As the third and final installment in the good, the bad, and the ugly series, I wanted to mention a story from a trip to Costa Rica. I write this in route from a cold, February New York City business trip where I reminisced about this specific trip with a good friend and travel companion.

In my typical fashion, the trip was planned to be low cost, but high adventure. We made our way out of San Jose and to the volcanoes for hiking and then over to the other side of Costa Rica famous for surfing, Montezuma. Although that name implies to me something entirely Mexican AND a common unpleasant traveler’s experience (Montezuma’s revenge), Montezuma, Costa Rica in neither Mexican nor unpleasant. Montezuma is a beautiful beach area with a spectacular national park nearby.

Having found a small shared room with two beds within walking distance from the beach, we were as happy as could be…days at the beach, a brief walk to freshen up, and nights drinking beer with the locals at the beach side bar; however, that is except for one minor detail…mosquitoes.

From previous posts, you now know where this may be leading as I am a bug magnet. The area was tropical, humid and surrounded by rain forests filled with howler monkeys, sloths, and beautiful birds, making a great environment for mosquitoes.
Having mosquito netting on the beds for covering, screened in windows, and mosquito repellent, the mosquitoes still got us. The heat, humidity, and buzzing mosquitoes led to sleepless nights of cooling off with damp towels and swatting the mosquito invaders.

Not to my surprise, my body was the target of a siege. I awoke with over a hundred of bites all inflamed, projecting heat, and well itching like hell. Indeed, I was tolerant, but I certainly didn’t feel that great. Having that many bites would cause anyone to feel like they had a fever and I definitely did have one…could it have been malaria (??)…..possibly, but as you know I survived to write about it.

So here are Ms. Traveling Pants’ the good, the bad, and the ugly tips about going to the tropics:
1) Be careful with citrus juices in the sun
2) Be curious about plants has it dangers
3) Be prepared with mosquito netting, repellent, and malaria kit