Costa Rica opened its borders to Canadian travellers back at the beginning of August, with Air Canada and WestJet planning to resume flights to both San José and Liberia in the coming months.
For Canadians headed to Costa Rica, the destination’s tourism industry is ready to welcome them with safety being a top priority.
So here’s what your clients need to know:
Before You Go
To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Costa Rica, travellers should read up on Costa Rica’s COVID-19 health and safety policies before departing and ensure they are abiding by them during their stay. It is recommended that all travellers continue to use caution on the ground and avoid crowded areas and maintain 6-feet distance apart from others. Additional considerations are as follows:
- Across Costa Rica, many hotels and resorts are operating at 50% capacity in public areas such as lobbies, restaurants and pools. For hotels and resorts in areas under an orange alert for COVID-19, 50% capacity is mandated in all areas, including rooms.
- Rental car establishments in Costa Rica have reduced their hours of operation to Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. at 9:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 a.m. at 7:00 pm. Rental car companies are responsible for providing travellers with the necessary documents to drive outside of the permitted vehicular restriction hours.
- Most indoor businesses (supermarkets, pharmacies, retail stores, etc.) are operating at 50% capacity and at reduced hours – Monday through Friday between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. Travellers may experience longer wait times.
- Face masks are required at indoor locations (except private residences and while eating in restaurants) and on any public transportation (buses, taxis, etc.).
- Restaurants have reopened at 50% capacity with several extending operation hours for delivery and pickup options.
Border Entry Requirements
Following is a list of entry requirements for Canadian travellers visiting Costa Rica:
* Canadians must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test. The test sample must be taken within 48 hours prior to flying to Costa Rica. The test is required for all travellers older than 12 years old. Rapid test results, serological tests or immunity tests will not be accepted.
- Travellers are required to fill out a digital form, called the Health Pass. This form is available at https://salud.go.cr.
- Travellers must show proof of a travel insurance policy that covers the following: guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the COVID-19 virus while in Costa Rica, for a minimum of USD $50,000; and a minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for extended lodging expenses due to the virus. Canada’s insurance requirement can be met through international travel insurance providers, as well as two local options, National Insurance Company and Sagicor.
Costa Rica offers numerous socially distanced experiences that make a trip to Costa Rica safe and enjoyable. Travellers can enjoy activities such as:
* Select national parks (now offering online reservations and payments)
- Select beaches open at a reduced schedule
- Horseback riding
- Rainforest canopy tours
- Thermal springs
Travellers should check national park and local tour operators’ websites for availability and hours of operation. For suggested itineraries and a list of Tourism Board certified tour operators, head to visitcostarica.com.
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information and entry requirements, please refer to the Ministry of Health (www.ministerio de salud.go.cr) and the Visit Costa Rica website (https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements).