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Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

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Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

My husband and I are headed down in a few weeks. Staying at Congo Bongo in Manzanillo. Over the last couple days I’ve been reading a lot about robbery by machete. I’m starting to worry that our relaxing, dream vacation may not be so care free. By the way it sounds, bringing our phones and a small Bluetooth speaker to any of the beaches may a terrible idea. Are the robberies really as rampant as it seems?

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Manzanillo
Manzanillo
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
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Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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1. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

I am reading this forum on almost daily basis but have not read of any robbery lately. Yes, it could happen, and it did happened. Yet not for only a phone and bluetooth speaker. And in an unlikely event that such robbery will happen to you, just give the man with a machete what he wants.

When you will be back from Congo Bongo please be so kind and share your personal experiences with the rest of the community here. I am specially interested as I am heading there (CB) end of July.

Puerto Viejo de...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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2. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

No, they are not. Most of what have have been reading is from some years ago. Having said that, you should not leave anything unattended and going into the refuge without a guide is advised against. Ask Daan, the owner of Congo Bongo and he will tell you what to watch out for.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

Thank you Xlas Gracias Gecko...we have crime of course like anyother country...but most of the time is bad people killing bad people...

roaddvisro

Ontario, Canada
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4. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

We stayed at CB the summer before. We were ok. And came back to S. Caribbean afterwards too, though not to CB. But we had done a lot of research, hired a guide to go to the G-M Refuge near by, did not leave stuff unattended or outside the safe, did not wander around on the beach or the roads after dark, avoided carrying a daybag whenever possible, etc. We chose to bring nothing of value on our trip that we carried around, just a small waterproof camera in our hiking pants' pocket, sometimes. A portable, thin, folding rain poncho, a bug spray in other pockets, bottles of water in our hands or in a carrying case that makes it clear it is nothing but water.

We felt that CB was a unique place. I hope you will enjoy yourself. Say Hi to the sloth in the photo in my profile. He or she lives in that area and was near our house in CB.

Edited: 29 May 2018, 07:03
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Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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5. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

My advice is that those who worry most before going usually have the least to worry about during the trip. Exercise good judgment per above comments and otherwise as the situation calls for--you don't want to be the only ones on a jungle trail or stretch of beach or any road or street at night. Don't trust strangers to look after your stuff, use cabs that are called rather than some guy who offers you a ride, etc.

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6. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

I will. Thanks!!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

Thank you racancee...nice advice...

roadadvisor

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8. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

Thanks, everyone. I’ve had this idealistic view of our trip for so long. I know that such things happen anywhere and we just have to use our best judgement.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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9. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

That is the correct atitude...please enjoy my country as much as we do...

roadadvisro

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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10. Re: Is crime really as bad as I’m reading in the forums?

Like everywhere on Facebook and social media these days, be careful what you read. There are people here that work these tourist forums because they live here and don't want tourism development. They are almost always people who were not born here and come to live here on low pensions or scrape by on informal employment.. They blame tourism for making it unaffordable for them to live here.

They also came here because they liked the undeveloped feel of the area and tourism and other people moving here threaten their idea of what the future should be. This is understandable and common almost anywhere. But, because of the current global concerns about the environment and climate change, it gives these people a motive that seems acceptable.

They hijack old topics and bring them to the top of the list again as if they happened yesterday and many people reading these forums come from countries that are have become obsessed with perceived safety because of the media culture they live in.

I live here for 13 years and I own a business focussed on tourism. This topic is always an ongoing issue for people living in developing countries with heavy tourism. You take Mexico as an example. On one hand you read how dangerous the country is and yet in the last 8 years tourism to Mexico has went through the roof in numbers. Latin America, while making progress in some areas in regards to stability has lost ground in others.

In answer to your question, Yes. Over the 13 years I have been here, crime has increased as it has almost anywhere in Costa Rica (for me, San Jose is the worst). Is it the worst I have ever seen? No. We go through periods where we see an uptick and lulls. Now, we have about 4 times the number of police we have ever had and the success of apprehending people who commit crime is at an all-time high. And to further put this in perspective, tourism numbers traveling to Puerto Viejo has far exceeded any increase in crime rates.

We all have our own "risk tolerance" level. If people feel too uncomfortable about traveling here, it's easy. They just should not do it. Personally, I have been robbed in Puerto Rico, NYC & Rome and gay bashed in Vancouver. Am I afraid to go back to these places? No. But my experiences have made me take precautions and much of it, is left to chance. And because I want rich experiences in life, I am willing to take some chances that many (especially in North America) will not.

As for Congo Bongo, Daan, who owns the place has been providing great lodgings for visitors to the area for almost 20 years. If he did not, it would be clear on TripAdvisor, Google, Booking etc reviews He and his wife personally manage the property and I know they will advise you appropriately.

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Caribbean
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