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Something one has to remember when traveling to Costa Rica is that, even though the economy of the country is tourism-based and resort life is prevalent, it is still a foreign setting where travelers must be careful of lurking dangers.

Potential dangers include wildlife that American tourists might be unfamiliar with. My mom, for example, went swimming in the ocean by our hotel and was attacked by a rare, tropical man-of-war called a Golden Thread. This creature is particularly aggressive; it wrapped its body around her entire leg, causing a severe allergic reaction. Unfortunately, she spent a goodly portion of our trip in the hotel room, recovering. Be sure to ask your hotel concierge about safety precautions in this tropical environment!