Costa Rica Travel News

Last Updated: Sept 24, 2020

Check back often for frequent updates about vacation deals, relevant travel news, and Costa Rica stories.

– Latest: Costa Rica to Allow One-Year Tourist Visa for Remote Workers

– Entry requirements for tourists

– Residents of 20 USA States can enter Costa Rica as tourists

– Who else can enter Costa Rica right NOW

– Confirmed commercial flights to Costa Rica for US and beyond

– Private flights are welcome from… Anywhere

– Private yachts and sailboats accepted into Costa Rica ports as well

– Once you’re in Costa Rica, what is actually open?

– Subscribe to Our Newsletter

– Follow us on Social Media

Costa Rica to Allow One-Year Tourist Visa for Remote Workers

On September 23, 2020, Costa Rica officially started discussing a law that will permit one-year tourist visa for digital nomads and remote workers. The word is out this will be expedited, so if your plans include scouting for a new work-from-home location you might be packing your suitcases sooner than you thought!

Residents of 20 US States Can Enter Costa Rica as Tourists

Here is the complete list of currently authorized U.S. states by region:
North East:  Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
South East: Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Midwest: Michigan
Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico
West: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, California (as of Oct 1st)

US Embassy in Costa Rica has a frequently updated information on travel requirements.

Who Else Can Enter Costa Rica Right Now?

Travelers coming from Canada, the EU (Schengen Zone), Uruguay,  Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and select US states (listed above) through SJO or LIR airports.

The 27 member countries of the European Union include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Travelers of nationalities other than the authorized countries must spend at least 14 days in the authorized country prior to travel. This includes US citizens. Meaning, even though commercial flights from the United States are not authorized, there is no ban on U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica.
US citizens can fly in from Canada or Britain after spending minimum 14 days prior to travel to Costa Rica.

Visitors can arrive via a flight with a layover in a non-authorized location. For instance, a Colorado resident could fly from Denver to Houston to Costa Rica.

The maximum allowed layover time is 18 hours. During that time, the passenger cannot leave the airport. Upon arriving in Costa Rica, the passenger should demonstrate via their boarding passes that their flight originated in an authorized state/country.

Current Requirements to Enter Costa Rica

—PCR-RT diagnostic test with a negative result obtained within 72 hours of travel to Costa Rica.
—Mandatory travel insurance, with a minimum coverage of $2,000 for the expenses of extended lodging in the event of being quarantined, and coverage of medical expenses in cases of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 USD. You can have an international health insurance policy that meets INS standards, or purchase one of the two local options offered by the INS.
—Epidemiological digital form that you can obtain here: Health Pass.
—Tourists from the United States must demonstrate, via their driver’s license or State ID, that they live in one of the authorized states.

The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) is responsible for verifying that the insurance policies comply with the requirements. Our partner insurance company, Travel Insured, currently offers plans that cover everything you will need to enter Costa Rica. Another option that can work for entries to Costa Rica is

And Canadians have a great option with Air Canada. Air Canada just announced this week that they are including free COVID travel protection on flights to Costa Rica! So no need to purchase a 3rd party insurance to meet the entry requirements for Costa Rica at this time if your flight is with Air Canada. 

Tourists will also need to follow local guidelines in Costa Rica regarding mask wearing, social distancing, and other requirements.

How to Get Tested within 72 h Time Frame in US?

Most major labs in the US (Labcorp, Quest, etc.) do PCR-RT tests. You can also check for a convenient location near you.

Testimonial from one of the recent US tourists that came to Costa Rica:
“Labcorp has an at-home test that is PCR. I did that and received results within 36 hrs. They FedEx you the kit, you swab yourself and FedEx it back. Results took about 12 hrs from when they received it to when it was reported. It creates a PDF that you can print and also upload into the CR health survey website.”

Another recommendation from recent travelers to Costa Rica: in order to expedite the entry process—before you leave US—you should upload everything into the Health Pass and have your QR code ready for immigration officers once you land.

Confirmed Commercial Flights to Costa Rica from US

United Airlines
EWR (New Jersey) to SJO, on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
EWR to LIR, on Saturdays 

IAH (Houston) to SJO, daily
IAH to LIR, on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays

American Airlines
October 1:
MIA (Miami) to SJO, on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
DFW (Dallas) to SJO, once a week.

Delta Airlines
October 1:
ATL (Atlanta) to SJO or ATL to LIR, on Mondays.
As of November 1, both flights will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays as well.

Spirit Airlines
September 15:
FLL to SJO, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays

October 1:
FLL (Fort Lauderdale) to SJO, daily

Air Canada
November 1:
YYZ (Toronto) to SJO, on Saturdays
As of October 25th, on Sundays as well.

Who Else Is Flying to Costa Rica?

Several European airlines have published their restart dates.

British Airways
British already has the authorization to fly to Costa Rica. The first flight will take off on October 27, and the schedule from then onward will be two weekly flights between San Jose and London, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Iberia is flying to Costa Rica from Madrid (MAD) on Mondays and Fridays (returning SJO to MAD on Tuesdays and Saturdays) for the time being.

Lufthansa is flying to Costa Rica from Frankfurt (FRA) on Wednesdays and Saturdays (returning SJO to FRA on Wednesdays and Saturdays) for the time being.

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


Exception to the Rule: Private Flights from… Anywhere

Private flights from the U.S. can enter Costa Rica as:

… Their size and nature means they present a much lower epidemiological risk, according to an Aug. 19 statement from the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

Private flights coming from unauthorized states (or countries) will be subject to an exception procedure and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. They must receive the approval of the Ministry of Health and the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería). Interested parties should submit a request with the following items:

— Full names of the passengers
— Nationalities and ages
— Legible copy of the biographical page of the passport of each one of the passengers
— Date of arrival, arrival airport, and flight origin
— Strategic reason for admission (investment review, property in Costa Rica, humanitarian reasons, etc.)

Private Yachts and Sailboats are Welcome to Costa Rica

Private yachts and sailboats may also enter the country as of September 1. If passengers do not carry a negative PCR test, or if they sailed from a city or port that has not been authorized to date, they will receive a health quarantine order, which will discount the number of days on the high seas, counting from the last port departure date recorded in the yacht’s log.

What is Open in Costa Rica?

Most common tourist attractions are allowed to operate normally. This includes all open-air activities, such as hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, diving, sportfishing, snorkeling, etc.

Costa Rica’s beaches are open every day from 5 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Most national parks are open.

Lodging and accommodation providers can operate at 100% capacity.

Restaurants can operate at up to 50% capacity. Bars, taverns and canteens can operate as sodas, restaurants or cafeterias, not as bars.

All essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, health clinics, etc. are operating normally.

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

We send it out a bit irregularly, when ever there are news to cover or when we partner up with hotels to get you some great deals. You can also learn more about some great initiatives that were started to help out communities most impacted with the economic shutdown.

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