Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
My last two trips to Costa Rica I have had the same scam pulled on me. Once on the Highway 21 below Nicoya, and once near Brasilito.
It goes like this: You’re driving down the road, and a slow car pulls out in front of you going muy poco, maybe 20 kph. You look to pass, but it’s a double yellow line. So on a straightaway you pass just to have a cop jump out and wave you over. They tell you the fine is 320,000 colons and ask for your passport and rental car contract. I gave him $50 and ask my passport, and rental car contract back. The second time was the same scam except I gave them 30,000 colons.
The reason I know it’s a scam because both times I looked up and notice the same car or truck coming going muy poco the other way and a cop was pulling over another car going the opposite direction both times.
Moral to the story:
1. Don’t pass on a double yellow line.
2. If this happens to you go to the municipality immediately and fill out a report. Take pictures of the cops, or go video the entire incident.
3. Write the Costa Rican tourist board and make an issue about it.
4. Or lastly, suck it up and be thankful you’re in Costa Rica.
Los Angeles, California