a sunset over the ocean
Image by Pacific Azure from Pixabay

Costa Rica opened its doors to tourism a couple months ago, but only a crack. The fan favorite destination for snorkeling, hiking, stunning beaches and laid back lifestyle only opened to visitors from select countries and just a few US states. But now, in the latest twist, Costa Rica will open to all US states, and drop pre-flight covid-19 testing for all visitors.

Is this just the news travelers need to book with confidence, or a daring move which could send visitors in another direction? Perhaps, both.

Costa Rica To Drop Covid-19 Testing Requirement For Travelers

Effective October 26th, travelers will no longer need to present a negative covid-19 PCR test on arrival, when entering Costa Rica. The Central American country is also moving to allow entry from all states in the USA from November 1st, rather than a select list of circa 22 states currently experiencing similar rates of infection to Costa Rica, or lower.

Beyond Americans, Costa Rica is also open to travelers from most of Europe, Central America; and Asia Pacific countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, China, Taipei and Thailand.

a sunset over a body of water
Image by Pacific Azure from Pixabay

Costa Rica’s move to drop testing requirement is a strong departure from the weary initial opening plans, and comes as cases in the country have grown. With cases slowly rising in the country, it’s a move which may give some travelers pause, while winning others over.

Basically, it’s the perfect place for socially distanced, outdoor lifestyles which don’t typically put people at risk, and the country has plenty of villa style accommodations to minimize contact with others. The “easier the better” seems to be working for travel right now.

Mexico, despite high initial case counts reopened for tourism without covid-19 testing in advance of travel, and has been the strongest performing travel destination in the region, with airlines selling out flights and even adding more, in a time most routes are failing.

What Do You Need To Visit Costa Rica?

With pre-flight covid-19 testing dropped, and no quarantine requirement for arrivals from international gateways, Costa Rica is now one of the ‘easiest’ options for travel from Europe, USA, Asia Pacific and or Central America. Still, it’s not quite as before.

a mountain with smoke coming out of it
Image by BelaMarie from Pixabay

All travelers to Costa Rica are still required to fill out a passenger health declaration form, and to provide confirmation of health coverage for the trip, with minimums in coverage. The policy can be foreign, or from a Costa Rican provider. Here’s how Costa Rica Tourism states the health insurance needs…

Traveler’s Medical Insurance  international or purchased in Costa Rica through the National Insurance Institute, or Sagicor, verifying at least the following three conditions. This certificate must be uploaded when filling out the electronic epidemiological HEALTH PASS.

– Effectiveness of the policy during the visit to Costa Rica.

– Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the pandemic COVID-19 virus while in Costa Rica, for at least USD $50,000 (fifty thousand United States Dollars).

– Includes minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemicCosta Rica Tourism

If “pura vida” sounds like the way right now, and some time diving around Costa Rica’s incredible reef sites, catching some surf, or just a bit of rest and relaxation by a pool is in order, this travel news is exciting. Costa Rica will be easier to visit. For travelers with few places to choose from, it’s an amazing option to have.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Hi we are going to Costa rica
    On the 7 dec 2020 will we need a pcr test to go as so unsure
    Thank you ian
    I hope you can get back to us on this

  2. I think this writer hits the nail on the head when talking about CR being the perfect vacation spot to ensure social distancing, which science is proving is the only way to assure safety from contacting the virus while testing is not 100% accurate..
    Most tourist destinations are small beach side village where outdoor living is the norm..
    I live in a pacific beach town named santa teresa and have a guest rental called the Emerald Abode which is 100% private with no neighbours and miles of ocean views, clear sky’s and plenty of sunshine..the perfect combination for travelers ..
    The village of santa teresa is easy to get to with small commuter flights or renting a private car..
    Now is the perfect time to visit as the population of this village is small, no virus cases and so easy to apply social distancing rules with others..
    Tourism has yet to return to our village which makes a perfect vacation spot for those seeking sun, surf, clean beaches, happy people, lots of nature and amazing international food for food lovers..
    All in a time where large cities all over the world are still in lock down , santa teresa business owners are eager to welome back international guests offering many discounts as well.
    Seems like the perfect place to take a well deserved break from all the stress this virus has had on the world..

  3. Too bad the U.S. won’t do the same. Someone I know wants to come here, but our borders are closed, sadly.

  4. I’m a costarrican citizen, with us permanent resident, I do have Costa Rica insurance, I visit every year,am i.need to pay insurance also.?

    1. I would think your insurance should cover things, but it’s good to confirm via official tourism website (linked in post) whether your coverage ticks all the boxes. Hope that helps.

  5. I visit Costa Rica alot been there 10 times in the past 3 yes ,live it there! I’ve purchased the insurance to enter there now they are asking for the Health Pass. Do I get the Health Pass there when I arrive? Thanks Tim.

    1. Definitely able to visit, but quarantine upon return depends on the state you’re traveling from. For example, in New York, yes, but other states no quarantine.

  6. We are going to Costa Rica in January, 2021. We’re from NY state, one of the first 6 states to be allowed entry to CR, on September 1st. This is our second trip to CR and we’re very excited!
    The airlines are starting to sell more seats, but all must wear masks, the air filtration systems have been improved, and the air changes every 2-3 minutes. We’re older, but willing to take a slight risk, as we are scouting for a location to live as expats.
    April About, I will check you out!

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