Costa Rica Opens to Tourists August 1, 2020

[ October 22, 2020 Update ]


The following is an excerpt from the Costa Rican English newspaper, the Tico Times.


Beginning on October 26, arriving visitors will no longer need to show proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test result, Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura said.

The change comes nearly three months after Costa Rica first reopened its airports to international guests. Since then, international tourism “has not been a source of COVID-19 contagion,” Segura said.

The decision also follows an early-October recommendation from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) which states that conducting coronavirus testing for incoming travelers “is not recommended as a tool to mitigate the risk of international spread.”

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In addition to tourists from Canada and European countries, Costa Rica has opened its borders to welcome ALL U.S. residents as of November 1, 2020. It was previously limited to selected states.

Tourist entry requirements are as follows.
Complete a digital epidemiological form known as the “Health Pass” or “Pase de Salud.” (

Tourists must purchase and show proof of travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19. This policy can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers.

Two Costa Rican companies that offer pre-approved travel insurance plans are the National Insurance Institute (INS) and Sagicor. This means their policies are guaranteed to be accepted when you enter Costa Rica.

No quarantine is required for tourists unless they have tested positive while in the country.

For the complete entry requirements for tourists to Costa Rica see the Institute of Costa Rican Tourism updated information here: 

August 1, 2020

Costa Rica reopens to tourists on August 1, 2020, by commencing international commercial flights from a select list of countries at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San Jose.

Tourism is one of the primary sectors of the Costa Rican economy. Hundreds of thousands of people are employed directly and indirectly in jobs that are connected to providing tourists with services for their travels. There is no greater wish for local business owners, big and small, than to welcome back tourists and continue to give the memorable vacation that visitors have come to experience over and over again in Costa Rica.

However, that wish comes with the need for a safe environment in which to visit Costa Rica; safe for those who live in the country and those who are visiting.

The Costa Rican government continues to have nationwide COVID-19 related restrictions, such as vehicular restrictions (by license plate), mask-wearing, and which commercial business can be open and how.

Areas with COVID-19 cases are under Orange Alert and have more restrictions than areas under Yellow Alert. Where we host our yoga and surf retreats on the Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, in the town of Santa Teresa, the restrictions are Yellow Alert.

Commencing on August 1, 2020, beaches will be open from 5:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., extended from the previous closure time 9:30 a.m.

For travelers who want to come to Costa Rica as a tourist, the following information is an excerpt from a July 29, 2020 Tico Times article, as translated from the announcement by the Costa Rica government.

The authorized countries from where travelers will be granted permission to enter Costa Rica on a tourist visa as of August 1, 2020, are as follows:

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland.

Travelers from the U.S. (a non-authorized country), for example, will not be able to transit through Canada and fly to Costa Rica. Travelers will need to complete 14 days of quarantine in Canada before flying to Costa Rica.

There will be a review and update of authorized countries every two weeks. 

Tourists will need to present a negative result COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Costa Rica and will not need to quarantine.

Costa Rica takes very seriously that the pandemic protocols and regulations are respected and followed by all. This is not about every person for him/herself, rather, as is part of the culture, there is care for the community by the community. Neighbors help their neighbors and visitors alike. 

Tourists will receive a warm welcome by Costa Rica!