Editors Note: Back when we ran the original version of this article in July of last year, TheCRPost received a lot of hate mail from our readers, mostly criticizing us for not providing any advice on how one could safely enjoy our beaches without ending up in a watery grave. Today we set out to remedy that by updating the article with a list of ocean survival tips. A big thanks to Tico Doug for doing all the Googling. As with all our stories, sources and links are provided for authenticity, so feel free to check our facts.
5 Beautiful Costa Rican Beaches (That Want To Kill You)
With it’s two stunning coastlines surrounded by lush jungles, there is no denying Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A popular travel destination among adventurous travelers since the 80s, people come to Costa Rica for a variety of activities and not all of them involve cocaine and prostitutes. For most Gringos though it does usually involve getting a ridiculous looking sunburn.
In 2015 alone Costa Rica had 2.66 million visitors and nearly half of them were Gringos. According to the tourism board 55% of those travelers headed straight to one of the countries more than 300 exotic beaches for some fun in the sun but unfortunately for their families, not all of them made it home alive.
Although for many the mere mention of a Costa Rican beach evokes images of fruity rum drinks, stupid yoga poses, and unforgettable sunsets, what it usually doesn’t evoke is visions of floating face down in the water for a few hours before getting shipped home in a box. But in reality maybe it should because according to the Cruz Roja the beaches of Costa Rica are often as deadly as they are delightful.
According to the INEC (Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas Costarricense) website 141 people died from drowning in Costa Rica last year alone . That’s 3 times the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents during the same time frame. Although nearly every Expat we spoke to claimed they would never risk their lives doing something as dangerous as riding a motorcycle here most seemed to have no qualms about getting hammered before going for a dip in ocean.
Although many of the drownings can be traced back to the carelessness of the deceased there are also some environmental conditions to consider. Since some beaches are more dangerous than others The CR Post has prepared a list of the Top 5 Beautiful Costa Rican Beaches That Will Kill You (According to the Cruz Roja).
#5. Playa Esterillos Oeste
#4. Playa Bandera
#3. Playa Bejuco
#2. Playa Dominical, Puntarenas
#1. Playa Hermosa, Jaco
Handy Tips for Not Dying
Even though, knowing you, you’re probably going to disregard our advice and die anyways, The CR Post has compiled a handy list of tips for not becoming a statistic while spending time at one of the many beautiful beaches of Costa Rica.
Drugs, Don’t Do Them
According to Wikipedia, “a drug is any substance (other than food that provides nutritional support) that, when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, or dissolved under the tongue, causes a physiological change in the body.” Although they don’t sound as cool when you say it like that, tourist still seem to love them, using drugs are a great way to die if you are planning on taking a dip in the ocean. Just say No and you might not die.
Rip Tides, Learn To Identify Them
Although a large number of drowning victims are found to have some sort of foreign substance in their body, the biggest killer, according to drowning statistics, are rip currents. Even standing in waist-deep water you may still find yourself swept into a rip current, helplessly fighting for your life, while some crack head steals the flip-flops you left in your jeep. In order to help you keep your life, and maybe even your flip-flops, we stole this useful guide to Riptide Survival from metro.co.uk who actually stole it from wikihow.com
Identify a rip tide. A “rip current” is a narrow channel of water rushing from the beach to the sea (or sometimes along the beach). In order to stay safe it is important to learn the warning signs of rip current like choppy water, foam, or water that is of a slightly different color than the surrounding water.
If you do find yourself trapped in riptide try to do the following:
- Don’t tire yourself out fighting against the current
- Swim parallel to the shore until you’re not getting pulled out anymore
- Use the Waves to return to shore. Obviously if you can’t swim you are most likely screwed, since lifeguards are virtually nonexistent in Costa Rica, so you may have a better chance getting the attention of the guy stealing your flip-flops back on shore.
Man, Don’t Be One
According to the World Health Organization men are 200% more likely to die of drowning than women are. According to WHO’s fact sheet, the higher percentage of death and injury is attributed to increased exposure to water and reckless behavior often preceded by the phrase “Hey guys, watch this”. If you are a woman, feel free to enjoy the beach, but if you really love your husband you will leave him at home.
Oceans, Dont Visit Them
You can’t die in the ocean if you don’t get near the ocean. It’s not like there aren’t tons of other fun things to do in Costa Rica that don’t involve drowning, getting attacked by a crocodile, or becoming one of the six people dying of skin cancer each month. Play some video games, read The CR Post more, or learn to knit, there are all kinds of things you can do without ever having to leave the safety of your home.
If avoiding the beach is not an option, we sincerely hope our readers take some of the precautions laid out in this article as we honestly can’t afford to lose any more readers after yesterdays mass exodus due to our Rapey Clown article so please be safe out there.