How safe is the Mal Pais / Santa Teresa area?
The Mal Pais / Santa Teresa area is safe. In fact, Costa Rica is the safest country in all of Central America. The people here are very friendly and as long as you use your common sense, you should be able to enjoy a worry-free vacation.
Petty theft is the most common crime found throughout Costa Rica. It is much less prevalent in the Santa Teresa area versus other more touristy areas of Costa Rica however, there are still some incidents of petty theft here every year. If you are careful with your belongings and you follow a few basic rules, you are unlikely to encounter any problems during your stay. We recommend that you never leave any of your belongings unattended. We also recommend that you never bring anything valuable to the beach and that you never leave any valuables in your rental car.
Our hotel, the Blue Surf Sanctuary, is located at the north end of town and it is away from most of the town’s traffic. It is a quieter part of town where most of the more upper-end accommodations are found. There is very little theft in this area however we still recommend that our guests use their in-room safes for their valuables.
Does the Blue Surf Sanctuary have night security?
Yes, we have a wonderful night guard at the hotel. He is here every night from 7pm until 7am the next morning. There is also a fence bordering our property that is lined with dense, spiky plants. We also have safes in all of our rooms and someone from our staff is on-site 24hrs a day.
Are we safe to roam around town at night?
Yes, it is safe to roam around the town at night however, we don’t recommend that you walk in town after 10pm. If you are out after 10pm, we recommend that you take a taxi back to the Blue Surf Sanctuary Hotel.
Is there a lot of theft in Santa Teresa/Mal Pais?
As in most tourist destinations, there is some petty theft in this area. Be smart and you should have no problems!
Here are a few general safety rules that you should follow when you are in Santa Teresa. These tips will help you to have a safe, happy and healthy vacation:
Do not leave any of your valuable unattended. Always take your valuables with you or leave them with a friend.
Do not leave any valuables in your rental car. If you are going out for lunch, for example, take your valuables with you into the restaurant.
Do not bring any valuables to the beach. If you do bring a camera, for example, do not leave it unattended. Our hotel is located only 50m from the beach. Bring your camera back to the hotel before you go surfing or swimming.
Do not go to the beach at night. If you are out late at night, take a taxi back to the hotel. Any restaurant or hotel can call you a taxi to come and pick you up.
Do not flaunt expensive electronic devices in front of locals. Remember that you are coming to vacation in a 3rd world country. The people here are very friendly and nice but there is also poverty here so remember that before you take out your new iPad on the beach to take a picture before hoping into the water for a swim.
Always store your valuables in your hotel room safe. Our hotel room safes are very safe and easy to use.
Do not solicit any drugs or engage in any illegal activities while you are here in Santa Teresa.
What do we do if we have a medical emergency while we are in Santa Teresa?
There are two emergency medical clinics about 15 minutes from our hotel at the Cruce in Santa Teresa. There is also an emergency medical clinic in Cobano, which is about 30 minutes away. All of these clinics are small and very basic clinic but they are able to handle any of your basic medical needs such as stitches, sutures, etc. For more major medical emergencies, San José is 5 hours away by car or only 40 minutes away by helicopter or airplane. Airlifts can be arranged out of Santa Teresa in the most severe of cases. San Jose has excellent state of the art hospitals and treatments by very well educated doctors. For peace of mind, we recommend that our guests purchase travel/health insurance in their home country before visiting Costa Rica.