Sunburn, heatstroke, and dehydration are serious issues for foreign travelers visiting Costa Rica that are not used to the heat and humidity of the tropical climate. Taking precautions to avoid exposure to the sun will greatly improve your travel experience. Casa Roja has a variety of types of sunscreens for your daily use, so apply liberally and often (and if you have a brand preference, please bring it). Zinc-based options are more environmentally friendly, as they do not damage coral reefs. Because of Casa Roja’s open-air design, it is still possible to get sunburned at the house on a cloudy day. Long sleeved shirts, long pants, and a broad brimmed hat are your best defense against the sun (bugs too!). New, high-tech lightweight and breathable materials with UV protection will prevent you from burning you and keep you cool. Be sure to drink plenty of water during your outdoor activities, and avoid direct exposure to the sun between 10 am and 3 pm when the burning rays are strongest.
You may want to increase your activity gradually and during the cooler parts of the day to help your body get used to the heat. Over-exposure to the sun and excessive sweating can lead to heatstroke or dehydration. These conditions have similar symptoms, which can include light-headedness or dizziness, fatigue, confusion, thirst, an increased heartrate or breathing, and hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty. Heat stroke can be serious, and even deadly, so ask for help and try to take some simple first-aid steps in the meantime. These include getting the affected person to a shady area and trying to cool them down as quickly as possible, such as by removing clothing, applying cool water to the skin and fanning, or applying ice packs to the armpits or groin area. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water and sports drinks to balance electrolytes. Avoid excessive coffee, caffeinated tea, soda and alcohol, which can all contribute to dehydration.