- Region: Central America
- Population: 5,065,000
- Capital: San Jose
- Languages: Spanish
- Currency: Costa Rican colon (CRC)
Travelling is an exciting way to meet people and learn about different cultures. But you have to be careful. Travelling can expose you to disease and poor sanitary conditions. In this document, you will find practical information for safe and healthy travel. In a foreign country, just like at home, a little prevention goes a long way.
Before your stay
In this section, you will find the list of the immunizations and screenings recommended for Canadians travelling to the above destination (Costa Rica). Some of them may also be mandatory. The following vaccinations apply to all travellers. For a personalized protection program adapted to your travelling and health needs, visit a travel medicine clinic. Plan ahead: If you need several vaccines, you may need several weeks to complete the immunization schedule.
- Diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles
- These vaccines are part of every Canadian's routine immunization schedule. Make sure that you have been vaccinated and that you have received the required booster shots.
- Yellow fever
- A certificate of vaccination may be mandatory for certain travellers.
- Hepatitis A
- Vaccination is recommended for most travellers.
- Hepatitis B
- Moderate prevalence of carriers. Vaccination is recommended for most travellers.
- Malaria is endemic in certain areas of the country only. The risk of transmission is low and prophylaxis is not recommended.
- Typhoid fever
- Most travellers should be vaccinated. Transmission occurs via the fecal-oral route such as the ingestion of contaminated food or water.
During your stay
Once there, you should still be cautious as you could be exposed to other diseases. The presence of diseases that could pose a risk to your health has been reported in the country. The risk is related to the activities you choose to take part in as well as the areas you visit.
- Dengue fever is present in this country. To prevent infection, mosquito precautions are recommended.
- Vaccination is recommended for certain groups of travellers only. This includes people who will work in close contact with animals such as veterinarians, wildlife workers, spelunkers and adventure travellers.
- Zika Virus
- Mosquito precautions are essential throughout the country. Women who are pregnant or couples trying to conceive should take specific measures while traveling and for several months after returning from a Zika-affected area.
- Chikungunya Virus
- Mosquito precautions are essential throughout the country.
Prior to your departure, you may want to register for the "Registration of Canadians Abroad" service. This is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest. For more information, visist the Government of Canada Web site at travel.gc.ca/travellingegistration.
If you have purchased travel insurance, your policy will likely include a 24/7 emergency assistance service to help you locate care and coordinate payment. Be sure to have their phone number with you at all times.
The Canadian Government also has several offices abroad that can provide you with numerous services when in a medical emergency. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Supplying names of local doctors and health facilities
- Visiting you in the hospital and providing basic translation services
- Arranging for medical evacuation if your required treatment is not available in the region (note: costs for this service will not be covered by the government, but may be covered by travel insurance)
If you need help when travelling in Costa Rica, contact:
Costa Rica - SAN JOSÉ
Embassy of Canada
Address: La Sabana Executive Business Centre, Building No. 5, 3rd Floor, behind the Contraloría General de la República, San José, Costa Rica
Postal Address: P.O. Box 351-1007, San José, Costa Rica
Tel.: 506 2242-4400
Fax: 506 2242-4410
While in Costa Rica, you will be able to phone to Canada through a Canadian operator by dialing a Canada-direct number: 0-800-015-1161.
Make sure that your passport is valid for the whole length of your trip.
Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after your projected return date.
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.