I just wanted to post this because I've read some complaints in the past about the police treating tourists poorly.
We were stopped on Dec. 23 at a checkpoint between Dominical and Quepos. We are the architypical American family-5 people,. rental SUV, etc. My significant other was driving and had been going 93 kph in an 80 kph zone. After checking his ID, the policeman explained to us, very kindly, that we had to slow down because the speeding ticket was very expensive, and we did not want to get one. He also informed us that seatbelt use in the backseat is mandatory for adults in
CR (we did not know this, our adult daughter was not wearing hers). He gave us a warning and sent us on our way. Needless to say we watched our speed carefully from then on.
It may have helped that we could speak Spanish, I don't know. I was very very impressed by the professionalism and courtesy we received. I really don't think a Costa Rican family traveling in the US would necessarily be treated that well under the same circumstances, although it pains me to say it.:(