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Costa Rica Hurricanes... Fact or fiction?
On Saturday 29th October 2005 Hurricane Beta turned into a strong Category 3 storm and was about to hit the coast of Nicaragua. Here in Puerto Viejo, the town is empty of tourists and the San José weekend Ticos. In San José, the advice to anyone even considering coming to the Costa Rican Southern Caribbean Coast (Caribe Sur) that week was this:
Are you crazy?
They explain that there is a strong hurricane nearby and conditions are horrible. The roads may be closed, flooding and very high winds. Stay away at all costs.
Our friends, our attorney, clients and tourists - everyone has been calling or writing us with deep sincere concern. Be careful! Get out! You are going to get hit by the hurricane!
But it's a myth!
So, here we find ourselves on Saturday morning - hours before Hurricane Wassername does lash out it's fury on the Nicaraguan Coast and we pray for those that will be affected.
In the meantime, here in Caribe Sur (Puerto Viejo, Cahuita & Manzanillo), the ocean is calm, the sky is blue, there is a slight breeze in the air and the birds and monkeys are singing. In about an hour, we'll be going snorkeling where the water visibility is 10+ meters.
At lunch time, we have a BBQ planned in the yard with friends that felt adventurous enough to come down for the weekend despite all the advice they received in San José.
In the afternoon, we'll take a hike along one of the beautiful pristine virgin beaches, where the water is Caribbean Blue and the concept of paradise seems to have been found.
I've seen plenty of articles warning tourists and residents about being careful with the Caribbean Coast, as it is supposedly vulnerable to hurricanes. This is not correct!
Hurricanes in the southern Costa Rica region are a myth!
Another in a long list of myths about the Southern Caribbean region. In fact, by definition, it is impossible to have hurricanes here.
We are located at the 9.6th latitude, below the 10th parallel. Except in extreme exceptions, hurricanes can NOT go below the 10th parallel! In other words, it is almost impossible for us to ever get hit by a hurricane.
I have not been able to find any mention of our region ever coming close to getting directly hit by a hurricane, neither is it particularly vulnerable to other hurricanes - out there.
We are one of the very few locations of the entire Caribbean Basin that are actually immune from hurricanes. In extreme cases, we may the feel secondary effects such as some sub tropical force winds or an increase in rain, but even this time with such a big storm visiting our northern neighbor the sun is shining and the seas are tranquilo! Puravida!
Written by VIP Member Manuel Pinto.