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It is time to travel: Costa Rica (2 of 3) - English

In our first blog of our It is time to travel: Costa Rica series we talk about the regions of Costa Rica. Today we will be learning about the requirements to enter the country and other details to take into account.

Entry Requirements:

To visit Costa Rica you must meet these requirements (these also depend on your country of origin). You need a departure flight ticket, the immigration officer will request it upon your arrival. recommends making a photocopy of your passport with the entry stamp to carry with you at all times during your stay.

  • Depending on the country, the number of days available to stay in the country as a tourist will be determined.

  • In some cases, the immigration official may request that you show financial solvency for your stay in the country.

  • Even though you might have a 90-day tourist visa, the immigration officer can assess the amount of time you are allowed to stay in your passport.

Visitors must have a valid passport, as well as proof that they will be leaving the country before their visa or entry stamp expires, usually within 90 days. All travelers must have either a return ticket or a ticket that shows they are leaving the country, commonly known as an "exit, exit, or onward ticket." An exit ticket is required for non-residents who are:

  • traveling on a one-way ticket.

  • enter the country with a return ticket dated more than 90 days after arrival.

  • fly in Costa Rica and fly to another country.

By law, a departure ticket can be any of the following in approved, commercial transportation:

  • a pre-purchased bus ticket out of the country

  • a pre-purchased flight out of the country

  • proof of passage on a cruise ship

You are also required to declare when entering or leaving Costa Rica:

When entering or leaving a port in Costa Rica, if you are carrying an amount equal to or greater than US$10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, cash or securities, you must request and complete the form provided for this purpose at the migration post and present it to the Customs Authority for verification; The statement must be made before finalizing the corresponding immigration procedures. The omission of what is established by Costa Rican law (No. 8204, article 35) will result in the immediate loss of money.

What kind of vaccines do you have to inject to bring to Costa Rica?

As of July 30, 2007, the Costa Rican authorities will require that all travelers from the following countries Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone , Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, as well as the Republic of Guyana have a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever.The vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before the start date of your trip.

Think about receiving Basic vaccines for hepatitis A and B are recommended, as well as rabies and tetanus, before making the trip. More information in General Directorate of Migration and Immigration


We recommend that you book tours offered by authorized travel agencies. Before you get out, check the local weather conditions and forecasts before you take a tour. Make sure the tour guide provides you with the safety instructions and the activity´s regulation before starting the tour. Also ensure that every company has the operating permit of the Ministry of Health, insurance policies and certified tour guides.

Food & Water

The tap water in Costa Rica is completely drinkable.

In Costa Rica the biggest meal of the day is lunch. The cuisine is quite extensive and includes both national and international options.

Is good to know that In restaurants and hotels there is a 13% Value Added Tax and a 10% tip included in the final price; however, if you are more than happy with the service and want to leave a gratuity, it will be welcome.

Cell phone

We recommend calling your wireless provider before you go. You can buy a SIM prepaid card and use your unlocked cell phone in Costa Rica. Find SIM cards at the Kolbi (the national telecommunications company) booth at the airport, or in any telephone company store around, such as Claro and Movistar. A local line is not required to dial 9-1-1 just in case of emergency.


  • The colón is the currency of Costa Rica.

  • US$ dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.

  • Exchange money only at banks and approved change offices.

  • Bank transactions require a valid passport (not a copy nor a picture).

  • ATMs are located throughout the country. Some of them remain closed from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Remember not to flash your cash.

  • Sales tax or Value Added Tax (VAT) is 13%. It is included in the final price of every service or product purchase.

  • The departure tax should be included in most of the airline tickets. For those flight tickets where it is duly stipulated that they do not include the departure tax, you must pay $29 per person, either in dollars, colones (local currency), credit or debit card.


It is recommended to travel light. If there’s a way to avoid checking baggage, do it. You’ll be able to take advantage of hotel washrooms and laundromats on your journey and the less you have to keep up with, the better. If you are checking baggage, remember to weigh bags before you get to the airport. Try to pack only what is necessary, cool clothes that are easy to wash and dry, since airlines and tour operators have weight restrictions on luggage, and you will probably move from one place to another. Include in your luggage all the medication you may need if you have a medical condition, since some medications in Costa Rica require a certified prescription.


Its two main international airports Juan Santamaría International Airport (Code: SJO) is the country's main airport, located in Alajuela.The modern Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia (Code: LIR) mainly receives specific flights for tourists visiting Guanacaste, Monteverde and La Fortuna. This comfortable airport connects with beautiful beaches in one of the largest and most important tourist areas in the country. Costa Rica has several local airports with two airlines that fly domestically: Aerobell Airlines and Sansa Airlines.

Since 2016, the country's departure tax has been included in most of the airline tickets. For those flight tickets where it is duly stipulated that they do not include the departure tax, you must pay $29 per person, either in dollars, colones, credit or debit card.

For the next and last blog we will include some samples of itineraries and accommodation that we recommend.

2023, Official Site of Costa Rica, Tourism Board:


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