Picture by Marc Falardeau/Flickr CC
In Costa Rica, never just pull over if you have a flat tire. One travel scam that happens in Costa Rica quite often is one in which a group of people punctures the tires of a car that they know to be a rental car. When the renter of the car pulls over to change it, a group of men appears to help. But, instead of helping, they often rob the victim. Many times they even show weapons.
If you find yourself with a flat tire in Costa Rica, NEVER pull over. Find the nearest gas station or a place that is surrounded by a lot of people before pulling over. Do not accept help to change your tire, but change the tire yourself. Make sure you know how to change a tire before heading to Costa Rica. Also, if you do have a flat tire, make sure that you keep an eye on your belongings at all times while you are changing the tire even if it is in a public area.
Another Common Costa Rica Scam
One other scam that is common in Costa Rica can happen on buses or other crowded areas. One person will drop a lot of change on the floor or other belongings. Often people will bend to help the person who dropped the change and will have their valuables stolen while they are helping. Also, people often steal items left in the overhead bin on buses in Costa Rica, so it’s best not to use them to store your belongings.
Date rape drugs can also be common in Costa Rica. It’s often best not to join large groups of people whom you don’t know. Never accept food or drinks from others, and don’t leave a bar or restaurant with someone who you don’t know.
Costa Rica is a gorgeous country to visit with beautiful beaches and great food, and it you are cautious, your experience there should be a great one. It is a country that offers a lot to see and do, and you will see their philosophy of Pura Vida or pure life in action everywhere you go.