Potential Risks & Problems

Diseases and Other Ailments

Full assessment of health risks in Central America with prevention and treatment information.

Malaria - Information with dozens of links.

Fighting the Elements

During 3 years, we will face all types of storms, from violent sand storms (Nortes) in Baja, to hurricanes. We will also have to paddle through more than one rainy season. During the rainy season, the ocean gets rough. We will try to spend that time inland, on jungle rivers and canals (this is one factor we took into consideration for the overall planning of our expedion).

Caribbean storms: Hurricanes: July to November; Nortes storms: October to December.


Risks: strong breaking waves; current, shallow water blackout (freediving), entanglement (spearfishing), storms at sea and hurricanes.
Prevention: physical and skill training, Life Jacket, VHF, EPIRB, fins and mask on deck.

For more information read our page on Sea Survival

 Food and Water


We will bring a sea water desalination pump to filter sea water into sweet water.

Food Shortage

Will bring fishing, and spearfishing equipment. Food foraging (from sea and jungle).

Food Poisoning - Toxins & Chemicals

Ciguatera, … . Inquire with locals about fish most susceptible to toxins.

Mercury, PCBs, DDT and other chemicals.

Follow guidelines published in "public health advisories on fish consumption".


Bring complete first aid kit. (all members certified in Medic First Aid and CPR).

Note: Through most of this expedition we will be in very remote places, thus we will have to be self sufficient to treat the most common injuries.


In addition to the corruption we will face, we might encounter bandits, guerrilla, and drug dealers. We will get updated information from local people about specific locations. In high risk places, we will take local guides. If necessary we will modify itinerary or use alternative transport. High Risk places: Nicaragua (including many land mines on the shore of Rio Coco, border of Honduras and Nicaragua); South Panama (especially between the Darien Gap and Colombia).



Scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, shells, sharks, sea lions, stone fish, sting rays.

Other places

Crocodiles, caimans, alligators, jaguars, snakes (Fer de lance & Barba-amarilla (Pit vipers) and coral snake), and same marine animals as in Baja + Portuguese man of war and insects.

For more information view our page on dangerous sea life

Equipment Problem

Kayak or accessories: Will bring spare parts and repair kits. (As a last resort, we will have spares shipped to main cities). View our Equipment page.


Currently checking on Custom regulations for Kayaks, spear fishing and fishing equipment. (crossing borders). Visa; border crossing and Onward tickets regulations.  In spite of all our preparation we anticipate problems  with corruption .


Native Planet Non-Profit Organization

Central American Sea Kayak Expedition 2000