Jungle Medicine Course

Costa Rica

13 January 2025 07:30 - 19 January 2025 16:00

GBP £2,245.00

22 in stock

This immersive Jungle Medicine training course offers an opportunity to learn, operate and survive in one of planet’s most challenging environments.

Where practical workshops, simulations, and captivating lectures take place under starlit skies, accompanied by the mesmerising sounds of birds, howler monkeys, and nature’s chorus. As we venture into the heart of the jungle, navigating through thrilling river rafting and trekking expeditions, our teaching seamlessly intertwines with the journey.

CPD Award: This course has been awarded 36 CPD hours by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

“Faculty were very inclusive of all participants, activities were enjoyable and pitched at the correct level, group dynamics were great, good balance of down time and learning.”
Jungle Medicine course attendee

Perfect for any medic hoping to take their skills on the road and provide expertise in jungle medicine.

Key facts

Immerse yourself in the rainforest to gain essential skills in tropical medicine with our expert faculty team.

This hands-on jungle medicine course offers invaluable first person experience of navigating the humidity and density of the rainforest biome.

Location: Pacuare River, Costa Rica

Is this course right for you?

This course is perfect for healthcare professionals and students interested in applying their clinical knowledge and skills to expedition and adventure settings.

It is recommended that participants have attended our Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Course within the last 18 months, as the Jungle Medicine Course builds on the key concepts and principles covered, adapting and applying these to the jungle.

CPD Award: This course has been awarded 36 CPD hours by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

What’s included:

  • Tutoring, accommodation and meals
  • Downloadable course resources
  • Safety equipment

What’s not:

  • Travel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment

What to expect

We’ll be teaching you all you need to know in terms of practical survival skills, tropical and jungle medicine practice, essential logistical knowledge and the pre-hospital care required for any tropical expedition.

It’s an action-packed course so come prepared for an unforgettable experience, you’ll get to experience rafting into camp, on one of the world’s top 3 rafting rivers.  You’ll receive both practical hands-on experience and theory-based teaching throughout the week’s course, including a 3-day expedition deeper into the jungle.  Learn basic navigation and camp craft, find clean water, avoid and treat venomous bites, manage heat stroke and fever and achieve a jungle evacuation.

It is recommended that participants have attended our Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Course within the last 18 months, as the Jungle Medicine Course builds on the key concepts and principles covered, adapting and applying these to the jungle. Due to the ambitious nature of our timetable it is essential course participants come well prepared in the basic concepts of casualty management, evacuation, communication and expedition planning.

Course content

Sessions include:

  • Snake and Wildlife Centre visit
  • River rafting
  • River crossing and swift water danger awareness
  • Tropical medicine
  • Jungle/tropical public health
  • Bites and stings
  • Jungle casevac and med planning
  • Heat illness
  • Water purification
  • Bag pack
  • Fire lighting
  • Camp craft skills
  • Hammock and tarp set up, and shelter
  • Jungle stretchers and carries
  • Safe machete use
  • Jungle Comms
  • Jungle navigation
  • Blisters and footcare
  • Skin and tropical dermatology
  • Snake bite management
  • Medical emergency management in the jungle or tropics
  • Prolonged casualty care

What you need to know

We’ll be meeting the group at 07:30 in San Jose on Day One, where you will then travel to Pacuarito, from there you’ll get ready to raft into camp in El Nido.  We recommend you arrive in San Jose at least one full day before the course begins, due to the early start.

You will arrive back in San Jose on the last day of the course but again we recommend that you do not book a flight out of Costa Rica until the evening, to avoid complications due to transport issues.

Travel insurance is absolutely essential and therefore, for your safety and security, we reserve the right to refuse access to an expedition until we have details of adequate insurance cover provided to us.  UK residents can book a suitable policy through Campbell Irvine.

To assist with packing, please review and refer to our kit list.


You need a hiking rucksack that is at least 70 litres for the jungle hike. The rucksack needs to be able to fit your personal kit for 2 nights minimalist camping. If you have a large volume sleeping bag, you may need a bigger bag. You will also need to split food and cooking equipment between your team (usually about 6-8 people).

A daysack (20-40litres) is useful for our shorter hike and as hand luggage on the plane. You don’t need a 40L daysack, but don’t buy a new smaller bag if all you have is a 40L, for example. We recommend a day sack of approximately 25L with cover as ideal.


  • 2 season sleeping bag
  • If you are someone who gets cold easily, a sleeping bag liner can make your sleeping bag warmer
  • 20+ meters paracord or utility cord for erecting shelter and repairs
  • Lightweight hammock (the Hennessy Hammock is the best, includes, hammock, mosquito net and tarp/flysheet). If your hammock is not all inclusive you will need a lightweight hammock (fabric not string), a tarp/flysheet, and a mosquito net.

Jungle trekking:  

  • Waterproof jacket- useful, however breathable fabrics do not work well in high humidity. Gore-Tex waterproof jackets are the best. When it rains in Costa Rica…it pours.
  • Umbrella- optional but surprisingly useful!
  • 3 quick-dry long sleeve shirts (safari type shirts or polyester/quick-dry)
  • 3 T-shirts (polyester/quick-dry)
  • 2-3 pairs of lightweight quick dry trousers
  • 4 pairs of socks – at least 4 – but all will get soaking!
  • 1 pairs of shorts, lightweight
  • 1 lightweight fleece (polyester, quick-dry)
  • 1 broad-brimmed hat, 360° ideally, or buff and sun cap is another option
  • 1 pair of work gloves (leather garden gloves)
  • Jungle boots – NOT walking shoes/trainers, you need ankle support. The US/British military jungle boots are popular but need breaking in and female sizes can be very difficult to get hold of so start looking early! If you cannot find jungle boots, then summer/lightweight walking boots that drain water and are NOT waterproof are a second option
  • 1 pair of Teva-type sandals – for rafting and around camp / better with straps if for swimming
  • 1 pair of swimming trunks/costume
  • 1 quick dry towel/sarong
  • Rucksack liners and separate dry bags for equipment (more the better, we will be doing river crossings)
  • Rucksack outer – waterproof shell OR everything inside dry bags inside your bag
  • You need at least 2 litre water carrying capacity. Options include 2 x 1 litre water bottles, wide-mouthed Nalgene type, or 1 x 2 litre bladder water container such as Camelbak or Platypus. If you are someone who sips away whilst walking in the heat then the water bladder may be a better option for you. But we would still recommend bringing a wide mouthed bottle for around other camp. Cleaning water bladders can also be tricky if you are away for a long period of time (less relevant for this trip).
  • Water disinfection – we will look at different options and learn about methods of disinfection whilst we are away. 2 methods are always better than 1. Chlorine dioxide, UV sterilisation pen, life straw, Grayl bottle are some options.


  • Biodegradable soaps and shampoo
  • Lip balm with SPF / sun block
  • Personal toiletries
  • Suntan lotion (no less than SPF 20). Many of us use SPF 50.
  • Insect repellent, DEET 100/‘expedition’ skin-so-soft bug guard (brilliant – SPF / repellent and water resistant)/ Avon Skin so Soft. You may need to experiment, different people find different products work for them in different places

Cooking and eating:  

  • Hand gel
  • Mess tins x1/bowl/plate – own choice
  • Mug – best if it has a top
  • Spoon or spork
  • Matches, waterproof container (old camera film case) and strike board
  • Lighter
  • Tinder box equipment if you have one – be careful where you are flying through and what you are allowed to bring


  • Compass
  • GPS if you have one
  • Whistle


  • Camera in case
  • Binoculars (optional) – there is a lot of bird life and wildlife in Costa Rica
  • Sunglasses – and spare pair is a good idea
  • Torch – Head torch is best and spare batteries
  • Small candle or portable light (optional)
  • Solar chargers (optional) – there is no power at the course venue. A better option is portable power packs for charging phones and devices.

Feedback from previous courses

What went well on your Jungle Medicine course?

“Faculty were very inclusive of all participants, activities were enjoyable and pitched at the correct level, group dynamics were great, good balance of down time and learning.”

“Engaging and helpful staff, beautiful venue and excellent food, Interesting Tropical Medicine content, rafting was fantastic.”

“The course adapted well to the environment and the people.”

What was the single most valuable thing you learnt from your Jungle Medicine course?

“That I love the environment and can thrive in it. This will influence my future expedition opportunities.”

“To use and also be aware of the environment you treat your patient in, and trying to keep things simple”

“The difficulty of a jungle extraction and to fully appreciate that if I am to be a medic on an expedition.”

About us

World Extreme Medicine trains, supports and informs medics looking to expand their skills and tackle new challenges.

A chance conversation about the impossibility of finding good expedition medics resulted in our Founding Director, Mark Hannaford creating the very first, bespoke Expedition Medicine course in the UK – over 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve spent the last two decades providing on-demand education, on-location training, international conferences, and expedition support for people outside normal medical environments.

Our network of around a quarter of a million experts, practitioners and instructors is here for you – inspiring, informing and connecting you with like-minded people and new opportunities.

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, dentist, vet, paramedic, medical student or allied health professional, you can join us and discover new frontiers of your practice both at home or in the field.

Talk To Our Team

If you wish to learn more or have any additional questions, we invite you to book a 30-minute discovery call with our team.

→ Click here to book a discovery call.

The call will be with the team who organise our courses, and work closely with our medical teaching faculty. They are best placed to really explain what our attendees get out of attending a course with us.

Register for a time that suits, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.

Prefer email? Then feel free to contact us or message us via our website live chat.

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