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.

Is renting a house safe??

Which Dominical hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Rockwall, Texas
posts: 789
reviews: 108
Is renting a house safe??

I have been interested in visiting CR and have never been. I have been spoiled by my trips to St. John, USVI staying in a private villa/cottage. After reading some things on here about robberies, I'm afraid of being in a strange country in a private dwelling. So, can someone tell me if that's safe?? Most of the places on my favorites list so far are in the Dominical/ Uvita/ Manuel Antonio area. Is this a good place to stay for a first time visit? We are beach people. Also, we love snorkeling, which I understand isn't great in CR. I do love wildlife and whales, too, though!

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,196
1. Re: Is renting a house safe??

Check Buena Vista Villas and Casas...Tulemar bungalows...some incredible villas around...Manuel Antonio Estates also nice to check...but many more villas around...and are safe...


Rockwall, Texas
posts: 789
reviews: 108
2. Re: Is renting a house safe??

One that really has my eye is Flying Toucans down near Dominical. Would that be a safe area?

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 634
reviews: 135
3. Re: Is renting a house safe??

Best beaches IMO are not on this coast, but in Mal Pais/Santa Teresa, and Samara/Nosora, though snorkeling is not good on the Pacific. In fact, CR is not the best beach vacation unless you surf, compared to BVI/Caribe islands. You like to snorkel, consider Belize, it is surrounded by a reef.

Dominical the town has the strongest surf and rip tides in CR, more broken surf boards here, and bones, than anywhere else on the surf scene in CR.

Manual Antonio is touristy, but I think for you, being a developing country, its would be a better atmosphere for you, to get feet wet.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
posts: 2,294
reviews: 9
4. Re: Is renting a house safe??

Costa Rica may be a 'developing' country on paper but is very well developed as a tourist destination. MA is touristy and if you are going for a longer stay, I would suggest Dominical or Uvita for that 'off the beaten track' feeling whether it is your first time visiting or not. A rental property can be very secure but check that it has a safe to lock up your most valuable possessions and check on this site and with an internet search that your chosen rental has no bad reviews. If you are nervous, look for a rental within a gated community where you would have security day and night and neighbors.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,196
5. Re: Is renting a house safe??

Hard no to said anything...¨DEVELOPING country¨ well well...

Dominical is a lovely area...for nice snorkeling maybe one the best in our country...takae a boat tour to Caño Island from Dominical or Uivita...incredible abundance of sea life...

Sorry that you ask a question and was refer to a beach about 5 hours from Dominical...of course we have many nice beaches all oer I try to give you as others the correct answer based on your question...on Dominical...Uvita...Manuel Antonio....

Incredible I can even suggest Sychelles...but you are asking about COSTA RICA...Dominical...Uvita...Manuel Antonio...lets talk about the country we all love and respect...of course not the perfect country with the perfect baches...but you are asking for our beaches...you will get nice answers about our beaches. not recoomendations to visit...BVI/Caribe islands....my God!


Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 8,303
reviews: 57
6. Re: Is renting a house safe??

Not the safety but the beach part should be your main worry. I've been to Grenada, Barbados and St.Lucia (and these islands cannot compare with yours re.beaches) and have found beaches in Costa Rica to be much less inviting for beach time and swimming and snorkeling. But they are beautiful in its own way, with jungle reaching the sea in Dominical area. For safety reason you should keep your valuables in a safe, and keep doors and windows closed and locked when not in house (I do this also at home).

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 634
reviews: 135
7. Re: Is renting a house safe??

Road Advisor-

The poster has not been to CR, and they are asking about renting a place on the beach, I am only pointing out other options, for MA and Dominical, there are few places on the beach, and the surf in the Dominical areas is not a calm beach like the caribe and BVI.

You can get a home/villa on the beach, in the areas I suggest, and the beaches/surf are also not so strong or swift.

Though it is not fair to compare countries, BVI and CR are very different, not bananas and bananas.

The poster might do herself a favor and get the MOON, LP or Roughguide guidebooks and read about the country, the various regions, and get a better feel for the country.

Taking a boat from Dominical to isla Cano to go snorkeling? Oh that is a easy option, that is an entire day trip, in BVI, you can walk out your door and go snorkeling off the property or down the road. Even Playa Bellena you need to get a boat/pay entrance fees, to snorkel, and conditions are not always great.

Edited: 7:12 am, January 05, 2013
posts: 52
reviews: 9
8. Re: Is renting a house safe??

We just came back from Costa Rica and never felt threatened ,we too read all the warnings but if you listen you will never go anywhere. We rented casa buendia in Dominical (3hour drive fom San Jose).there are live in caretakers very nice and check things out at nite. When you leave the house someone is always there so no worries.mostly they are out of sight. I too have rented in St. John soft winds for about 7 years(roads are similar). Enjoy

Duluth, GA
posts: 31
9. Re: Is renting a house safe??

We have rented houses twice in Costa Rica.

Casa Samba in MA in 2003 and Casa Oceano in Tambor/Tango Mar near Montezuma in 2009. Both were fantastic experiences. The first house we rented with tree other couples and the second one we took our daughters 11 and 14. As the earlier poster stated there is usually a caretaker, housekeeper, security and gardener associated with each property. We always hired a cook for all three meals. This will turn your rental into a five star resort.

We will be renting a house with one other couple in Matapalo, between Dominical and MA, in February so I will let you know if we feel any different this time.

We will be reuniting with our chef from 2003, Chef Roger, when we go back next month.


We never felt threated, or had anything stolen but we always had a guide or someone form the property with us on most excursions.

Honestly the most nervous part was wiring money in advance to Costa Rica to someone you found on the web.

We have also been to many places in the St. Croix, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas as well as searched these areas extensively while planning this trip. Although the snorkeling is better in the Caribbean the experience on the Pacific Side of Costa Rica is amazing. First of all Waves! I grew up in South Florida and the Gulf and Atlantic waves are child’s play to what you will see in CR. The sand is darker in CR so the water looks darker in most of the pictures. In fact most pictures you see of the Costa Rican cost looks more gray than it does in real life. The beaches in Costa Rica are more desolate and littered with driftwood. This is again from the heavy rains and the serious surf. I have never been to a place where the Jungle comes right up to the beach like it does in Costa Rica. The Mahogany forest was nice in St. Croix but we stayed at more of the touristy section near the beach. The rainforest in Puerto Rico is a joke by Costa Rican standards.

We could not find the quality of rental property anywhere in the Caribbean for the same amount of money.

London, United...
posts: 68
reviews: 20
10. Re: Is renting a house safe??

I too have just returned from ten days renting a villa in the Dominical/Uvita area.

Felt completely safe, never even crossed my mind at any time that it might not be, so no worries onthat front. A few other points.

1) Make sure you rent a 4x4 - just about all the roads off the main highway are rough.

2) No worries about beaches. There are some (Dominical itself) that are only for surfers but further south it's fine for swmming. Ranging from Playa Hermosa (rough ish but OK) to Ventanas (relatively calm). The beaches at the Marina Ballena natural park in particular are all great for swimming, tho you'll pay to enter.

3) No, no coral, and snorkelling wouldn't be much good.

4) We had a couple of morning surf lessons (great fun), went canyoning (even better), went to Corcovado for the day (waste of time), went zipling at Hacienda Baru (tame) but mostly hung out by the beach.

Overall it was an awesome time - I would definitely go back!