Can we drink tap water in Costa Rica? That's a question that remains still unanswered for many. We decided to find out the truth and contacted our local partner, Jose, who explains more about Costa Rican drinking water safety...
Drinking tap water
During my 9 years of experience in the travel sector, one of the most frequently asked questions from my clients is: Is the water in Costa Rica safe to drink ? The answer, very often, is YES!
I remember from my childhood when my father dug a water well on our property. When I played soccer with my friends, we drank water directly from the well... and now 19 years later, all of us are healthy! In Costa Rica, we have the AyA (the Costa Rican Water and Sanitation Institute), which is an agency responsible for testing and monitoring water quality. Thousands of Costa Ricans bring their drinking water to government-approved laboratories for testing to ensure their water is safe. The AyA also works to protect and preserve our natural springs and other water sources for our children and future generations. In fact, 25 % of Costa Rican territory is protected as national parks, reserves, and sanctuaries.
Most of travelers want to try the delicious tropical fruit drinks that we have here in Costa Rica, which be can made with watermelon, papaya, passion fruit, guava, or banana. Many of them ask for their drinks to be made in milk, to avoid drinking the water... But here in Costa Rica, we habitually put ice into all drinks and travelers end up consuming tap water. Even if travelers have drank water in this way; they are always healthy, happy, and looking forward to the next day when they can have another fruity drink naturally produced in this beautiful country.
When visiting Costa Rica, some travelers might occasionally become ill. However, it is usually due to possible mishandling of food or the traveler is not simply used to certain types of food.
Drink bottled water on the coast
As a guide, I am responsible for the health of my clients and ensuring that they enjoy their stay in Costa Rica. During your trip, I make sure to tell where it is safe and where it is not safe to drink the water. In general, it is on the coasts (Caribbean and Pacific) where it is recommended that people buy bottled water to drink. This is because the AyA has been unable to provide clean water and testing facilities to some places in Costa Rica.
Always when traveling with here ask your driver, guide, or local if it is safe to drink the tap water, locals are always more happy to help travelers ! Health-conscious travelling is important, but remember - water is life, do not waste it !
Article by: Costa Rica Adventures