If you’re looking for an inspiring, nature-filled holiday, Costa Rica’s stunning beaches and glorious year-round tropical weather, beckons. This country’s laid-back lifestyle and amazing wilderness escapes have captivated travellers from around the world for decades, and we are thrilled to announce that Costa Rica is currently welcoming travellers from around the world, including Canadians. To help you with planning a trip, we’re sharing all the details you need to know about Costa Rica’s current travel requirements.
Who can visit Costa Rica?
Anyone and everyone is welcomed to experience Costa Rica’s pura vida way of life. At the time of writing, travellers are allowed to enter the country by land, air, or sea, regardless of their vaccination status. Canadians are allowed to enter Costa Rica as a tourist for a maximum of 90 days with no additional visa or travel requirements.
However, keep in mind that on arrival, travellers need to show proof of departure before the end of the 90 days, and your passport must be valid until at least a day after your departure from Costa Rica.
What about permanent residents and students?
Permanent residents in Canada and those with student or work visas which allow for multiple re-entries, don’t require a Costa Rica travel visa. For a visit up to 30 days, the passport and the Canadian permanent resident card or student and work visa has to have at least six months of validity from the day of entry into Costa Rica.
Current Costa Rica travel rules
- No negative COVID-19 tests or quarantine is currently required to visit Costa Rica
- Unvaccinated travellers can enter the country with no quarantine or testing
- Unvaccinated adult travellers, those who are partially vaccinated, and those who received a COVID vaccine not from the approved list, need to purchase travel insurance prior to visiting Costa Rica.
- Everyone entering Costa Rica, adults and children, need to fill out the the digital HEALTH PASS form 72 hours before arriving to the country. The form asks for the standard personal information (name, age, nationality, passport number, and flight details) but also requires you to provide your Costa Rica accommodation details.
Vaccines accepted for travel
As of August 1st, travellers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and minors under 18 years of age will no longer have to quarantine or need travel insurance to travel to Costa Rica. Accepted vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The final dose of the vaccine must have been received at least 14 days prior to arrival in Costa Rica.
Do unvaccinated children or unvaccinated adults have to quarantine?
No, unvaccinated children under 18 years of age and unvaccinated adults do not need to quarantine when visiting Costa Rica. Minors under 18 years of age also do not need travel insurance which unvaccinated adults need to show proof of to travel to Costa Rica.
What about travel insurance for Costa Rica?
Unvaccinated travellers 18 years and older must have valid travel insurance to visit Costa Rica. The insurance should cover the costs for potential quarantine accommodations up to $2,000, as well as medical expenses related to COVID-19. This must be accompanied by a certificate in English or Spanish, giving the policyholder’s name and the details and dates of coverage.
Please note that you have two options when purchasing travel insurance for your Costa Rica trip. One is to purchase it directly through a provider in Costa Rica that has been pre-approved by the Costa Rican government to offer COVID-19 insurance. Their policies will be automatically accepted and only needs up to $20,000 USD in COVID-19 medical coverage. If you use an international insurance company, the minimum amount is $50,000 USD. You should submit your insurance information as part of the online Health Pass.
Planning a trip to Costa Rica in 2021
Getting around Costa Rica is fairly easy thanks to the many local transportation options available. Travellers can easily hop on bus in the capital city of San Jose to one of the cloud forests in the inner regions. There’s also bus services from San Jose to the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, where you can be transported to some of the best beaches in under seven hours for less than $20.
Most hotels, restaurants, attractions, and Costa Rica tour operators are open with reduced capacity measures in place. The beaches are typically open from 5 am to 6 pm, and social bubble markers are in place to ensure that proper distancing measures are adhered to by beach goers.
Please note that while there is a countrywide driving curfew between 9:00 pm to 5:00 am, rental cars are exempt from these requirements. However, locals recommend avoiding late night drives during curfew hours if you want to avoid getting pulled over and having to show your rental paperwork.
Costa Rica is open for travel and guarantees a memorable holiday. When planning your trip, please remember that tourists visiting Costa Rica are requested to abide by the safety protocols in place. So, mask up and stick to your social bubble as you explore this beautiful country.
And if you’re looking for flight deals to Costa Rica, this booking tool will help you find the best deals out there.
Costa Rica travel tips: FAQs
Costa Rica’s dry season is from December to April, and typically considered the best time to visit. This is also peak tourist season. Since the country boasts warm weather year-round, planning a trip to Costa Rica during the off season can be a great option, where travellers will be welcomed with fewer crowds and discounted prices. Costa Rica’s rainy season (also known as ‘green season’) is from May to November with the wettest months being September and October.
Yes, Costa Rica is now welcoming tourists from Canada and other nations. There are no negative COVID-19 tests or quarantine requirements currently in place.
The entire Costa Rican coastline is layered with beautiful beaches. Head west towards the Pacific coast and you’ll find surfable waves and stunning views. This region offers everything from relaxing beach towns in the province of Guanacaste, as well as easy access to popular destinations like Manuel Antonio and Islas Tortuga. To the east along the southern Caribbean coast, top traveller choices include the luscious beach towns of Puerto Viejo and Cahuita. Time stands still here, and you’ll find palm tree-lined white and black sand beaches that will make you want to extend your Costa Rica trip.
What are the travel restrictions for Canadians?
Curious about the latest travel restrictions for Canadians? Find out which borders are open with the interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top international destinations reopen for travellers like you.
Where can I travel to now?
Want to read more?
- This Coronavirus travel advice page is updated regularly with the latest travel rules and restrictions for Canadians
- Thinking about moving your summer trip to a winter getaway? You’re not alone! Discover the benefits of booking a sunny vacation for the winter months.
- Wondering where Air Canada flies? Here are the Air Canada routes and destinations for 2021.
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