I am planning on taking my family to Costa Rica (Los Suenos Marriott) for a week in late November, and I am a little concerned/preoccupied with Zika virus concerns. Although Zika is not making the headlines it was prior to the Olympics in Brazil, my understanding is that the outbreak is by no means under control. A European government website i found (Current Zika transmission) lists Costa Rica as an area of "widespread transmission."
So a few questions I have:
I have to admit that I wasn't even thinking about Zika when I originally planned this vacation, but my sister recently started expressing some concerns about our trip and now she's got me all stressed out! All advice from fellow travelers is appreciateda
In Costa Rica, you are more likely to get dengue fever and or chikungunya, mainly in the rainy season. Nov is not really rainy season, its well on it's way to dry season, Dec is dry dry.
I usually visit in the rainy season. Less people, lower cost in general. In the evenings I would use bug spray. I didn't feel a thing in the day. I brought some spray with deet in it, just to be on the safe side.
My parents live there and have for a few years and haven't gotten dengue or chikungunya. They also do not know of anyone that has had the Zika virus. I am not saying it is 100% safe, but it's no worse than going to Miami where there was an out break.
Map of the US with reported out breaks.
Map of the Americas
I hope this helps! I personally will go back to Costa Rica. It's amazing...and well I do love to visit my parents!
You are welcome! It is a beautiful place to visit. And I would not worry about a thing. Nov is great shoulder season time.
On a side note - any place I have ever been to in Costa Rica, hotel, restaurant, bar... The services is not up to speed. They take their time for everything. It's "pura vida" and they don't know the meaning of time... so when you want to order your meal, or a refill, or even the check, just flag someone down with a smile .
I stayed at the JW Guanacaste in mid Aug. Everyone was so friendly! The hostesses however didn't have a clue on how to really greet and seat .
Much of the what we might consider as "slow service" is very cultural. No one is in a hurry!
andrew415, I went to Puerto Rico during the height of the outbreak there and survived, despite getting many bug bites in El Yunque (which was awesome and worth it). If I got zika I didn't have any symptoms (most people don't) so I guess we'll never know. But I would definitely stay away if your wife is pregnant or trying to get be pregnant. No sense in taking that type of risk.
Thanks everyone for the advice. We're proceeding with the trip. Although kids definitely can get Zika (from what I have found online), given the time of year, the risk should be pretty low. Also, i read here that Zika has been documented in the US going back to 2007! - 10 Essential Facts About Zika Virus | Everyday Health
Anyhow, thank you again for all the helpful tips!