Coronavirus in Costa Rica – Restrictions and Regulations

Coronavirus in Costa Rica - Restrictions and Regulations

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Current Travel Restrictions

Costa Rica is open for travel. You are now welcome to visit for a Pura Vida filled vacation.

The government has lifted all COVID related entry restrictions. So, come visit.

Yeay!!!

Here is all the latest….

COVID at a Glance

Book Travel Insurance

We suggest Heymondo

You can find out more about their plans and save 5 % here. 

Book a COVID Test in Costa Rica

– Check this list of testing centers from the Costa Rica tourism department

– Ask at your hotel. They might provide testing

Purchase a self-test before traveling.

Costa Rica Emergency Number

If you have an emergency situation you can call 911.

Costa Rica Entry Requirements

Costa Rica is now open to air travel to and from all countries.

Private flights from the US and yachts are also allowed to enter.

Cruises to Limon and Puntarenas have also resumed

Land borders are now open from Nicaragua and Panama.

Entry Rules

– Vaccination or travel insurance is no longer required to enter Costa Rica.

All visitors regardless of vaccination status are now able to freely enter the country. 

Keep in mind that all normal regulations apply when entering Costa Rica.

You can read all about these regulations, but the main one to remember is that you need to show proof you will be leaving Costa Rica within 90 days of arrival.

In other words, you will have to show the customs officer that you have a round-trip flight.

Note: You DO NOT need to quarantine once entering Costa Rica. You also no longer need to prove that you have had a negative Coronavirus test within 24 hours of traveling. However, if you have the option of getting a test before traveling, it doesn’t hurt to do so.

Flying to Costa Rica

When flying to Costa Rica you may experience longer than usual lines at Customs when you enter the country.

I suggest walking as quickly as possible once you get off the plane to the border control area.

When you speak with a border control officer they will likely ask about your travel plans and where you are staying for your first evening. You need to tell them the name of your hotel.

Keep in mind that you will need to wear a face mask while on the plane and in the airport.

Crossing Land Borders

If you are coming from Nicaragua or Panama across land borders you might also experience delays at the border control.

I suggest starting your day as early as possible to beat the crowds.

In Country Restrictions

As of now, most things in the country have reopened at 100% capacity.

Keep in mind that face masks are required in some businesses, so it is good to have one on-hand just in case.

Driving Restrictions

There are have been off-and-on driving regulations from within Costa Rica as a measure to slow the spread of COVID-19.

I think these restrictions are probably permanently eliminated for the foreseeable future.

However, with a rental car you are exempt from any restrictions that may arise.

Note: We suggest renting your car from our favorite rental car company, Adobe. They are an amazing local company that has been doing a great job to ensure all cars are sanitized and all safety measures are taken.

We have a 10% discount for you plus other great perks if you opt to rent with Adobe.

What to Do if You Get Covid

If you test positive while in Costa Rica there are no longer any quarantine requirements.

However, if you are sick and can not fly home, you may have to extend your trip.

Where Can I Quarantine?

You can choose where you quarantine. Personally, I suggest picking a nice place on VRBO with a private pool that is semi-close to the center of whatever town you are in (to easily have things delivered).

How Can I get Groceries?

Some grocery stores offer delivery, but not that many.

Instead, your best bet is to ask at your hotel and see if they can help you get groceries in some way.

Another option is to depend on restaurant delivery. A lot of restaurants are now offering low-cost or even free delivery services.

In San Jose and Alajuela, you can download the Uber Eats app for food delivery. They even have grocery stores on there.

Plan Your Trip with Free Cancellation

Now more than ever it is crucial that you book your trip with the possibility of cancellation. Our tips are:

Book travel insurance that covers you in the case that you get COVID before or during your trip.

– Book hotels with good cancellation policies. We like reserving on Booking.com because they typically have good policies (you need to check each listing individually).

– Book transportation with free cancellation. We suggest Adobe for your rental car needs. You can cancel with them for free at any point in time. Book through us and get a 10% discount plus other perks.

– If you would like to pre-plan activities we suggest Viator. Each listing has a specific cancellation policy, but a lot offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before the activity.

Travel Insurance Info

Travel insurance is actually fairly affordable and now more than ever I think it is a good idea to purchase it.

You are likely paying a lot of money for your trip to paradise and I would hate for you to lose a ton of money if your plans have to suddenly change due to illness.

Also, if you need to quarantine in Costa Rica for an unplanned week, the hotel costs can add up fast.

Having travel insurance that will cover you for this is super important.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Visit Right Now?

For the first time since the pandemic began, I am updating this to say, “Yes! Come visit!”

If you feel comfortable traveling right now, I think Costa Rica is a good option for you.

However, if you haven’t been vaccinated yet or feel that you are at high risk for bad COVID-19 symptoms, it is probably best to hold off on traveling right now.

Also, not to be a downer, but please keep in mind that just because you feel comfortable traveling, doesn’t mean that COVID-19 is gone.

Costa Rica is welcoming tourists back with open arms (or maybe I should say “open elbow bumps”). But, for everyone living in Costa Rica, safety is important.

SHOULD I CHANGE MY PRE-MADE TRIP PLANS?

If you booked your trip a long time ago and are hesitant about visiting, I suggest contacting any hotels, transportation, activities etc. that you have booked and check-in with their cancellation policies.

Most companies have been very lenient, but we also don’t want you to miss the deadline for canceling any plans and not getting your money back.

If a company is not willing to reimburse you, ask about delaying your plans instead.

I obviously think Costa Rica is a great country to visit and I trust the president and government to do what they can to keep everyone safe, but I think the decision to travel to Costa Rica right now needs to be on a case to case basis.

We suggest canceling your trip if you are at high risk and are concerned in any capacity regarding your health. Costa Rica does have many great hospitals, but if you feel that you are a high-risk person for COVID-19 you will likely feel more comfortable being near a healthcare system that you are familiar with.

Again, this obviously needs to be a personal decision, but I want you to feel safe and stay healthy.

Will I Feel Safe There?

In all honesty, we think you will feel extremely safe here as far as COVID.

In the past year we have spent extensive time on the east coast of the US, Germany, and Denmark due to having family in the US & Europe.

Out of all the places we have been, we definitely feel the most safe in Costa Rica.

People here are taking the virus very seriously. It is very rare to see someone not wearing a mask and almost every establishment will ask that you wash your hands and disinfect them before entering.

What do I need to bring?

Even though vaccinations are no longer required, if you are vaccinated bring a copy of your vaccination proof anyway. It is always good to have just in case.

For your own personal protection, you should bring disposable medical grade masks and hand sanitizer.

What is the Safest Transportation Option?

Renting a car is your best socially distanced transportation option.

We suggest renting with Adobe. They are our go-to car rental company in Costa Rica.

They have also given us a 10% discount to pass on to you.

If you don’t feel comfortable driving you could opt for a private shuttle.

Adobe has a shuttle company with experienced drivers who will take great care of you.

You can find out more about shuttles here.

What Are Some Good Socially Distanced Activities?

Costa Rica is actually the perfect social distancing destination because almost everything you will be doing will be outside.

Our two favorite fun socially distanced activities are hiking and hanging out on the beach.

There are plenty of options all over the country to do both of these things!

Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

๐Ÿš— Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will allow you to visit more off-the-beaten-path destinations and will allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

Save 10% Plus Other Perks with Our Adobe Rental Car Discount

โ˜€๏ธ Should I buy travel insurance for Costa Rica?

Yes, travel insurance is always a good idea. It is not just for illness or injury, but also lost luggage, delayed trips, and more!

We like Heymondo for Costa Rica travel insurance.

โœˆ๏ธ What is the best way to book a flight?

Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

๐Ÿ›๏ธ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธWhat is the main language in Costa Rica?

The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.

๐Ÿ’ฐ What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colรณn (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

๐ŸŒด Is Costa Rica safe?

Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

๐Ÿ›‚ Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.

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3 Comments

  1. Robbie Clark says:

    Great to see Costa Rica is open but I was hopeful you would be able to answer a question for me?
    My Fiance is from the Philippines and I’m from the United States we planned on being married in the Philippines but due to the travel restrictions in that country we thought it might be an excellent idea to relax for 60 days in Costa Rica. Would that be allowed to take place lawfully and what would the cost be for a small wedding in your opinion.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Robbie,
      Unfortunately getting married in Costa Rica isn’t the easiest. You will have to hire a lawyer to sort out all the legal stuff for you. Usually, people get married in their home country (which I see isnt an option for you) and then just have a celebratory wedding in CR.
      We did the whole thing of getting married legally in Costa Rica and that was with knowing some really amazing local lawyers who took care of everything. But even then, we dealt with issues of a misprint on our marriage certificate and having to go to multiple government offices to deal with it.
      Basically, its not worth it in my opinion.
      But, just visiting for 60 days could be amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Let me know if you have more questions!
      -Sarah

  2. bluegreenguitar says:

    Thanks for the update and best wishes to you and your family! I’m definitely looking forward to visiting CR (and staying longer to make up for lost beach time ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Not sure of the exact date – I obviously don’t want to be bring any unwelcome germs with me! But hopefully early 2021!