Security Alert: Areas of Increased Caution

Security Alert – U. S. Embassy San Jose, Costa Rica (August 15, 2023)

Location: Locations throughout Costa Rica.  See link to map below.

Event:  There is no change to the Travel Advisory level for Costa Rica, which remains at Level 2:  Exercise Increased Caution.  In addition, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens that it has established an internal travel policy to better inform Embassy personnel of areas where they should exercise increased caution due to violent crime, remoteness, and/or lack of access to emergency services, among other factors.  Embassy personnel are discouraged from traveling to these areas, although no specific travel restrictions have been put in place.  These areas of increased caution are detailed on a map (link below) that can be downloaded to your mobile telephone, tablet, or computer for reference.  These areas are regularly reviewed and updated as appropriate.  The U.S. Embassy remains in close contact and coordination with the government of Costa Rica regarding the security situation in the country.

Link to map here.

For your safety, please follow these important recommendations.

Actions to Take:  

  • When in a public area, remain alert and vigilant.  Pay particular attention when transiting into an unknown area, such as going into or out of a store.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings.  Leave the area if you do not feel safe.
  • Maintain a low profile in public and avoid going out alone, especially after dark.
  • Avoid excessive jewelry, electronics, and carrying and flashing large sums of cash.
  • Be prepared to enter your vehicle quickly when walking through parking lots.  Stay clear of areas that might conceal danger.
  • Avoid walking alone on the streets at night.  If this is not possible, walk in groups of two or more and/or in well-lit areas.
  • Alert a close family member and/or friend if you plan to travel and leave your contact information with them.
  • When leaving your home, make sure to lock all your doors, windows, and activate your home alarm.
  • When you are driving, make sure to lock your doors.
  • Smash and grabs occur in Costa Rica.  Even if you locked your car, do not leave any valuable items in the car unattended.
  • If you are a victim of crime, contact Costa Rican Emergency Services at 911 and report the crime to the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) police at 506-2295-3000.