ALL Entry Restrictions Dropped –Your 2022 Costa Rica Adventure Vacation Just Got Easier!
Looking for the latest info on COVID-related restrictions in Costa Rica? You’ll find the answers to the most common questions, right here!
If you’re searching for the latest news on COVID restrictions in Costa Rica (and all related logistical topics for travel), you’ve landed on the right page.
Here’s a quick overview of where things stand right now (more detailed explanations below):
As of April 1, 2022, all COVID-related entry restrictions are eased in Costa Rica, as part of the government’s ‘responsible and gradual opening’ plan
- ALL tourists from ALL countries can enter Costa Rica by sea, land or air
- Every foreign visitor must have a valid visa, if one is required
- NO COVID-test is needed, prior to entry
- NO quarantine must be undertaken upon entry
- NO mandatory health insurance policy is required
- NO health form to fill in
- NO vaccination certificate required to enter the country*
- Visitors must simply abide by local sanitary protocols*
*Continue reading for more info on these very important points
Which nationalities need a visa to enter Costa Rica?
Costa Rica divides all nationalities into four distinct categories for entry visa requirements:
Category 1 – can enter with a valid passport, without the need for a visa
Category 2 – can enter with a valid passport (with minimum 3 months left of validity upon arrival), without the need for a visa
**It is always recommended that your passport have at least 6 months’ validity before entering Costa Rica (and many other countries)**
Category 3 – must apply for a visa at their nearest Costa Rica consulate/embassy prior to visiting
Category 4 – must apply for what’s known as a ‘restricted’ visa at their nearest Costa Rica consulate/embassy
Category 1 countries (visa exempt) include the USA, Canada, all EU countries, as well as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and many more. Take a look at the Visa Index Costa Rica page to determine whether you’ll need a visa.
And please remember: your nationality and the passport you hold determines your need (or not) for an entry visa. It matters not which country you’re flying from!
Do I need to fill in an online health form before traveling to Costa Rica?
Also from April 1, 2022, the Costa Rican government dropped the Health Pass requirement for foreign visitors. The form (which you can find here) has been an effective way to monitor entry into the country, keep visitors up-to-date and generally keep an eye on the ongoing pandemic shenanigans. When required, the form must be filled in by each traveler (including children) and resulting QR code shown, at the airport, upon arrival.
The requirement of the Health Pass has been now discontinued but it’s good to keep the info in mind in the unlikely case it is reinstated immediately prior to your trip.
Do I need to be vaccinated to enter Costa Rica?
Costa Rica reopened its borders to both vaccinated and unvaccinated foreigners last year, although there was a mandatory travel insurance requirement for those without a vaccine certificate. This was only in regards to entering into the country. Staying in some hotels, visiting some restaurants and partaking in some activities, however, still required proof of vaccinations.
This requirement varied by province and by business type. Many business owners (especially hotels and restaurants, for example) were given the option of asking for proof of vaccine. In essence, any business who wanted to operate at 100% capacity had to require proof of vaccination. Otherwise, they could operate on restricted numbers. Businesses could choose which option they preferred.
After April 1st, however, this last mandate was dropped. Now, all businesses can operate at 100% capacity wither or not they ask for vaccination proof.
This is particularly fabulous news for anyone planning a corporate event in Costa Rica as participant numbers will no longer be an issue.
Do I need to be vaccinated to fly to Costa Rica?
This depends on the airline. It is highly likely that you will need to either be vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding your plane. This is something you must check with your intended airline of choice as regulations around the world vary quite a bit.
Do some establishments still require proof of vaccination in Costa Rica?
Despite the fact that the government no longer requires establishments to as patrons for proof of vaccines, some are still doing so. Snap lock downs cost businesses dearly so many smaller establishments want to protect their trade by requiring patrons to be fully vaccinated.
However, do note that most establishments no longer require proof of vaccination in Costa Rica. There are plenty of alternative options here.
Do you need to wear a mask in Costa Rica?
Yes, in all enclosed public spaces and on public transport. Basically, the moment you head indoors (that isn’t a private home or your hotel room) or you’re in a crowded situation where social distancing is impossible to maintain, you’ll need to pop your mask on.
Luckily, the majority of your Costa Rica vacation will be spent enjoying the fantastic outdoor activities for which the country is renowned.
Is there are a curfew in place in Costa Rica?
The midnight to 5am curfew was eased at the beginning of March.
Do I need to buy COVID-health insurance if I’m not vaccinated?
Before April 1, 2022, non-vaccinated visitors to Costa Rica were required to purchase a specific COVID-related medical insurance policy. This restriction was in place to ensure visitors’ medical and lodging expenses would be covered in case they became infected with COVID-19.
This requirement has now been scrapped; however, the government recommends all visitors purchase medical insurance, just in case.
At Costa Rica Rios, we also think that purchasing comprehensive medical insurance policy is a pretty good idea. Not only for costs related to an unlikely-but-not-impossible COVID-19 infection, but also in the (even more unlikely) event of any injuries. Why? Because this glorious country is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise and you will probably be infinitely more active during a Costa Rica adventure vacation than at any other time of year! Between the zip-lining, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and kayaking, horseback riding and so much more, outdoor activities abound.
The most enjoyable way to soak up the thrills and spills in Costa Rica is by having complete peace of mind. And that’s what a comprehensive medical insurance policy will give you!
What kind of insurance should I buy for Costa Rica?
World Nomads is arguably the most popular insurer for Costa Rica adventure seekers, worldwide, although many insurance companies (like AXA and IMG) have added a COVID-clause to their comprehensive active explorer’s policies.
Given Costa Rica is one of the top three destinations for travel insurance policy buyers in the US, you can trust that there’s an array of options from which to choose.
Do I need to be tested for COVID-19 before returning home?
Costa Rica does not mandate test requirements for anyone exiting the country. However, the country you return to might require a test.
We recommend you check your home country’s entry requirements, or those of whichever country you wish to fly to, from Costa Rica. PCR/Antigen tests are widely available for foreign visitors all over Costa Rica and we’ll gladly help guests arrange testing prior to the end of their trip with us, if needed.
Is Costa Rica safe to visit now?
Absolutely! The country is currently rolling out third-dose vaccinations. So far, Costa Rica has achieved about 80% vaccination rate and is now up to almost 35% for third-dose vaccination recipients. You can see the most up-to-date rates, right here.
Hotels, restaurants and tour operators, like us, are taking our COVID-19 protection responsibility seriously. No-one wants to backtrack on this arduous pandemic journey so, rest assured, you’ll be in safe hands on your Costa Rica adventure vacation.
The most important bit of news, however, is that foreign tourists will no longer be asked any questions or required to show any documents related to COVID upon entering Costa Rica.
Time to leave the pandemic firmly in the review mirror and move on with our lives!
Costa Rica’s tourism sector was back to 70% of its pre-pandemic levels in 2021, welcoming more than 1 million foreign visitors at a time when most countries around the world remained off-bounds. Given the latest easing of entry and travel restrictions, we expect to be fully back to tourism business in 2022.
What’s on offer, in Costa Rica?
Everything your adrenaline-obsessed heart desires!
Revered for its pura vida vibe, abundance of nature and blissful climate, Costa Rica is all about amazing adventures in the great outdoors. With two extensive coastlines to explore (Pacific on the west and Caribbean on the east) as well as a cacophony of pristine national parks, an abundance of volcanoes and luscious jungles, this is one country that gets your feet (and hearts) racing.
So…what do you say?
Ready to start planning the adventure of a lifetime?!
Contact us today for more personalized advice.