3 Hiking Safety Tips In Costa Rica

At Costa Rica Waterfall Tours, we thrive on the excitement and beauty that our stunning country offers. Located in the middle of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, we provide unforgettable canyoning and waterfall experiences from Jaco and an array of Jaco adventure activities.

Our passion for exploration is matched only by our commitment to your safety. With that in mind, we’d like to share three essential safety tips for hiking in Costa Rica. Ensure your next adventure through our country’s beautiful scenery is as safe as it is exhilarating.

Scroll down to find our advice! And if you have any questions for our team, please just get in touch for the answers you need.

Costa Rica Hiking Tip #1: Be Prepared and Informed

Costa Rica’s diverse terrain ranges from dense rainforests to rugged mountains. It’s essential, then, to adequately prepare for a safe and enjoyable hike.

Research Trails and Conditions 

Before lacing up your boots, take the time to research the route you plan to hike. Costa Rica boasts a variety of trails, each with unique challenges and rewards. Websites and guidebooks can provide valuable information on trail difficulty, length, and current conditions. It’s crucial to check the weather forecast, too. Costa Rica’s weather can be unpredictable, with sudden rainstorms transforming trails into slippery paths.

Check out our blog When is the Best Time to Travel to Costa Rica? to find out more about the weather conditions you can expect here throughout the year.

Maps and Guides 

Always carry a detailed map or a GPS device. These tools can be lifesavers if you lose your way. For those less familiar with the area or embarking on more challenging hikes, hiring a local guide is highly recommended. Not only will they keep you safe, but they will also enrich your journey with insights into local flora, fauna, and culture.

First Aid and Essentials 

Pack a well-equipped first aid kit, plenty of water, high-energy snacks, a flashlight, a whistle, and a multi-tool. Dress in layers to adjust to changing weather conditions, and wear sturdy, waterproof hiking boots for stability and protection. Sun protection is also vital – bring a hat, wear sunglasses, and slather on the sunscreen.

Wondering what else to bring with you? Check out our blog What Do I Need to Pack for a Trip to Costa Rica? when you have finished here.

Costa Rica Hiking Tip #2: Respect Wildlife and Nature

Costa Rica’s biodiversity is one of its greatest treasures, and encountering wildlife is often a highlight of any hike. However, respecting these creatures and their habitats is crucial for your safety and theirs.

Maintain Distance 

Costa Rica is home to a diverse range of wildlife, from colorful birds and butterflies to potentially dangerous animals like snakes and big cats. Always maintain a safe distance from wildlife. Never attempt to feed or provoke animals, as this can lead to unpredictable and dangerous behavior. Use binoculars or a zoom lens for a closer look without disturbing them.

Stick to Marked Trails 

To protect both yourself and the environment, always stay on designated trails. These paths are designed to minimize environmental impact and reduce the risk of getting lost. Straying from marked trails can lead to encounters with hazardous plants, unstable ground, or dangerous animals. Plus, staying on the path helps preserve the pristine beauty of the natural landscape, ensuring future generations can enjoy it as much as we do.

Leave No Trace 

Adhere to the ‘Leave No Trace’ principles and play your part in protecting the natural beauty of Costa Rica. Carry out all trash, avoid disturbing wildlife, and refrain from picking plants or removing natural objects. By respecting the environment, future adventurers can marvel at the same wonders you do.

Costa Rica Waterfall Tours can also help you witness some of our country’s famous wildlife on a safe, responsible excursion. Find out more about our Jaco crocodile tour and monkey tour in Jaco!

Scarlet Macaw

Costa Rica Hiking Tip #3: Safety in Numbers

Hiking is not only safer when shared with others, but also much more enjoyable. Here’s why it’s better to hit the trails in Costa Rica with companions.

Hike with Others 

Whenever possible, hike with a group. In addition to being more enjoyable, you can support each other if tiredness sets in or in case of emergencies. Sharing the adventure with friends or family enhances the memories you make and offers mutual encouragement and assistance.


Ensure that someone knows your hiking plan, including your intended route and expected return time. This way, if you encounter any issues and cannot reach out, someone will be aware of your location and plans. Carry a fully charged phone with an extra power bank, but remember that remote areas might have limited or no cell service. In such cases, a whistle or other signaling device can be invaluable for attracting attention.

Emergency Contacts 

Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers and the locations of the nearest medical facilities. Having quick access to this information can be crucial in an emergency. Dialing 911 provides access to the following relevant services:

  • Red Cross
  • Police Patrols
  • Fire Fighters

You can also reach the following emergency services directly by dialing the numbers listed below:

  • Fire Brigade and Rescue Teams — 1118
  • Police Department — 1117
  • Red Cross —1128

Hopefully, you’ll never need to use these numbers! Instead, you can focus more on impressing the locals with the knowledge you pick up from our blog about the cultural dos and don’ts for tourists in Costa Rica.

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Experience Hiking in Costa Rica Safely

Costa Rica’s natural beauty is unparalleled, and hiking is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in its wonders. By following these safety tips, you can ensure your adventure is both thrilling and safe. Whether you’re exploring the lush rainforests, ascending volcanic peaks, or discovering hidden waterfalls, preparation and respect for nature are your best allies.

Now that you know more about safe hiking in Costa Rica, it’s time to start planning your adventures! Our blog The Best Hikes in Costa Rica: Explore Our Natural Wonderland is the perfect place to start.

Don’t Miss Out on Our Jaco Adventure Tours!

Our adrenaline-pumping canyoning and waterfall experiences from Jaco and Jaco adventure activities frequently sell out, especially during the peak season. So if you want to add some heart-pounding thrills to balance out your more tranquil hikes, check out our excursions and reserve your spot!

If you have any pre-booking questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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