If you plan on visiting Costa Rica during COVID-19, here is what you need to know. Read all about Costa Rica COVID travel, Costa Rica entry requirements, where to get a COVID test in Costa Rica and what happens if you test positive for COVID in Costa Rica.
This post is updated often to reflect the most recent changes.
Current Costa Rica Coronavirus Situation
Please click on this link, Costa Rica coronavirus to read the latest updates and statistics.
Costa Rica COVID Travel Restrictions and Border Opening
On November 1, 2020, Costa Rica opened their borders to all countries in the world via air. On April 5, 2021, Costa Rica opened the land borders between Nicaragua and Panama.
Costa Rica Entry Requirements (COVID-19)
**As of April 1, 2022, all previous COVID entry requirements have been removed. Unvaccinated tourists do not need to purchase a previously required insurance. The health pass will no longer be required for anyone.** Costa Rica does not require quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test to enter. There are no COVID-19 requirements to enter Costa Rica anymore, it is how it used to be before the pandemic.
The only sanitary measures and requirements for tourists is when they are in the country and that includes hand washing and temperature taking.
Do I have to be vaccinated to go to Costa Rica?
No. You do not have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for Costa Rica. Costa Rica is not requiring tourists to be vaccinated against COVID. Fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated people can enter Costa Rica. You don’t need to have your booster shot to enter Costa Rica.
>> Get Exclusive Costa Rica Travel Tips and our Free Travel Guide Straight to You! <<
Do Fully Vaccinated People Need to Buy Costa Rica Travel Insurance?
No. As of April 1, 2022, no one has to purchase any type of mandatory insurance to enter Costa Rica.
Costa Rica COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Tourists Need to Know About
When it comes to COVID restrictions in Costa Rica, the only ones pertaining to tourists are hand washing and temperature taking when required and social distancing if possible. Face mask wearing is now optional for indoor places and public spaces, but required in medical and health facilities.
There are no other restrictions – no driving restrictions, no curfew, etc.
Please check our post Costa Rica COVID to see details.
QR Code Transition Period
The QR Code (proof of full vaccination) transition period is officially over as of April 1, 2022.
All activities and events may operate at 100% WITHOUT proof of vaccination (QR code). The health pass has been removed and nobody has to purchase any type of travel insurance to enter the country anymore.
My Experience Flying into Costa Rica (April 2022)
I recently flew into Liberia (Guanacaste) International Airport in April 2022. Since the previous COVID entry requirements were removed on April 1st, flying into Costa Rica was nearly exactly like how it was pre-COVID. No negative test required, no quarantine, no health pass, no insurance, nothing was checked. The only difference is that face masks are required in all areas of the airport inside and outside.
At immigration, the officer asked for my passport and for tourists, they will ask how many days you are in Costa Rica, your first destination and occupation.
Then it’s like normal after passing immigration. Pick up luggage, go through customs and then exit airport. At 730 PM, the duty free store and money exchange was still open. No SIM card stand. See what it’s like to go through customs and immigration in Costa Rica in our post.
**Please note due to lack of staff and increase of flights arriving at the same time, immigration and customs has been taking much longer. We have known people to take 2-3 hours, particularly at SJO Airport, so please take that into consideration for your transportation plans when you land**
Where to Get a COVID test in Costa Rica
The Costa Rican Ministry of Tourism has put together a PDF of the approved labs to do COVID tests.
Please check your home country requirements to see what is required for your re-entry. **Since December 6, 2021, the USA requires a negative viral COVID test taken within 1 day of departure flight for everyone regardless vaccination and immigration status. This is NOT a Costa Rica requirement – it is a United States requirement.**
COVID tests in Costa Rica are done via a nasal swab.
Cost and Turnaround Time
The cost of a COVID test in Costa Rica varies between $55-300 USD per test with a 24-72 hour turnaround. Antigen tests have an average of 1-8 hour turnaround time and are cheaper ~$60 USD. A PCR test is around $150 USD with a turnaround time of around 24-72 hours. Some labs may offer same day PCR tests for ~$300. Results will be emailed in English or Spanish.
What Happens If You Test Positive for COVID in Costa Rica?
If you need hospitalization, you will be taken to a hospital and placed under medical care. Costa Rica will not refuse anyone who requires COVID-19 hospital care regardless of their immigration and vaccination status. 911 works in Costa Rica and they have an English speaking option.
Then if you are taking the test to re-enter your home country, airlines will not let you board with a positive test result.
The lab/hospital that took your test will send the official report to the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and you will be issued a mandatory health order where you cannot leave the country for 7-14 days. You will have to quarantine and find a hotel or lodging that will let you quarantine. The duration of your quarantine will depend on the severity of the disease and the doctor who attends you will define this. You will have to comply with the entire duration of your stay at home order – even if you test negative during that period of time.
This quarantine period is an isolated quarantine period (exceptions for minors, seniors, persons with disabilities). The person will be responsible for finding their own lodging, whether it’s a hotel that accepts them for their quarantine or a rental. They are also responsible for the COVID test costs.
Tourists won’t be penalized if they overstay their tourist visa due to a stay at home quarantine order.
What happens if one person in my group tests positive?
That person will be issued the sanitary stay at home order and will not be allowed to board. They will need to comply with the stay at home sanitary order. Those who produce a negative test result within the required time frame of their home country are allowed to board.
San Jose International Airport COVID Test
Laboratorio Echandi offers rapid COVID antigen testing at San Jose International Airport. Use your phone to scan this QR code of the photo below or go directly to their website covid.morphotr.com to make an appointment online.
Their testing space is 600 meters northeast of the international departures terminal. The antigen test is $65 USD plus tax.
You must arrive at the airport 4 hours before your flight and the results are given in maximum of one hour. They also offer PCR with test results within 3 hours for $240 USD.
They have a designated parking lot or for those without a car, they offer an airport shuttle. It is a 24 hour testing facility.
Liberia Airport COVID Test
Laboratorio Echandi also offers rapid antigen testing at the Liberia International Airport. You can go to the same website as above to schedule your Liberia Airport test. The testing site has a huge station with a tent in the parking lot.
San Jose COVID Test
COVID-19 testing is available at many hospitals, labs and clinics in San Jose. Below are the main ones.
- Hospital La Católica: Phone 506 2246 3129.
- Cima Hospital (506) 2208-1000.
- Hospital Metropolitano: phone 506 2521-9595.
- Hospital Clinica Biblica: Phone (506) 8529 2100 and 2522-1000.
- LABIN: 506 2586 7000.
- Laboratorio Páez: Phone 4000 0667.
- Lab Echandi: They have several locations and also offer a drive through testing center in Escazu. 30,000 CRC plus tax for antigen and they also offer PCR. We did the drive through antigen test in Escazu and got results in one hour.
- Laboratorios San José: 506 4055 4141.
Liberia COVID Test
- Hospital Metropolitano: Phone +506 2521 9595.
- Laboratorios Paez: 506 4000 0667
- Hospital San Rafael Arcangel:: 506 2690 550 or 2666 1717. email@example.com.
- Laboratorio Clinico Vidalab: Phone 4700 9131. WhatsApp 8733-3475
Tamarindo/Flamingo/Conchal/Grande/Brasilito/Langosta/Potrero COVID Test
- Beachside Clinic in Huacas. Phone 506 2653 9911 or 506 2653 5053. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clinica Medical Dental Villarreal: Call 26534141 to make an appointment. They offer antigen testing for 37,000 CRC. Results in less than 8 hours.
- Hospital Metropolitano: PCR and antigen available. Whatsapp 506 8465 7484 to make your appointment.
- Laboratario Clinico Vida Lab: Across from the Banco Nacional in town
For Tamarindo and Langosta, Labin Logistics offers house calls for testing. Email LabinLogistics@gmail.com to make an appointment.
Playas del Coco (Gulf of Papagayo, Ocotal, Hermosa, Panama) COVID Test
Coco Medical and Dental Center: Phone 506 2670 1234.
Labin Logistics also offers house calls to the Coco area for testing. Email LabinLogistics@gmail.com to make an appointment.
Nicoya COVID Test
Laboratorio Clinico Ricardo Cerdas: WhatsApp number 506 8589 3682 or office phone 2685 5175. Can go to your hotel. They can go to Samara, Nicoya and nearby locations.
Samara COVID Test
Centro Medico Dr. Freddy Soto, 506 2656 0992.
Nosara COVID Test
Paradise Medical Services: (takes 72 business hours, not including Sundays) 506 2682 1212.
Medklined Bioanálisis Laboratory: Whatsapp +506 8976-6458, phone 4703-6007 / 2100-4810, or email email@example.com. Offers PCR, antibodies and antigen.
Montezuma COVID Test
Montezuma doesn’t offer COVID testing but clinics in the nearby town of Cobano does. You can arrange for the local doctor to come to your place of lodging to administer your test. Costs around $150-180 USD per test and results are within 72 hours. Check Cobano Medical Center.
Quepos COVID Test
- Hospital Metropolitano: Phone 506 2519 9733. PCR and antigen.
- Quepos Urgent Care 506 2777 1727
Jaco COVID Test
- Lab Jaco: 2643 2118 in Jaco Walk
- Private clinic MMI: +506 4020 2200
- Rush Urgent Care: 506 8454 8543
- The Lab Group Garabito Whatsapp +506 6385 1791
Uvita/Dominical/Ojochal COVID Test
Dra. Mariam Vargas at Consultario Medico Vargas. Must make appointment via Whatsapp + 506 8750 9118.
San Isidro del General COVID Test
- Laboratorio Biotest: (48 hours results) 506 2772 0909
- Lab. Calderon Gonzalez: Phone 506 2771 2030 and 2772 4897.
Puerto Jimenez COVID Test
Laboratorio Clinico Puerto Jimenez. Phone 506 8820 2457.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (Limon) COVID Test
- Laboratorio Bioclinic: Cost is 80,000 CRC + tax. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp 506 8950 9101
- Laboratorio Dr. Eric Casto: In Limon, phone 506 2785 3106.
La Fortuna COVID Test
- Unimed Urgent Care: Takes 48 hours, +506 2479 1903
- Lab Echandi in Ciudad Quesada (1 hour from La Fortuna).506 2250 1871. Offer antigen and PCR.
- Laboratorio DrSolis: Offers PCR and antigen, 7 days a week.
Many hotels and resorts like Nayara, Los Lagos Tabacon, Royal Corin and the Volcano Lodge offer on-site testing with a local lab. Please consult with your hotel to set up your appointment.
Monteverde COVID Test
Centro de Salud – Dr. Hernandez: Located downtown Santa Elena in the Mega Super grocery store. Whatsapp 506 8589 8227, office 506 2645 6065 or email email@example.com
Do I Need to Wear a Mask in Costa Rica?
As of April 11, 2022, face masks in public spaces, open spaces and indoors is no longer mandatory in Costa Rica except for health officials. This was signed into law by the new president. However, individual establishments may still require them for their guests and people can still wear them if they wish.
What Is Open in Costa Rica Right Now During COVID-19?
All establishments are open.
As mentioned earlier, rental cars are exempt from driving restrictions. Car rental agencies are operating. Our partner, Adobe Rent a Car is operating (get our car rental discount and reader benefits in the link).
Public buses are running throughout the country and masks are required at all times when inside the bus and when waiting at a bus stop. All long routes are operating like normal.
Private shuttles with tourism licenses and taxis are allowed to operate. Uber and Didi can also operate. Masks must be worn by the driver and passengers inside rideshares, shuttles and taxis at all times.
Tours and Activities
All open air activities are allowed to operate including activities like ziplining, hiking and horseback riding. Be aware that some establishments may operate by reservations only. Some national parks like Poas Volcano National Park require pre-purchased tickets.
Beaches, Lakes and National Parks
Beaches are open everyday. All activities permitted. All national parks can have 100% maximum capacity.
Our Personal Tips for Visiting Costa Rica During COVID-19
- Avoid hand shaking and cheek kisses (cheek kisses are the normal form of greeting in Costa Rica).
- Please be kind to locals. They are eager to receive tourists again and are trying their best to work with the restrictions, regulations and low volume. You may need to be a bit more patient as things are taking longer than usual.
- Always ask for the cancellation policy before booking.
- For solo travelers, don’t rely on only booking tours or getting around with shared shuttles due to low availability.
- Don’t expect cheap prices. In fact, some things have gotten more expensive. Read our Costa Rica cost of traveling post for more information.
Had to Reschedule Your Trip? Here Are Some Helpful Resources
Disclaimer: Costa Rica border openings, travel restrictions and entry requirements are ever changing. We do our best to update this post with the latest information as much as possible. Please remember that the decision to travel is up to you and it is your responsibility to stay safe. Make sure to check the recommendations of your country when it comes to international travel. There are also affiliate links in this post.