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What if I get sick?

What medication should I bring?

First of all we want to say that it’s unlikely that you will need it, but if you happen to get sick while you are in Costa Rica, we have top of the line medical care, hospitals and drug stores throughout the country. 

We have staff that is also are available for emergencies 24/7. This is just a precaution, don’t worry about it; just put in somewhere that you won’t forget, like in your wallet with your driver’s license and then if you need it you’ll know where it is.

Be sure to be up to date also on your tetanus inoculation, but in case you won’t be able to do so; it is something you can easily get here if it becomes necessary.

Here are a few tips:

General First Aid

On a more general level, something for:

Repellant: To DEET or not to DEET?

DEET is certainly toxic, and there have been studies linking it to complications with pregnancies. If you are pregnant you should use another option. It is also far and away the most effective option against bugs. At our Lodge in Tortuguero, we provide guests with repellant that is 30% DEET. Our staff also use it, without hesitation. One recommendation is to purchase repellant wipes; this allows you to apply it without spraying it in the air and minimizes the chances of inhalation.

Another thing about DEET is that it can be corrosive, and if it is on your hands and you are handling binoculars or your camera, or if you spray it on and catch your watch, the chemicals may start to eat away at the plastic on those items.

A final note, please don’t touch the wildlife with DEET on your hands! If DEET harms plastic, it is certainly not good for frogs or anything else you might touch. Please wipe your hands thoroughly before touching any plant or animals if you have recently applied repellant.

We know… if DEET is bad for frogs and plastic, what’s it doing to me… as we said above, it is far and away the most effective option against bugs.

People often ask whether they should apply sunscreen or insect repellant first, in our opinion a base layer of sunscreen will offer you some small amount of protection from the chemicals of DEET, and thus is the better alternative.

If you are really opposed to putting chemicals on your skin, an interesting alternative one of our guides mentioned is Buzz Off Clothing, this is clothing designed to be bug resistant, and also lightweight. You can look for it online.  

If you do go this route, remember to go for the options that will keep you the coolest. And forget about fashion.

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