You Can Drink the Water in Costa Rica


As a part of its commitment to serving the public, the Costa Rican government has spent large sums of money on water and sewage treatment. Unlike in most Mexican and Central American cities, you can drink the water in San Jose and other major towns around the country. Many smaller towns have excellent quality water, as do most hotels, where drinking water comes from safe wells. The government strictly monitors these water systems, even those private ones used by a handful of people. Every two months, at a minimum, tests are made for purity.

You Can Drink the 
Water


There are, however, a few places with questionable water supplies, where ordinary precautions should be observed. Amoebas and giardia are not unknown. Local people know about this and will warn you. Escazd, a ritzy suburb of San Jose, is an example of a place where drinking water can be unsatisfactory. The problem is intermittent, so if you are renting a place here, check with neighbors and follow their example.

By and large, you don't have to worry about drinking water or brushing your teeth in the Meseta Central. However, should you come down with something resembling "travelers' disease," with symptoms of diarrhea and nausea, you should take a stool sample to a local laboratory and have it analyzed for a small fee. The lab doctor or a pharmacist can tell you what kind of medicine you'll need; prescriptions are unnecessary in Costa Rica except for addictive or dangerous drugs.

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