Costa Rica Travel: Are There Advisories or Things to be Aware of in 2015?

April 22, 2015

Some of you may be considering a Costa Rica Vacation, but are unsure about traveling to Central America because of all the mixed information on past issues with neighboring countries, health concerns and petty crime.

Costa Rica Travel Advisories

 

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Surfing The Central Pacific

The first thing I can tell you is that as of April 22nd, 2015, there are no national travel advisories set by either the United States or Canada. In fact, a 2013 analytical study by Latin American Business News and Analysis (Latinvex) Showed Costa Rica to be the safest country in Latin America –this includes the Caribbean. Beyond the safety factor, Costa Rica is also regarded as the “Top Democracy” in Latin America and has the highest socio-economic development standards in the whole of the Latin American mainland and Caribbean.

Should I Be Concerned About My Health? Are There Recommended Injections?

You may have seen Yellow Fever injection recommendations when visiting consular websites or offices. However, Yellow Fever is none existent in Costa Rica and this precautionary inoculation is unnecessary. You should be up-to-date on your basic vaccines before traveling anywhere. These usually include Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Measles/Mumps, Polio and Rabies. That, said there are no required injections needed to visit Costa Rica.

Should I Be Afraid of Getting Sick?

No. Not anymore than if you were anywhere in the southern region of the United States. Unlike many Central American countries, you can actually drink the tap water here.
 
One mosquito-borne illness that has been making worldwide headlines recently is the Chikungunya Virus. In all actuality, this particularly hyped-up illness is no more prevalent in Costa Rica than it is in Florida, so you need not to worry. The Caribbean islands have been more affected by Chikungunya than most other areas around the Americas. And so far, the inland areas and the Pacific side of the Latin American mainland (specifically Costa Rica) have seen very little of this bug.
 
In most cases Chikungunya takes a few days to a week before symptoms set in and most people recover within a few days. Usual symptoms are flu-like with joint pains and can be easily mistaken for Dengue Fever.
 
Another talked about illness that tends to freak people out is the above mentioned, Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever is also transmitted by mosquitos and causes sever flu-like symptoms. However, the majority of persons who contract the Dengue virus recover within a few days and are then forever immune to that particular strain, of which there are four.
 
For the most part, Dengue and Chikungunya are just nuisances to healthy adults (like getting a really crummy flu) but extra caution should be taken for infants & the elderly. Both of these ailments can be avoided by simply using mosquito repellent, especially when outside during the hours around sunrise and sunset (peak mosquito hours).
 
I’d like to close this section by going back to the fact that there are zero Costa Rica travel advisories thus far in 2015. The amount of Dengue and Chikungunya cases reported in Costa Rica has been so few that no special advisories have been merited. However, comprehensive travel & medical insurance is always recommended anywhere you travel.

Do I Need a Visa?

U.S., Canadian & U.K. Nationals (among many other countries) do not need a special visa or extra permissions to enter Costa Rica. Your current, valid passport acts as your visa for a typical duration of 90 days. Once your 90 days are up, you may leave the country for a 72 hour period and come back, typically receiving another 90 day stamp.
 
If you have any questions about travel tips or want to see some of the best Costa Rica Rentals, just give us a shout!


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