Traveler Facts & Info

Now that you've decided Costa Rica is your destination of choice, you're probably full of questions... And we've got answers!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions that you don't see here, please contact us and we'll be happy to answer them.

What are the passport and/or visa requirements to enter Costa Rica?

Citizens of the U.S. and Canada

To enter Costa Rica, regardless if you're 0 years old or 110, you'll need to have:

  • A passport not set to expire for at least 30 days (expiration date has to be 30 days or more after arrival date)
  • A pre-paid airline ticket to exit Costa Rica, either to return to your country or to go to another country.
  • A Visa is not required, but the length of stay permitted on your tourist entry is a maximum of 90 days
  • For the latest updates, visit the US Embassy website

For Citizens of other countries:

To enter Costa Rica, regardless if you're 0 years old or 110, you'll need to have:

  • A passport not set to expire for at least 30 - 180 days, depending on your country of citizenship
  • Check your countries requirements
  • A pre-paid airline or bus exit ticket to another country, to demonstrate proof of intent to leave.
  • A visa if required. Please check with your local embassy as requirements change frequently. Read more here...

Additional Entry Requirements for Kids 0 - 18 years old:

  • A parent entry / exit authorization letter if the child is traveling alone or with a one parent.
  • Immediatley after after you pay the departure tax, you'll need to go to the migration desk to get a stamp for all minors.

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Are there exit fees?

No matter how you slice you it, you have to pay a $26 departure tax at the airport. You can pay with cash or a Visa credit or debit card card (no MasterCards). If you depart by land at one of the border crossings, you do not have to pay this tax.

When you arrive at the airport to depart internationally, the first thing you must do is pay this departure tax at one of two locations at either end of the airport before lining up to check-in for your flight.

Additional Requirements for Kids 0 - 18 years old:

Immediatley after after you pay the departure tax, you'll need to go to the migration desk to get a stamp for all minors. You can not go to check-in until this is done.

Insider Information

  • If you're exiting Costa Rica by land or sea, there are no departure taxes.
  • For an extended stay, longer than the visa or passport permits, You can either:
  • Apply for an extension of stay with the immigration office
  • Or, cross the border to another country, remain outside of Costa Rica for 72 hours and return to Costa Rica under the same conditions as when you originally entered. You can stay in the country again up to the maximum amount of days your entry passport or visa allows. Perpetual tourism is discouraged.

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Do I need any vaccinations?

Costa Rica doesn’t require any particular immunizations prior to entering the country. If traveling with children, consult the American Academy of Pediatrics (scroll down to page 21) site or the CDC site for immunization and vaccination suggestions for children.

For your own good, make sure you have all your routine vaccinations (influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT)) up to date. Also, please read the CDC's Adult Immunization Schedule

Yellow Fever is not a risk in Costa Rica, but for people arriving from some countries where yellow fever is present, proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required. Please visit the CDC website for more info and for a list of countries or areas where “a risk of yellow fever transmission is present, and therefor the vaccination is required when coming from or passing thru these countries, check out the CDC's list.  See table 2-12a for the list of countries.

Got questions about dengue or yellow fever? We have compiled some useful information.

We also have some helpful hints to keep yourself healthy while in Costa Rica. 

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Are there any crime alerts?

Crime is on the rise in Costa Rica, but it's generally limited to petty theft, pickpocket and car theft. Although, in recent years the incidence of violent crimes has increased. The majority of the violent crimes occur in San Jose and in other larger Costa Rican cities, but when you compare San Jose to other big cities like Los Angeles, New York, Paris or London, the streets are still relatively safe.

What should I pack?

See our suggested list of things to bring to Costa Rica

Just remember that although Costa Rica is in the tropics, it does get chilly here at night, especially up in the mountainous towns of Monteverde, San Isidro, San Jose and the surrounding suburbs.

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Inside Traveler Facts & Info ยป Helpful Hints to Stay Healthy

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