The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for Costa Rica following an increase in the number of missing tourists reported in the country.
A total of eight foreigners – including one British national – are presently believed to have gone missing in the last two years, with some related to criminal activity.
Perhaps the most famous case was that of British citizen Michael Dixon, who vanished after leaving his hotel room in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, on October 18th 2009.
His father, David Dixon, said: “There is a common misperception that Costa Rica is a safe place to go on holiday.
“While it is a beautiful country, travellers need to be aware of the increasing number of tourist disappearances and exercise a much greater degree of caution.”
Eleven other foreign nationals have either gone missing or were murdered in Costa Rica in the past 18 months.
Most of the cases go unsolved.
The change in advice followed a letter from the Dixon family to Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Minister of state Jeremy Browne said in a reply to the Dixons on May 12th: “Violent crime against tourists is increasing.
“The recent increase in the number of foreign nationals missing in Costa Rica is also worrying.”
Head over to the FCO website for the latest advice.
Around 28,800 British nationals visited Costa Rica in 2009.