Is It Safe to Drink the Tap Water in Central America?

Read this post before drinking the tap water in Central America

This is an age-old question that you should ask yourself every time you go into a new city or country. Is it safe to drink the water here? In the case of backpacking Central America, we’re actually dealing with seven different countries so there’s a lot to look out for. Is it safe to drink the water in Central America?

We all know that you can’t drink the water in Mexico, which is only a short distance away from Central America. So it’s highly unlikely that you’ll want to drink the tap water in Central America.

Is the Tap Water Safe?

I wouldn’t recommend drinking the tap water in Central America. And that’s for a few different reasons. First of all, waterways are so tough to understand, that most people don’t I know exactly where the water is coming from. The water can be safe to drink in one town but unsafe to drink just one town over. Think of Flint, Michigan where the water is brown but then a few cities over the water is completely fine. So with Central America having so many different countries and cities it isn’t worth the research that it takes.

With that being said, there are serpent cities where it said that the water safe to drink. Again, I did not trust it enough to try it. And I recommend you do not do the same. But,if you are going to drink the water, Costa Rica is your best bet.

and when I say tap water, I mean directly out of the sink. I did drink, what I presume was tap water, at several different restaurants throughout Central America. I did quickly ask if the water was safe to drink. And then never thought about it again.

Remember the Ice

Something that people always forget about is the ice. This isn’t something that you have to worry about so much and Central America. But if you’re in Mexico, remember the ice. If you order a mixed drink and there is ice in it, ice is only frozen water.

Tap Water Alternatives

Another reason why it isn’t worth it, is because bottled water is relatively cheap in Central America. At least, cheaper than you are used to. I suggest that you stock up on bottled water or bring a water bottle and fill it at hostels and wherever else they offer free water. Most hostels have a bubbler for this reason.

Something else you can do is bring a portable water filter with you. This is always handy to have with you if you’re a frequent traveler, especially in the wilderness. A portable water filter allows you to instantly filter contaminated water. And they sell for only about $12 on Amazon.

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Written by Derek

Derek, our editor in chief, is an avid reader and lifelong backpacker who has traveled to more than 30 countries and 30+ U.S states. He is a digital marketing specialist with over 10 years of experience growing companies using innovative growth strategies.


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