The 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 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 possible again.

As we make our way through 2021 it is very exciting to see that we can start to travel again.  

If you have been thinking about planning your trip to Costa Rica, we’d love 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. 
  •  It is important you upload the entire policy, not a summary page.
  • Once you complete the form and submit it, you will be given a QR code. You MUST have that code to show your airline and when you reach immigration. The QR code is emailed to you.  You can print it, download it to your phone, or take a picture of it in your phone. Be sure your QR code includes your name.

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 QR 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. 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
  • The exclusions in the policy do not include Covid related illness. 

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 2020, 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.
  • Note – Currently the U.S. government requires all citizens returning to the U.S. from a foreign destination to have a negative Covid test taken 72 hours prior to departure. Covid tests are readily available in most areas of Costa Rica and results are returned within 24 hours.  Costa Rica Focus will help you arrange your Covid test prior to your departure.

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?

  • National Parks are open and operating at 50% capacity.  Some parks require that tickets be purchased in advance online. Be sure to check before setting out to visit a National Park. 
  • 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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