Travel to Costa Rica in times of corona - What do you need to know?
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All you need to know about travelling to Costa Rica in times of corona

Last update: 3 May, 2021

Did you book a trip to Costa Rica or are you considering to travel here during the pandemic? International travel to Costa Rica is possible! Specific protocols and measures do apply, so please make sure to be informed before you depart. On this page you can find everything you need to know about travel to Costa Rica during the pandemic. 

Since all members of the Edventure Travel team live and work in Costa Rica, we are very well informed. We speak Spanish, follow the news closely and share all information relevant to travelers below. This page is kept accurate. Nevertheless, changes in the rules and regulations may occur. Remember to always check the official authorities for last-minute changes or relevant news prior to your departure.

We understand that booking a trip can be a bit daunting in these uncertain times. That is why we have flexible booking and cancellation conditions.

Do you want to know more about the situation in Panama or Nicaragua? Ask us for more info here.

  • Edventure Travel is located in Costa Rica
  • Our trips are tailored
  • You can count on flexibility
  • Stay in small scale lodges and hotels in nature
  • Travel around in a rental car
  • We are nearby and available 24/7 while you travel

Important news from Costa Rica:

Since November 1, 2020, travelers from all countries in the world are welcome to Costa Rica again!

Both the international airport Juan Santamaria in Alajuela (near the capital San Jose) and the international airport Liberia (near the beaches in Guanacaste) are open. Read on for more information about what to expect on the airports.

Since April 5 2021, Costa Rica re-opened its land borders with Nicaragua and Panama for tourists, which makes multi-destination experiences possible again. Interested parties must meet the immigration and health requirements established for entry and stay in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has the World Travels & Tourism Council’s Safe Travel Seal
Tourism is one of the largest industries in Costa Rica. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the situation has been taken very seriously. Everyone who works in tourism (think of hotels, tour operators, restaurants, transporters, etc.) is bound by strict rules and protocols imposed and monitored by the government. Everything has been done to ensure that travelers travel as safely and worry-free as possible!

This has also been confirmed by the World Travels & Tourism Council. They recognize Costa Rica as a safe destination. The WTTC has evaluated the health and safety protocols imposed by the Costa Rican Ministry of Tourism. Costa Rica as a country has been awarded the Safe Travels label.

 

Flights to Costa Rica
Since the re-opening of the airports, air traffic has started up gradually and new flights are announced almost weekly. However, the offer is not yet as it was before the pandemic started. We therefore recommend orientating on flights timely.

All you need to know to prepare for your travels to Costa Rica

We offer very flexible booking- and cancellation conditions
So you can plan your trip to Central-America with no worries.

If you want to travel to Costa Rica in times of corona, make sure you prepare yourself.

First of all, make sure you are familiar with the current travel advice for Costa Rica. Please check the website of your home government for more info. Keep in mind that your home country may have rules for travelers, such as self-isolation after returning home. You may also need to do a negative PCR-test or Antigen-test in Costa Rica, before departing for your final destination. If you travel with us, we’d be happy to help you with all these arrangements. Read more about this at point 3 further on in this text. But first:

What do you need to enter Costa Rica?

1. A completed digital epidemiological survey.
You have to complete a survey and provide information, such as personal data and information about your health and your arrival, departure and stay in Costa Rica. View or fill out the form here. After completing the form you will receive a QR-code which you can show to the migration officer upon arrival.

Note: The form is in Spanish by default, but at the top of the page you can change to English.

2. A travel insurance that covers corona related expenses
You are required to take out travel insurance that covers medical expenses related to corona (coverage of at least USD $ 50,000). This insurance should also cover the costs of an unforeseen extended stay (for at least USD $ 2,000) related to a COVID19 infection.

This type of insurance can be taken out at an insurance company of your choice, in your home country or in Costa Rica. The international insurance of Trawick is known to meet the requirements.
If you go for another insurance company, you must bring a statement (in English or Spanish) from the insurer stating that the above costs are covered for the complete duration of your trip.
You can also do this in advance, to avoid delay when arriving in Costa Rica. Send your document to seguros@ict.go.cr  They assess the document and let you know whether it has been approved. Count on at least a week or two before departure.

You can also take out the required insurance with the National Insurance Company of Costa Rica (INS). Surf to this page. If the link doesn’t work, click here and navigate via “seguros para viajeros” and “viajero individual” to the same form.
You need to fill out the form until the end to see the final price.

Another option is to take out insurance with the private Costa Rican insurance company Sagicor. You can view their plans and request for a quote through their website. They have a chat service in case you have questions.

The insurance offered by both of the above mentioned organizations are approved by the Costa Rican government.

3. Evidence of a negative corona test (covid19 PCR-RT).
Between 1 august and 25 october 2020 travelers were obligated to show proof of a negative and recently taken PCR-RT test. From 26 october this is NOT required anymore.

If you need to take a PCR-test or a antigen test before you depart from Costa Rica to your final destination, that is definitely possible. You could book these tests with the Clinica Biblica in Santa Ana or San Jose or in one of the many labs of Laboratorio San Jose.
If you book your trip with Edventure Travel, we will be happy to help you make the appointment in time.

4. Follow all protocols
You are required to follow protocols on the airport and in Costa Rica. This includes the mandatory wearing of a face mask.

The airports have been adapted to the current standards. For example, your temperature will be measured upon arrival, disinfectant mats will be placed at all entrances and the floor marking will indicate how much distance you have to keep, etc. Watch the video below to see what to expect at the airports in Costa Rica.

Important: Remember that airlines have their own protocols. Ask the airline where you want to book or have booked which rules apply, so you can prepare accordingly.

Recommendation: Bring several reusable face masks with you during your holiday to Costa Rica during and after the corona crisis. Make sure you always have a clean one. Store your face masks in a hygienic way and wash them in time.

When you book a trip with Edventure Travel, we do not only advise you during the preparation of your holiday. We also provide 24/7 telephone support to our travelers in Costa Rica. We live and work in Costa Rica and are therefore never far away. That gives a safe feeling!

When in Costa Rica:

Read general information below on how Costa Rica battles the corona crisis and which rules apply to travelers:

The Costa Rican government has taken the pandemic very seriously. When the first infections were confirmed at the beginning of March 2020, the government responded very quickly. A curfew was enforced and the airports, borders and many businesses were closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. This approach proved effective and the total number of infections (450 at the peak) and deaths (total 12) remained very limited.

Since the end of July 2020, Costa Rica finds itself in a second corona wave. This time numbers vary between 800 and 1600 per day.
Update May 3: Since the end of April 2021, the number of infections has increased and healthcare capacity is under real pressure for the first time. The Costa Rican government has therefore decided to implement stricter measures and protocols. Read on to learn more.

Do you want to know the current numbers and statistics? Scroll down to the bottom of this page for an extensive and live info sheet of the Costa Rican government.

The epicenter of the infections in Costa Rica is the “central valley”. This is the region in and around the capital San Jose and the airport in Alajuela. The vast majority (about 3 out of a total of 5,5 million) of the Costa Ricans live in this region. It is the economic heart of the country, but not a destination of significance for tourists.
This region is the least popular among travelers. After all, what makes Costa Rica so attractive are the rainforests, cloud forests, mountains, volcanoes and beaches! You will probably spend very little or no time in the San Jose area.

What is open?
For travelers it is important to know that all beaches are open. All outdoor tourist activities (such as zip lining, fishing, surfing lessons, cycling, etc) are allowed as well.
The majority of the national parks are open, although certain trails may be closed. For some national parks you need to book your tickets online in advance, such as for Manuel Antonio, Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Rosa.

Hotels are allowed to operate at 100%, except in their restaurants (50%). Restaurants and bars may operate at 50% and may be open daily until 11 pm (from 27 April until 16 May 2021 this is 9pm).These are also the times of the curfew that still applies.
There is a driving restriction for Costa Ricans on certain days, but this does not apply to travelers with a rental car.

Update 3 mei: The above information still applies, except in the capital San Jose, the region around the airport in Alajuela and the cities of Heredia and Cartago. Here, between 3 and 9 May 2021, all non-essential businesses will be closed and residents will be subject to stricter driving restrictions. These strict measures do not apply outside this urban region, which means that travellers are hardly affected.

Hygiene and safety protocols apply everywhere and are made clear on arrival. For example, you can wash your hands immediately upon entering a store or restaurant and your temperature will often be measured. You also need your (reusable) mouth mask everywhere during your trip. It is mandatory to wear one in all public areas, such as supermarkets, etc.

What if you get infected with the corona virus in Costa Rica?

If during your vacation in Costa Rica you suspect you have contracted COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, you should call the local telephone number 1322. This is the official number of the authorities and you should follow their advice.

If indeed you are infected with the corona virus during your vacation in Costa Rica, you are required to self-isolate for at least 14 days. The additional costs associated with this are covered by travel insurance taken out in Costa Rica. Of course, make sure you know the exact conditions of the insurance policy.
In any case, you cannot leave the country until these 14 days have passed. The refusal or early termination of the insulation is fined.

The Costa Rican health system is among the best health systems in the region. Costa Ricans are insured through the national health care system and use government clinics, hospitals, etc. There are also several private hospitals.

Do you have any questions?

Have you booked a trip with Edventure Travel or are you considering booking a trip with us?

We understand that it is quite a lot of information and that you may have questions. It is certainly possible to travel to Costa Rica, even in corona times. We are happy to guide you and are of course also in Costa Rica at the time of your trip. That is certainly one of the advantages of booking with a local travel company.

Please contact us for more information about our travel offer, applicable protocols and our conditions.
View all our destinations and tours through Costa Rica.

Scroll down for the info chart with current figures and statistics.

Current numbers and statistics of Costa Rica

The infogram below is provided and updated daily by the Costa Rican government. Unfortunately, the text is only available in Spanish. We have translated the most important concepts. You can find this under the info sheet.

INFOGRAFÍA SITUACIÓN NACIONAL COVID-19
Infogram

Translation of terms from the infogram:

Casos confirmados = confirmed cases
Casos nuevos = new cases (per day)
Nacionales = total cases among Costa Ricans
Extranjeros = total cases among foreigners

Acumulados = total number of cases
Activos = active cases
Recuperados = recovered

Casos activos = active cases
Casos recuperados = recovered cases
Fallecidos = Fatalities
Casos acumulados = total of cases
Rangos de edad = age ranges

Descartados = Negative tested
Muestras totales = Total number of executed tests

Hospitalizaciones actuales por covid19, segun hospital y servicio = Number of hospitalized cases per hospital
Total: total
Salón: Regular care
UCI: Intensive care
Edades en UCI: Age ranges of patients admitted to intensive care

Casos de covid-19 según grupos de edad y condición = Number of covid-19 patients per age group
Casos de covid-19 según grupos de residencia y condición = Number of covid-19 patients per province