travel insurance in Costa Rica

When traveling in Costa Rica (or any country for that matter) you should really consider buying travel insurance. Today I’m sharing the importance of travel insurance and my experience using travel insurance in Costa Rica. Plus you get to see the most beautiful picture of me ever. 🙂

Why Do I Need Travel Insurance?

I think a lot of people wrongly assume that travel insurance only covers injuries or illnesses while you are traveling. Although it is true that health related things are covered, did you know that anything that happens while you are actually traveling to your destination is covered as well? Maybe you have a health insurance plan that covers you internationally, but I suggest still getting travel insurance specifically for travel days. If your flight is delayed, bags lost, something stolen, etc travel insurance will cover it! Did you know that? I didn’t until about two years ago. Now I always purchase travel insurance for travel days. I luckily have never had my luggage lost or had to stay at a hotel due to flight delays, but it is really nice to have the assurance that if something happens I’m covered.

If your health insurance is not international you should really consider purchasing travel insurance in Costa Rica. In a foreign country anything can happen from injuries, illnesses, allergies etc. It’s best to be prepared.


My Travel Insurance Story:

When we first moved to Costa Rica I didn’t have long term international health insurance yet so I purchased a travel insurance plan from World Nomads for a month. I ended up extending this plan for another month (which was incredibly easy) and I’m so glad I did! About a month after being here I woke up one morning with swollen lips and a rash on my face. It hurt so much and I was pretty miserable, but it went away after a few days so I chalked it up to a weird allergic reaction.

About a month later it happened again but ten times worse. It was so bad that my eye swelled shut and I looked absolutely terrifying.

travel insurance in Costa Rica
Hot, right?

So I went to a pharmacist here who had absolutely no idea what she was talking about and told me it was Lupus. She told me to get a blood test to confirm it and then come back to her.

I knew it wasn’t Lupus. I had only been in Costa Rica for a few months and I figured it was some reaction to something. I just had to figure out what. I then scheduled an appointment to see an eye doctor because I was a bit worried about the state of my eye. My left eye is fake, I had it removed about ten years ago, and I worried that the infection had spread internally.

After scheduling my appointment I got on the internet and started doing some research. After a few hours of nothing, I came across the Wikipedia page for poison ivy in which it states that the oil which people are allergic to in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumack, can also be found in MANGO TREES! Ding! Ding! Ding! We had a winner!

travel insurance in Costa Rica
Damn you mango trees!

As a child I would frequently have bad poison ivy outbreaks to the point that I had to miss school. As I got older this rarely happened because I had learned to recognize poison ivy and to avoid it at all costs. I wasn’t used to having this reaction anymore so I didn’t even recognize it as what I used to experiece as a child.

Both times, a few days before my face and lips swelled in Costa Rica, I had been at a friend’s farm. She has a huge mango tree in her backyard that I had picked mangos from….Idiot!

Anyway, I went to an eye doctor here who specializes in treatement for people with prosthetic eyes and he confirmed what I thought. He was absolutely wonderful and if you find yourself needing a specialized eye doctor here let me know! I’ll give you his name.

Luckily there was no infection internally in my eye. He prescribed me some heavy duty steroids to clear it up and we left. Within four days I looked and felt normal again. Yeay!

By having travel insurance I was able to submit all my medical bills and prescription receipts to World Nomads and get fully reimbursed.

See, it’s little things like that which can happen while traveling that make having travel insurance in Costa Rica so worth it!

Also, now you know that if you have reactions to poison ivy you should also avoid mango trees. You can eat mangos, the oil is not found internally, but oil may still be on the skin, so I would avoid touching them just in case.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Every plan is a little different. I always opt for World Nomads because they cover a lot of adventure sports which other companies don’t cover. Also, I just really like them. They don’t have one of those big business feels that other companies have. There are genuinely good people working there who are so nice and so helpful if you have questions.

I also like them because it is super easy to sign up!

Here is some more detailed info on World Nomads awesomeness straight from them.

World Nomads Logo

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

7 things you should know about travel insurance from

  1. Trusted reliable underwriters is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with great cover, 24 hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
  2. Value for money with the cover you need provides cover for what’s important for travellers from 140 countries. By focusing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online.
  3. Flexibility when you need it most
    Had a change of plans? You can buy more cover or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already travelling.
  4. Cover for a range of adventure activities
    From skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
  5. World Nomads keeps you travelling safely
    All members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the World Nomads Travel Safety Hub.
  6. More than just great value travel insurance
    All members can learn the local lingo through a series of iPod & iPhone Language Guides and can stay in touch with family and friends with an online travel journal.
  7. Commitment to exceptional customer service
    We want to make sure you get the most from You can find out more about why travel insurance is important for your trip. If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, please contact directly.


If you have any questions about travel insurance in Costa Rica just leave them in the comment section and I will help you out. Also, I’d love to hear your stories of using travel insurance abroad.


I learned the importance of travel insurance in Costa Rica when I ended up with my eye swollen shut. Read my story and my suggestions for the best travel insurance for Costa Rica travel. I learned the importance of travel insurance in Costa Rica when I ended up with my eye swollen shut. Read my story and my suggestions for the best travel insurance for Costa Rica travel.


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