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Costa Rica is open to U.S. travelers -- and you don't need a COVID test to get in

March 14, 2021
4 min read
Arenal volcano Cerro Chato Costa Rica
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Editor's Note

This post was originally published in October 2020 and was updated with new information on March 12, 2021.

Back in November, U.S. travelers across all states and territories were allowed to resume travel to Costa Rica.

There's an even more interesting twist: you won't even need to bring a negative COVID test result with you.

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In addition to eliminating the requirement of a PCR diagnostic test with a negative result, a quarantine period is also not required.

Travelers entering the country's three international airports (Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), Daniel Oduber Quirós Airport (LIR) and Tobías Bolaños Airport (SYQ)) have to follow certain entry requirements like having a health pass form completed and health insurance as detailed below.

Related: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Who can visit Costa Rica?

All U.S. residents can visit Costa Rica as of Nov. 1, 2020 -- and without a negative COVID test result.

All U.S. residents can visit Costa Rica, including the Andaz Costa Rica hotel, starting Nov. 1, 2020. (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

What are the new entry requirements?

While the requirements to enter Costa Rica are lenient, there are still certain entry requirements including mandatory traveler's medical insurance.

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To be allowed entry, travelers must complete the following requirements:

  • Fill out the electronic epidemiological health pass form before departure
  • Show proof of traveler’s medical insurance, either purchased internationally or directly from Costa Rica through the National Insurance Institute or Sagicor.
  • For international insurance policies, tourists must request a certification from their insurance company, issued in English or Spanish, verifying at least the following three conditions:
  • Effectiveness of the policy during the visit to Costa Rica
  • Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the pandemic COVID-19 virus while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000
  • Includes minimum coverage of $2,000 for potential quarantine lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic
  • Note that any emergency medical or dental coverage provided by credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve will not meet this requirement.
  • Of course, you'll still need a passport (and visa, if required) to enter Costa Rica like usual.

Bottom line

Costa Rica remains open as well as not requiring a quarantine period.

As of March 10, 2021, Costa Rica has 207,832 cumulative coronavirus cases with 2,848 COVID-19-related deaths.

If you are looking for a place to travel internationally for spring break, Costa Rica could be a worthwhile option since having a negative test is not required for entry. However, because the U.S. requires testing within three calendar days of your flight home, it is important to identify a clinic in Costa Rica that can provide testing.

The Costa Rican government has authorized many labs to provide testing throughout Costa Rica and there are several private labs that offer both PCR and antigen tests that can be found here.

Also, note that many bars and nightclubs remain closed or at reduced capacity.

While it's great that Costa Rica remains open to U.S. travelers, it is important to still follow guidelines of mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: TPG's destination guide to Costa Rica

Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Madison Blancaflor and Adrienne Jordan.

Featured image by Getty Images/Westend61
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more