Use caution and common sense when engaging in ALL adventure sports, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, hiking, rappelling, climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, etc. Make sure your medical insurance covers your sport. Never participate in adventure sports alone. Always carry identification and let others know where you are at all times.
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Before kayaking and rafting, check river conditions and wear a life jacket and helmet. Even popular rafting locations such as the Rio Naranjo near Quepos can become extremely dangerous in flash flood conditions. When hiking, rappelling, or climbing, carry a first aid kit and know the location of the nearest rescue center. Observe all local or park regulations and exercise caution in unfamiliar surroundings.
Embassy for assistance. Students and Volunteers: Violent assaults, rapes, and deaths have occurred involving students and volunteers. Ensure that your organization provides safety and security information on the area where you will stay. Email: contactenos ict. Additional information regarding volcanic activity and other natural disasters in Costa Rica may be obtained from the following Spanish-language Costa Rican websites:. Strikes may affect transportation, fuel supplies, and other public services. Local law prohibits foreigners from participating in public demonstrations.
Violators may be subject to detention or deportation. Hiking: When visiting national parks, abide by signage and stick to marked trails. First responders have limited ability to locate missing persons in remote areas. Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, detained, or imprisoned. If you break local laws in Costa Rica, your U. In the event you are stopped by police, comply with all instructions. The Embassy is aware of isolated reports of uniformed officers or impostors demanding a bribe. Should you be confronted for a bribe, do not argue.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking illegal drugs are severe, including long jail sentences and heavy fines. Local laws regarding human trafficking and child exploitation carry extremely harsh penalties, including large fines and significant jail time, even for first-time offenders. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law.
For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website. Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
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The law permits pre-trial detention of persons accused of serious crimes. Defendants have the right to a public defender and an official translator for important hearings. Judicial Process: Due to differences in legal systems and case backlogs, local criminal and civil judicial processes can move slower in comparison to their U.
Civil suits on average take over five years to resolve. Some U. Students: For periods of study under 90 days, no visa is required if you have a round-trip ticket. Most Costa Rican educational institutions assist individuals planning to study longer than three months to obtain a student visa.
Verify requirements with the nearest Costa Rican embassy or consulate and with your airline. Residency: U. Local authorities have imposed limited entry permits or deported U. Real Estate: Be extremely cautious when making real estate purchases or investments, consult with reputable legal counsel, and thoroughly review the contract.
There is little the U. Embassy can do to assist U. Please note civil archives recording land titles are at times incomplete or contradictory. Coastal land within 50 meters of the high tide line is open to the public and therefore closed to development. Land in this zone is administered by the local municipality. Expropriation of private land by the Costa Rican government without compensation considered adequate or prompt has hurt some U. Property owners are encouraged to maintain security and access controls on any private property.
Organized squatter groups have invaded properties, taking advantage of legal provisions that allow people without land to gain title to unused property. Victims of squatters have reported threats, harassment, and violence. Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our tips for Women Travelers. Medical care in San Jose is generally adequate, but services can be limited in areas outside of San Jose.
In remote areas, basic medical equipment may not be available. Ambulances may lack emergency equipment. Most prescription and over-the-counter medications are available; however, some U. The U. Embassy does not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.
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Medicare and Medicaid do not apply overseas. Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Costa Rican immigration authorities reserve the right to prevent departure of those international travelers with unpaid or disputed medical bills.
Embassy San Jose maintains a list of local doctors and medical facilities. Malaria is rarely found in Costa Rica. Travelers planning to visit these areas should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and malaria transmission. Talk with a doctor or nurse about medicine to prevent malaria before leaving the United States. Vaccinations: Proof of yellow fever vaccination must be presented upon arrival for all passengers coming from certain countries in South America or Africa. Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For clinics offering alternative medical treatments, thoroughly research these clinics and their providers. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications. Roads are often in poor condition, lack clearly marked lanes, have narrow shoulders, and large potholes. Signage can be inadequate. Visibility at intersections is often limited by hedges or other obstacles. In the event of car trouble or a flat tire, look for a well-lit, populated area such as a gas station to pull over.
Be wary of unsolicited offers of assistance from strangers, particularly in less populated areas. Main highways and principal roads in the major cities are paved, but some roads to beaches and other rural locations are not. Many destinations are accessible only with four-wheel drive vehicles with high ground clearance. Exercise extreme caution when driving across moving water, especially through riverbeds and over hanging bridges. Even a few inches of water could destabilize your vehicle. Landslides are common. Some roads, even those leading to major population centers, may be temporarily impassable during the rainy season.
When staying outside of urban areas, call ahead to hotels regarding the current status of access roads. Motorcyclists often drive without respect to rules of the road, passing on the right, or weaving in and out without warning. Buses and cars frequently stop in travel lanes, even on expressways. Bridges: Bridges, even on heavily traveled roads, may be only a single lane.
Rural roads sometimes lack bridges, compelling motorists to ford waterways. Laws and speed limits are often ignored, turn signals are rarely used, passing on dangerous stretches of highway is common, and pedestrians are not given the right of way. In the event of a traffic accident, do not move the vehicle.
Both the traffic police and an insurance investigator must make accident reports before the vehicles can be moved. Rental companies may levy additional charges on drivers for failing to file a report. There is a high fatality rate for pedestrians and those riding bicycles or motorcycles. In the event of a traffic fatality, a judge must arrive at the scene to pronounce a person dead, which could take several hours.
If there is an ongoing investigation of a vehicular accident resulting in death or injuries, you may not be allowed to leave the country for several months. The Embassy cannot intervene in such cases. Aviation Safety Oversight : The U.
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Democratic Republic of the Congo. Dominican Republic. El Salvador. Equatorial Guinea. Eswatini Swaziland. Falkland Islands. French Guiana. French Polynesia. French West Indies. Hong Kong. No one wants Bali Belly symptoms ruining their holiday in paradise. Stay hydrated with water, minerals from salt and citrus juice, coconut water, hydration sachets and raspberry cordial. Eat hydrating and easily digested foods such as bone broth, applesauce, bananas, soups, stews, rice and potatoes.
Supplement with Saccharomyces Boulardii to stop the diarrhea, Oil of Oregano to kill off any ingested pathogens, Charcoal to detox the digestive tract and Ginger to help with nausea. Get tested when you get home with an IBS Travel Practitioner to make sure what you had is actually gone, especially if you are still symptomatic. It is technically an acute case of gastroenteritis, or gastro for short, and is almost always caused by eating contaminated food or water.
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The most common version of events looks a little like this: you get four to five loose or watery stools, maybe with fever and cramping, for between two to four days during the first week of your holiday to Bali. Over 40 pages packed with everything from planning and prevention to treatment and detoxing options. Treating Bali Belly has two purposes. First is to ease some of your symptoms and prevent dehydration. And the second is to kill or remove the offending pathogen as fast as possible. What comes out, must go back in. Stick with safe, clean drinking water.
This means from a bottle, most of the time. It also has minerals to replace those you have lost. And there might actually be some science to it.
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Avoiding sugar and spicy food is a good place to start. They also contain plenty of salt sodium and water for rehydrating and replenishing lost minerals. Rice will give your digestive system a rest while still getting easily absorbed carbs and much needed calories. Another symptom-friendly source of carbs and calories that will also add firmness to your stool.
As you know, we like to keep things natural around here. Science-based, yes. But natural where possible. Bali Belly is a great example of where natural options are super effective, both in the short and long term. Sacc B. Oil of Oregano — an antimicrobial that is cheap and a proven pathogen killer. Alternative antimicrobials that are a little more gentle include Garlic and Echinacea. Activated Charcoal — is used to detox the digestive tract. It binds to unwanted pathogens and toxins, allowing you to pass them via the stool.
Ginger Root — a great natural option to reduce nausea which often comes with Bali Belly. Ginger can also be used as a digestive aid, so it ticks multiple boxes. You want to get it out. If you block that, it gives the pathogen a better chance to do long-term damage. Unless you have access to a skilled medical professional and lab testing to work out exactly what you have, you may be doing more harm than good in the long run. They do a brilliant job at getting rid of nausea and helping with cyclical vomiting in most cases, however usually at the expense of some other symptoms.
Bali belly can occur at any time during your trip, or even after you get home. In most cases, it is self-limiting and the acute symptoms will clear up after a few days. Most of the clients I see in my post-travel health consultations continue to experience worsening or cyclical symptoms for weeks to months after returning home.
If this sounds like you, then you should really seek out a functional practitioner with a focus on travel health. If you want to learn more about the services I offer, go to my functional nutrition and travel health page HERE. Education, common sense and little bit of luck can go a long way to preventing Bali Belly from wrecking your holiday.
Ask for no ice or check they use safe, clean water to create them.