Nuevo Arenal is a safe town to live and visit. Violent crime is practically non-existent. Petty theft can be a nuisance, but is avoidable by taking precautions.
The police station is in the town center, across from the church. The police routinely patrol town and can be reached at 4001-6911. Dial 911 for emergency situations. There is typically an English speaking representative available. If you experience difficulty communicating, say “inglés por favor” (een-glace pour fuh vore).
Take these precautions to avoid petty theft:
- Lock all doors and windows – even if you are only leaving for a few minutes.
- Do not leave valuables in plain sight from windows.
- Do not leave valuables unattended in cars (bags, GPS, phone, laptop, tablet, etc.).
- Do not leave anything of value unattended outside.
- Do not leave anything of value in your hotel room. Place anything of value in the room safe, hotel safe, or bring it with you.
- If you go out at night, leave your lights and television on.
- Leave exterior lights on at night.
- Use a house sitter for extended leaves from your house.
- Carefully screen potential house sitters, asking for references.
- Use security technology such as alarms or cameras.
- Keep a watch dog.
- Use caution before telling people you will be leaving your house unattended. As the old saying goes, “the walls have ears”.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is losing sight of the fact that they are in a second world country. The beautiful scenery and welcoming people can be blinding. But you must remember that your camera is probably worth more than your neighbor’s daughter’s boyfriend earns in a few months. If he happens to see you leave, looks in the window and sees a $1,500 camera sitting a few feet away on the kitchen table, the temptation may be too great for him to pass on.
Nuevo Arenal is a safe community for anybody wishing to visit or move here. Implementing a few basic security measures into your routine can make a big difference.