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All you need to know about travelling to Costa Rica in times of corona

Last update: July 31, 2020

Are you considering to travel to Costa Rica in times of corona? Despite the virus, that is possible! Just make sure that you are informed about the current rules and regulations. We are happy to help you with that.

On this page we inform you about important news and rules for a safe holiday in Costa Rica. Because 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 measures may occur. Therefore, always check the channels of the official authorities before departure for last-minute changes or relevant news.

Important news from Costa Rica:

From August 1, 2020, international tourists from the following countries are welcome again: All EU and Schengen countries, the UK and Canada.

Both the international airport in Alajuela (near the capital San Jose) and Liberia (near the beaches in Guanacaste) will open. The national borders with neighboring countries Nicaragua and Panama will remain closed for the time being. This means you cannot yet combine a holiday to Costa Rica with a trip to one of these countries. Fortunately, you can easily enjoy yourself for weeks or months in Costa Rica alone!

Air traffic will be started up gradually. The number of flights that land in Costa Rica will be very limited at the beginning. In the first weeks of August, only 5 flights a week will land (previously there were 500). So getting airline tickets can be a challenge at first. But once you have purchased them, you don’t have to share the country with many other travelers. That is an advantage! In any case, social distancing in Costa Rica is quite easy, since most of our destinations are located in hidden places in nature.

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

If you want to travel to Costa Rica in times of corona, it is necessary to prepare yourself. 

First of all, make sure you are familiar with the current travel advice for Costa Rica. Please check the website of your government for more info on this. Keep in mind that your home country may have rules for travelers, such as self-isolation after returning home.

What do you need to enter Costa Rica?

1. A completed digital epidemiological survey.
This form asks for general personal data and information about your health and your arrival, departure and stay in Costa Rica. View or fill out the form here.

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

2. Evidence of a negative corona test (covid19 PCR-RT).
You must do an officially recognized corona test before you leave. The test result must of course be negative and cannot be older than 48 hours when you board the plane. The result must be legible in English or Spanish.

Important: Make an appointment (preferably 6 weeks in advance) for a Covid19 PCR test at an approved center in your country.

3. A Costa Rican travel insurance
You are required to take out travel insurance in Costa Rica that covers medical expenses related to corona (coverage of at least USD $ 20,000). This insurance should also cover the costs of an unforeseen extended stay (for at least USD $ 4,000).

Note: You must 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.

At the moment this is the only permitted travel insurance. If you have already taken out travel insurance somewhere else, you still need to take out (extra) insurance in Costa Rica. It is recommended to organize this before departing to Costa Rica, but you could also take out the insurance upon arrival at the airport.

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 current standards and the applicable rules become immediately clear upon arrival. 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.

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 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 curvey was enforced and the airports, borders and businesses were closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. This approach proved effective and the total number of infections (450 on 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, the virus gets around faster. This seems to be the result of a reduced alertness on the part of the Costa Ricans, who are longing for the country to reopen because of the major economic consequences.

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 of the crisis is the “central valley”. That 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 million) of the Costa Ricans live in this region. It is the economic heart of the country, but not a significant destination for tourism.
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!

Where an orange code applies in the region around San Jose (many restrictions), a yellow code applies to most less populated regions. This means a lot more freedom!

For travelers it is important to know that from 1 August 2020 all beaches will be open from 5 am to 2.30 pm and that all outdoor tourist activities (such as zip lining, fishing, surfing lessons, cycling, etc) can continue. Many of the national parks are open and can be visited.
You will need your face mask during your trip, as it is obligated to wear one in public places, such as supermarkets.

Tourism is one of the largest industries in Costa Rica. The sector takes the situation very seriously. Everyone who works in tourism (think hotels, tour operators, transporters, etc.) is bound by strict rules and protocols imposed and monitored by the government. You can be assured that every effort has been made to make travelers travel as safe and carefree as possible!

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 should be 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.


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