Costa Rica Entry Requirements for Tourists - FAQ Answered (2023)

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:

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).

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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

(Video) Entry Requirements Costa Rica Update 2022 - Facemask Costa Rica

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.

(Video) Costa Rica Entry Requirements AND No More Covid Test

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.

(Video) Costa Rica Entry Requirements - Costa Rica Lifts Covid Restrictions - COSTA RICA TRAVEL UPDATE APRIL

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?

Costa Rica Entry Requirements for Tourists - FAQ Answered (1)Costa Rica Entry Requirements for Tourists - FAQ Answered (2)

(Video) Costa Rica Entry Requirements - Avoid These Mistakes - Costa Rica Travel Update September 2021


What are the requirements to enter Costa Rica? ›

U.S. tourists must also have a valid passport and proof of intent to exit Costa Rica within 90 days. (To prove intent to exit, U.S. citizens must possess a return or onward ticket.)

Can you enter Costa Rica without a return ticket? ›

A return flight ticket is needed when entering Costa Rica. The immigration officer will ask for it upon your arrival. It is advisable to make a photocopy or take a picture of your passport with the entry stamp to carry at all times during your stay.

How much cash can you enter Costa Rica with? ›

Currency restrictions

While there are no restrictions to importing and exporting local currency and US dollars, anyone with more than US$10,000 or equivalent must declare the amount they are carrying.

Does Costa Rica enforce 6 month passport rule? ›

A valid passport. The passport has to be valid for at least 3 months after arrival date to Costa Rica.

Do I need any vaccinations for Costa Rica? ›

The National Travel Health Network and Centre and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Costa Rica: hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies and tetanus. Recommended for most travellers to the region, especially if unvaccinated.

Why are expats leaving Costa Rica? ›

Feeling homesick and missing family while living abroad. The increasing crime rate in Costa Rica. Coping with negativity coming from the expat community. Adjusting to the extreme climate, unstable infrastructure, and cultural/lifestyle differences.

Is yellow fever vaccine required for Costa Rica? ›

Yellow Fever Vaccine

You must be vaccinated at least one week prior to entering Costa Rica. Entry is also allowed if, after visiting Africa or South America you have spent at least one week in a country with no risk of yellow fever and you have a normal body temperature when you arrive in Costa Rica.

How much does a house cost in Costa Rica? ›

Cost Comparison Chart:
United States v/s Costa RicaUnited States Average ($)Costa Rica Average ($)
Housing (comparable 3 bedroom, 2 bath)$1000-3000$500-1200
Gasoline (per gallon of regular)$3.00$5.00
ADSL Internet monthly (1024/512 kb/sec)$34.95$28.25
Home Phone Service (basic monthly fee)$29.95$7.00
10 more rows
Aug 4, 2022

How safe is it to travel to Costa Rica? ›

Exercise increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime. Country Summary: While petty crime is the predominant threat for tourists in Costa Rica, violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault, occurs in Costa Rica.

Can I use my US credit card in Costa Rica? ›

Costa Rica is a card-friendly country, so you'll have no problem using your credit card there. You can also pay with US dollars in some places in San José, but paying in local currency will help you avoid conversion fees.

What can you not bring into Costa Rica? ›

Please be aware you may not bring plants, seeds, vegetables, or fruits into Costa Rica. 4. Exit the building and you will see your driver with a sign with your name and our Logo. As a reference, please note your concierge will be wearing a white Costa Rican Vacations shirt and holding a green flag.

Can you use debit card in Costa Rica? ›

Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in Costa Rica. Except a few remote beach and wilderness areas ATMs are easy to find.

Which countries do not need 6 months of passport validity? ›

However, there are a handful of countries that allow you to have less than 6 months left on your passport and still visit them:
  • Armenia. Passport must be valid at time of entry and departure. ...
  • The Bahamas. Your passport must be valid at time of entry. ...
  • Barbados. ...
  • Canada. ...
  • Croatia. ...
  • Ireland. ...
  • Mexico. ...
  • The Seychelles.
Sep 22, 2021

What if my passport expires in less than 6 months? ›

Six Month Club Requirements:

If a U.S. visa has been issued on a passport that has expired, you should carry both your new passport and the expired passport containing your valid visa. There is no need to re-apply for a new visa unless the visa term has itself expired.

How many days can you stay in Costa Rica? ›

US passport must be valid for a minimum of one day from the day you enter Costa Rica. As a tourist US nationals cannot stay more than 90 days. For a stay longer than 90 days a residence permit must be established. 2.

Do I really need a typhoid vaccine for Costa Rica? ›

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Costa Rica: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza. Recommended for travelers to most regions.

Do you need anti malaria tablets for Costa Rica? ›

CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Costa Rica take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip.

Can you drink tap water in Costa Rica? ›

Can you drink the water in Costa Rica? The short answer is yes. You can drink the tap water in Costa Rica safely in most every part of the country. In some rural areas, including the Caribbean and in non-touristy places, you may want to stick with bottled water.

Do you need passport for Costa Rica 2022? ›

Do I need a passport to travel to Costa Rica? Yes, U.S. citizens must have a current valid passport and evidence of onward travel to exit Costa Rica (either to return to the U.S. or travel to another country).

What countries need visa for Costa Rica? ›

Foreign nationals who need a Costa Rica Consular Visa (Third group)
AlbaniaAlgeriaArab Democratic
ColombiaComorosDemocratic Republic of Laos
Dominican RepublicEast TimorEgypt
14 more rows

What language is spoken in Costa Rica? ›

Spanish in Costa Rica is spoken with a distinctive national accent and employs peculiar usages. Costa Ricans replace the diminutive ending -tito with -tico (hence their nickname), a practice known elsewhere but uncommon in Central America.

Does Panama require a Covid test? ›

All unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen) within 72 hours prior to traveling to Panama. Each individual entering Panama must complete and sign an electronic sworn affidavit prior to check-in.


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