Hi - My DH, 7 year old son and I are scheduled to fly into SJO on 8/22, just a few days away. We depart on 8/31. It will be our first time in CR. We have traveled alot. I recently learned about the surge in dengue fever in CR (including the more lethal kind), and am quite concerned. The trip was very last minute, so we have not yet finalized our itinerary.
Our tentative itinerary: We were planning on going to Tortuguero for a few days, and then on to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. We planned to stay there for a few days, with ideas of exploring Cahuita and Manzanillo. Beaches were not that key as we have plenty of beaches back home. We were also thinking of adding a day or two in Arenal, or in Puerto Viejo de salpiqui. We selected our itinerary based partially on weather (trying to avoid too much rain), and a desire to see lots of cool indigenous wildlife and plants. Also we want to do some not too intense adventure stuff. (Suitable for a 7 year old boy, and his not super fit parents.)
Amidst all my borderline-obsessive last minute research, I read about the dengue fever outbreak. My brother was bitten by a mosquito as a boy and developed virus encephalitis, leaving him with life long brain damage. So I have a healthy respect for mosquito borne diseases.
I am considering not going at all, which I hate to do. It would mean losing quite a bit of money, and we are not rich. Plus we were really excited to go. So our first choice would be to go, but go to areas where there is no dengue. Are there any such areas? If so, which ones?
I have read some posts saying central highlands Has no dengue. But I have also read a post from a recent visitor who said there were lots of mosquitoes in Arenal/la Fortuna area. So I am confused.
Can a region have lots of mosquitoes but no dengue?
What about Monteverde? I had not planned on going there because it seemed like it would be super rainy. How is dengue risk there? And how rainy is it?
What about Tortuguero? How is the dengue situation there? I really want to at least go there, but it seems there are a lot of mosquitoes. I have thought about wearing long sleeves, pants and socks but fear that will be very unpleasant in the heat and humidity. Also, slathering the DEET on scares me a bit as it is apparently a neurotoxin. Would long sleeves and pants and socks be miserable in Tortuguero this time of year?
Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide. Jessica