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Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

Toronto
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Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

Hi there,

We've been having a debate about the drinking water. I've read various things - some of which say you can't even brush your teeth with tap water and others that say you have to peel all fruit and vegetables. the second one confuses me - if a piece of fruit has peel (and therefore has likely not been washed), why would it be dangerous? and how exactly are you supposed to peel your vegetables - carry around a kitchen utensil in case you randomly encounter a vegetable on your plate? :) i'm confused.

i really don't want to be over-paranoid about this, but getting sick would really be the pits. what are your experiences with this - how careful or casual were you and were there consequences? i'll take the good, the bad, and the ugly, (er, not too many details about the ugly though..)

thanks again!

New England
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1. Re: Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

We've traveled Costa Rica with both adults and children five times so far and have yet to suffer a food or water borne illness. The (one) place where the water was unsafe to drink was clearly marked. It was a small hotel and signs were posted in the reception area and the rooms. Bottled water is widely available and inexpensive if you choose to use it (my wife sometimes did) but I did not. The only precautions we generally took were to: wash your hands often, don't drink water from any natural source (stream or river) and avoid eating ceviche. This, I understand, is raw fish that is pickled instead of cooked. It is supposed to be quite good but we could never get past the "raw fish" thing. We carried an anti-diarrheal drug (similar to Immodium)that we got by prescription just in case but never had cause to use it.

USA
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2. Re: Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

I don't know where you read about not brushing your teeth in tap water but one of the big advantages of travel in Costa Rica is clean water all over with very few clearly indicated exceptions.

And do not worry about food or even the salads or fruits. Again a big advantage of CR is eating all foods.

By the way I call it William Walker's revenge since Montezuma was in Mexico and not in CR.

Oklahoma City, OK
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403 posts
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3. Re: Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

Actually, we'll be visiting Montezuma CR.....so wish me the best!

London, Canada
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926 posts
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4. Re: Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

I agree that you shouldn't have to worry about the water or food in Costa Rica. It's very safe there. We didn't take any precautions and had no problems at all. It's not like Mexico or DR where even an ice cube can keep you in close proximity to a bathroom for a day or two (won't make it any more descriptive than that since you didn't want too many details on the "ugly"!:)). Panama is the same - you can drink the tap water without fear.

costa rica
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5. Re: Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

tap water is safe all around the country, one of the safest in latin america, wash your vegetables as they may have chemicals rest on the peel.

I have been in this country all my life, and my surfer friends from california, never got sick by drinking the water.

still concern? bottled water is sell any where.

Toronto
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6. Re: Montezuma's revenge/Food & Water safety

Thanks so much for your responses! You've really put our minds at ease about the whole thing. So strange - almost every travel guide I've read has warned of the potential dangers (my boyfriend took a stack out of the library, so can't remember off the top of my head which ones said it), so I'm really glad to hear that your experiences prove them wrong. I appreciate you all taking the time!

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