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Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
307 posts
334 reviews
Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

Hello!

I’m planning a potential trip to Puerto Viejo in January. I have read some things on this forum indicating that there is a problem with crime, armed robberies and such in town that have happened to tourists. Some people have said not even to take your camera or phone with you when out exploring.

I have traveled solo to Guatemala and many areas of Mexico on my own and have always just used common sense and have had no negative experiences.

I am a photographer and always take my camera and phone with me, but typically carry it in a small backpack and only take it out when I am taking a photo and then put it away again.

Is Puerto Viejo really that unsafe that you can’t take a camera or phone with you around town? Can anyone offer their experiences or knowledge of how safe the area is for an experienced solo female traveler?

Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
18,181 posts
120 reviews
1. Re: Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

I was a bit nervous too, then got here and wondered what all the dire warnings were about. Yeah, there is crime, but normal precautions should keep you safe and your belongings firmly within your possession. And you've traveled in other places with various levels of crime, you know what to do. It reminds me of the 1st time I went to New Orleans- based on all the warnings, you'd swear it was anarchy over there. More than a dozen trips later and it's all good.

So, bring your phone. Just dont leave it lying on a table where someone could get it and don't walk along with your nose in your phone. Same with your camera. But you know this already.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
307 posts
334 reviews
2. Re: Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

Thanks so much for the reassurance! I appreciate it.

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
9,708 posts
70 reviews
3. Re: Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

We visited S. Caribbean a couple of times and enjoyed our time there. However, a nice camera represents smth that obviously was valuable enough for the ppl here (2017): https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toron… . The tourist amateur photographer had been taking photos of the sunrise early in AM.

When you are in the middle of the day, with ppl around, or taking a guided tour somewhere, I think you should be fine.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
307 posts
334 reviews
4. Re: Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

Wow that’s terrible to read that story. Makes me nervous to visit the area, to be honest! As a solo traveler, I would often be doing things on my own.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
19,517 posts
63 reviews
5. Re: Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

As long as you will not fight for that camera or that phone, personal injuries, or even worse, are rare. But yes, walking around on your own, on deserted beaches or away from (tourist) folks, is not safe.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
307 posts
334 reviews
6. Re: Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

Thanks for the heads up. I would be sure not to visit a beach or hike if I were completely alone, and would only visit if there were other people around or on a hike with a guide.

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
9,708 posts
70 reviews
7. Re: Safety for a Solo Female Traveler?

See https:/… and https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie… - if you decide to go to Manzanillo to hike the Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge, make sure you go with a guide.

Cahuita NP is a different type of trail and in our experience, had more visitors. See my review of the park, if interested - https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g… . It is from 2016, but not much had changed when we returned to Cahuita in 2017, so did not write another review...The one trail of that park goes along the beach and, if you lucky, can offer you a chance to see lots of wildlife. E.g., early in AM and later, at about 4 pm or so, howler and capuchin monkeys can be seen right near the trail, incl. closer to Cahuita entrance, as the visitors start leaving the park. Unlike the G-M Refuge, we visited Cahuita NP without a guide, but there r guides and uniformed rangers available, if you want to get one. Do not leave your stuff unattended on the beach, incl. if going swimming inside the park.

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