COVID19 Travel Requirements

COVID19 Travel Requirements

White and Red Plane Beside Clouds Low-angle Photography

After more than a year of “sheltering in place,” no doubt you are itching to ditch the slippers and sweatpants and get on an airplane and fly!  Where?  How about a place with turquoise waves washing onto palm-fringed beaches?  How about Costa Rica?  Sounds absolutely perfect, you say.  Let’s work through the pesky details and make it happen!

What are the COVID-19 entry requirements for Costa Rica?  As of April 5, 2021, all borders are open by land, sea, or air.  For everyone’s safety, there are just 2 simple requirements:

  1. Health Pass.  Each individual traveling to Costa Rica must complete the digital epidemiological form known as the Health Pass on the website within 48 hours of your departure (not earlier). Upon completion, you will be sent an email containing a QR code which can be presented on your device or printed out.  It will be scanned and verified by immigration authorities.  

  2. International medical insurance.  You must purchase international medical insurance that covers $50,000 (USD) of medical expenses and $2000 of accommodation expenses in case of a quarantine for COVID-19.  Request a certificate or letter from the insurance agency that includes your name, effective dates of the policy, and the guaranteed coverage for COVID-19.  It is a good idea to have this printed out in document form.


So that’s it!  The rest of your trip will be all sunshine, umbrella drinks, and monkeys.  We think you should come to Costa Rica and never leave.  As if to make our point, pandemic requirements make leaving Costa Rica a bit more complicated.


What are the COVID-19 requirements for travel to the United States?

Any passenger who is over 2 years old must show a negative COVID-19 test.  The test should be taken no more than 3 calendar days before starting travel, and the document to certify the result must be presented to the airline at check-in whether on a commercial, private or charter flight.  The US accepts the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and the antigen (rapid) test.

What does each test cost and how long does it take to get the results? 

The cost of the PCR test ranges from $80-$140 (depending on the provider) and you should allow up to 72 hours for the results to be delivered.  The antigen test costs around $50-$70 and you will get the results within a couple of hours after the sample has been analyzed.  Rapid tests are considered less accurate because they may deliver a false negative. Which test you choose is a personal decision.
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What if I already had COVID-19?

If you had COVID-19 within the last 3 months, quarantined as required, and can present the positive test result and a letter from your doctor, you do not have to be tested.

Do I need a test if I am vaccinated?

Yes, fully vaccinated tourists must also be tested.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in the Tamarindo/Flamingo area?

(Click on the name of the lab or clinic for more information.  Call to schedule an appointment and for current pricing.)

Liberia Airport:  Echandi Lab performs the antigen test only and results are provided within 1 hour.  Schedule an appointment 4 hours before your departure time.

San Rafael Arcangel Hospital (Liberia)

Vidalab (Liberia)

Laboratorio San José (Santa Cruz)

Beach Side Clinic (Huacas and Potrero)

Hospital Metropolitano (Huacas)

Clínica Medica Dental Villareal (Tamarindo)

Centro Médico y Farmacia Huacas (Huacas)

Here is a complete list of all approved labs in Costa Rica published by the National Tourism Institution.

What about returning to Canada?

Canada also requires a negative test result within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada.  An antigen (rapid) test is not accepted.  Upon entry arrival in Canada, you will be required to take a test before leaving the airport, present a 14-day quarantine plan, and then check into your reserved hotel room to await the results of your test.  For more detailed information click here

For tourists returning to other destinations worldwide, please check each country’s COVID-19 entry requirements. 

What is it like to travel in Costa Rica right now?

Costa Rica has summer weather year-round and tons of outdoor activities, making the risk of infection very low for you during your visit.  Almost all restaurants are open and have outdoor, open-air seating as are other tourist activity vendors.   Of course, wearing an appropriate mask, washing one’s hands regularly, and social distancing are still an absolute necessity. There is a driving curfew in effect between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., but an exception is made if you are traveling to and from the airport.  For the latest updates on travel requirements, visit the U.S. Embassy’s website.


There is no better way to end your quarantine than by booking tickets to Costa Rica.  Come and visit us soon!  Your umbrella drink awaits!

Person Swimming Alone In The Sea

Social distancing in Costa Rica


Gradual Maritime Opening         



Passengers and crew members of yachts and sailboats must meet the same entry requirements as those issued to passengers entering by air on August 1.

Those who entered the country by sea from the list of permitted countries and who have not made a stopover elsewhere, should not be subjected to isolation if they have been sailing for more than 14 days.



If the passengers do not bring with them the negative RT-PCR test taken 72 hours prior to the trip to Costa Rica, or they set sail in an unauthorized city or country, they will receive a sanitary isolation order for 14 days from, from which will be deducted the number of days on the high seas, counting from the last port departure date recorded in the yacht or sailboat’s log.



 In addition to the aforementioned requirements, tourists arriving from yachts or sailboats must hand over to the immigration authorities the “International Ship Sailing” document and dock in authorized marinas.



In case of doubts with the medical insurance, the passengers and crew of yachts or sailboats can write to the email




Where can I find updated official information on the situation of COVID-19 in Costa Rica?



You can stay informed at the following links:



Ministry of Health:



Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT):



Presidency of the Republic:



Migration Office:



Juan Santamaría International Airport:



Daniel Oduber International Airport (Liberia International Airport):



Information cited from Costa Rica Tourism Board