We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Parking scams in San Jose

Champaign, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Parking scams in San Jose

We just got back from 15 days in Costa Rica, great except for our bookends in San Jose. On our first leg, we went to park on a street with new credit card metered parking (we later found out), but were approached by a man wearing a tattered construction vest who claimed to be a parking attendant, asking for $6 to park and watch our car. The parking only cost $1.50 at the machine. If we had trusted this fellow, who knows if we would have been legally parked.

On our return to San Jose, we were parked T our hotel near the University, but were approached by one of these parking attendants outside a reputable restaurant -- he got in our faces -- offering restaurant advice in Spanish. We later noticed that he had pick pocketed one of our group, taking a camera and binoculars.

Are these guys providing any actual service, or are they just petty criminals on the streets?

London, England...
Level Contributor
2,556 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Parking scams in San Jose

Crims plain and simple

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Parking scams in San Jose

It is not uncommon for men to take it upon themselves to "watch you car" in various areas. It's kind of iffy - but usually they only ask for a tip. It is customary, if you see a security guard in a parking lot of a restaurant, to tip him a small amount - maybe 500 colones.

However, there are also men who "take over" certain sections of city streets and make it their "responsibility" to watch your car. Usually, they are more nuisance than anything else - but - if I park in "their area," I will give them something.

The only really helpful guy I have run into is a man in the town of Puntarenas who put cardboard boxes on your windshield to help keep out the hot hot sun. I did give him a 500 colon tip and a thank you.

Once, when I renewed my driver's license in Liberia, there was a young man "watching" cars who had Down's Syndrome. Everyone was friendly to him and he was smiling and kind in return. He got a tip from me also. It was obvious that this was his "life's work" and he loved it. His smile and greeting also helped make a tedious task a bit brighter.

So: the answer is not so simple. I think you were ripped off -- but San Jose is like that. Which is why so many of us say: "Get out of town!"

Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
Level Contributor
2,633 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Parking scams in San Jose

In San Jose, it is much safer and easier to park in one of the fenced off parking lots that are guarded and you are charged the fee advertised in large numbers on the gate. If at all possible, avoid the stress of parking in the capital and travel in and out by taxi or bus. I would do that in London or even a smaller city in the UK to avoid exactly the hassle of parking and safety for the vehicle. Thanks for bringing the issue up for discussion, Champaign, so others can be alert to it.

Champaign, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Parking scams in San Jose

We did end up parking in a municipal lot, which we ended up finding by pure luck.

Fortunately we only spent a minimum amount of time in San Jose, and had a fantastic time with our 9 and 5 year old on both coasts and in the cloud forests and volcanoes. Next time depending on the flight times I might just drive directly out/in of San Jose, although I would miss that cappuchino an the Mercado Central...

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Parking scams in San Jose

Well, now you know that the airport is actually in Alajuela, you could stay somewhere in that area. Much more pleasant than San Jose - and you can still get a good cappuchino!

Glad you had a good visit.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,269 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Parking scams in San Jose

Like sny vagabond around the world...some nice that really will take care of your vehicle...and some just opportunist..

Roadadvisor

7. Re: Parking scams in San Jose

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 03 June 2014, 05:17