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Dengue Threat and other Stuff for Travelers

May 20th, 2006

I have written before about Dengue Fever as something many travel agents fail to tell their Costa Rica bound clients, so I will mention here that if you are Costa Rica bound, especially during the rainy season (now through November), bring the Off or another bug repellent.

This is an easily managed problem if you just don’t have a problem with the tangy smell of 612. Hint: You can still smell sexy at night as the Dengue skeeter only bites during the day. Hint 2: If you are on the beach and are using your Off and some guy seems overly attracted to you… I urge caution!

Another warning, though THIS one you cannot do anything about, regards a recent study by the University of Costa Rica informing anyone who has perhaps been living in another galaxy for the past 30 years, that the taxi drivers in San Jose (and perhaps elsewhere) have tinkered with their taxi meters (marias) so that they add few extra colones to your fare.

As I said, not much you can do about this. Me? I NEVER tip those clowns any more.

4 Responses to “Dengue Threat and other Stuff for Travelers”

  1. paula on May 26, 2006 12:51 am


    Can anyone comment on how much of a threat Dengue Fever is in Costa Rica this time of year? I am scheduled to leave for Costa Rica this Sunday, May 28. I contracted Dengue Fever in Mexico 2 years ago August, and I have had health problems ever since (ongoing joint pain, immune system depressed). I know for a fact, and have been counseled by numerous doctors that once you have gotten one strain, you are more at risk for hemmoragic dengue fever. This kills you from internal bleeding, and, if contracted, I would not have time to get to a hospital for treatment. I am now reconsidering whether I should go, as we are entering the rainy season. I do have plenty of deet, but I am going to be in a very remote location staying with friends, who have a place about 6 hours south of San Jose by car.

    Any advice is urgently needed, as I may not go this Sunday – how depressing, as I have never had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I am very well versed in Dengue Fever (University of Michigan even did a case study on me, as they never get to see this disease!) Lucky me.

    Thanks to all

  2. Tim on May 26, 2006 9:35 am


    Not trying to be rude in any way, but what part of… “if you are Costa Rica bound, especially during the rainy season (now through November), bring the Off or another bug repellent.” was not clear?

    This IS the rainy season. Dengue cases number in the tens of thousands. Your information on dengue is correct, and you ARE at higher risk for the more serious form after a first exposure (but not to just getting it!), so if you come, lather nyourself up in any good bug repellent during the daytime.

    For the majority of travelers, this is a non-event. Just use your common sense and a decent bug repellent and enjoy CR!

    Also see:




  3. Jan on April 5, 2009 9:27 pm

    What you tould us about tinkered marias is not true.
    This isnt done by the cabdriver, the carowner do this.
    I have a lot of friend which are taxdriver and they are honest people; you can’t come along here and call them all clowns. WTF!!
    If you don’t like it here go back to your country

  4. Tim on April 13, 2009 10:51 am

    I too know many excellent cab drivers… but after many years of living here, I know of many who have changed their meters. Who did it is not relevant. It could be the owner of the cab or the driver, but the result is the same. Further, the target of this abuse is not Ticos. It is the tourists who visit here and do not know better. In fact a recent study by the government showed MANY altered meters in use by the airport (orange) taxis. This was covered in La Nacion.

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