The Zika Virus: If I lived in the US or in Europe, would I travel to Costa Rica right now?

February 4, 2016

We have received a number of phone calls at our hotels and lodges from guests who are confused and concerned about the Zika virus and travel to Latin America.

I grew up in Germany and have been living in Costa Rica for more than 20 years.  I am married and have three children.  We live in the outskirts of San Jose and I travel to the different hotels and lodges of the Cayuga Collection on an almost weekly basis.   I am concerned about health issues as much as any other head of family.

Here is my take on things:

If my wife or daughter were pregnant and we were about to go on vacation to Latin America or the southern US (i.e. Florida, Texas, etc), I would postpone the trip.  And I would expect the airline and the hotels to give me a full refund.  This is our policy at the Cayuga Hotels.  In the past weeks, we have refunded several reservations of pregnant women.

As long as no one in my family or group of friends that I would be traveling with was pregnant or trying to get pregnant in the immediate future, I would not hesitate to go on the trip.  According to the data we have available as of today, Zika is no worse than the flu and only a “potential” threat to pregnant women.

We also had cases of women telling us that they were “trying to get pregnant”.  So we tell them that they can book their trip with our guarantee that if she is pregnant during the travel dates, we would cancel the reservation free of charge.

Just like Lapa Rios Ecolodge featured here, several of our hotels and lodges are build on hilltops with no bodies of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

In summary.  Medical officials are saying traveling to Costa Rica and Nicaragua is safe as long as you are not pregnant or in the process of trying to get pregnant which may happen while you are traveling.  For updated information on this topic, please visit:  http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Please be assured that we are doing everything possible in and around our hotels, resorts and lodges to keep our guests and employees healthy.  Being in remote locations where most of our hotels are located is actually a good thing as the chances of getting bitten by a mosquito that carries the Zika Virust is much higher in populated areas and cities.

I am happy to discuss this more if you would like.  Send me a note to hans@cayugaonline.com.