Insect repellent needed for Panana Canal area/Costa Rica ports?

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#1
Southern California
54 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Hi! We're about to depart on a 15 night Panama Canal cruise with ports in a few hot, humid places. We'll just be on ship excursions, not walking rain forests on our own, but where there are lots of plants/wildlife on Costa Rica day and maybe somewhat with other ports in Guatemala, Colon, Columbia, and Mexico. Do we need insect repellent for those ports or would we survive pretty well just bringing sun block (I know that doesn't repel insects)? Thanks!
#2
CT
964 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
We've always brought it along---you can purchase a small liquid container rather than a spray, always get the highest DEET content. It did come in handy on our ship's tour in Costa Rica, and invaluable in Belize (later we were told by the Red Cross that we couldn't donate blood for a year since we had visited there).
#3
Raleigh NC
24,691 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by chocolate melting cake
We've always brought it along---you can purchase a small liquid container rather than a spray, always get the highest DEET content. It did come in handy on our ship's tour in Costa Rica, and invaluable in Belize (later we were told by the Red Cross that we couldn't donate blood for a year since we had visited there).
Yes I agree!

Kirk
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#4
Upstate NY
1,131 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Hi
I think you should use bug spray anywhere you are not just in tropical climates.

I am in Upstate NY every summer we have issues with diseases that mosquito's carry
. For some reason I happen to be one of those unfortunate people that bugs like to nibble on

Better to be safe that sorry!

Nora
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#5
Toronto
3,074 Posts
Joined May 2006
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever

Read this article. Although the chances of catching Dengue fever is quite low you have to decide if you want to take precautions. Completely your choice.

About two thirds the way through the article is a map showing where it is widespread.

We have done the Panama Canal cruise twice and it is fantastic. We went into the jungle in Costa Rica and had no problems. Enjoy yourself.
#6
Near Port Canaveral
16,135 Posts
Joined May 2003
It depends on what season you visit. If you visit during the rainy season...yes...be prepared to fend off those pesky "flying mouths". We were in both countries during January (their dry season) and though we applied and had those nice little travel wipes with us....we did not see a single mosquito. Tour guide told us they are not a problem during January.

Dengue, as previous poster stated, is rampant there. No cure or innoculation for that. Only thing that helps is indeed the high content Deet repellant.
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#8
3,004 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
It'll be very hot too! Wear a hate to shade yourself and bring/buy lots of water to drink.

We did an 11-day Ultimate Panama & Caribbean last November and it was sweltering. Colombia was the hottest of all. Costa Rica was rainy so that helped cool us down. Lots of mosquitos- but we're used to it being Floridians.
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#9
Cincinnati, OH
130 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by smileyperry
It'll be very hot too! Wear a hate to shade yourself and bring/buy lots of water to drink.

We did an 11-day Ultimate Panama & Caribbean last November and it was sweltering. Colombia was the hottest of all. Costa Rica was rainy so that helped cool us down. Lots of mosquitos- but we're used to it being Floridians.
I disagree. It's a vacation... leave the hate at home
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#10
3,004 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by burritto
I disagree. It's a vacation... leave the hate at home

LOL, woopsie! I guess I forgot to proofread what I wrote!!!

Please DO leave the hate at home, but don't forget you're HAT!
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#11
Las Vegas
755 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We bought a hand-sized plastic bottle of 99% DEET bug spray in the fishing department of Big 5 Sporting Goods. We took it on our Panama Canal cruise and used it twice, but never saw a mosquito. It cost $4 and was small enough to fit in the pocket of the husband's shorts, so better safe than sorry.
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#12
Hawaii
340 Posts
Joined May 2007
My sister and I took the insect repellent wipes. We sprayed ourselves on board and had the wipes with us.

Our tours were not in rainforest areas but city tours.

Whether or not you decide to use the repellent, please listen to the posters above and take a HAT and drink lots of WATER...you should hydrate yourself the day before you go ashore!

I had a hat but I guess I didn't drink enough water the day before to get hydrated and even though I took a bottle of water with me on the excursion, I still got a mild case of heat stroke and didn't go to dinner that night cuz I wasn't feeling well.

For me, Costa Rica, Panama and Cartagena were hotter and more humid than Mexico or Aruba.

Have FUN!
#13
Spokane, Washington, USA
1,563 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I am presently on the Celebrity Millennium for our 15-night Westbound Panama Canal cruise. (See my signature line link for more info.) We just got done visiting Costa Rica yesterday, and Panama on Friday and Saturday.

I brought one of those tiny (< 3 oz) DEET sprays from OFF. I never used it. I haven't seen a single mosquito on this trip. We spent all day Friday (Good Friday) on a Lake Gatun boat excursion - no mosquitoes. Yesterday, we spent the day tromping around the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica - no mosquitoes.

We are at the end of the dry season in both places. So this may have something to do with the complete absence of biting insects. So I would still recommend bringing the DEET. Fortunately for us, we never used it.

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#14
Cleveland, Ohio
345 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by nutcrackers
Hi! We're about to depart on a 15 night Panama Canal cruise with ports in a few hot, humid places. We'll just be on ship excursions, not walking rain forests on our own, but where there are lots of plants/wildlife on Costa Rica day and maybe somewhat with other ports in Guatemala, Colon, Columbia, and Mexico. Do we need insect repellent for those ports or would we survive pretty well just bringing sun block (I know that doesn't repel insects)? Thanks!
We unfortunately forgot our insect repellent at home and had an excursion in Costa Rica for a riverboat jungle tour. I had to buy it on the ship and almost fell over because it was $17 for a 3 ounce bottle !!!!! So if you want it make sure you bring it from home! Enjoy your cruise!