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This year, 2020, is certainly going to go down in history as one of the most challenging years for those of us who love to travel.  Self-isolation, lockdowns, and travel restrictions have kept many of us from the adventures we had planned, and the journeys we are dreaming of planning.  Little by little, with new guidelines, and protocol, the borders around the world are opening back up and travel is on the horizon.   If you have been thinking about planning your trip to Costa Rica, we’re excited to be your host AND help you wade through all the information about traveling in the time of Covid19.   We hope to answer all of your questions here and clear the way for a great birding and nature tour to Costa Rica.

What are the entry requirements for foreigners visiting Costa Rica?

1) Complete an online Epidemiological Form (commonly called a Health Pass)

    • This form must be filled out by all travelers within 48 hours of your arrival into Costa Rica.  
    • Here is a link to the form:  https://salud.go.cr/  (form is offered in English)
    • The form will ask for general information including your name, passport number, age, flight details and where you will be staying during your time in Costa Rica. 
    • It will ask you if you are using the mandatory travel insurance required to enter the country (see below) or an international provider. If you are using an international provider you will be asked to upload your policy. 
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    • Once you complete the form and submit it, you will be given a QR code. You MUST have that code when you reach immigration. It is emailed to you.  You can print it, download it to your phone, or take a picture of it in your phone. You will be asked to show it when you get to immigration.

2) Travel Insurance – All visitors must purchase travel insurance and have proof of that insurance to enter the country

  • If you purchase insurance through a Costa Rica company, you must have $20,000.00 per person worth of coverage. Links:
  • If you purchase international travel insurance, you must have $50,000.00 per person worth of coverage. 
  • Accommodation coverage in the minimum amount of $2,000.00 to cover quarantine MUST be included in the policy. 
  • Important: Once you complete the Health Pass online, a colored code will be generated. If your code is green, your insurance is good.  If it’s purple, it means the ICT (Tourism board) needs to validate your coverage. If your code is red, it means your coverage is not sufficient for you to enter the country. It is best to request a statement from the insurance company in English or Spanish that states:
      • The validity of the policy while you are in Costa Rica.
      • The guarantee of the $50,000 coverage
      • The inclusion of thee $2,000 quarantine coverage

What regulations and protocol should visitors expect when arriving at the airport in Costa Rica? 

  • To make the immigration process as hassle-free as possible, have all your documentation in hand.  We recommend printing everything and carrying it with you. 
    • QR Code
    • Insurance statement
  • All travelers must wear face protection in the airport.  This includes a cloth mask that covers the nose and mouth. 
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Use hand washing stations and hand sanitizer often.
  • It’s important to know that in October, San Jose Airport received the Airport Health Accreditation from the International Council of Airports. This recognizes that SJO Airport has safe facilities and that appropriate procedures are in place to reduce health risks.

What should visitors expect at hotels in Costa Rica? 

  • At check-in, receptionists will wear masks and maintain social distance. 
  • Keys will be cleaned with UV technology to ensure disinfection.
  • Cleaning staff will wear protective clothing, and follow strict guidelines for sanitizing.
  • Guests may request daily cleaning of the room, but otherwise, no one will enter the guests room once the guest has checked in.  

What will the dining experience be like at hotels and restaurants in Costa Rica? 

  • All restaurant employees are required to wear a mask. 
  • Restaurants can be open at 50% occupancy. Tables must be arranged to maintain 6 feet distance between each table. 
  • Digital or paper menus should be used.
  • Guests must wear masks to enter and exit the restaurant, or to use the restroom. Once seated, guests may remove masks.  

What will the guest experience be like on tours in Costa Rica? 

  • Tours are operating at 50% capacity.
  • Tour guides must inform clients of all sanitary protocols. 
  • Tour guides must wear masks and maintain social distancing.
  • Some outdoor activities will allow for guests to remove masks and some will not. The tour guide will make the determination at the time of the tour. 

What will the guest experience be like in Costa Rica on transfers or in rental cars? 

  • All vehicles are sanitized after each use. 
  • Drivers must wear a face mask. 
  • Passengers must wear face masks. 
  • Hand sanitizer must be provided in every vehicle.

Are beaches, national parks, and attractions open in Costa Rica?

  • Beaches are open from 5:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.  Monday – Friday and 5:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • National Parks are open and operating at 50% capacity.  Tickets need to be purchased in advance online. If you are part of a tour, the tour operator will purchase your tickets. 
  • Most tours, attractions, gardens, etc are operating at 50% capacity. 
  • Casinos are open at 50% capacity but no alcohol is served.

Costa Rica has implemented many procedures and protocols to help keep visitors safe and healthy.  Tourism is the lifeblood of Costa Rica and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world back to our beautiful country.   If you would like to start planning your trip to Costa Rica, click the link below to inquire with us.

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About Costa Rica Focus

Costa Rica Focus is a birding tour company that offers customized Costa Rica birdwatching tours for individuals or groups of people and guided by a knowledgeable birding expert who will help you spot and learn about the beauty of the birds of Costa Rica. Let’s talk about your Costa Rica birding vacation!

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