I'm getting conflicting information about whether or not to take anti malarials for the Visit Costa Rica trip. The nurse at our GP said we should get over the counter meds as the trip covers most of the country, however the Boots advice was that unless we're visiting Limon province, it was unnecessary.
What would anyone who has been there recommend?
You shouldn't need to take anti-malarials for this trip - most of Costa Rica has a low risk of malaria, although some parts of the low-lying eastern regions do have a high incidence of malaria. There is good advice on the NHS Fit for Travel website which includes a malaria map.
The trip does visit the Caribbean coast at Tortuguero, and our route there skirts the edge of the malarial zone some way north of Limon. While it is not generally considered to be an at-risk area you should note that these boundaries can change and so if you are particularly concerned then over the counter medications may be a good idea - Chloroquine is generally effective against Central American malaria. It can be purchased cheaply at most large chemists and is usually taken once a week (including 1 week before departure and 4 weeks after you leave the malarial zone).
For this trip, I would certainly recommend taking plenty of good insect repellent (with high DEET content if possible) and wearing loose long-sleeved tops and trousers in the lowland areas - even if the mosquitos aren't malarial they will probably still bite!
I hope this helps, and I hope you have a great holiday in Costa Rica - it's a wonderful country.
Tim (Costa Rica trip manager)
Thanks very much for the advice!
I am going on the Discover Costa Rica trip in July.I believe this will be the rainy season. What do you recommend taking ? Is a good waterproof jacket required or would an umberella be enough?
I am going in july to hopefully see the turtles going to lay their eggs. what are our chances of seeing this?
Hi Lesley, July is a great month for seeing turtles as this is nesting season - at the start of the trip we visit Tortuguero National Park where there's a good chance of seeing nesting turtles on the beach during one of the excursions. Although July is in the rainy season, it can be a little drier than other months surrounding it. I would certianly recommend that you take a lightweight waterproof coat with you, an umbrella could be useful but this would be optional. Enjoy the trip!
Vicky Boughton (Trip Manager)
Many thanks. I am so looking forward to this trip.
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