Important information about the reopening and entering Costa Rica

Dear clients and tour operators:

We would like to summarize below what applies to enter and travel in Costa Rica since November 1st, 2020. In particular, note the point regarding uploading the insurance certificate:

Entry formalities

  • Costa Rica warmly welcomes all nationalities again when entering via the airports SJO and LIR. The national borders with neighboring countries will be open again as of 05.04.2021.
  • A negative PCR test is NOT REQUIRED.
  • To enter Costa Rica, an online health form must be completed before departure. Proof of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of USD 50,000 for medical costs in the event of illness from Covid-19, as well as coverage of USD 2,000 for any quarantine costs must be uploaded in this form.
  • If the international travel health insurance does not cover the USD 2.000 for any quarantine costs, please contact us and we will find a solution for you.
  • At the end of the health form, a QR code is generated which the customer can save on his mobile phone or print out. This QR code must be presented upon entry.
  • The health form must be presented upon check-in. Otherwise, some airlines refuse to board.
  • Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 before departure should not travel.

Costa Rica borders with Panama and Nicaragua open on April 5th

From April 5th, Costa Rica reopens the country's borders with Panama and Nicaragua also for tourists. The conditions are identical to those for entry through San José or Liberia airports: Filling out the online form and proof of insurance. A negative test is NOT required and there is NO quarantine to follow.

  • Entry Costa Rica:
    • Online form:
    • Proof of insurance: USD 50'000 medical expenses, USD 2'000 quarantine expenses
  • Entry Panama:
  • Entry Nicaragua:
    • Negative PCR test not older than 72 hours (antigen rapid tests are not accepted)
    • Indication of the residence address in Nicaragua upon entry

The opening is based on new positive data regarding the infection rates of tourists in Costa Rica. Since the border was opened at San José and Liberia airports on August 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021, approximately 240,000 tourists have entered Costa Rica. Only 0.1% of these (about 240 pax) tested positive. This figure shows that the hygiene protocols are working and that Costa Rica is well suited as a travel destination during the pandemic if the generally known rules are followed.

PCR test in Costa Rica prior to return 

Some countries currently require a negative COVID-19 test to enter your country of origin from Costa Rica.  We recommend that you first obtain detailed information about the entry requirements of the country of entry, in order to ensure that you arrive to your destination without any mishap. Remember, the test must be taken no more than 72 hours before leaving the country. To request an appointment for both types of tests, please contact your Customer Experience Team or write a message via Whatsapp to 8893-3863 and we will gladly arrange the appointment for your clients. For more information, click here.

Safety while traveling

  • Mask requirements at airports and during the entire flight.
  • Mask requirement in Costa Rica in shops, bus stops, during bus rides, when entering/leaving restaurants, and all contacts where the minimum distance of 1.8 m cannot be kept. The use of face masks is mandatory for all persons including children from 3 years of age.
  • NO mask requirement in national parks, reserves, beaches, and public spaces if the minimum distance of 1.8m can be kept.
  • Keeping the minimum distance of 1.8 m to people from other social bubbles.
  • Regular disinfection of rooms, vehicles, luggage, tables, and all surfaces that are often touched by the service providers' staff.
  • Facilities for hand washing or disinfection everywhere.
  • Largely contactless service (check-in, menus as QR code, etc.)
  • Excellent public and private health care (even at peak times in Costa Rica there was no medical collapse), ARA Tours works with an English-speaking doctor for our customers, e.g. for remote diagnosis.
  • High hygiene standards and drinking water across the country.

Why you should visit Costa Rica?

  • You mainly move outside in nature, there are hardly any crowds.
  • 94% of the hotels in Costa Rica have less than 40 rooms and there are hardly any crowds either.
  • Numerous great boutique hotels with top standards and availability!
  • Rental car tours, a safe form of travel
  • Traveling with a private driver/tour guide: on request and for a fee, we are happy to carry out a Covid test 72 hours before the start of the journey.
  • Costa Rica looks like it did 30 years ago: You see a lot more animals, the national parks are poorly visited, the beaches are often deserted.
  • English-speaking top tour guides are available. This has often not been the case in the past.

Sanitary measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19 by the Government of Costa Rica

  • Beaches are available from 5:00 to 18:00
  • National Parks will be able to operate with a capacity of 100%.
  • Bars and casinos will be able to operate with a capacity of 50%.

 Vehicle Restriction:

Throughout the country, except in downtown San José, from Monday to Friday all license plates may circulate between 5:00 to 23:00.

Only in downtown San José from Monday to Friday the vehicle restriction by license plates is applied, therefore vehicles with license plate numbers ending with:

  • Monday: 1 and 2
  • Tuesday: 3 and 4
  • Wednesdays: 5 and 6
  • Thursdays: 7 and 8
  • Friday: 9 and 0

On Saturdays only plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) may circulate and on Sundays only plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) may circulate.

There is a list of exceptions in which vehicles that are required for different activities are not required to comply with the vehicle restriction measures.  Rental vehicles or "rent a car" are part of this list of exceptions as long as the appropriate proof of reservation is presented. 

The following airlines resume flights to Costa Rica:

  • Iberia: MAD-SJO. Offers a flight on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
  • Lufthansa: FRA-SJO-FRA offers five weekly flights: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Edelweiss: ZRH-SJO-ZRH from April to June offers two weekly flights on Fridays and Mondays. For July and August offers two weekly flights on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Air France: Offers 2 weekly flights on Thursday and Saturdays.
  • KLM: Starting next June 29, KLM will fly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays arriving at Juan Santamaría International Airport, and will then depart for Liberia, in the province of Guanacaste. From Liberia, will depart to Amsterdam at 16:40 local time.
  • British Airways: Not yet confirmed
  • Condor: Not yet confirmed

Costa Rica and ARA Tours are ready to receive your guests under high-security standards and with extremely personal attention. Write to us for your inquiries!

Stay healthy!

Your ARA Tours team

COVID-19 Entry Insurance

COVID-Test prior to return

Contact Information

WhatsApp: +506-8893-3863
Phone: +506-2232-0400
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Apdo 799 – 1007
San José, Costa Rica

Licenced by the Costa Rican Tourist Board: Lic ICT OT 294

Liability insurance: Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS) Coverage: Territory of the Republic of Costa Rica

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