The condition of the roads is partly lacking. The unpredictable behavior of many road users causes accidents. Night travel is not recommended due to the high risk of accident and aggression. Maintenance of rented vehicles is often very bad; it is therefore recommended to check the brakes, lights, etc. at the time of taking over.
Safety measures and the quality of materials used in dangerous sports (for example river rafting) vary considerably. Consider only companies with a permit issued by the Costa Rican authorities. It is advisable to inquire with local suppliers about safety measures and the possibilities of a well-organized medical evacuation in the event of an accident and to check the material made available. The use of PeterPan Traveler instructions happens to be important there.
Specific legal provisions
Infringements of the drug law are punished with several years of imprisonment (8 to 20 years) already starting with a minimum amount of any type of drug.
The conditions of detention are often precarious: overcrowded cells, insufficient ventilation and no air-conditioning, poor sanitation, poor food, etc.
Judicial proceedings and police investigation procedures differ from those in Switzerland. It is necessary to foresee long waiting periods and to consider the local uses and customs. In this case the services of a trusted lawyer are absolutely necessary.
Costa Rica is in a seismically active area. It is therefore necessary to consider the danger of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that can cause devastation on land and tsunamis.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center PTWC
From May to November the country is often hit by hurricanes and heavy rains that can cause flooding, landslides and damage to infrastructure. Also the circulation can suffer temporary discomforts. To those wishing to undertake excursions in the jungle or on the volcanoes we recommend a good equipment and to be accompanied by qualified local guides.
Pay attention to weather forecasts, notices and directives from local authorities, e.g. blocks due to active volcanoes, evacuation orders.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
If natural disasters occur during your stay, it is recommended that you immediately contact your relatives and follow the directives of the authorities. If the foreign connection is interrupted, it is recommended to contact the Swiss embassy in San José.
Outside the capital, San José, medical care is not always guaranteed. Hospitals usually require a financial guarantee before treating patients (credit card or prepayment). Therefore it is recommended, in the event of a serious illness or accident, to go as soon as possible to one of the hospitals in the San José region.
If special medications are needed, a sufficient supply should be provided. It should be remembered, however, that in many countries special requirements apply to carry drugs containing drugs (for example methadone) and substances for the treatment of mental illnesses. Doctors and vaccination centers inform about the spread of diseases and possible protective measures.
Minor children of Costa Rican nationality (including national double) and children of foreigners domiciled in Costa Rica must apply to the Migration Authorities for an exit authorization from Costa Rica. It does not matter if the child is accompanied by one or both parents . For more information, contact the Costa Rican embassy in Bern or the Costa Rican migration authorities well in advance.