Costa Rica Mandatory Health Insurance – COVID-19 Entry Requirements For Travelers

Costa Rica Mandatory Health Insurance During COVID

As noted previously, while Costa Rica does not require quarantine or negative PCR COVID tests upon entry, all tourists entering Costa Rica must present travel insurance that meets their specific requirements. 

There are two nationally recognized insurance agencies recommended by the Costa Rican government, both of which are extremely costly.

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: 

  1. It is in effect for the full length of the trip (from the time you land in Costa Rica until the time you leave); 
  2. 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 
  3. 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).

Read on for full instructions on how to purchase insurance that meets the Costa Rican guidelines with Safety Wing.

How to Purchase Travel Insurance on Safety Wing for Travel to Costa Rica During COVID

Travel to Costa Rica during COVID requires mandatory health insurance meeting certain criteria. Here’s a step by step guide on how to purchase it with Safety Wing. Our team has entered Costa Rica multiple times during the pandemic using the Safety Wing health insurance plan linked here and has found it to be much more affordable than other options.

1. Click here and sign up for an account on Safety Wing.

2. Click “Buy insurance” and select your start date. We recommend choosing the option “I want an end date” but Safety Wing also has monthly and other forms of plans available.

3. If you receive an error message indicating that Safety Wing cannot sell you insurance because you are located in your home country, simply click the option to confirm that you are not. This is an error that some, but not all of our writers have received. Another option for those who receive this message is to wait to purchase the insurance until you have left your home country. This error message may look something like this:

“Are you currently located in the United States? Your address is located in the United States. Due to restrictions and regulations we cannot sell you insurance if you are currently physically located there. You can cross the border in any way and buy insurance immediately when you have left.

I confirm that I am not currently physically located in United States.


4. Enter your personal information, your beneficiary name and Costa Rica as your destination.

5. On the next page you can choose to add group members. Here you can add multiple members to your insurance policy. This will not save money on the policy, but it may be easier to have all members of your party on a single insurance policy for logistics purposes. Note that this option only works if all member of your party are in the same age category. Otherwise you will need to sign up for their insurance policy under a separate account on Safety Wing.

6. Complete the insurance purchase.

7. Wait for the email with your Safety Wing. insurance policy number and take a screenshot or download the policy card. You will submit a photo of this policy number on the online Costa Rica Health Pass (QR Code) form that must be filled out before you travel. That form is linked here.

8. **Important: After you have submitted your information on the above linked Costa Rica Health Pass (QR Code) form, the Costa Rican health authority will email you saying that you need to prove that you have trip interruption/ trip cancellation insurance of up to $2000. They may also tell you that your insurance is not adequate and you have to pay more. You do not need to.

As explained to me by the Costa Rican Customs authority, this is because with only the policy number you submitted on the Costa Rica Health Pass (QR Code) form, they cannot access the full description of your policy coverage, and Safety Wing has a variety of policies, some of which do not meet the full requirements for Costa Rican travel during COVID.

To address this, simply reply to the email with the following: “Please find attached our insurance coverage policy. We have $5000 in trip interruption as described on page 8.” Then attach your Description of Coverage PDF linked here. You should also download this PDF to your phone or print it in case you need to show it at the border in the event you did not fill out the Costa Rica Health Pass (QR Code) form early enough or there is a backlog in their internal review process. 

9. Have your Costa Rica Health Pass (QR Code), Health Insurance Policy Number and Description of Coverage PDF ready for presentation to the airline staff and upon arrival at customs. 

10. Note: If you failed to fill out the Costa Rica Health Pass (QR Code) form early enough before traveling to Costa Rica, or failed to respond to the emails noted in Step 8 with a copy of the Description of Coverage PDF, you may be asked to go to a secondary inspection area upon arrival in Costa Rica to present this information. Do not worry if this happens to you. Simply show them the information noted in Step 8 and they will send you on your way. This happened to us on our third entry to Costa Rica during the pandemic, and we were somewhat worried, but soon realized there was nothing to fear. We showed them the Description of Coverage PDF at page 8 (Trip Interruption clause) and were sent on our way. 

11. Enjoy Costa Rica!

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.

  1. Check if you need a visa for entry to Costa Rica. American and Canadian citizens do not. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Obtain travel health insurance that meets the Costa Rican COVID travel requirements. 
  4. Follow all health protocols while in Costa Rica.
  5. Before returning to the 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.

Disclosure: This is post may contain affiliate links. These help provide funding so we can continue our travel writing activities at no cost to you. Here’s our Disclosure & Privacy Policy for more info.

~Eileen Rhein from @lighttravelsfaster


  1. George Khtoryansky
    May 4, 2021 / 5:57 pm

    I just chatted with SafetWIng rep. they specificaly saying that thier insurance doesn’t meet Costa Rican requirements. She said:
    While the Nomad Insurance can cover you in Costa Rica, it does not meet Costa Rica’s entry requirement for accommodation/lodging. Our understanding is that only Costa Rican insurance companies do.
    Some recommendations to try are INS & Sagicor. You could get a basic plan just to cover the accommodation, and then combine it with Nomad Insurance to cover for the medical requirement.

    Now, I understand that they cannot give 100% guarantee ( and she also mentioned their Covid Indemnity covers only $50 per day, which is $500 for 10 days, where as Costa Rica needs $2000). The lady from safetywing mentioned that it may have worked for people who have houses in Costa Rica so they don’t need lodging insurance.
    When you flew into Costa Rica, nobody complained about absence of lodging in safetywing poicy?

    • June 9, 2021 / 12:44 am

      Hello! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. We have used the Safety Wing insurance in Costa Rica on 5 separate occasions during the pandemic, and we’ve also had at least 15 other people (that we personally know) do the same. None of us own property there. Each time, we DO need to provide additional information from the specific policy we have evidencing the coverage as Nomad has numerous policies, some of which do not include the full coverage required by the country. When asked to provide proof of trip interruption/ trip cancellation insurance of up to $2000, we evidence the $5000 of trip interruption included in the plan as described on page 8 and have no further issues. Each time, we follow the exact steps (especially steps 8 and 10) in this article and it has worked perfectly. Hope that helps!

  2. Claire
    July 6, 2021 / 5:43 am

    First hand experience: if you submit the SW visa letter they let u through, even though SW itself says it doesn’t fill the demands (due to the quarantine limitation of 50$ a day for 10 days i think). So… you know 🙂 it’s your call. There are other very cheap insurances just for CR, for those who wanna be on the safe side.

    • January 12, 2022 / 9:38 pm

      Happy to hear that! Yes, this has been our experience as well during the 5 times we entered Costa Rica during the pandemic. The key is in the fact that the Costa Rican health authority requires “Minimum coverage of $2,000 for lodging expenses for quarantine OR trip interruption for this same amount.” The Safety Wing policy includes $5,000 for trip interruption thereby meeting the Costa Rican requirements. The $50 per day of COVID lodging coverage in the Safety Wing policy is provided in addition to the trip interruption coverage. It’s not a limit on all coverage to be provided in the event of COVID. Since it meets the Costa Rican requirements each time we travel there, and the cost for us with Safety Wing is far less than on our other insurers, it’s our preferred way to go. Hope you had a great time!

  3. Clem
    July 24, 2021 / 4:03 pm

    Update July 2021:
    Well, I can confirm that if you send the visa letter from SafetyWing along with the Health Pass form, it is accepted. Now one can choose to take another insurance tailor-made for Costa Rica such as the one offered by Trawick (very cheap) – or just go with the official answer from CR health ministry…

    • January 12, 2022 / 9:37 pm

      Happy to hear that! Yes, this has been our experience too. Our Safety Wing insurance has been accepted all 5 times we entered Costa Rica during the pandemic without any issue.

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