Costa Rica is Open!
Yes, Costa Rica is open for tourism!
With a Pura Vida way of life, amazing outdoor adventure activities, lush natural greenery, incredible biodiversity and super chill beaches, it’s no wonder that Costa Rica welcomed over 3 million tourists per year before the pandemic.
Being heavily dependent on tourism, the Costa Rican economy was devastated by the pandemic. Thankfully, tourism is starting to recover as 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.
COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for Costa Rica
A. What Countries Are Allowed To Travel to Costa Rica?
As of November 1, 2020, citizens of all countries are permitted to enter Costa Rica under ‘normal/pre-covid’ visa requirements. (Prior to November 1, 2020, COVID restrictions allowed only certain countries to enter Costa Rica, but these have since been removed).
For Americans and Canadians, no visa is required to enter Costa Rica.
B. COVID-19 Testing Not Required
No PCR Test required to enter Costa Rica as of October 26, 2020.
C. Quarantine Not Required
No quarantine required for tourists entering Costa Rica as of October 26, 2020.
D. Health Pass Authorization Required
All travelers must fill out an electronic Health Pass (QR Code) from the Costa Rican government before departure. Once the form is completed, a QR code will be generated to show customs upon arrival. You will also need to show this to airline staff before boarding your flight to Costa Rica.
E. COVID-19 Travel Insurance Required
While negative PCR Tests and quarantine are not required to enter Costa Rica, all tourists are required to have travel insurance that meets specific requirements as set by the Costa Rican government in order to enter the country. This will be checked by airline staff before boarding your flight to Costa Rica and also at customs in Costa Rica.
There are two national insurance providers recommended by the government of Costa Rica, which meet their mandatory insurance requirements, both of which are extremely expensive:
Choosing Your Own Insurance
A preferable, and less expensive option is for tourists to choose their own insurance, as long as the policy meets three particular criteria:
- It is in effect for the full length of the trip (from the time you land in Costa Rica until the time you leave);
- It provides “guaranteed coverage for medical expenses in the event of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, valued at least $50,000.” Note: Most policies will not describe this as ‘COVID-19 medical coverage.’ Rather, COVID-19 will either be specifically included or excluded from the policy. The Safety Wing policy we recommend, specifically includes COVID-19 coverage in its general medical coverage; and
- It provides “minimum coverage of $2,000 for lodging expenses for quarantine or trip interruption for this same amount.” Note: Some policies describe this coverage as ‘trip cancellation’ instead of ‘trip cancellation’ insurance. The Safety Wing policy we recommend includes $5,000 in trip interruption coverage.
This is the route we recommend, and we, along with other members of our team from various countries, have entered Costa Rica multiple times during the pandemic using the Safety Wing health insurance plan linked here. Safety Wing is considerably cheaper than other options we have found and meets all the requirements set by the Costa Rica government. For instance, our team members between the ages of 30-40 paid approximately $40 for a two week trip, while our younger adults paid only $20, with even our senior members paying $65 (when other companies said she could not be insured).
Please click here for step by step instructions on how to purchase your insurance from Safety Wing.
F. COVID-19 Health Requirements While in Costa Rica
All visitors must follow these COVID-19 health requirements while in Costa Rica:
- Wear a mask in all indoor public spaces and on public transportation
- Follow social distancing markers and instructions
- Public beaches are open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends. Masks are not required on the beach.
G. No COVID-19 Vaccine Entry Requirements
Costa Rica has not announced any mandates on a proof of vaccine record for entry.
H. Visa Entry Requirements For Costa Rica During COVID
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 to Costa Rica. Check with your government travel website for more information.
Travelers that require a visa must apply at the Costa Rican embassy/consulate in their home country.
Costa Rica COVID Entry Requirements Checklist
Use this list as a guide to ensure you have all you need to enter Costa Rica during COVID.
- Check if you need a visa for entry to Costa Rica. American and Canadian citizens do not.
- Complete online Costa Rica Health Pass. Take a screenshot of the QR Code produced or keep the email handy. You will need to show this QR Code multiple times throughout the air journey to Costa Rica and upon arrival at customs.
- Obtain travel health insurance that meets the Costa Rican COVID travel requirements. Use our handy guide to help.
- Follow all health protocols while in Costa Rica.
- United States or Canada: Get proof of a negative COVID-19 test, performed no longer than 72 hours before departure while in Costa Rica. For Canada, a PCR test is required. For the USA, either an Antigen or PCR test may be utilized. Note, at the time of writing, fully vaccinated travelers still require a negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada and the USA.
~Eileen Rhein from @lighttravelsfaster
I just bought a policy with SafetyWing. They informed me that they do NOT meet the requirements for the $2000 accommodation insurance. I verified that there trip delay and travel interruption are not sufficient. I asked for a refund and switched over to Trawick which ended up being considerably less expensive.
Hello! Sorry to hear you had trouble. Our family used the Safety Wing insurance for Costa Rica 5 times throughout the pandemic (starting in Nov. 2020 and as most recently as May 2020) and have at least 15 other family and friends we know personally who did the same. Unfortunately, as is the case with many customer service representatives, they may not have a fullsome understanding of the legalities of each policy, so I always prefer to rely on my own legal knowledge as an attorney when reviewing insurance policies. My legal review of the policy, and evidently, the interpretation of the Costa Rica immigration officials, was that our policy from Safety Wing was more than sufficient. We also found it to be quite affordable at $40 for 2-3 weeks. Happy you found an option that worked for you though!
I am already insured by SafetyWing for some months now and I also thought that I would need an additional insurance now for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica. Reading now, that you managed to enter the country using the same insurance makes me wondering.
In their policy regarding the COVID coverage they state explicitly that they pay 50$ / day up to 10 days. That would be 500$ in total. Could you point out the part in their policy where you see the whole coverage of up to 2000$ for quarantine? That would help me a lot for arguing at the immigration control (if necessary).
Hello, Happy to hear you’ve been using Safety Wing for a while too. It’s always our go to policy. The Costa Rican health authority requires proof that you have “Minimum coverage of $2,000 for lodging expenses for quarantine or trip interruption for this same amount.” The Safety Wing policy has $5000 in trip interruption coverage. This, as well as how to prove this to Costa Rican immigration, is detailed in our article here: