Airplane at sunset at San Jose Juan Santamaría International Airport
Airplane at sunset at San Jose Juan Santamaría International Airport

Costa Rica is opening up to more Tourists! Since mid March, 2020 Costa Rica closed its borders to tourism due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. However, on August 1, 2020 the Costa Rican government announced that it will officially open its borders. This information has been updated on September 2, 2020.

Tourists Allowed from USA by State & Requirements

As of September 1, 2020 Costa Rica is allowing the following 9 states / districts into the country:

  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.

It was further announced that on September 15, 2020 that 3 more states were added to the list, they are:

  • Colorado
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania

Tourists from the United States need to present a valid driver’s license or a State ID from any of the above states to be allowed to enter. Accompanying minors are not required to have a driver’s license or State ID card. Of course, all tourists will need to present a valid passport as well.

United States tourists from the list of authorized states above can enter Costa Rica via a flight with a layover in a non-authorized state or country as long as they do not exit the airport. (For example, a Colorado resident can fly from Denver to Houston to Costa Rica, as long as they do not exit the airport in Houston).

As of right now direct flights have been scheduled from JFK (JFK), La Guardia (LGA), Newark (EWR), Miami (MIA), Houston (IAH), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airports to San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) & Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR). Tourists may connect to any of the above airports as long as they are coming from an approved state and they do not leave the airport if the connecting airport is not within an approved state, as mentioned above.

More flights and airlines will open up as more states are added to the lists of allowed states.

U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency may enter Costa Rica via air regardless of where they are coming from and must present the following documentation: Passport, Valid DIMEX, Evidence Caja payments are up to date for each person entering as well as a completed epidemiological survey.

Tourists from Countries allowed into Costa Rica

In addition to the USA states listed above the following countries are allowed into Costa Rica.

  • European Union
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Uruguay
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • China
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Required of all tourists entering Costa Rica

  1. Must complete and present an epidemiological survey, located here.
  2. Must provide proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test within 72 hours of their arrival into Costa Rica.
  3. Must have travel insurance that covers medical care or an unexpected extended hotel stay and is valid through the entire stay in Costa Rica. Travel insurance can be purchased within the tourist’s country of residence as long as it meets the above requirements. The travel insurance must guarantee coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the COVID-19 virus while in Costa Rica, for at least USD $50,000. In additional it must include minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic. Travel insurance can be purchased within the tourist’s country of residence as long as it meets the above requirements.
  4. Tourists must follow all airport and local health protocols.
  5. Tourists must wear a mask or face shield in nearly all indoors circumstances.

Here is a link to a helpful video provided by the San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport.

All the information above is provided by the Costa Rican government and is due to change without notice. Here is the official page for the Costa Rica government announcements (in Spanish)