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March 15, 2024

Local Medical Services: Hospitals, Doctors, Dentists & Pharmacies

Hospitals and urgent care facilities rarely show up on an international traveler’s to-do list.

Sometimes, however, bad things happen to good people and medical attention is required. For example, the author of this article visited the Uvita Urgent Care last week for a few stitches on the head after a run-in with a surfboard. This week, a dental snafu with an existing crown and an excessively sticky granola bar has me heading to San Isidro for a quick fix at a good price with an English speaking dentist. So, 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, urgent care, 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: Max Terán Valls
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.


Uvita Urgent Care
Phone numbers: 2215-4848  or  8732-5555

Driving from Dominical: Go south on the Costanera highway toward the town of Uvita. Uvita Urgent Care is on the left side in the new Vita Plaza. You can easily spot the signage from the road, but if you reach the main town of Uvita, you’ve gone a tad too far. 

About: Uvita Urgent Care is one of the newest medical establishments in the area. The facility offers both ambulance and air ambulance services, in case a life-flight to the major hospital in San Jose is necessary. Dr. Alvarez is an expert in Emergency Services and speaks English. The convenient location and level of service are wonderful, but you can expect to pay more than at similar clinics in San Isidro. For the five stitches I received on a Sunday morning, the bill came to just under $400 usd. While convenient, this urgent care center is not the cheapest option around. 

Clinica de Urgencias San Isidro
Phone numbers: 2772-7070 or 2772-4243

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 San Isidro’s downtown. There is a large, light-up “Emergency” sign on top of the building. The drive from Dominical takes approximately 45 minutes.

About: 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. Unfortunately, I have personally tested out this clinic as well! A surfing injury at 6 a.m. on a Saturday that required a half-dozen stitches in the 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. 


Medical Services 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 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 and can assist with hospital transfers.  The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday hours are 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. It’s closed on Sundays.

Paradise Medical Services Dominical
Phone numbers: 2201-5165  or  8623-4646

Medical Services Hospitals Doctors Urgent Care Dominical Costa Rica

This brand new medical office is located on the right side of Main St. Dominical, in the two-story glass building called Plaza Solo Bueno. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. until 12 noon, and closed on Sundays. They take walk-ins but you can also call ahead for appointments. If the doctor prescribes medicine, the new pharmacy in Dominical, FarMar, is right next door.


Farmar Dominical
Phone numbers: 8732-7627

This brand new pharmacy in Dominical is located on the right side on Main St., in the two-story glass building called Plaza Solo Bueno. You can fill prescriptions here, find over-the-counter pharmaceuticals for pain or common illnesses,  and find a selection of natural medicine remedies. They are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Farmacia Ibarra Uvita
Phone numbers:  2743-8558

The primary pharmacy in Uvita is called Farmacia Ibarra and is located at the Dome Plaza in Uvita (Next to the doctor office Medical Services Bahia Ballena). It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6:30 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. 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 the following two options.

Mora & Valdez Cosmetic Dentistry in Uvita
Phone numbers: 2743-8418 or 8835-9009

Dra. Mora and Dr. Valdez specialize in advanced dentistry and dental tourism, but if available, can handle your dental emergency as well. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located above the Uvita Urgent Care clinic in Vita Plaza. The plaza is on the left side of the costanera sur highway, before you reach the main town of Uvita. 

The second option is driving to San Isidro. 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). 


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