How Safe Are The Beaches?
*** Water safety is really important issue in Costa Rica***
While Costa Rica beaches are a beautiful places to relax, soak up the sun and watch local surfers - be very careful of riptides if you decide to go for a swim.
Every year many tourists and locals drown in CR due to riptides and heavy surf. If you are not an experienced swimmer in good shape or a surfer/boogie boarder, do not swim out past the breakers or to areas where you cannot touch the bottom. Currents and waves are especially strong during the rainy season from May to November on the Pacific side. Months of September and October are usually very calm on the Caribbean side.
Occurrence of riptides and heavy surf, of course, depend on the beach you visit. Always be cautions in any case and ask locals about swimming conditions. Many of the countries beaches are considered unfit for swimming; are not marked by warning signs, and there are lifeguards only at a very few locations.
If caught in a riptide, try to stay calm, conserve energy and try to get a surfer's or lifeguard's attention. DO NOT attempt to swim back to shore; instead, swim parallel to the beach, as only a small area is affected by the riptide, and you can often swim to an unaffected area.