Questions and Concerns About Traveling to Costa Rica Amidst Coronavirus (COVID19)

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / Questions and Concerns About Traveling to Costa Rica Amidst Coronavirus (COVID19)

We at Bodhi Surf + Yoga recognize these extraordinary circumstances, and have implemented a flexible cancelation policy: if any of our guests (either those who have booked or who will book) need to cancel due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we will honor a 100% credit, valid through 1 year from the time of your reservation.

WAYS TO HELP BODHI SURF + YOGA DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Updated March 25, 2020

We are all following the news about the novel coronavirus (COVID19) as, understandably, it is worrisome. At the moment of writing this update, there are 201 confirmed cases here in Costa Rica. On March 16, 2020, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency meaning that borders will close on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 allowing only citizens and permanent residents to enter the country until Sunday, April 12th, 2020.

In our opinion, they have displayed competency by acting swiftly and effectively to mitigate the spread of the virus. Precautionary measures are indeed being put in place to promote social distancing, reduce transmission, and “flatten the curve”.

Like everyone else on the planet, we at Bodhi Surf + Yoga are concerned about the implications of this pandemic, and we are mindful of how this is affecting real people, all over the world, in a variety of different ways. We are monitoring the situation, and taking it very seriously. To address any potential concerns, we have consolidated what we have learned through research, as well as a few updates with regards to the situation here in Costa Rica, our area, and at Bodhi Surf + Yoga specifically.

Concerned about traveling because of the coronavirus?

If you’re thinking about traveling in the next few weeks to months, we know that the coronavirus is on your mind. You may be thinking, when will it be a good time to travel again? That’s a very personal decision, and one that you should make yourself based on what you’re comfortable with. This is a very quickly evolving situation, and the hope is that this imposed period of slowness and stillness does the trick in slowing or even stopping the transmission rate.

We recommend following the situation as it evolves, and  always choosing sources wisely — government agencies, trusted news outlets, etc.

What is the risk of contracting the coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, “Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover.” The mortality rate of COVID-19 is still not 100% known, but it is believed to be in the 1-3.4% range. It is much more fatal to the elderly and those with preexisting conditions (cardiovascular, diabetes, or respiratory disease). For the rest of the population, contracting the illness will not be unlike the common cold. However, it is notable that even those who only receive mild symptoms can still be carriers and can spread it to more vulnerable members of the population.

The pristine Marino Ballena National Park

Thinking about visiting Costa Rica?

At present (March 25, 2020), there are 201 confirmed cases in Costa Rica. Following the example of other countries, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency on March 16, 2020, and the borders will be closed to everyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident between March 18-April 12, 2020. The government here has taken the situation very seriously, acting swiftly and sweepingly to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in Costa Rica.

So at present, even those who do want to visit Costa Rica will be unable to do so until mid-April. After this period, we can only hope the global situation will have improved and that we will all be able to resume our normal lives and doing the things we all love to do, including going out, gathering together, and seeing new places in the world.

If you are considering travel, is Costa Rica a good option?

Costa Rican authorities are by no means taking the situation lightly, and are acting swiftly and competently to mitigate the spread of the virus and not be a strain on the medical system. We sincerely believe that if all countries act accordingly (and citizens follow their instructions), we will see that this situation improves drastically and we will all be able to resume our everyday lives. In the meantime, we hope everyone stays safe and sane, and we will be putting out some useful and fun content to pass the time. When it comes time that people can travel again, we very much hope that they will feel safe and comfortable to come and join us.

Costa Rica will remain an amazing place to visit for so many reasons. For those concerned about the quality of health care in this country, as International Living reports, “By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best healthcare in Latin America.” At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, our collective experience has been the same. Costa Rica is a very clean country at the best of times, and with these extra precautions in place, it’s safe to assume it’s never been cleaner! For example, in much of the country (including our area!), there is potable water which drastically cuts down on the amount of people who get sick.

Increased travel flexibility and drop in airline prices

Airlines have responded to this situation by offering increased flexibility and price drops. Here are updates from the most commonly used airlines by Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, should they want to start looking into flights down for later in the year.

United Airlines

Increased flexibility: “We know people are taking a second look at their travel plans right now, and we want you to have flexibility when planning your next trip — that’s why when you book a flight with us between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can change it for free over the next 12 months.” This may be changing as the situation develops, so to learn more about United’s cancellation policy, go here.

  • Toronto → SJO for $302 – March 28-April 4 ($154 cheaper than usual – Google Flights)
  • Vancouver → SJO for $358 – March 28-April 4 ($199 cheaper than usual – Google Flights)

American Airlines

Increased flexibility: “Any ticket purchased from March 1 at 4:30 p.m. CT and March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT will not incur change fees prior to travel.” This may be changing as the situation develops, so to learn more about American’s cancellation policy, go here.

  • Miami → SJO for $201 nonstop – March 28-April 4 ($119 cheaper than usual – Google Flights)
  • Seattle → SJO for $496 – March 28-April 4 ($153 cheaper than usual – Google Flights)
  • London → SJO for $690 – April 11-April 18 ($129 cheaper than usual – Google Flights)

Delta Airlines

Increased flexibility: “No change fees for travel booked through March 31.” This may be changing as the situation develops, so to learn more about Delta’s cancellation policy, go here.

Air Canada

Some flexibility: “When you purchase a ticket between March 4 and March 31, 2020, Air Canada will allow you to make a one-time change to your flight without incurring a change fee up to 24 hours before your departing flight.” This may be changing as the situation develops, so to learn more about Air Canada’s cancellation policy, go here.

Visiting the Costa Ballena area (Ojochal, Bahia Ballena, Uvita, Dominical)

Our area remains beautiful and tranquil through this scary situation, and we feel very fortunate to have it as our home. Once the situation resolves, we are excited to resume our normal routines. But this situation has highlighted some questions or concerns that people may have in general about visiting. One nice thing about where we are located is that, while it’s still quite remote, we do have access to good quality healthcare. We are located a mere 25-minute drive away from the Hospital Thomas Casas Casajús of Ciudad Cortés that serves a large portion of the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica. We are also approximately 3 hours away from several major hospitals in the country’s capital, San Jose, where: “Private healthcare is also available, which is affordable and high quality,” according to International Living.

As reported by Business Matters magazine: “The authorities of the Central American country have allocated significant resources to the construction of hospitals and health centers, equipped with high-tech equipment, and training medical personnel, which have achieved worldwide recognition. ‘An index developed by Fetscherin & Stephano in 2019 placed Costa Rica in the 6th position among the top 30 medical tourism destinations worldwide. In the region were Panama (20), Brazil (16), Jamaica (17) and Colombia (19). The Dominican Republic (22) and Mexico (28) were located behind.’”

Visiting Bodhi Surf + Yoga

On March 16, 2020, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency meaning that borders will close on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 allowing only citizens and permanent residents to enter the country until Sunday, April 12th, 2020. So at this time, we will not be holding any of our camps or vacations until that state of emergency is lifted and/or the global situation improves. We are committed to following the Costa Rican government’s recommendations, as well as being transparent. We will continue to update this page as the situation develops. Thank you to everyone who has reached out during this time, knowing that we are a socially and environmentally responsible company which depends on tourism, yet is also committed to keeping our staff employed during this time. You can also find ways you can help Bodhi Surf + Yoga maintain our mission and vision, here.

In the meantime, we will be putting out content with the aim of giving tools to help people in this time of great global stress, or to entertain them! We are a group of very passionate individuals who are committed to working through this to make the world a better place. We will do everything in our power to do so, so follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube to stay up to date.

Bodhi Surf + Yoga is a small lodge located within a small community that can only host small groups (of 10 people max). At the time of updating this (March 25, 2020 in Bahia Ballena), it is business as normal. We are still doing our favorite things – surfing, bodysurfing, yoga, beach time, hikes into the mountains, visits to local waterfalls — alongside awesome people. We understand that in cities around the world, this whole situation has a pandemic-like sensation. We are extremely happy and feel very relaxed here in our beautiful little corner of the planet. It feels like the best place in the world to ride this out.

Our recommendations

Follow the indications from the World Health Organization and your own government. This is a global crisis, and it is a time more than ever to practice love, compassion, and solidarity. To lend a helping hand to those in need — friends, family members, neighbors. To slow down, breathe, rest, and  take time to practice self-care. To take this time to reflect on how to do and be better, so that when we come out the other side we are ready to work together to create a better, more equitable, and more sustainable world.

Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s updated cancellation policy in the face of the coronavirus

Following the request of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), we are updating our cancellation policy while this situation is ongoing. Bodhi Surf + Yoga recognizes these extraordinary circumstances by implementing a flexible cancelation policy: if any of our guests (those who have booked or will book) need to cancel due to the COVID-19 situation, we will honor a 100% credit, valid through 1 year from the time of your reservation.

You can see our full payment and cancellation policy here.

We will continue to update this blog post as more information becomes available. 

Subscribe for blog updates!

Get the latest from the Bodhi blog directly in your inbox.

About the author

Adrianne

Adrianne is the fun-and-food-loving socialite of Bodhi Surf + Yoga. If she's not whipping up a feast for Bodhi guests, she's probably busy writing for the Bodhi blog or keeping people up-to-date on the goings on via social media!