Hello! Your blog is so wonderful and helpful. We are hoping you can help with one planning issue we are having. We will be in CR later this month for 9 days, and are doing San Jose — Arenal — Tamarindo, with a rental car. On the two travel days, we wanted to make some stops along the drive to see various things, but we will have our luggage in the car. From SJ to Arenal, we were hoping to stop at Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfalls, and one of the coffee tours. And from Arenal to Tamarindo, we were hoping to stop at Tenorio Park/Rio Celeste, and Llanos de Cortez Waterfalls. But, we have read many times that it is not safe to leave anything in cars, especially rental cars. Do you think it is unsafe to stop at any of these places along the way, because our luggage will be in the car?
If you have any other opinions about any of those stops (are they even worth stopping), please let me know as well!! Thank you!
This is a question we get a lot. At all of those places you mentioned, there is a parking attendant but they don’t necessarily watch your car closely. And sometimes the lots are quite large so they can’t really keep track of who’s car belongs to who. So leaving your luggage in the car is definitely a risk. People do it but we can’t recommend it by any means. If you do take the risk, be sure to carry all of your valuables and travel documents with you in a day pack so that if your car is broken into, you have only lost clothes. One exception might be La Paz. You could contact them ahead of time to see if there is an option for you to temporarily store your bags inside or to park someplace special that would be safer. I also seem to remember their parking area being a bit more secure and them taking down our plate number when we entered. But best to check with them before making the stop.