The coronavirus pandemic has upended life across the world, and Costa Rica hasn’t been spared from travel restrictions and Covid measures.
But tourism is an important part of the local economy, and the government has prioritized reopening for visitors. As a result, Costa Rica has few travel restrictions. Americans, Canadians, and everyone else are welcome in Costa Rica.
While there are no travel bans, Costa Rica does have some Covid restrictions in place. Here’s what you need to know about visiting during the pandemic.
Can I travel to Costa Rica right now? Coronavirus Entry Requirements
If you’re asking whether you can travel to Costa Rica right now, the simple answer is a resounding yes.
Americans, Canadians and tourists from across the world are allowed to visit as long as they meet Costa Rica’s short list of entry requirements: They must arrive via a flight or boat, complete a digital form called the “Health Pass,” and purchase qualifying health insurance.
You will need a valid passport and meet immigration requirements to enter Costa Rica.
Importantly, a negative coronavirus test is not required for entry to Costa Rica, and there is no quarantine mandate after arrival.
Costa Rica Travel Insurance
During the coronavirus pandemic, all visitors to Costa Rica must purchase travel insurance covering Covid-19 medical expenses and extended lodging in case of quarantine.
Tourists have several insurance options. The most straightforward route is to purchase a policy through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor, which are Costa Rican companies that have pre-approved plans. Prices are about $10 per day and vary based on age.
Alternatively, you can use insurance from any non-Costa Rican company, as long as it meets the following requirements:
- Covers at least $50,000 in Covid-19 medical expenses in Costa Rica.
- Covers at least $2,000 in extended lodging expenses due to pandemic illness or trip interruption/cancellation due to illness.
Tourists who opt for a foreign policy — and many do, because they’re often much cheaper — must present a letter (in English or Spanish) demonstrating the plan meets the above requirements.
The Costa Rica Tourism Board has more details about the insurance requirements, and travelers with questions can also email them directly at email@example.com.
Costa Rica Health Pass
Within the 48 hours before boarding a flight to Costa Rica, passengers must fill out the “Health Pass” digital form. The Health Pass is available at https://salud.go.cr.
The Costa Rican Health Pass takes just a couple of minutes to fill out and can be completed on a computer or phone. When submitted, it generates a QR code (barcode) that passengers must show before boarding and after landing in Costa Rica.
Within the Health Pass, travelers provide their contact information (to help with contact tracing), and tourists must upload the aforementioned insurance documentation.
Covid Restrictions in Costa Rica
All Costa Rican outdoor tourism activities can operate, which means beaches, national parks, adventure tours, hot springs, and all the attractions that make Costa Rica an ecotourism hotspot are open.
Most businesses can also operate with some capacity restrictions. This includes hotels, bars, restaurants and casinos.
With few exceptions, Costa Rica requires masks in all indoor situations. Businesses can (and will) deny entry to people who are not wearing a mask. In general, be prepared to have a mask handy at all times. Visitors don’t need a mask when hiking the Monteverde Cloud Forest trails, for example, but face coverings are required at the ticket office.
If you have questions regarding the coronavirus when in Costa Rica, a hotline with Spanish- and English-speaking operators is available by dialing 1322.
Costa Rica Medical Care
Costa Rica has a robust public and private healthcare network. In fact, thousands of Americans visit Costa Rica each year to receive affordable, high-quality medical care!
Rest assured that if you get sick (with Covid-19 or anything else), you’re never far from excellent care.
Planning Your Trip Back Home
If you’re starting to dream of a trip to Costa Rica, you may be focusing on where to go and what to do. But now more than ever, it’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to international travel.
Many countries, including the United States and Canada, require a negative coronavirus test within three days of flying home. Thankfully, more than 100 different labs across Costa Rica offer coronavirus tests for tourists, so visitors can feel comfortable knowing there are plenty of options to fulfill the travel requirements.
Costa Rica itself doesn’t impose any specific restrictions when flying out of the country.
Summary: Travel Restrictions to Costa Rica for Americans & More
During the coronavirus pandemic, Costa Rica is open to visitors from the United States, Canada, and anywhere else.
Tourists simply need to meet the entry requirements, which include purchasing health insurance and filling out the Health Pass. And, once in Costa Rica, everyone should follow the local rules and wear masks when in public.
Costa Rica’s coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have been decreasing over recent weeks, so it’s unlikely the country will implement new restrictions. Still, changes can happen, so make sure to follow official information from the Costa Rica Tourism Board, the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, and the Costa Rican government.
And, of course, our team at Costa Rica Escapes will make sure you know exactly what you need to know before traveling — so you can enjoy Corcovado without worrying about coronavirus.
Whenever you’re ready to travel, Costa Rica will welcome you with open arms. Contact us below.
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.