Emergency Services: What To Know While In Costa Rica - Answers & Video

Emergency Services: What To Know While In Costa Rica

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Emergency Services: What to Know While in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful country known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. When visiting this tropical paradise, it’s essential to be aware of the emergency services available to ensure your safety and well-being. This article will provide you with detailed information about emergency services in Costa Rica, including contact numbers, medical facilities, police assistance, and more.

Medical Services

When it comes to medical emergencies, Costa Rica offers a range of healthcare facilities to cater to locals and tourists alike. It’s important to be aware of the following:

  • Hospitals: Costa Rica has both public and private hospitals that provide emergency medical care. Some renowned hospitals include CIMA Hospital, Hospital Mexico, and Clinica Biblica.
  • Emergency Numbers: In case of a medical emergency, dial 911 for immediate assistance. You can also contact the Red Cross at 128 for ambulance services.
  • Pharmacies: Pharmacies are widely available throughout the country. Look for the green “Farmacia” signs, and they usually operate during regular business hours. Some pharmacies may also provide 24-hour services.
  • Health Insurance: It’s highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses while in Costa Rica. Ensure your policy includes emergency medical evacuation.
  • COVID-19: Due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s crucial to stay updated on the latest travel advisories and COVID-19 protocols in Costa Rica. Follow all safety guidelines and regulations implemented by the local authorities.

Police Assistance

The Costa Rican police force is responsible for maintaining law and order in the country. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Emergency Number: In case of any criminal activity, accidents, or emergencies requiring police assistance, dial 911.
  • Tourist Police: Costa Rica has a specialized tourist police force known as the Fuerza Publica Turistica (FUTU). They are trained to assist tourists and provide information about safety, tourist attractions, and more. The tourist police can be reached at 2586-4600.
  • Language: While many police officers in tourist areas may speak English, it’s recommended to have a basic understanding of Spanish or carry a translation app to communicate effectively.
  • Reporting an Incident: If you become a victim of a crime or need to report an incident, visit the nearest police station or contact the Tourist Police for guidance.

Fire Services

In the event of a fire emergency, Costa Rica has fire services to handle such situations. Here’s what you should know:

  • Emergency Number: Dial 911 to report a fire emergency and request assistance from the fire department.
  • Fire Stations: Fire stations are strategically located throughout the country. In major cities like San Jose, you’ll find fire stations equipped with modern firefighting equipment and trained personnel.
  • Fire Safety: It’s always advisable to follow fire safety protocols, especially in hotels, resorts, and other accommodations. Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and evacuation plans.

Search and Rescue

Costa Rica’s diverse terrain offers opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, and exploring national parks. In case of emergencies in remote areas, search and rescue teams are available:

  • Emergency Number: Dial 911 and provide clear details about your location, the nature of the emergency, and the number of people involved.
  • National Park Rangers: National parks have designated rangers who can assist in case of emergencies or provide guidance regarding trails, wildlife, and park regulations.
  • GPS and Communication: When venturing into remote areas, it’s crucial to carry a fully charged cell phone, a GPS device, and extra batteries. This will aid in communication and expedite rescue efforts if needed.
  • Inform Others: Before embarking on any outdoor activity, inform a trusted person about your plans, including your expected return time. This will ensure someone can raise the alarm if you don’t return as planned.

Consular Services

If you find yourself in a situation where you require assistance from your country’s embassy or consulate, here’s what you should know:

  • Embassies and Consulates: Many countries have diplomatic missions in Costa Rica. Locate the nearest embassy or consulate of your home country and keep their contact information handy.
  • Lost or Stolen Documents: In case of lost or stolen passports, driver’s licenses, or other important documents, contact your embassy or consulate immediately for guidance on how to proceed.
  • Emergency Travel Documents: If you need to travel urgently but have lost your passport, your embassy or consulate can assist you in obtaining emergency travel documents.


Being aware of the emergency services available in Costa Rica is vital for a safe and enjoyable trip. Remember to save important contact numbers, have adequate travel insurance, and follow all safety guidelines provided by local authorities. By staying prepared and informed, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free experience while exploring the wonders of Costa Rica.


  • visitcostarica.com
  • costaricatimes.com
  • redcross.or.cr
  • costaricapolicereport.com

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