Costa Rica travel situation and advisory – updated on July 12th

Aerial borders

Costa Rica’s aerial borders are opened to all countries (with no exception) as long as travellers meet the following requirements:

  • Fill a digital epidemiological form at https://salud.go.cr (Health Pass).
  • Purchase a travel insurance that covers expenses in case of acute illness caused by the virus.**

**As of next August 01st, 2021, minors (under 18 years old) and those who are fully vaccinated can enter Costa Rica as tourists without purchasing a travel health insurance policy.

In order to qualify, adults must:

  • Have received an approved vaccine: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson.
  • The last dose of the schedule must have been administered at least 14 days before entering Costa Rica.
  • Proof must be demonstrated with a document that includes the person’s full name, date of each dose, formula, and lot number.
    • For U.S. visitors, the Covid-19 vaccination record card meets the requirement.

Land borders

Costa Rica’s land borders are open for tourists from countries that do not require a visa and they must comply with the same sanitary requirements as those required of those who enter by air.

You can verify if you require a visa to enter Costa Rica at the following link https://migracion.go.cr/Paginas/Visas.aspx, where the Migration and Immigration guideline can be found.

Current regulations and restrictionsValid until August 08th

-Beach visitation schedule will be from 05:00 to 18:00 only.

-National parks can operate only at their 50% capacity.

-Bars and casinos can operate only at their 25% capacity.

-Hotels of +100 rooms, can operate only at their 75% capacity. Hotels of -100 rooms can operate at full capacity, except in its common areas where only 50% capacity is allowed to ensure social distancing.

-Businesses including restaurants, bars, and supermarkets can operate with capacity restrictions from 05:00 to 21:00 only.

-A nighttime driving ban from 21:00 to 05:00 applies throughout the country.

Detailed information about the travel insurance and the Health Pass

Tourists are able to choose from the authorized national insurances but also through the international options of their choice, insofar as they comply with the following requirements:

  • Effectiveness of the policy during the visit to Costa Rica.
  • Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the COVID-19 virus while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 (fifty thousand United States Dollars).
  • Minimum coverage of $2,000 for extended lodging expenses due to the virus (equivalent to 14 days).

The international insurance company must issue a certificate, in English or Spanish, assuring these minimum conditions.

When completing the “Health Pass”, the traveller will also be able to digitally validate (PDF format files) the required certificate of their travel insurance, in order to speed up the process of entering the airport.

Important: when completing these digital requirements, a green code will be generated if it is approved and with which you can go directly to the migration area upon arrival, a purple code if for any reason your travel insurance must be validated directly at the airport or a red code if the entry requirements are incomplete or were denied.

Additionally, the airport administration established a sanitary protocol to follow when entering the country. You can check the complete protocol video here.

PCR and antigen tests for departures

Travellers who require COVID-19 diagnostic tests to travel back to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Spain will be able to access the RT-PCR test and the antigen test – depending on the country to which they are traveling requires.

These tests may be carried out inside and outside the GAM and their results will be delivered in a maximum of 48 hours.

Airlines operation summary

San Jose Airport

Iberia: to / from Madrid on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Lufthansa: to / from Frankfurt on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Air France: to / from Paris on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Copa Airlines: to / from Panama City two daily flights (except on Sundays – three flights) and to / from Guatemala City one flight on Mondays and Sundays.

American Airlines: two daily flights to / from Dallas; one flight to / from Miami on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and two flights on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; one flight to / from New York on Tuesdays and Saturdays; and one daily flight to/from Charlotte.

Spirit: to / from Fort Lauderdale one daily flight; and to / from Orlando one flight on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Aeromexico: one flight to/from Mexico City on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and two flights on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays.

KLM: to / from Amsterdam on Fridays & Sundays.

United Airlines: to/ from Houston one flight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and two flights on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; to / from Newark one daily flight; to / from Chicago one flight on Saturdays; to / from Denver one flight on Saturdays; to / from Washington one flight on Saturdays; and to / from Los Angeles one flight on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Jet Blue: to / from Fort Lauderdale one daily flight, to / from Orlando one daily flight, and to / from New York one flight on Fridays and Sundays.

Alaska Airlines: one daily flight to / from Los Angeles.

Volaris: to/from Cancun one flight on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; to/from Guatemala City one flight on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; to/from Mexico City one flight on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; and one daily flight to/from El Salvador 

Delta: to / from Atlanta one flight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and two flights on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; and one daily flight to / from Los Angeles.

Avianca: one flight to / from El Salvador on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; and one daily flight to / from Bogota.

Edelweiss: to / from Zurich one daily flight on Thursdays.

British Airways: no operation confirmed yet (flights with a layover in Spain and USA available – operated by Iberia and American Airlines).

No operation until further notice: Air Panamá, Air Transat, Albatros Airlines, Condor, Interjet, Westjet, Southwest, Latam.

Liberia Airport

American Airlines: one flight to / from Dallas on Saturdays and Sundays; two flights to / from Miami on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; two flights to / from New York on Saturdays; and one flight to / from Charlotte on Saturdays and Sundays.

United Airlines: to / from Newark one flight on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; to / from Houston one daily flight; to / from Denver one flight Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; to / from Chicago one flight on Fridays and Saturdays; and to / from San Francisco one flight on Saturdays.

Alaska Airlines: one flight to/from Los Angeles on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

MN Airlines: one flight to/from Minneapolis on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Delta: to / from Atlanta one flight on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and two flights on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; to/from Minneapolis one flight on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; and one flight to / from Los Angeles on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Jet Blue: one flight to / from Boston on Wednesdays and Saturdays; and one flight to / from New York on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

KLM: to / from Amsterdam one flight on Fridays & Sundays (with a layover at San Jose).

Frequent Q&A

WHERE IS COSTA RICA LOCATED?

If you are not sure of where is Costa Rica geographically located, probably you should read this carefully; we assure you that after reading this text, you will be willing to visit us. First of all, you need to know that this small and biodiverse portion of land is located in the American continent; specifically, in Central America sharing borders with Panama and Nicaragua.

Costa Rica covers 51,060 square land kilometers, as well as 40 square kilometers of water, for a total area of 51,100 Km2. Due to this, the country is the 131st largest nation in the world. Costa Rica’s extension may represent only about 0.03% of the world’s total landmass, but its biodiversity is what makes the country so special: here you will find 5% of the world’s whole biological variety of flora and fauna.

The country is located within the geographical coordinates 8 ° and 11 ° 15 ‘north latitude and 82 ° and 86 ° west longitude. This is one of the smallest republics of Central America along with El Salvador and Belize. Since its origins as isthmus territory, Costa Rica serves as a biological bridge that allows its natural and exuberant richness.

IS COSTA RICA A PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

No, Costa Rica isn’t a part of the United States of America. It is an independent country of Central America.

HOW FAR IS COSTA RICA FROM UNITED STATES?

The distance between Costa Rica and the United States is approximate 2878 miles (or 4631 km). There is an approximate road distance of 4053.5 miles or 6524 kilometers. It is possible to get to Costa Rica driving from the United States, but the ideal is to take a flight that will take between 4 and 6 hours, depending on the airport.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO COSTA RICA?

Are you wondering when is the best time to go to Costa Rica? If so, you may know that the country has two separated seasons according to its predominant weather conditions: the dry season and the rainy one.

Between the months of December and April, the dry season arrives and it is one of the best moments to visit the country as the weather conditions are ideal to visit the beaches and to explore the rainforests, take tours such as rafting or sea sports.

Consequently, this is the season with the most tourist visits -which generates that the best places to visit may be more crowded- and it is also possible that as it is the high season, higher prices are found for accommodation and excursions.

On the other hand, if you do not mind traveling in the rainy season and prefer to vacation in a less crowded time and with better prices, the green season occurs in the months that go from May to November.

The rainiest months usually are September and October but, as this is a tropical country, you must be prepared to experience rain at any time of the year… So, just grab your raincoat and umbrella and continue enjoying your vacations in Costa Rica!

Thus, everything will depend on your expectations, your budget for the trip, and the activities or places you want to visit. But, if there is one thing we can assure you, it is that you will fully enjoy all the beauties that Costa Rica has, regardless of the season in which you travel.

WHAT IS THE CHEAPEST TIME TO GO TO COSTA RICA?

The cheapest prices for vacationing in Costa Rica can be found from May to November, during the green season.

WHAT IS THE RAINY SEASON IN COSTA RICA?

The rainy season goes through May to November, being the rainiest months September and October.

IS IT A GOOD TIME TO GO TO COSTA RICA IN JULY?

July isn’t a bad month to travel, there are fewer visitors in the tourist attractions and prices are lower than the ones during the dry season, during peak or high season.

You should know that during this month vacations are generally given in schools and high schools in the country, so during the first two weeks of the month, there is usually an increase in local visitors vacationing as well.

IS THERE A HURRICANE SEASON IN COSTA RICA?

Fortunately, you won’t need to worry about hurricanes during your visit to Costa Rica as the country is found below the hurricane belt. But you can expect heavy rains during the green season, according to which part of the country you are in. Remember Costa Rica and Puerto Rico are two different countries, it is important to know this since a lot of people tend to get confused with the two countries.

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO COSTA RICA RIGHT NOW?

Yes, it is safe to travel to Costa Rica. Hygiene and safety protocols have been implemented and must be followed to maintain the health and safety of all. Hotels have high security and cleanliness measures, as well as private transports and activities. It is important to always be vigilant and comply with the necessary safety, hygiene, and social distancing protocols.

15+ TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST TRIP TO COSTA RICA

We know that advice before traveling to a new destination is always welcome. For this reason, we leave you here a list of tips to make your vacations in Costa Rica unforgettable and your planning process easier.

Here you have our best tips:

  • Check local weather and forecasts before arriving to the country, and even before each one of your tours.
  • Departure tax may be included in most of the airline tickets, if don’t, you must pay $29 dollars.
  • Exchange money to the local currency only in banks or the authorized offices.
  • US dollars and credit cards are widely accepted, but we recommend you to carry a small amount of colones too, the local currency of Costa Rica.
  • You can find ATMs throughout the country functioning from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • There is a 13% sales tax on all purchases in Costa Rica, including souvenirs and hotels; and a 10% gratitude fee in restaurants is appropriate but most of the times it will be added to your bill.
  • If you want to tip your waiter directly, leave more money on the table or give it to him or her when you are done with your meal.
  • Tips for these services usually range from US$1 to US$10 a day.
  • Taxi drivers do not expect a tip so it is not necessary to bring them
  • Follow all the safety and hygiene protocols.
  • Buy a travel insurance.
  • Buy a SIM prepaid card to have access to Internet and in case you need to contact your travel agency or for emergencies.
  • In case of emergency, dial 911 or contact the local police.
  • Bring a copy of your passport during the tours and leave the original in your room’s safety box.
  • Outlets in Costa Rica are 110v with standard US two prong plugs.
  • If you rent a car, we suggest you to book a 4×4 vehicle and to use GPS or any navigation app.
  • Use official transportation if traveling by yourself and be aware at every time.
  • Avoid visiting isolated places, especially at night.
  • Do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
  • Pack light clothes, but carry also a raincoat even if you travel on dry season. You must be prepared to experience unexpected rains.
  • Carry good walking shoes, light clothes, bath suits, and wear sunscreen even when the day is cloudy.
  • Hiring a guide for your tours will enhance your experience. Consider that when booking your adventure activities.
  • You will find locals with good English, but try to learn some basic Spanish expressions. It may be useful!
  • Support sustainable practices and keep national parks, beaches, and forests clean.
  • It is safe to drink tap water in Costa Rica. So, carry your own bottle and refill it every time you need. You will save a lot of money and won’t be promoting the plastic contamination.
  • Eat at small restaurants – sodas ­­-, you will find delicious food at very low prices, besides you will be supporting the local economy.
  • While on the beach, be aware of rip currents and avoid swimming in dangerous places where you will be told not to do it.
  • Do not feed wild animals.
  • Take a lot of unforgettable photos!

Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Sincerely,

The Travel Excellence Team

We are active members of the most important tourist associations, both national and international.

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