updated March 16, 2021 – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
If you are a U.S. traveler planning to visit Santa Teresa or any other destination in Costa Rica, here is the latest information on understanding the COVID-19 U.S. re-entry requirements.
This is information and experience obtained on-the-ground and in-country. We are based in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, where we offer our yoga retreats.
We’ve been receiving inquiries from people who are over-the-top ready to take a flight out of their home country and land their feet in the tropics of Costa Rica. Naturally, questions and concerns come up about the requirements, protocols, and regulations related to travel and COVID-19.
First, all travelers coming from any country and of any nationality will need to follow these requirements for entry into Costa Rica.
U.S. TRAVELERS RETURNING TO THE U.S.
Since the end of January 2021, the U.S. CDC announced that all air passengers entering the U.S. will need to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken three days or less (not 72 hours; they are not that exact or strict) before their flight departure date.
The onus has been placed on the airlines to check the documentation of the COVID-19 test. This is done at check-in at the international airport in San Jose or Liberia (digital or a paper document can be used). And off you go. It is that simple.
*TIP – Upload your test result to your airline website when you check in for your flight online. You will by-pass a possibly long line at the airport airline check-in counter and go right to the security check. If you have a bag to check you can get the bag tag at the airline kiosk and drop it at the “bag drop” counter.
Optionally, you can show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the form of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider stating that you were cleared to travel.
The airlines want to make sure their passengers are well informed and make it as easy as possible for their customers. The information can be found on individual airline websites and they will also send you helpful emails and reminders about it.
Airports and airlines have put in place extensive procedures to address the pandemic. If you wear your mask and take common-sense precautions, you can travel to Costa Rica with relatively low risk.
COVID-19 TESTING IN SANTA TERESA OR SAN JOSE
COVID-19 testing has been streamlined in Costa Rica so that all tourists can quickly take the test and have the results by email in 24 hours or less.
HOW WE CAN HELP?
If you come on a Costa Rica retreat with Vajra Sol, we’ll guide you into Costa Rica with the information you need and be a resource so that you can have peace of mind. We will make the COVID-19 testing appointment for you and take you to the clinic for your appointment. This is a PCR test and results are flown to a lab in San Jose. Test results are emailed back to you within 24 hours. The cost of the test is currently US $150. You will be in and out quickly and back on the beach in no time.
Optionally, if you have a half-day or full-day layover in San Jose, you can get a COVID-19 antigen test instead of the PCR. The results are emailed to you within two hours. The cost is currently c. 30,000 (US $50). Clinica Biblica in downtown San Jose or Santa Ana (a 25-minute drive from the SJO airport) offers this testing. See Clinica Biblica’s website for details. (The antigen test is not available yet in Santa Teresa.)
The Costa Rican government has done an exceptional job at handling the pandemic situation. The tourism industry is a vital part of the country’s economy. They have put in every effort to make it safe and comfortable for tourists to visit as possible. Case numbers have been steadily dropping. The general atmosphere in Costa Rica is calm and everyone does what is required without the overwhelm. We are outdoors 99% of the time here on the beach.
When you have landed in Costa Rica and arrive at your accommodations, you will see that there was no need for worry or to be anxious before your trip. A common response by travelers is that it was a lot easier than expected. And they are certainly beyond happy they came.