip safe and gratifying.
You may also like: 3 Reasons Why You Should Try Waterfall Jumping
A basic rule to travel to Costa Rica is you must have all your valid identification documents, such as passport and ID card, with you at all times. They are essential for conducting money transactions, such as currency exchanges and ATM withdrawals, for example. What is more, some tourist sites, museums, and tour companies request your identification documents as requirement for purchasing admission tickets. They can also come in handy when requesting an immediate or temporary service, such as bike rental, for instance.
Let’s say you have purchased your flight ticket to your dream destination, Costa Rica, what’s next? If you think the right answer is packing your bags, you are wrong. An essential part of getting ready for your trip is preparing a schedule, including specific places to visit, and learning as much as you can about them.
Look for prices and weather information. If possible, determine which tour operators or guides you will hire, so as to be prepared for any unforeseeable event once you have arrived.
Imagine you just arrived at a museum. Something caught your attention instantly, and it that split second, your backpack is gone. Not really your fault. Thieves know moments like these are perfect for robbing tourists. Be mindful of your backpack and wallet.
If you are carrying valuable items such as photographic cameras, cash, and ID cards, it is best you carry your backpack in front of your body. We also recommend using a zipper lock for your backpack, especially in places where you are required to store it.
Costa Rica and its natural charm can leave you in awe, to the point where you may sin of ignorance. Many tourists are drawn to forest walks in wild animal habitats–where accidents can have fatal consequences.
When visiting potentially dangerous places, make sure to bring along a certified tourist guide and to follow their instructions at all times. Do not feed the wildlife. Don’t litter or leave food in natural areas. Unless authorized by your guide, do not attempt to touch or interact with the fauna. Bear in mind that extracting and marketing wildlife is sanctioned by law.
Always request assistance from authorized professionals when visiting a beach, lake, river or practicing extreme sports. Before going for a splash, look around for rip current warning signs or ask the lifeguard for safety instructions.
Before requesting any service–renting a car, taking a taxi, hiring a tour operator–make sure they have been certified by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT). This prevents you from hiring scammers or thieves. Certified companies usually bear the ICT logo visibly. Remember: Before signing any service agreement, read it thoroughly–especially the fine print.
This can be a relative or friend residing in the country or your hotel manager. If going on a long trip (for hours or days), it is good to let somebody know all about where you will be, a phone number, and departure and arrival times. This can be a relative or friend residing in the country or your hotel manager.
This person will be able to report any abnormal circumstance to the relevant authorities.
Money is a determining factor when traveling. Before landing in Costa Rica, learn about the exchange rate relevant to you. Have a well-prepared budget to prevent running out of money halfway through the trip.
When going out, do not carry your entire trip money; leave some in a safe box at the hotel. Bring with you only the amount you need plus some more for emergencies. Once you are out, keep the cash in several different places. That way you won’t lose all your money if you are mugged.
Buy foreign currency only at banks and authorized businesses.
Something that will surprise you is the warmth and kindness with which Costa Ricans treat tourists. Nevertheless, there are some who rely on this to commit theft, scams or assault.
Don't be gullible. If you are driving alone on a highway and get into an accident, request assistance from the local police by calling 911 or 800-tourism. Also do this if you get lost or need directions.
We guarantee that visiting Costa Rica will be one of the most wonderful experiences of your life. And we are even more confident that following our tips will enhance your trip significantly.
Costa Rica is a safe country, no doubt about it. However, you can never be too cautious when traveling. Adventure? Yes please! But under safety conditions.
Strawberry Poison Frog: producing poison and taking care of offspring Nature gives amazing shows. Observing animals in their natural habitat broadens our perspective of their instinctive behaviors. Actually, if you take the time to explore the ecosystems, you will discover conducts exclusively attributed to humans. One of such human-like species is the Strawberry Poison Frog.
Of a strong red color (hence the name), this amphibian's skin is highly toxic. This is why it makes no attempt to camouflage–the conspicuous color warns other animals. Males can measure up to 12 mm in length, while females can reach 15-20 mm.
The Strawberry Poison Frog is the second most poisonous species in the ranitomeya genus (anurans in the poisonous frog family). Skin toxicity is a product of their ant-based diet containing formic acid and acari with toxins in their bodies. Because their source of toxicity is external, frogs in captivity lose this quality.
The Strawberry Poison Frog usually lives in groups of five or six members. By the end of the rainy season, the groups get together to breed. The ritual starts with the males caressing and licking the females and ultimately placing their rear legs on top of them. This is how frogs mate. The reproductive period starts by the end of the rainy season to guarantee that eggs will be laid by the start of the following rainy season. This in turn ensures that there is enough water for tadpoles to stay alive.
It is very common to see huge amounts of tadpoles in bodies of water. This is because toads and frogs lack parental instincts, so they leave their offspring on their own in the merciless tropical rainforest.
In contrast, the Strawberry Poison Frog is a true example of parental responsibility. This is probably the species’ predominant feature. The female lays the eggs in a leaf previously selected by the male, making sure they are protected from small predators. The sun is the main threat to the offspring. Just a few minutes under the sun can be fatal.
Larvae develop inside the eggs–under the constant watch of the male. Once the eggs hatch, the female carefully carries them on her back until she finds a safe place for the tadpoles to develop without predator danger.
They are generally placed far from the ground. For this, the Strawberry Poison Frog prefers epiphytic bromeliads, among others. The shape of the leaves allows for ponds where larvae can grow with little risk.
There is no food here, so the adult frog constantly goes up and down the tree to fetch food and feed the offspring. Climbing a tree might sound easy, but for a land frog it is complicated and requires immense amounts of energy and time. In four to five weeks, the tadpole becomes a frog and is ready to take its first leaps into the forest.
Although this doesn’t guarantee offspring protection to a 100%, it is one of the oldest forms of parental care in the amphibian world. Several places in Costa Rica offer the opportunity to witness this process. One of them is Mistico Park. This ecological park offers a tour to discover countless events occurring every day in nature.
A fun, educational, and memorable experience. The guides will share interesting facts about ecosystems in the tropical rainforest. Visit Mistico Park and experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Book your Night Guided Tour here.