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Costa Rica is open for tourism!

Known for the ‘Pura Vida' way of life, unlimited outdoor adventure activities, lush national parks, super-chill beaches, and affordable prices, its no wonder Costa Rica welcomed over 3 million tourists last year. 

However, Costa Rica's tourism has been devastated by the pandemic this year with months of strict closures and nation-wide lockdowns. Thankfully, tourism is slowly starting to recover since the country is once again welcoming tourists with open arms.

Below are all the latest COVID-19 entry requirements and everything travelers need to know before booking their trip to Costa Rica.

jaco costa rica reopening

Countries Allowed To Travel to Costa Rica 

Since August 1st, select international travelers have been permitted to enter Costa Rica, arriving at these three international airports: Juan Santamaría International Airport, Daniel Oduber Quirós Airport, and Tobías Bolaños Airport.

Residents of the following countries are permitted to visit:

  • All EU and Schengen Nations
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Uruguay
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • China
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • The United States (certain states, see below)

(USA) Residents of these States can enter:

Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, California, Ohio and Wyoming.

Proof of residency in one of the above states is required, like a drivers licence. 

On Oct 15, residents of Florida, Georgia and Texas can also enter. As of November 1st, residents of ALL U.S. states can enter Costa Rica!

costa rica travel 2020

Health Pass Authorization To Visit Costa Rica

All travelers must fill out an electronic Health Pass before departure.

costa rica entry

COVID-19 Testing Entry Requirements 

PCR Test Required

All travelers entering Costa Rica will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, taken no longer than 72 hours prior to the flight departure time. 

Important Update: As of October 26, PCR testing is NO LONGER REQUIRED for tourists entering Costa Rica

travel rules for Costa Rica

Quarantine Entry Requirements 

All travelers who comply with the above 72-Hour PCR test requirement will NOT have to quarantine upon arrival, providing they are asymptomatic. 

After October 26: the PCR test will be gone, but still passengers will not have to quarantine. 

Transit Rules 

If a traveler from an approved country listed above has a lay-over/transit in a NON-approved country/state, they can still enter as long as:

  • They do not leave the airport
  • The transit is no longer than 12 hours
sloth in costa rica

COVID-19 Travel Insurance Entry Requirements 

The government of Costa Rica has stated that no tourist can enter without having the proper travel insurance that also covers covid. 

There are two national insurance providers they suggest:

Tourists can also choose their own insurance provider, as long as the policy meets three particular criteria: 1- It is in effect for the full length of the trip, 2- $50,000 USD worth of Covid-19 medical coverage, 3- $2000 USD coverage for lodging expenses as a result of the pandemic. 

can americans go to Costa Rica?

COVID-19 Health Requirements While in Costa Rica

All visitors must follow these COVID-19 health requirements while in Costa Rica:

  • Wearing a mask in all indoor public spaces and on public transportation
  • Follow social distancing markers and instructions
  • Public beaches are open until 2:30pm daily
costa rica is welcoming tourists with travel insurance that covers covid-19

COVID-19 Vaccine Entry Requirements 

A vaccine for COVID-19 is not yet available to the public. Costa Rica has not announced any mandates on a proof of vaccine record (POVR) for entry.  

costa rica opens borders

Visa Entry Requirements For Costa Rica During COVID-19

All travelers arriving in Costa Rica will need to follow regular visa requirements.

Countries like: USA, Canada, UK, Mexico, and most of Europe have visa-free access.(shown in navy blue on map below)

Travelers that require a visa must apply at the Costa Rican embassy/consulate in their home country.  

Credit: Gorden Cheng

Costa Rica Covid-19 Entry Requirements:

  1. Complete online Health Pass form
  2. Check if you need a visa for entry to Costa Rica.
  3. Get proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test, performed no longer than 72 hours before departure (after Oct 26, no testing required!)
  4. Obtain travel health insurance that covers Covid
  5. Follow all health protocols while in Costa Rica

For Breaking Travel Reopening News & Questions, Join Our: Facebook Community

Disclaimer: Costa Rica's travel rules are changing without notice and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Originally Published September 24, 2020 with updates. 

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