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Flushing Toilet Paper in Costa Rica

toilet.jpgIt is very surprising to anyone who has never visited Costa Rica, that you can’t flush the toilet paper down the toilet. Worse still, is that since this is the exact opposite of what many of us have been taught all our life, it is hard thing to get in the habit of. But the title of this post still poses the question; why cant you flush toilet paper in Costa Rica?

This simple answer to that question is plumbing. Most of the world uses a two inch wide pipe for most plumbing needs like sink drains and toilets. As with everything else in Costa Rica, things are little bit different there. For some reason unbeknownst to me, Costa Rica uses a one inch wide pipe.

This single inch pipe means anything short of body waste probably won’t make it down the toilet (Sometimes even that doesn’t make it down on the first try!). Getting in the habit of a courtesy flush couldn’t be a bad thing to do. So where do you put the toilet paper? There is usually a small waste basket beside the toilet where you throw used TP.

As if this whole concept wasn’t hard to grasp to begin with, you will occasionally stumble across places where you can flush the toilet paper. How do you know when and where you can or cannot flush the toilet paper? Luckily most touristy places have signs or directions for the less educated bathroom users.