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Is water safe to drink in Central American countries?

Is water safe to drink in Central American countries?

Old Aug 21st, 2023, 01:49 PM
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Is water safe to drink in Central American countries?

tap water is drinkable in Panama city but not in Bocas del Toro, for example. Can you tell some tips regarding drink water in your country?
rushalvarado9913 is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2023, 07:00 AM
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We drank the water in Costa Rica most places that we went. For places that were more off the grid, they provided bottled water or filtered water at the bar where we could fill our water bottles. Same in Belize. We've never gotten sick in either country.
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Old Sep 5th, 2023, 12:47 AM
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I would suggest you to stick to bottle water only, despite what you read on internet.
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 07:25 PM
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wilson93david is right.

I got back from Mexico Yesterday. That isn't Central America, but I would expect the water situation in Mexico to be similar to Central America. In Mexico I bought an approximately 33 to 40 ounce bottle of water every day. In my first hostel, there was a kitchen with two faucets, one was for washing dishes, the other faucet was supposed ot be filtered water. In the second hostel, there was a big plastic container of water in the shared kitchen, turned upside-down, connected to a dispenser. In the third hostel, in the shared kitchen, staff filled a bucket with what I hope was filtered water. The bucket had a spigot and was mounted onto a wall. Also in my private room there was a reusable unlabeled glass bottle of water. Hopefully they properly cleaned the bottle before refiling it. At first I thought I had to rinse my mouth with bottled water only, but then I screwed up and rinsed my mouth with tap water. I didn't get sick. I did not get sick at any time during my 15 night trip.

But in Spain in March 2022, I caught a horrifying virus that caused me severe symptoms in my digestive tract; I didn't absorb any food for 26 hours; I tested negative for coronavirus-2019. In September 2020, for severely for 24 hours and milder for another day, I had a very similar virus, but I was in my apartment in Michigan, my home state, missing work for a day and not sleeping properly. I suppose that both times I could have gotten too dehydrated and needed a hospital or worse.
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 08:14 PM
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oh wow!!! Now I'm thinking that I should add something to bottled water to reinforce my defenses.
I'm particularly concerned when it comes to water in hotels because they "should" have filtered water but you never know.
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Old Sep 12th, 2023, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rushalvarado9913
oh wow!!! Now I'm thinking that I should add something to bottled water to reinforce my defenses.
I'm particularly concerned when it comes to water in hotels because they "should" have filtered water but you never know.
Rush, poster 4 didn't say that he got sick in Spain from bottled water, just that he got sick. He's apparently got a pretty sensitive GI tract from the content of his other posts here. You shouldn't need to add any additional treatment to bottled water. As far as hotels saying they have 'filtered' water, filters only remove sediment and such, not bacteria, and the latter is what makes you sick. They would also need to use a UV treatment to kill the bacteria. We had such a system in our home in Mexico, and while we used our treated tap water (both sediment filter as well as carbon granule, in addition to UV) we would use it for ice, cooking, and occasionally would drink it. But primarily stuck to bottled water for everything else. Only bottled away from home. Something to be aware of is that even if municipal water leaves a plant drinkable, there are multiple opportunities for it to become contaminated between plant & tap. Stick to bottled throughout central America & Mexico. It's cheap and available everywhere.
Michael, be sure to post a trip report after you get settled.
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Old Sep 13th, 2023, 05:42 AM
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Re: Belize

Tap water in most cities & towns, including San Pedro, is potable, but we don't drink it for reasons of taste and high mineral content. In rural areas, always check in case water is from a well or a rain water collection tank.I use tap water for brushing teeth, washing produce, and cooking, and I've even used it for making hot drinks and ice cubes.

For drinking, we buy purified/bottled water which is available at all grocery stores. The cheapest way to buy it is by the 20 litre (5 gallon) container (there's a deposit to pay for the plastic jug). At some hotels, bottled water is provided in a water cooler.
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Old Dec 14th, 2023, 05:00 AM
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As a general rule - no in Costa Rica. Because the water systems are often well water / water cachement systems in many places once you leave the major cities. and it is much better to be safer than sorry. I know people who run hotels and retreats and they all provide filtered / drinking water for their guests.
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