Over the last 20 years, I’ve heard the same stories multiple times. Here is the first one “I locked up the car and hid my bag under the seat. But when I came back, one of the doors was open and they took everything inside. I was gone only ten minutes.” I do not need to tell you which beaches these events took place on because it happens EVERYWHERE. And not just in Costa Rica. But for some reason people let their guards down when visiting the pristine beaches here. This can happen to expats even after a few years of living here as well as Ticos. To get these crimes to stop happening, it will take a countrywide solution. But in the short-term let’s focus on how to protect yourself and your items. #1 - Do not leave anything inside your car that looks valuable! No cables, sunglasses, fancy clothes or bags – and definitely no suitcases. If you have to leave something, put it under the floor mat or hide it somewhere where it would take a longer time to find. Thieves don’t want to stick around to search around. Also get your car rental dirty and put a sticker or two on it so it doesn’t look so blatantly touristy. On some beaches you can park next to a family hanging out by their car and ask them to keep an eye on it, or ask how long they will be there. Knowing Spanish helps, but even just saying “Hola” will build up a little trust and friendship.
By Greg Gordon
Contact: Greg Gordon - firstname.lastname@example.org - Instagram @crsurf