Costa Rica Travel News

Last Updated: July 28th, 2020

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Latest Costa Rica Travel News

Last week government made its long-awaited announcement about Costa Rica’s scheduled August 1 plan to reopen for tourism.

As expected, tourism minister Gustavo Segura rolled out a limited plan, where only tourists from Canada, the UK, the EU, and non-EU countries in the Schengen Zone could enter from 11:59 PM on August 1.

Complete list of all countries eligible to enter Costa Rica from August 1

You’ll also find a good overall Q&A about Costa Rica’s August 1st reopening here.

During last week’s announcement, Segura said that allowing EU, UK, and Canadian citizens in first would create a gradual opening for Costa Rica. It would amount to less than five flights a week. This slow start, he said, would offer ‘drops of hope’ for Costa Rican tourism.

Tourists entering Costa Rica from the approved countries will have to take a COVID-19 test 48 hours or less before arrival. They will also need travel insurance to cover the cost of treatment should they contract COVID-19 in-country plus the cost of any quarantine they might need. Tourists will also need to follow local guidelines in Costa Rica regarding mask wearing, social distancing, and other requirements.

As part of the reopening plan, Segura said that typical outdoor activities for tourists in Costa Rica, like zip lining and surfing, could resume. He also said that beaches in yellow-zone areas could open up until 2:30 PM instead of the current 9:30 AM.

The big news about the August 1 reopening is, of course, that United States citizens cannot enter Costa Rica during this first phase. The hope is that Costa Rica can reopen to US tourists again as COVID-19 cases in that country begin to level out and stabilize. Before the pandemic, Americans made up over 40% of all tourists to Costa Rica.

Who’s Flying In and Out of Costa Rica?

All US-based airlines have rolled back their returns to/from Costa Rica for the time being. We expect United and Spirit to continue with their repatriation/rescue flights through August, although no details are out regarding them, yet.

In the meantime, most (although not all) of the European and Canadian-based airlines have published their restart dates.

See the current flight operating status of your favorite airline with Costa Rica.

Flights to Costa Rica

For intrepid travelers, flight deals abound. Unfortunately, it’s still unclear exactly when borders will open and unrestricted, safe travel can begin again. But if you’re looking at travel dates in October and November, odds are good that you can find airfare for under $400. This was near impossible pre-crisis.

FAIR WARNING — while these deals are tempting, you should verify terms & conditions with the airline to ensure that you CAN cancel or rebook if borders do not permit travel. It’s important to note that currently, United Citizens cannot enter Costa Rica, although we hope this will have changed my November. We also strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance. We looked up some flights for November from some major North American airports. Here were the deals that caught our attention:

– Atlanta, GA $256 on Spirit
– Boston, MA $255 on Frontier
– Chicago, IL $301 on Spirit
– Dallas, TX $307 on Spirit
– Houston, TX $298 on Spirit
– Los Angeles, CA $293 on Spirit
– Miami, FL $147 on Copa
– New York, NY $224 on Frontier
– Orlando, FL $188 on Copa
– Philadelphia, PA $254 on Spirit
– Pittsburgh, PA $228 on Spirit
– Washington, DC $354 on Spirit

For those who can enter Costa Rica from August 1, here are some fares (some are over $400, which is normal for Europe) we’re seeing from Canada and Europe for November:

– Toronto, ON $347 on Copa
– Montreal, QC $330 on United
– Vancouver, BC $403 on United
– London, UK $599 on British Airways
– Paris, France $509 on Iberia
– Madrid, Spain $506 on Lufthansa
– Frankfurt, Germany $606 on British Airways
– Zurich, Switzerland $696 on KLM


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