Drinking age in Costa Rica
The legal drinking age in Costa Rica is 18. The legal drinking age is officially 18, it should be pointed out, but that’s just the official age. Anecdotal reports suggest that it’s simple to buy and consume alcohol when you’re 17 there, and any age for that matter, and it’s not really strictly enforced. Only the most posh bars and clubs will require an ID or a copy of your passport with your birth date on it.
Outside of that, you can buy alcohol at supermarkets for cheaper than clubs or bars. The drinking age in most South American countries is 18, but they don’t usually enforce it very much. One quote was “that if you can see over the counter, then you’re old enough to buy alcohol in Costa Rica”. It’s important not to flash your money around though, or you could get tossed in a gutter, stabbed, and robbed. Be careful and show discretion wherever you are in Costa Rica when you’re buying and consuming alcohol. You don’t want to get so drunk that you make yourself vulnerable to bad situations. If you have any friends that are over 18, you should have a lot easier time getting alcohol in Costa Rica. It just makes things go smoother.
Underage drinking is sort of a problem in Costa Rica. There are kids that sometimes drink right in front of the police, and they don’t encounter a problem, and they usually sell alcohol without carding as well. It’s kind of a subjective experience, and it’s not as objective as when you’re in some other countries, and they just uniformly enforce it across the board because it’s the law. As with lots of different kinds of laws in Costa Rica, they’re in there, but they’re not always enforced.
A lot of people under the age of 18 want to know what the drinking age is in Costa Rica, and they also want to know if it’s strictly enforced. The official drinking age, of course, is 18, but finding a store keeper or a bartender that won’t sell you is kind of hard.
The joke in the country, and it’s more like the reality, is that as long as you can look over the counter. One person even witnessed a store attendant selling a six-pack to a ten-year-old girl. It’s just a little different when you’re down in Costa Rica, but, in all fairness, she was probably buying it for her dad.
If you look over 18 in just about any of the beach towns, then you’ll get served. Even the 14-18 year-olds who write about their experiences on the Internet say that it’s extremely easy to get served at clubs because you never get carded. Only if you’re one of those people who looks about ten years younger than they actually are, will you actually get carded.
Almost 90% of traffic deaths in Costa Rica are attributed to alcohol, especially during the rainy season. The roads are unsafe and dangerous. You should not drive on the roads when you’re drunk.