Jungle Medicine Course

Costa Rica

  • 16 January 2023 07:30 - 22 January 2023 16:00


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.

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

Key Facts

You must be a:

  • Medical or Allied Health Professional
  • Student in your last two years of study

Dates: 9 January 2023 – 15 January, 2023
Location: Pacuare River, Costa Rica

What’s included:

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

What’s not:

  • Travel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment

Jungle Medicine

This immersive Jungle Medicine training course guarantees to re-energise your career and provide specialist training with the potential for great future adventures.  The stunning setting by the Pacuare River in Costa Rica and ambitious agenda has led this course to be featured in the British Medical Journal as the Editor’s Choice.   Read Dr Alex Rowe’s write-up of the Jungle course.

What to expect

We’ll be teaching you all you need to know in terms of practical survival skills, jungle medicine techniques, 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 as you kick off by rafting into camp.  You’ll receive both practical hands-on experience and theory based teaching throughout the week’s course, including a 3 day expedition into the jungle itself.  Learn basic navigation and camp craft, find clean water, avoid and treat venomous bites, manage heat stroke and fever, and achieve a jungle evacuation.

Course Content

  • Snake and Wildlife Centre Visit
  • River Rafting
  • Public Health on Jungle Expeditions
  • Envenomation and bites
  • Endemic Disease
  • Heat & Heat Illness
  • Improvised Carries
  • Tropical Case Studies
  • Comms in the Jungle
  • Jungle Navigation
  • Water Treatment in Tropical Environments
  • Primary Survey
  • Medical Kits
  • Wound Care in Tropical Environments
  • Jungle Expedition
  • Camp Craft Skills
  • Team Dynamics
  • Fracture Management and Dislocations

What you need to know

We’ll be meeting the group at 0800  in San Jose on Day One to arrange a transfer to the river, from which you’ll raft into camp.  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.  A suitable policy can be booked through https://www.campbellirvinedirect.com/worldextrememedicine/

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

Kit List

Our stunning course venue is nestles within the Costa Rica’s beautiful rainforest. Due to the remote location there is no power supply available, you may therefore wish to bring solar chargers or battery packs if you plan on bringing any tech / gadgets with you.

As a minimum we recommend you bring:


  • 2 season sleeping bag
  • 20+ meters paracord or utility cord for erecting shelter and repairs
  • Lightweight hammock (the Hennessy Hammock is the best, includes, hammock, mosi net and poncho). If your hammock is not all inclusive you will need a lightweight hammock (fabric not string) and British army poncho, heavy weight with/without hood and a mosquito net.

SHOULD GET A HENNESSEY – ‘bugs can get into the other set ups!!

Jungle trekking

  • Waterproof jacket- useful, however breathable fabrics do not work that well in high humidity. Gore-Tex waterproof jackets are the best. When it rains in Costa Rica…it pours.
  • 3 quick dry long sleeve shirts
  • 3 t-shirt poly pro to quick dry
  • 3 pairs of lightweight quick dry trousers
  • 4 pairs of socks – at least 4 – but all will get soaking! – We recommend one pair of waterproof ‘sealskin socks’.
  • 1 pairs of shorts, lightweight
  • 1 lightweight fleece
  • Umbrella- optional (surprisingly useful!)
  • 1 broad rimmed hat, 360° ideally
  • 1 pair of work gloves (leather garden gloves)
  • British or American army jungle boots, or lightweight walking boots – NOT walking shoes, you need ankle support.
  • 1 pair of teva type sandals – for around camp / better if straps 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.
  • 2x 1 Litre water bottle, wide mouthed Nalgene best
  • 1 x 2 Litre bladder water container- optional
  • Water disinfection tablets – Chlorine dioxide or UV sterilisation pen.


  • Biodegradable soaps and shampoo
  • Lip balm / with SPF / sun block
  • Personal toiletries
  • Suntan lotion (P20 is a favourite of ours)
  • Insect repellent, DEET 100 is best / or ‘expedition’ skin-so-soft Bug guard (brilliant – SPF / repellent and water resistant)

Cooking and eating

  • Mess tins 1, own choice
  • Mug – best if have a top
  • Matches, waterproof container (camera film case) and strike board
  • Spoon or spork
  • Lighter


  • Compass (smaller the better)
  • GPS if you have one
  • Whistle


  • Camera in case
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Sunglasses – and spare pair is a good idea
  • Torch, head torch best, spare batteries
  • Small candle or portable light
  • Solar chargers (optional) – there is no power at the course venue. A better option is portable power packs for charging phones and devices.
  • Leatherman or swiss army knife – useful but not essential at all
  • Mosquito repellent

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