Our response to COVID-19

In these unprecedented and challenging times, we all must do what we can to support the country’s (and indeed world’s) efforts to lessen the impact of COVID-19. At Changing Tide Tours, we are closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization’s (WHO) statements regarding COVID-19 cases and following guidelines from these agencies and the local health departments.

health and wellbeing of our crew members and guests is our number one priority.

Check out our boat tour health measures and guidelines below.

Commitment to Safety

While there have been no reported cases of the virus in our operations, in
order to help slow the community spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with
local and State regulations issued across the country, we have suspended all of
our operations since March until further notice.

The national lockdown measures
have forbidden all touristic activities and people gathering. On 15th
June, when the Minister of Health of Costa Rica gives an update on the
situation, we will re-evaluate the health and safety conditions at national

understand how disappointing this decision may be for guests that have a tour
reserved with us on board one of our vessels.

Commitment to Confidence

Changing Tide Tours is committed to ensuring our guests are confident in making
a booking by providing them maximum flexibility during these challenging times.

We are
making the following temporary changes to our rebooking and cancellation policy
at this time:

  • For guests with existing bookings, if your tour
    is cancelled because of public health authorities’ decisions, we have
    waived change fees and will be happy to reschedule your tour for a future
    date travel at no extra cost.
  • If you are unable to join us for your
    experience due to an illness or because of travel to a restricted area, we
    will apply the deposit you have made toward any future experience offered
    in 2020 or 2021.
  • Guests looking to make a booking for a future
    date can book with confidence knowing that we will work with them to ensure
    maximum flexibility should the situation continue or change.

commitment to your Wellbeing

Changing Tide Tours has an excellent safety and sanitation track record and
have always operated and maintained a rigorous process around cleanliness and
hygiene. Our team is always working to ensure that they meet the latest
guidance on hygiene and cleaning protocols.

When the national lockdown
impositions are suspended, we will adopt safety and hygienic measures for each employee
and customer. For the health of all aboard with us, returning to our activities
with all the precautions necessary will be mandatory. We believe hygienic
measures and social distancing may allow you to enjoy the experiences with
wildlife we have prepared for you:

  • Before each tour, all
    crew will proceed to a safety and health briefing with all the information on
    how to comply with basic infection prevention and control precautions regarding
    the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
  • The temperature of all
    employees will be checked before each tour to ensure they do not have a fever.
  • Thorough boat cleaning
    before and after each tour with proper antiseptic solutions, with
    focus on high-touch areas like handrails and other surfaces.
  • No physical contact
    with customers (hand-shakes, kisses or hugs), which includes a safety distance
    of at least 1 meter when possible.
  • Proper and frequent hand
    washing of guests and crew during tours.
  • Full face masks and
    latex gloves available for each customer and employee to use during our boat
    tours in the Golfo Dulce, Osa Peninsula and Golfito.
  • Disinfection of all
    customer’s hands and feet with 80% alcohol before entering our boats.
  • Available closed-lid bin
    on board for litter.
  • Cardboard disposable
    cups for any drinks on board.

Let’s get through the
Covid-19 all together!

For the most updated information, please refer to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or your local health authority.

Safety first! We look
forward to welcoming you aboard soon.


Sunscreen might help to protect your skin, but most are deadly to coral.
When you go for a dip in the sea, some of your suntan lotion rinses off. And that’s
a big problem when it contains ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate or
parabens (which most sun lotions do), because harsh chemicals can kill coral
and other marine life.

Up to 6,000 tons of
sunscreen are estimated to wash into coral reefs around the globe each year.
And as the National Park Service cautions, rather than
being evenly distributed, much of that sunscreen is concentrated at popular
diving, swimming, and snorkeling sites—such as national Parks like Piedras
Blancas here in the Golfo Dulce. 

We can all still make a difference. By putting our awareness into
action, we can make different choices that lessen our impact on the ocean.

  1. You’ve already taken the first step—becoming informed!
  2. Choose mineral sunscreens, especially lotions containing non-nano zinc dioxide as the primary active ingredient.
  3. Look for reef safe sunscreens which are becoming increasingly available.
  4. Avoid aerosol sunscreen. Much of what you spray leaves a residue on the sand which is then washed back into the ocean. Your lungs will be healthier too, as aerosol sunscreens are easily inhaled.
  5. If you can, apply less personal care products before you go swimming; the fewer chemicals you bring into the ocean, the better. Some ways to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation without lots of sunscreen while on tour with us could be to use protective clothing and a hat.  Dermatologists say clothing is just as effective as sunscreen at protecting from the sun, with the only downside being it doesn’t completely cover the body.

If we lose coral reefs, we will have lost a vital ecosystem. We could also hurt our global economy—coral reefs are a major tourist attraction and source of income for Costa Rica. Be a part of the solution!

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism, one of the world’s largest industries, employs more than 235 million people worldwide and generates some 9.2 percent of the global GDP. While tourism is a vital source of income for many developing countries, it can also result in pollution, deforestation, inefficient energy use and cultural exploitation.

Be a Sustainable Traveler!

Your travel choices make a difference. By choosing sustainable businesses like Changing Tide Tours you will support businesses that conserve natural resources, protect plants and wildlife, and contribute to the well-being of local communities. You will also help to ensure that these treasures will also be there for future generations to enjoy.

What is Sustainable Tourism?

Sustainable tourism businesses are those that are profitable while conserving natural resources and benefitting local communities. Examples of sustainable business practices include conserving water and energy, supporting community conservation projects, recycling and treating wastes, hiring staff from neighboring towns, paying them just wages and providing additional training, and, sourcing locally-produced products in restaurants and gift shops.

Changing Tide Tours was recently awarded the prestigious place on Top Responsible Costa Rica Eco Tours 2019 by Terra Incognita. The list contains tours who go the extra mile by contributing to conservation, communities and education. You are welcome to join our community that promotes travel for good!

How Can You Make A Difference?

  • At the hotel: Ask about environmental policies and practices. Does the hotel support community development or conservation projects?
  • Language: Learn a few words of the local language and use them.
  • Dress: Learn about local conventions and dress appropriately. In many countries, modest dress is important.
  • Behaviour: Be respectful of local citizens’ privacy. Ask permission before entering sacred places, homes, or private lands.
  • Photographs: Be sensitive to when and where you take photos/video of people. Always ask first.
  • Environment: Respect the natural environment. Never touch or harass wildlife. Always follow designated trails. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to parks and protected sites or making a donation.
  • Wildlife or forest products: Never purchase crafts, clothing, furniture, or other products that are derived from protected or endangered wildlife or plant species. In many countries it is illegal to bring these goods back home.
  • Pay a fair price: Don’t engage in overly aggressive bargaining for souvenirs. Don’t short-change on tips for services.
  • Buy local: Choose locally-owned lodges and hotels. Use local buses, car rental agencies, and airlines. Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets, and attend local events. Hire local guides: Enrich your experience and support the local economy. Ask guides if they are licensed and live nearby. Are they recommended by tour operators?

Feel free to get in touch with CHANGING TIDE TOURS to help you in your sustainable tourism decisions in Costa Rica!