Last update: 17 February, 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.
Since August 1, 2020, international tourists from the following countries are welcome in Costa Rica: All Schengen countries, the UK and Canada.
As of September 1, several states from the USA have been added. Since October 15, travelers from the USA (all states), Mexico, Central America, Panama, Uruguay, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand are also welcome.
Per November 1, 2020, travelers from all countries in the world are welcome again!
Both the international airport in Alajuela (near the capital San Jose) and Liberia (near the beaches in Guanacaste) are open. The land borders with neighboring countries Nicaragua and Panama remain closed until further notice. This means that you cannot yet combine a holiday to Costa Rica with a trip to one of these countries without flying. Fortunately, you can easily enjoy yourself for weeks or months in Costa Rica alone!
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 protocols developed and imposed by the Costa Rican Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with representatives from the private sector. Costa Rica as a country has been awarded the Safe Travels label of safe travel.
Flights to Costa Rica
Since the re-opening of the airports, air traffic has started up gradually. The number of arriving flights in Costa Rica were very limited at first. In August 2020, only 5 international flights landed in Costa Rica. Previously this number was about 500. Fortunately, more and more airlines have picked up their flights to Costa Rica again. But Costa Rica is definitely not overcrowded. In any case, social distancing in Costa Rica is quite easy, since most of our destinations are located in hidden places in nature.
Below you will find an overview of the airlines currently or soon to fly to / from Costa Rica:
Iberia: From August 3, 2020 from Madrid
Lufthansa: From August 5, 2020 from Frankfurt
American Airlines: Starting September 9, 2020 from Miami and Dallas
Copa Airlines: From September 10, 2020 from Panama City
AeroMexico: From October 18, 2020 from Mexico City
jetBlue: Starting October 25, 2020 from New York, November 1 from Fort Lauderdale, and November 4 from Orlando
Air France: From October 31, 2020 from Paris via Panama and from 26 november also direct flights
KLM: From October 31, 2020 from Amsterdam
British Airways: From 1 November 2020 from London
Spirit: From November 1, 2020 from Orlando
Air Canada: Starting November 3, 2020 from Toronto
UNITED: Starting November 7, 2020 from Chicago and December 19, 2020 from Denver and Washington.
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. 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 in your home country or elsewhere. In that case, you must bring a statement (in English or Spanish) from the insurer stating that the above costs are covered.
You can also take out this insurance with the national insurance company of Costa Rica (Instituto Nacional de Seguros, or 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.
Another option is to take out insurance with the private Costa Rican insurance company Sagicor. You can contact them via the website. View the conditions and information about the application of the insurance here.
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. 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 all applicable airport and local health protocols. 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 this video for an impression of all applicable measures at Costa Rica airports.
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!
Read general information below on how Costa Rica battles the corona crisis and which rules apply to travelers:
The Costa Rican government takes the corona crisis very seriously. When the first infections were confirmed at the beginning of March, the government responded very quick and adequate. 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.
At the end of July 2020, Costa Rica finds itself in a second corona wave. This time numbers vary between 800 and 1600 per day. The situation has been stable since August. The number of hospitalizations has decreased since mid-september and the number of infections is decreasing since January 2021.
Do you want to know the current numbers and statistics? Scroll down to the bottom of this page for an extensive info sheet of the Costa Rican government.
During this second wave, the epicenter 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.
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. Most of the national parks are open and can be visited, although certain trails may be closed.
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 10 pm. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Scroll down for the info chart with current figures and statistics.
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.
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
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