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positive experience with CR police

Dominical, Costa...
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59 posts
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positive experience with CR police

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.:(

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1. Re: positive experience with CR police

I want to thank you for taking the time to post a positive experience. As I'm sure anyone who is on these travel boards will have noticed, people usually only take the time to post negative comments. I travel to Costa Rica 4 or more times a year and I love the people of Costa Rica. Although I have received a speeding ticket, it was my fault. I have received so much help in my travels and much kindness! I hope you had a wonderful time in Costa Rica!

san francisco
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137 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: positive experience with CR police

Different situation, but regarding the police.

I was in San Jose on Calle Central where there are tons of police. We saw an arrest taking place. The street was crowded and we were about 50 feet away, so we couldn't see exactly what happened, but the crowd around us immediately started yelling and running towards the police. Blows were being exchanged. I've spent way too much time in Northern California, so I assumed they were charging the police, trying to force them to release the prisoner. I was a bit startled to see so much hatred towards the police.

Later, a Costa Rican told me that no, they were charging the arrestee, probably a thief. He said that the police have problems getting thieves and pickpockets into custody before the crowds beat them up. I was relieved to hear that the situation was not as I had initially percieved it.

Costa Rica
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25,654 posts
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3. Re: positive experience with CR police

Thanks so much for your positive report on Costa Rica police! They are not perfect, of course, but good and bad like anywhere else. So happy you had such a good experience. And it's great to write about it so others can see that it's not ALL bad!

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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43 reviews
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4. Re: positive experience with CR police

My thoughts exactly Hattie, when I think back over the time I myself have been here, I have had far more positive experiences with police than negative ones, dont hear much about the positive and it refreshing to read.


Sudbury, Ontario
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809 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: positive experience with CR police

refreshing to read...thanks for posting. We are considering renting a car for a few of the days of our vacations...follow the speed limit and we should be OK

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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7,294 posts
28 reviews
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6. Re: positive experience with CR police

Hi pickles,

Thanks for posting and glad things turned out well. As others say - I am sure that there are good and bad.

However your post brings up another issue. Before driving anywhere, drivers should take the time to familiarize themselves with the laws of the particular place and also of the consequences if you are caught breaking them. CR has some pretty steep fines for things like not using a seatbelt and driving while using a cell phone. I am not sure whether the various rental companies are proactive enough about helping make people aware of the rules. But also the people themselves have to take some responsibility..

Here is a page that outlines some of them (it actually is on the website of a car rental company)


pura vida


Jaco, Costa Rica
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1,063 posts
1 review
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7. Re: positive experience with CR police

Good tip Raquel. You would think that all rental companies would strongly stress info about the high fines imposed in the last year. As for the police, I have to say that I have always been treated well when dealing with them.

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164 posts
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8. Re: positive experience with CR police

Thank you for posting your positive experience with Costa Rican police.

I like to read all the positive as well as all the negative information on forums. This is especially since I want to visit Costa Rica next year for the first time. I like to make sure I research as much as possible. =)

9. Re: positive experience with CR police

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Removed on: 12 January 2011, 16:35
San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,303 posts
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10. Re: positive experience with CR police

Some times if you see a lot of people screaming at police in San Jose...I can almost guarantee that the people screaming are Colombians or Nicaraguans ...that move to our country to sell on the sides of the streets...they sell anything...CD...fruit...socks...of course we do not like that...but we do have respect for our poilce...Colombians and Nicaraguans can hardly spell respect... not all of them ...

Thank you any way for a nice report...GRACIAS!


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