Rios Tropicales Health Protocol 2020
Rios Tropicales is a leader in rafting and adventure tours in Costa Rica since 1985. Our top priority is always the safety and health of all our clients, our staff, and our partners. For the operations of all our services, we follow all recommendations from the Costa Rica Ministry of Health and the Government of Costa Rica regarding health and safety protocols. You can count on us to do our best in serving you.
As a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Costa Rica Ministry of Health has defined sanitary measures for tourism business operations.
Going even further, Rios Tropicales has developed its own additional health protocol and sanitary measures for managing its services. These protocols will be continually updated in order to be able to respond at all times to the changing needs and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
Our protocol extends from our administrative office to the moment when our clients are picked up and begin their tour with us, to the moment that they are returned to their final destination and leave our service.
Our company has always maintained high cleaning standards and disinfection protocols. In addition, the equipment that we use for rafting is in constant contact with water, which requires us to do constant maintenance to ensure that it is always in impeccable condition for our clients’ safety and enjoyment.
Rios Tropicales will follow these protocols in all of our company facilities and on our tours:
- Visible signage in all facilities and transport vehicles that show the correct sanitary protocols for coughing, sneezing, washing hands, ways to safely greet persons, and to not touch the face.
- All bathrooms in all facilities will be equipped with toilet paper, antibacterial soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), paper towels for drying hands, and potable water.
- Work and public spaces in all facilities will have natural ventilation. If that is not possible, then air-conditioning will be used with filters replaced according to the specifications of each system.
- All staff will be properly outfitted with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks and/or face shields.
- A cleaning protocol will be followed for thorough cleaning and disinfection of common areas and high-use areas. A log of cleaning actions will be kept.
- All staff will be meticulously trained on cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
- All staff will be trained on guidelines for customer care, interaction with providers, etc.
- All staff will regularly wash their hands, following the signage for the correct procedure for hand washing.
- If for any reason the water supply for hygiene and cleaning stops in any area of operations, then we will suspend all activity in that area until the water supply resumes.
- All vehicles used to transport both tourists and equipment will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each use, during each segment of a trip.
- Vehicle drivers will wear a face mask and keep proper physical distance when transporting other persons. They will regularly wash and/or disinfect their hands with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Passengers will be informed about the health protocols to follow and alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available to them at all times.
- If Rios Tropicales needs to subcontract transportation from another company, we will only use companies that comply with our standards and those established by the Ministry of Health. Each transportation provider must submit their health protocols in advance to Rios Tropicales.
- The vehicle load capacity for passengers will be regulated by the instructions of the Costa Rican government.
- The tour guide who accompanies clients in the vehicle that departs from San José will wear a face mask, maintain proper physical distance from passengers, and will discuss the correct sanitary measures with them.
- The Rios Tropicales Operations Center will limit the capacity of persons allowed according to the Costa Rican government’s guidelines, which is 50% of the total capacity.
- All persons arriving to the Operations Center will be informed about the proper sanitary protocols to follow.
- Breakfasts and lunches will be served to clients at the tables. If there is a buffet, there will be only one person in charge of serving and clients will pass through the buffet line maintaining the required social distance.
- All personnel who are in contact with tourists in the Operations Center will use their PPE and will regularly wash their hands.
- The facilities will be cleaned and disinfected every time clients leave the site (go to their tour, and at the end of the day’s general operation) in addition to the general and regular cleaning of the site. The toilets and showers will be constantly cleaned by the personnel in charge of the facilities.
- The luggage storage area will have entry regulations to avoid crowds.
- All equipment for tours: rafts, lifejackets, paddles, helmets, kayaks, etc. will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use with biodegradable antibacterial soap and water. We do not use any type of chemical products on our equipment that could have a negative environmental impact in our rivers.
- We will also implement an every-other-day rotation process for using all tour equipment.
During River Trips
We are fortunate to practice an adventure activity out in open wilderness, which allows us to serve our clients in a healthy and safe way.
Every day that we descend a river, there are logistical and safety preparations for every step of the trip. As a company, we are dedicated to the utmost safety of our clients and staff. With this new health challenge, we expand our already existing protocols and procedures to continue to ensure that every person who travels with Rios Tropicales is well taken care of and safe.
- Rafts have a capacity of 6 passengers plus one guide but will hold groups of 4 passengers plus one guide.
- All equipment that will be used for trips will be previously disinfected and on an every-other-day rotation in the Operations Center.
- Tourists will be prioritized and separated into “social bubble” groups in rafts.
- The rafting safety talk will be given on the bus during the ride from the Operations Center to the river put-in.
- Guides for each raft will instruct their small groups in paddling commands and safety regulations for the pandemic that will be used in the river.
- During the river trip, raft guides will talk with clients about the environmental impact and responsibility that all clients and Rios Tropicales, as a tour operator, have on nature. This global situation has given us the opportunity to improve how we interact with the natural world. Letting our clients know about the company’s environmental achievements and the importance of everyone being involved in them is an important part of Rios Tropicales’ environmental education mission. Part of our company’s objective is that each of our clients leaves the river with new experiences and with the motivation to get involved in environmental conservation.
- On multi-day or overnight trips, meals will be provided at the Rios Tropicales Lodge. Picnic lunches on the river are canceled until the government allows us to do so with modified protocols.
At the Rios Tropicales Lodge
Being located in a private nature reserve, the Rios Tropicales Lodge has the advantage of open natural spaces, excellent ventilation, and a minimal impact by guests. We avoid crowds and noise at our ecolodge. Rather, we value peace, quiet, relaxation, and connecting with nature. Our concept and design allow us to manage the new health and safety guidelines easily. Protocols detailed here complement the natural attributes already existing at the lodge.
- Upon arrival at the lodge, all luggage will be unloaded from the rafts only by Rios Tropicales staff in order to avoid crowding. The same procedure applies to re-loading the rafts with luggage for departure.
- A guide will welcome clients to the lodge and give them general information about the facility and area, along with instructions on sanitary protocols.
- There will be visible signage at the lodge for correct procedures on hand washing, sneezing, etc.
- All bathrooms and places where people can wash their hands will be equipped with antibacterial soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Room occupancy will be limited to the indications given by the Costa Rican government.
- Common areas such as the restaurant will have spaces between each table, as indicated by the Costa Rican government.
- Meals will be served at the tables by the guides to avoid lines or crowds of people as in our regular buffet system. If there is a buffet, the distance between people in line will be respected; this system will only be permitted when the volume of clients allows it.
- All guest rooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected according to our health protocol.
- Activities in the lodge will be done in the groups previously established in the rafts.
- All personnel working at the lodge must wear their personal protective equipment while cleaning, doing maintenance, etc.
- Guides will thoroughly clean and disinfect all rafting equipment with biodegradable antibacterial soap and water after arriving at the lodge before being used again.