Villa Quetzal

Villa Quetzal

Friday, May 6, 2011

Healthy and Happy Vacationing in Costa Rica

If the idea of coming to Costa Rica on your next Vacation is making you very excited and at the same time kind of nervous, it might be because you have heard all those stories about third world countries’ drinking water not being safe for your digestive system.
I am sure you have heard or even experienced the so called “Montezuma’s revenge” when going to México; not to worry, that does not happen in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is very different from México in that sense, and probably the most sanitary of the Central America countries.
Costa Rica has lots of water flowing sources like waterfalls, springs, creeks and rivers.  You name it! 
Spring water as we know can be the best source of clean water and what Costa Rica does is to take those clean water sources and channel them to the population.
Therefore, you will find that the water in the Restaurants, Hotels, and Vacation rental houses in Ojochal and Uvita (Southern Pacific coast) is safe to drink from the tap.

Of course, there is no substitute for common sense and self-awareness.
Bottled water is available everywhere in the country even in those little stores on the side of the road called “Pulperias”.

Driving along the Pacific coast, you will see many cute and typical fruit and vegetable stands. If you feel like eating some of those succulent looking fruits, it is safe to do it.

Make sure to take the basic precaution of washing them with some of the bottled water you most likely are carrying with you and if you have a pocketknife, peel the skin off, you will enjoy it and will know that simple precaution will keep you healthy.

If you stop at a little restaurant by the side of the road, (the locals call these little restaurants “Soda”), enjoy the local dishes offered on the menu, but, be cautious and don’t drink tap water and avoid the lettuce and raw vegetable on your plate. 

There is a simple reason why you need to be careful:
Some small rural villages by the side of the road do not get the normal supply of spring water as the hotels or other places in the mores structured towns.  

The way they take care of their needs is by storing the water in big holding water tanks; this works extremely well for them except that “how could you know if the water in that tank is clean or if there is a filter that will make the tap water safe to drink”.  
Since you cannot know, it will be better not to take the chance, ask for bottled water and make sure is sealed; you could also drink tea, coffee, canned sodas, juice, beer, or wine, after all, you are on vacation.

The local authorities state the drinking water in Costa Rica is perfectly potable and the fruits and vegetables are safe to eat.
I personally agree with those statements, we have been living here for 6 years and even though my Husband has a sensitive stomach, he has not gotten sick by drinking the water in Ojochal or Uvita.
Of course, when we go somewhere else, we just keep an eye on the source of the water we have available.
Bring some Pepto Bismol in your first aid kit and you will be set.

It is important to mention that in this Ojochal, Uvita, Dominical area, we have easy access to good medical, hospital and pharmacy services; we also have ambulance and helicopter emergency service in Uvita.

Nobody wants to be in need of these kinds of services, but it is important to know that they are available if you need them.

Talking about the quality of the water brings to my mind the incredible liquid source the locals call agua pipa.
It is Coconut water and it Tastes Great, besides the incredibly amazing experience you can have when drinking and eating coconuts, there are many other reasons try this wonderful delicacy!
The young coconut is one of the most important fruits in Costa Rica because of its potassium and mineral rich water, it is highly nutritious, and we believe it has medicinal qualities for the heart, liver, and kidneys and some say that recently has been reported to reduce the viral load of HIV.

Agua Pipa or Young Coconut Water provides many benefits:
  • The water of the young coconut is clear and sweet, full of electrolytes.
  • Coconut water is identical to human blood plasma that makes it the universal donor.  Plasma makes up 55% of human blood.
  • By drinking coconuts, we give ourselves an instant blood transfusion.
  • Many people lives have been saved in third world countries by the coconut IV.
  • Coconuts in their young stage of growth are the most health enhancing.
  • Drink at least one a day.
  • Coconuts are a great blood purifier.
"It's a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood.  It's the fluid of life, so to speak."
In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water - siphoned directly from the nut - to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.

Come to Costa Rica, you will have a healthy, delicious, and memorable Vacation.
Moreover, do not be surprised if you find yourself extending your stay or making plans to relocate.  “It happened to us 7 years ago”

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