Travel Tips

COVID-19 – Conditions of entry Costa Rica has chosen to keep the country open to tourists: while common-sense measures are enforced, life feels almost normal. Air borders are open, no […]

Entry and exit requirements

Conditions of entry and passport:

For the vast majority of European and North American nationals, a passport valid for at least 3 months is sufficient to enter Costa Rica. Upon arrival in San José or Liberia, you will receive a free 90-day tourist visa, which can be renewed for the same duration if you leave the country for at least 3 days.

Official entry requirements:

  • Hold a passport valid for at least 3 months upon entering Costa Rican territory (6 months for those requiring a visa – check your embassy’s official website).
  • Be in possession of a return or onward ticket to another country.
  • Have sufficient financial resources for your entire stay in Costa Rica.
  • If transiting through the United States on your way to Costa Rica, remember to apply for a visa waiver online (ESTA). Check any other requirements if transiting through another country before reaching Costa Rica.
  • An international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for anyone who, before traveling to Costa Rica, has stayed in a country with YF risk. This requirement applies only to persons who have transited through countries at risk on their way to Costa Rica (airports, ports and border crossings, etc.). List of countries considered “at risk” (warning: the list can change, check beforehand if you have recently traveled to Africa or South America) :
    In Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia.
    In America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago.

For additional information, feel free to contact us or check your Embassy website.

Vaccines and Medicines

Apart from the above regarding yellow fever, there are no vaccine requirements to enter Costa Rica.
However, we strongly recommend you make sure your regular immunizations are up to date: rubella, mumps, measles, diphtheria, tetanus and polio.
The following vaccines are also recommended – check with your doctor before traveling: typhoid fever and hepatitis A and B.

Malaria is currently being eradicated in Costa Rica. Minor forms may however still be present on the Caribbean coast (Limon and Tortuguero provinces), but there is no need to take a chloroquine-based preventive treatment. You should however take precautions to avoid mosquito bites which may transmit other diseases (dengue, or even chikungunya or the Zika virus), especially if you plan to travel in the wet season and hike in the tropical forest.
To prevent mosquito bites, it is best to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Make sure you pick a DEET-based repellent designed for tropical environments. To protect your hotel room, remember to bring mosquito nets if there are none on site or if you are particularly sensitive.

As a rule of thumb, to avoid any inconvenience associated with “Montezuma’s revenge”, avoid drinking tap water. Drink water from a sealed bottle. Always check that meat and fish are cooked through. The vast majority of restaurants and hotels in Costa Rica adhere to strict rules when handling food and cleaning fruit and vegetables, but please exercise caution and feel free to ask us for advice.

How to pack

It’s best to keep your luggage lightweight and easy to carry.
Our tip: consider packing a few items of clothing in your cabin baggage, just in case your bags get stuck somewhere and arrive a few days late. If this happens, leave your phone number and hotel name upon arrival at the airline’s airport counter.

This is what the ideal bag should contain:

  • lightweight cotton clothing
  • lightweight canvas / linen pants
  • shorts and t-shirts
  • sweater for the evening
  • waterproof jacket or windbreaker
  • poncho or umbrella
  • long-sleeved shirts to keep mosquitoes at bay
  • closed and comfortable walking shoes or boots
  • swimsuit
  • beach towel (hand towel provided)
  • sunglasses
  • hat / cap
  • High-SPF sunscreen (30 to 50)
  • DEET-based mosquito repellent
  • flash light
  • camera – and a sufficient supply of memory cards
  • chargers for your electronic devices (laptop, camera, etc.) and adapter (110V, 60 Hz, flat US-type plugs)
  • lightweight backpack for hikes / excursions
  • driver’s license
  • copies of your passport and travel documents
  • Covid-19 masks and hand sanitizing gel

More about destination Costa Rica…


Costa Rica through its people, cuisine, handicrafts and custom and more…


Costa Rica through its fauna, flora, beaches, volcanos, seasons…

The Environment

The impact of tourism can be positive for a nation developing a green economy…


All the practical info you need about Costa Rica to make the most of your stay…