QCOSTARICA – A travel advisory post on TripAdvisor warns of not driving the coastal route between Santa Teresa and Coyote.

On the this route drivers have to literally driving into the Rio Ario and Rio Bongo to make the crossing, where antisocials have been known to hide out along the banks of the rivers, waiting for people to stop and assess if they are going to make the crossing.

santa-teresa-nicoya-mapIn a travel report by the Tico Times of September 5, we learn of four French women robbed and sexually assaulted on August 29, by armed men wearing masks when they stopped at the river to see it if was dave to drive across.

According to the Tico Times report, a man representing the French Consulate in the Nicoya Peninsula and serving as an interpreter told the publication the horrifying story. Not wanting to be identified because he is not authorized to the talk to the media, he said the French tourists, in their mid-to late 20s, were driving from Samara to Santa Teresa when they came across the Ario river crossing, when four men came out of hiding wearing masks and gloves, armed with a rifle, a handgun and two machetes, overpowered the women and stole everything they had.

“The assailants pushed the women into the woods and ‘played with them’ sexually assaulting them with their hands,” writes the Tico Times.

The TripAdvisor poster, Welfish88, a level ‘6’ contributor and “destination expert for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa writes, “please stick to the main roads and don’t stop for any reason if you are out in the middle of nowhere! Of course the rains are beginning and this route will not be negotiable soon, but it still is right now….and it is dangerous.
Sorry, but this is the reality here right now and it comes at a bad time with Santa Teresa featured in an article in National Geographic Travel Magazine(…).”

In the Nicoya and Guanacaste area the coastal roads offer an off-the-beaten-path adventure, but it can also be dangerous.

Santa Teresa police station
Santa Teresa police station

Unfortunately many of these crimes go unreported and in cases where police are called in, there is little they can do other than to increase patrols.

In Costa Rica marked police vehicles run with their lights flashing, day and night. This is confusing to many, particularly North Americans who are accustomed to seeing flashigh lights on police cars only when there is an emergency.

Let’s hope there won’t have to be some very unfortunate story before police will take serious action in the matter.

In the meantime you can do your part by sharing this article to your social media contacts and friends.  Use the comment section below to tell your story and/or warn others of other trouble spots.


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