La temporada de barro y la temporada de polvo. For our English-speaking friends, this translates to, "Mud Season and Dust Season". Anyone who has visited Costa Rica (Guanacaste especially) can attest that there are really just 2 primary seasons: Dry Season, which runs from December - April, and Wet Season, which runs from May - November. Now that we are half way through May, all of Costa Rica has transitioned to the Rainy Season. How rainy is the rainy season you ask? That is a topic for another day, but this blog has some great insight for now.
Both seasons present unique challenges when traveling with your baby. (Side note: Pretty much everything presents unique challenges when traveling with your baby...) But no need to worry! Your Tico Friends are here to give first hand advice on how we survive rainy season in Tamarindo with our twins.
Want to enjoy the sunset with your baby? Of course you do! But when unwanted bugs show up, the breathtaking, illuminating sunsets can become less enjoyable. Our advice: Keep moving! Don't stay sedentary on the sand or the bugs will hover around you and your little one. Instead, take a walk on the beach, bring some beach toys (soccer ball recommended), and keep exploring! Tamarindo is a wide open, flat beach at low tide and there is ample space to play (especially when crowds are low during rainy season).
Dress to Protect
One of the most effective ways to minimize bug bites is to cover as much skin as possible. Costa Rica has a warm, tropical climate year round so you will want to choose light garments that breathe. Loose clothes are also preferable because mosquitoes can actually bite through tight-fitting clothes. Interestingly enough, colors also play a role in attracting / avoiding mosquitoes. Light colored clothing is better at repelling mosquitoes than dark-colored clothing. Also, try to avoid clothing with flowery patterns.
Organic Mosquito repellant
Although chemical sprays are generally considered the most effective, dousing your little one in DEET may not be your best option. In fact, a study conducted in the late 1980s on Everglades National Park employees to determine the effects of DEET found that one-quarter of the subjects studied experienced negative health effects that they blamed on exposure to the chemical. Effects included rashes, skin irritation, numb or burning lips, nausea, headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. In recent years, there has been a number of organic repellents that are almost as effective as DEET sprays. When picking insect repellent for your little one, look for formulas that include Citronella and Lemon Eucalyptus Oil. If you are in an area when the mosquitoes are especially bad, never use a repellent with more than 30% DEET and never use DEET on a baby less than 2 months old. You can find a organic mosquito repellent in Alegria Soaps located in Tamarindo next to Coldwell Banker.
Mosquito nets are highly effective with zero negative side effects. They can be used for sleeping or in the stroller for your sunset beach walk. With all our Pack n' Play rentals, we include a proper mosquito net to keep you baby protected while sleeping.
A steady breeze will do wonders to keep mosquitoes and other pesky critters at bay. During our evening walks, we attach 2, clip-on fans to the boys' strollers which deters mosquitoes from hovering around them. The portable fans are charged with a USB cable and have about 35 min of battery power which is just enough for our beach commute.
Using Essential oils as mosquito repellent is safe if done correctly. Parents must keep in mind that these oils are very concentrated and should not be applied directly to the baby's skin. Instead, strategically put drops where you need them while keeping the direct contact to a minimum. For example, use a few drops on their sheets at night or even put a drop or 2 directly on the stroller. When cleaning your house, add a few drops to a bucket of water and mop the floor with the scent. Or our personal favorite, get a vapor diffuser and allow it to fill your space with the aroma. The most popular essential oils to combat mosquitoes are: lemongrass, citronella, cedar, neem, lavender, eucalyptus, and soybean. Once again, a great place to find essential oils in Tamrindo is at Alegria Soaps located next to Coldwell Banker
In all honesty, Guanacaste is the driest region of Costa Rica year round. Tamarindo receives about 60 - 80 inches of rainfall a year while other parts of Costa Rica receive easily 200+ inches. After the morning blue skies (which happen on 80% of days during the rainy season) an afternoon downpour is generally welcomed. And the best thing about rainy season? It's hard to choose between the psychedelic sunsets, evening glassy surf, or the Veranillo (mini dry season in July / August)
What do you do to protect your baby from the bugs? Leave us a comment / suggestion and we will add it to the blog!
Ryan, Alejandra, Sebastian and Jonathan