Many potential guests tell us they are concerned about Zika due to the fact that our hotels and lodges are in such remote rain forest locations. They are mistaken. Let us explain why…
Zika has reached the continental United States and is ever more present in newspaper Headlines. We have potential guests contact us and ask us about the risk of Zika in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We stick to our recommendations that we have made throughout the year. If you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant soon, it is better to postpone your visit. But, if you are not planning to have children any time soon, then Zika should not worry you more than other risks that are inherent in travel.
So imagine a remote eco lodge in the rain forest of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The area has been identified by National Geographic one of the biologically most intense places on earth. Many people would think that such a place would be the most likely to be stung by a mosquito and catch the Zika virus. But, the opposite is true. Somewhere like Lapa Rios Ecolodge is probably the least likely place to transmit Zika. Here is why:
- Lapa Rios is set in an intact ecosystem where there is balance between species. Insects are the favorite meal of their natural predators.
- There are very few mosquitos in and around Lapa Rios as the lodge is sitting on a hillside where there is no standing water and no breeding ground.
- If we see mosquitos in the rainforest areas near rivers, they are usually not the species (aedes aegypti) that transmits the Zika and other viruses.
- There are hardly any people living near the lodge. And in order to transmit the disease, the mosquito first has to find a person that is infected with the virus.
What is important to know is that you might expose yourself to the risk of being stung by the aedes aegypti mosquito while you are in transfer from airports or passing towns. In that case, long sleeve clothing and insect repellent are your best bet.
We live here in Costa Rica. We travel to the hotels and resorts all the time. We understand the risks, but also know when we can relax and don’t have to worry. If you would like to find out more, send us a note.