Costa Rica Entry Requirements for Tourists―FAQ

What Are the Current Requirements to Enter Costa Rica as a Tourist?

Flying to Costa Rica and Immigration Procedure
While in Costa Rica

– What are requirements once in Costa Rica?
– What’s actually open?
– Once on vacation, and I get a cold or some sniffles, what is the protocol?

Upon return to Your Home Country

Helpful Links


What Are the Current Requirements to Enter Costa Rica as a Tourist?

All Covid related entry requirements are lifted from April 1st, 2022.

Click here to visit the Costa Rica government website with the official, up-to-date information: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements

Current Requirements

Costa Rica will no longer require any Covid 19 entry requirements as of April 1, 2022: No negative test, No QR Code, and No ‘Pase de Salud’.

Costa Rica has announced as of April 1, 2022 they will end Covid-19 measures for entry into the country. Starting April 1 2022, the government has lifted its most significant restrictions. In other words, tourists, non-resident and resident travelers will not need to fill out the health pass and will not need to be vaccinated to get into the country. 

The Costa Rican government has also eliminated the requirement for non-vaccinated guests to purchase travel insurance. (Although this is still recommended for all guests visiting Costa Rica).

Some basic measures against Covid-19, such as obligatory masks in crowded and public spaces and hand-washing, will be maintained.


Is a negative test required to enter Costa Rica?


No COVID Test Required to
Enter Costa Rica. U.S. citizen tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica are not required to present the results of a negative PCR test for CV-19.

 

Where do I get a test to return?


The U.S. requires all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people to provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 1 day of the flight or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months. If you are unable to  present a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of recovery, the airlines will not let you board your plane. To prove you have recovered,  your paperwork must include documentation of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your doctor or a public health official declaring you are clear to travel.
  For a complete list of properly licensed testing locations, please follow this link.

Can you travel to Costa Rica if your passport expires within three months? How long before my passport expires can I travel to Costa Rica?


To be on the safe side, renew your passports
at least three months before they are scheduled to expire.  Your passport has to be valid for at least 3 months after the arrival date to Costa Rica.  If your passport expires while you are abroad, you will need to apply for an emergency renewal at your embassy or consulate.

Do I need a passport?


U.S. nationals must have a current valid passport and a return ticket to exit Costa Rica within 90 days. (Either to return to your country or to go to another country).  U.S. passports must be valid for a minimum of one day from the day you enter Costa Rica. As a tourist, U.S. nationals cannot stay more than 90 days.  If you wish to stay longer than 90 days, a residence permit must be established.  U.S. nationals do not require an entry visa to Costa Rica. 

How long does it take to get my passport?


Currently in the United States routine service can take up to 24 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received.  The 24-week timeframe includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 12 weeks for mailing times.  If you need to speed up the process for any reason, we recommend contacting your Congressional representative for assistance.

What happens if I test positive while in Costa Rica? 


The lab/hospital who took your test will send the official report to the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and you will be issued a mandatory quarantine for 7 days in your hotel room or vacation home until the end of the quarantine period.
  We advise you to make sure to contact your travel insurance as well.  Your COVID travel insurance will go into effect and cover you for any possible medical expenses and extended lodging expenses at your hotel or vacation home.  Tourists complying with a valid sanitary order will not be penalized for overstaying their visa.

How does the insurance work if I test positive?


First, know that you are covered. 
The travel medical insurance to Costa Rica must cover accommodation of $2,000 for quarantine and expenses due to COVID-19 and must be valid for the entire duration of travel in Costa Rica.  The travel insurance plan also must offer medical coverage expenses for at least USD $50,000


Flying to Costa Rica and the Immigration Procedure

Have your documents printed and /or in the PDF form on your cell phone.

Mask wearing is obligatory on the air terminals, for the duration of the flight and during all immigration procedures.

Upon landing in Costa Rican territory, travelers must wear face protection and comply with the strict protocols of the airport terminal with regard to physical distancing, disinfection of soles, and taking temperature readings, and must follow any other sanitary instructions.


While in Costa Rica

Q: What are requirements once in Costa Rica? Masks, distancing rules in restaurants, etc.

Masks are required if entering shops, restaurants, etc. (anything indoors). Most businesses have clearly defined social distancing spots and provide disinfectants and sanitary guidelines.

Q: Are the mask wearing rules being enforced?

To enter an establishment yes, you will be asked to have a mask on, and will not be permitted inside otherwise. If you’re visiting beach towns you can stick to open-air restaurants and stay at a private villa or a beach bungalow where mask wearing is brought to a minimum.

Q: What is actually open?

All tourist attractions are allowed to operate normally.

This includes all open-air activities, such as hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, diving, sportfishing, snorkeling, etc.

Public transportation is operating.The Government of Costa Rica has mandated the use of facial coverings while waiting at bus stops and on public transportation.

Q: Once on vacation and I get a cold or some sniffles, what is the protocol?

You’ll get the temperature taken at the hotels upon check-in, or when doing a tour at the tour operator’s office. The protocol might change slightly depending on the property, but most hotels would call a doctor first for a consultation, and if needed, the doctor would initiate the protocol.

Likewise, if you have symptoms upon arrival, the hotel would speed things up and take you to a separate room directly.


Upon return to Your Home Country

Q: What are requirements upon returning back to the USA or UK, regarding Covid?

As of March 18, 2022, the United States travel entry requirement remains unchanged. Before you travel to the US you must provide results of a negative COVID test.

Returning U.S. citizens at least two years old must have a negative pre-arrival test within 24 hours before returning to the country. This testing window applies to fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. 

Non-U.S. citizens must have been fully vaccinated and have a negative pre-arrival test result up to 24 hours before flying to the United States.

As of March 18, 2022 when you travel to England you do not need to take a Covid-19 test or quarantine.

Q: What types of SARS-CoV-2 test are acceptable under the Order?

Passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, and TMA. The test used must be authorized by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered.

Q: What is considered three days?

The three-day period is the three days before the flight’s departure. The Order uses a three-day timeframe instead of 72 hours to provide more flexibility to the traveler. By using a three-day window, test validity does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test was administered.
For example, if a passenger’s flight is at 1pm on a Friday, the passenger could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after.

Q: What types of SARS-CoV-2 test are acceptable under the Order?

Passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, and TMA. The test used must be authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered.

Q: Can I get a rapid test?

Rapid tests are acceptable for traveling to US and can be administered at the SJO airport with results turnaround in 4 hours.

Q: Can I get tested in my hotel room?

Most clinics offer an in room test.

Helpful Links

US Embassy in Costa Rica
US Travel advisory for Costa Rica
Canada Travel Advisory for Costa Rica
Travel advice for UK citizens
What Airlines are Flying to Costa Rica Right Now?