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October 28, 2017

Hospitals, Doctors, Dentist & Pharmacies

A trip to the emergency room rarely shows up on an international traveler’s to-do list.

Sometimes, however, bad things happen to good people and medical attention is required. Rest assured that when you and your loved ones stay at one of our tropical vacation villas, you’re never too far from first-rate hospitals, pharmacies, and dental clinics.

The following is a comprehensive list of medical options in southwestern Costa Rica if a health situation should arise during your stay in paradise. In the case of an emergency, we highly recommend driving to a local hospital rather than waiting for an ambulance. The time it takes an ambulance to find your rental property could stretch longer than you’d expect, and time can be precious during these unfortunate circumstances.

Just like in the United States, you can dial 911 to report an emergency in Costa Rica. And always be sure to bring your passport to the hospital because you will be asked to show it.


Hospital De Osa Thomas Casas Casajus
Phone numbers: 2786-8148

Driving from Dominical: Hospital De Osa is located in the town of Cortes, approximately 45 minutes south on the Pan-American Highway. The hospital is on the right-hand side of the road and is easy to spot.

About: This 85,000-square foot hospital opened in 2008 and is one of the newest treatment facilities in all of Costa Rica. It features a state-of-the-art emergency room, pediatric wing, neurology center, and an obstetrics and gynecology center.

For any guests staying at vacation villas in the Dominicalito, Escaleras or Uvita areas, Hospital De Osa is our top recommendation due to its proximity to those towns and comprehensive track record of medical service.

Hospital De Quepos
Phone number: 2774-9500

Driving from Dominical: Hospital De Quepos is located 30 minutes north along the Pan-American Highway. The facility is adjacent to the Quepos Airport, on the right-hand side of the road and across the street from a gas station.

About: The facilities here are smaller and less modern than at Hospital De Osa, and if you don’t speak Spanish communication can be an issue. Still, for travelers who get hurt anywhere near the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area, this is the best option available. Having the airport in close proximity makes Hospital De Quepos a good choice for more life-threatening ailments that may require a patient to be rushed to San Jose for immediate medical treatment. The doctors here are also well-schooled in treating all types of snake bites.

Clinica de Urgencias San Isidro
Phone numbers: 2772-7070

Driving from Dominical: Leaving Dominical and heading north, you’ll cross the Baru River bridge and then pass a small police checkpoint. Immediately after the checkpoint is the road to San Isidro. This mountain road goes through the towns of Platanillo and Tinamastes before reaching San Isidro. Clinica de Urgencias is located on the left-hand side of the road, just before town. There is a large, light-up “Emergency” sign on top of the building. The drive from Dominical takes approximately 45 minutes.

About: Although it isn’t a large emergency room, Clinica de Urgencias is clean, modern, well lit and has physicians on call who speak English. The location is also excellent as the emergency room is one of the first business structures you’ll see before driving into the downtown San Isidro area. The author of this article once suffered a surfing injury at 6 a.m. on a Saturday that required a half-dozen stitches in his cheek. The cost for the stitches, medicine and a return visit to get the stitches removed was $95. There’s also a small pharmacy on site. If you’re staying in the Lagunas area, this is the closest emergency room to your location.

Servicios Medicos Bahia Ballena
Phone numbers: 2743-8595 or 8893-4492

Driving from Dominical: Servicios Medicos Bahia Ballena is located at the Dome Plaza in Uvita, 15 minutes south of Dominical along the Pan-American Highway.

About: This small medical facility is operated by Dr. Mauricio Esquivel Gambo, a general practitioner who speaks Spanish and English. Servicios Medicos Bahia Ballena is located close to many of our rental properties and is best suited for minor ailments, check-ups and lab testing. Dr. Mauricio also does house calls on occasion. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Saturday hours are 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. It’s closed on Sundays.


The primary pharmacy in town is called Farmacia Ibarra and is located at the Dome Plaza in Uvita. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and closed on Sunday. Prescriptions can be filled at Farmacia Ibarra. They also do vaccination injections, blood pressure monitoring, and sell a slew of pharmaceutical and natural products. The Uvita location’s phone number is 2743-8558. They speak Spanish and English. There are many pharmacies located in downtown San Isidro as well as the Quepos/Manuel Antonio areas.


If you encounter a situation where immediate dental work is required, we suggest driving to San Isidro for the best available options and service. Oral surgeries, root canals, implants and crowns can all be taken care of in the city.

There are at least a dozen dental offices in downtown San Isidro, all located within a few kilometers of each other. Some of the top options are Dental Care Center (2771-7453, in front of the BAC San Jose); Dental Health CR (2770-3020, at the Pedro Perez Commercial Center next to the Chirripo Hotel); and Clinica Dental Daniel Mora (2770-1707, facing the Cultural Complex). There is one dental office in Uvita, Mora Valdez Advanced Dentistry, that’s open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Mora Valdez Advanced Dentistry is located at the Dome Plaza, right next door to Farmacia Ibarra. Their number is 2743-8481.


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