About Costa Rica

Climate, Conditions, Snakes, and Creepy-Crawlies

TEMPERATURE:

Remember that you are in the Tropics. It is hot and humid, and there are snakes and creepy-crawlies. It is the latter though which often concerns people the most. Well, snakes and insects are not as prevalent or bothersome as you would believe. It is the heat and the humidity that is the greatest problem. While the temperatures in the Central Plateau of Costa Rica are a pleasant 22° to 25° during the day, in the coastal areas temperatures seldom drop below 25° (in the rainy season) and may exceed 33° in the dry season. Combined with high humidity 60/100%, conditions can be uncomfortable and often oppressive. Physical activity is more tiring than it is in colder climes and you must take appropriate measures against sunburn, heat exhaustion, sunstroke and dehydration. Your guides will give you precautionary advice during adventure tours.

 

We recommend you bring with you:

  1. Light clothing: T-shirts, shorts and light trousers.
  2. An effective sunblock and after-sun lotion.
  3. Sunglasses and/or a peaked cap or wide rimmed hat.
  4. A water bottle: REMEMBER TO DRINK FREQUENTLY!

 

RAINFALL:

In most of the country rainfall can be quite high (2-6 meters per year) and falls between the months of April and November. During this period (referred to as winter in Costa Rica) it can rain on most days, usually as heavy showers in the afternoon and evening. Most residents prefer this time of year. At times, however, rainfall can be torrential and accompanied by thunder and lightning Sometimes this interrupts schedules in areas where such heavy storms persist. Expect forest trails to be muddy this time of year.

We recommend you bring with you:

  1. Light waterproof clothing.
  2. Light washable hiking boots or comfortable rubber boots.
  3. Self-sealing plastic bags or a small dry-bag to keep your belongings dry.

SNAKES:

The word “jungle” conjures up nightmare images in some people’s minds of a place teeming with snakes. The reality is quite different. You seldom see snakes. Most snake encounters are of non-venomous species. Nonetheless, threat from venomous snakes does exist, and these bites can be very serious indeed, often fatal. However, your chances of being bitten are as probable as being hit on the head by a falling coconut! Venomous snakes will not bite unless trodden on (or grabbed!). On treks your experienced guide is there to minimize that possibility and will always take the lead. Anti-venom is also part of the guide’s equipment.

 

We recommend you bring with you:

  1. Wear close choose when hiking
  2. Use repellent
  3. Watch your step

BUGS AND CREEPY-CRAWLIES:

Spiders often rank alongside snakes on people’s most-undesirable list. There are lots of spiders in the jungle, but they are mostly small and innocuous. Tarantulas are cryptic and very rarely seen. They are harmless anyway! Scorpions, too, are not often encountered and none of the species found in Costa Rica are dangerous. In fact a scorpion sting is little more harmful or painful than a bee sting. Still it’s wise to shake out your boots before you put them on! Biting insects are a nuisance. Mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and horseflies are ever present. Fortunately most repellents are effective protection against them. Wasps and bees are prevalent and while their stings are painful, attacks are rare.

We recommend you bring with you:

  1. Insect repellent.
  2. Antihistamine tablets.
  3. Cream for alleviating insect bites and stings.

OTHER ANIMALS:

Of the large mammals (of which there are surprisingly few in the Neotropics) only the peccary has a dubious reputation. If taken by surprise, they have been known to send the unwary passerby scurrying up a tree. But their threat is usually all show, accompanied by loud teeth cracking. The American crocodile kills an average one person annually in Costa Rica. In the last two years they’ve been tourists! This species does not have a particularly bad reputation, usually preferring fish to tourists. Because of Costa Rica’s rigorous conservation laws, specimens of 4 meters or larger are not uncommon in this country. This size will prey on large mammals or even people. But the American crocodile is not a threat unless you are silly enough to swim in rivers, lagoons or lakes where they are known to inhabit.

 

We recommend:

  1. Don´t bath on mangroves
  2. Don´t get to close to animals

HEALTH AND DISEASES:

You should seek medical advice from your local medical center on what vaccinations are recommended for Costa Rica. Costa Rica has an excellent Health Service. Many of the tropical diseases, which are endemic to other countries, have long ceased to be a problem here.

We highly recommend travel insurance to protect your investment and to provide yourself with international emergency medical coverage. For an estimated cost please ask. Click here for complete information of the coverage!

 

We recommend you bring with you:

  1. Insect repellent.
  2. Antihistamine tablets.

 

Written by Caro Goodfellow

Google+ Banana Adventure Tours
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