How to Stay Safe While Visiting Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Are you planning your next vacation to the breathtaking Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica? As you prepare to explore the wonders that draw travelers from around the globe, it’s crucial to prioritize safety to make the most of your vacation.

Consider this your definitive Manuel Antonio Costa Rica safety guide to help you ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience during your stay.

Follow our safety tips for a worry-free and immersive vacation experience in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

What are Some Safety Concerns for Tourists When Traveling to Manuel Antonio?

Aside from its beauty and biodiversity, Costa Rica is also well-known for being one of the safest countries in Central America. However, a conscientious traveler knows that every destination, no matter how idyllic, comes with its own set of safety concerns. Manuel Antonio is no exception.

To ensure a seamless and secure vacation, it’s important to be aware of specific safety concerns that tourists may encounter when traveling to this tropical destination.

For one, you should be vigilant about petty crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, bag snatching, and scams. While the risks vary in different areas and under certain conditions, it’s essential to practice caution in crowded places, local markets, and when using public transportation.

One of the destinations that can become crowded is Manuel Antonio National Park, a favorite among tourists and locals alike. As a result, an increase in petty theft and scams targeting tourists are more likely to happen.

Therefore, when visiting the park, it’s essential to consider the following:

  • Time of the year: Peak season in Costa Rica is between December and April, when the weather is favorable. This popular national park tends to be busier with international visitors during this period.
  • Time of day: As with any major attraction, visiting during the times closest to the opening and closing of the park can provide a quieter experience. Early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended to avoid peak crowds.
  • Park locations: Choosing specific areas within the park can also impact crowd levels. Exploring less frequented trails or sections might offer a more serene experience.
Visit Manuel Antonio National Park or other Costa Rica's national parks by taking necessary precautions.

10 Safety Tips for Tourists Visiting Manuel Antonio

Here are 10 practical safety tips to help you prioritize your well-being and ensure a safe journey in this beautiful destination:

1. Don’t hike or swim alone at night

As a safety precaution, it’s highly advised not to hike or swim alone at night in Manuel Antonio, especially since night swimming is strictly forbidden for safety reasons.

However, if you want to explore the trails after sunset, you should take a guided hiking tour. This way, you can experience the nocturnal environment’s beauty under knowledgeable professionals’ guidance while ensuring your safety.

Consider joining our 3-hour Jungle Night Guided Walk Tour to complement your nighttime exploration. This guided tour takes you to a natural forest with diverse wildlife, including birds, frogs, lizards, mammals, insects, spiders, and snakes.

Our tour is led by an experienced guide, ensuring a safe and informative experience while allowing you to interact with numerous nocturnal inhabitants and gain insights into one of Costa Rica’s most fascinating ecosystems.

2. Be aware of your natural surroundings

Whether hiking through the rainforest, walking on the pristine beaches, or exploring the town, being aware of your surroundings is key. Given the abundant wildlife, paying attention is vital to preventing unintended encounters that may pose risks to both visitors and animals.

If you’re exploring alone, let someone know your destination and when you plan to return. Additionally, keep an eye out for any signs of suspicious activity, avoid dark and isolated areas, and prioritize well-traveled paths.

3. Choose accommodations wisely

The first aspect to consider is taking advantage of online platforms to read reviews from other travelers. Real experiences shared by others can offer valuable insights into the safety, cleanliness, and overall quality of the accommodations you’re considering.

Moreover, you should prioritize accommodations with secure features such as well-lit entrances, security personnel, and secure locks. Ensure that the property takes safety seriously and has implemented measures to protect guests.

You can also seek advice from locals or online forums to gain insights into the safety of specific accommodations. Lastly, consider the accessibility of transportation options from your accommodation.

If you haven’t found the ideal lodging yet, our guide to the 10 Best Hotels in Manuel Antonio will help you make an informed decision.

4. Secure your valuables

If you’re planning a visit to the park, Manuel Antonio Beach, or any other local beaches, there are some aspects to remember that will help you safeguard your belongings during your stay.

Start by utilizing the in-room safes provided by your lodging. These secure spaces are ideal for storing passports, travel documents, and valuables when not in use.

Once your belongings are safely stowed away, consider the practicality of securing your room before venturing out to explore.

When exploring, keep essential items such as wallets, phones, and cameras in secure and easily accessible pockets. This extends to crowded areas, where extra caution is essential. In these bustling spots, pickpocketing is more likely—stay alert and maintain awareness of your surroundings.

Moreover, minimizing the wearing of valuable jewelry helps avoid unnecessary attention. Additionally, think about exploring travel insurance options that cover the loss or theft. This provides an added layer of protection and peace of mind.

Furthermore, consider having some emergency cash in a discreet location on your person. This provides a backup in case of unforeseen situations. Lastly, in case of emergencies, the Costa Rican emergency number is 911.

Make the most of your trip to Manuel Antonio National Park, Playa Manuel Antonio, or any other destination!

5. Respect wildlife and natural hazards

When visiting, treating the local wildlife respectfully and being aware of potential natural hazards is important.

As you explore the area, keep a safe distance from animals, avoid feeding them, and refrain from disrupting their natural behaviors. These creatures are wild and may react unpredictably if they feel threatened.

Additionally, be mindful of natural hazards in your surroundings. Manuel Antonio’s diverse landscapes can pose potential dangers. It’s vital to pay attention to warning signs and avoid restricted zones.

6. Select safe transportation

Prioritizing your well-being starts with selecting reputable transportation providers who adhere to safety standards and possess the necessary licenses. As such, avoid “pirate taxis,” as they may be unlicensed and uninsured. Instead, opt for well-known taxi services or established agencies, ensuring reliability through insights gathered from online reviews and testimonials.

As you navigate the roads, which are characterized by winding and narrow paths, road safety is a must. That means exercising caution and adhering to speed limits regardless of whether you’re driving or using public transportation.

Discover the wonders of Costa Rica Manuel Antonio with Find My Costa Rica!

7. Take health precautions

In Manuel Antonio’s tropical climate, staying hydrated is crucial. For this reason, using a reusable water bottle is always a good idea. Shielding yourself from the sun’s intensity is equally important; apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to prevent sunburn.

In addition to sun protection, safeguard against insects by applying repellent, especially in areas with dense vegetation. This helps prevent insect-borne illnesses.

Prioritize food and water safety, opting for properly cooked meals and treated water to prevent potential illnesses.

Lastly, familiarize yourself with local health information and the location of medical facilities. This knowledge can be invaluable in cases of unexpected health concerns.

8. Carry emergency information with you

In the event of unforeseen circumstances, having a list of emergency contacts, including local authorities and embassy details, becomes a crucial resource. Providing this information facilitates a swift response and ensures your security.

Furthermore, having vital medical information, such as allergies, existing conditions, and medication details, ensures that responders are equipped with the necessary information in case of a medical emergency.

In addition to personal information, keeping details about your accommodation, including address and contact information, on hand proves invaluable for navigation or seeking assistance. We also recommend carrying a copy of your travel insurance documentation with policy numbers and contact details.

Ultimately, if possible, enable location services on your phone. This feature allows you to share your real-time location with trusted contacts, serving as a valuable tool for assistance when needed.

9.  Watch out for online scams

Ticketing for Manuel Antonio’s National Park requires caution due to existing scams. Keep in mind that you can only get official entrance tickets through the authorized website. You must create an account to access the site; the platform provides tutorial videos on how to make reservations. However, if you’ve booked with a licensed tour company, you can ignore this requirement.

Beware of individuals attempting to sell tickets outside the park, as these may be resold at inflated prices or, worse, entirely fake.

Tourists may encounter unofficial guides near the entrance offering guided tours within the park. Despite potentially wearing costumes resembling official uniforms, these individuals are not affiliated with the park and may lack the necessary credentials. To avoid this, you can opt for a guided tour that includes tickets, certified bilingual guides, and hotel transportation for added safety and convenience.

Our 2-hour Manuel Antonio National Park Tour includes a bilingual certified guide, entrance fees, snacks, and transportation from and to your Manuel Antonio hotel. We cover all the details to help you have a seamless and enjoyable experience. 

Parking also presents a potential pitfall, with individuals waving visitors into private lots that may charge exorbitant fees. Official parking lots do not exist.

When making payments, whether in shops or restaurants, it’s advisable to inquire about prices beforehand to avoid being taken advantage of. Additionally, when paying in USD, be cautious about the currency used for pricing and payment, as the local currency is the colones. Familiarity with the exchange rate can prevent misunderstandings.

In light of these potential scams, it’s essential to always contact credible and reliable websites when making travel arrangements. The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) and reputable online travel agencies like Find My Costa Rica are examples of trusted sources that prioritize customer satisfaction and safety.

10. Research and stay informed

As you prepare for your visit, checking travel advisories is highly recommended. This step provides critical information on safety conditions, health recommendations, and potential travel restrictions.

Moreover, the experiences of recent travelers in recent reviews can help you understand the current atmosphere of this beautiful destination. You can check online platforms like travel forums, review websites, and social media groups.

It’s also important to familiarize yourself with maps of Manuel Antonio and its surroundings. Identify key landmarks, emergency services, and the locations of your accommodations.

Finally, refer to local guides that provide information on safety tips, cultural norms, and recommended practices for tourists.

Add an extra layer of preparedness to your Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica trip.

Plan a Safe Trip to Manuel Antonio with Find My Costa Rica!

To guarantee an unforgettable vacation, it is critical to organize a safe trip; this is where Find My Costa Rica enters the picture. We offer comprehensive assistance, including securing reliable accommodations, arranging transportation, and guided tours.

Contact Find My Costa Rica for a worry-free and secure journey to Costa Rica’s enchanting Manuel Antonio. Plan your getaway with us!


1. Is it safe to swim in Manuel Antonio?

Yes, swimming can be safe, but it’s essential to exercise caution. While the beaches in Manuel Antonio are beautiful and inviting, be mindful of the ocean conditions. Always swim in designated areas, heed warning signs, and be cautious of strong currents.

2. Is Manuel Antonio safe for solo travelers?

Yes, but as with any destination, taking precautions is important. Follow standard safety practices, such as avoiding poorly lit or isolated areas at night, securing your belongings, and being aware of your surroundings.

3. What should I do if I encounter wildlife in Manuel Antonio?

When encountering wildlife, you should maintain a safe distance, not feed them, avoid direct eye contact, refrain from touching them, and keep noise levels to a minimum.

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