Entry & Exit Requirements
U.S. and Canadian citizens must have a valid passport to enter Costa Rica. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the date of entry.
A visa is not required for visits up to 30 days.
If you are not traveling with a U.S. passport, please check with the Costa Rican Embassy for the requirements based on your nationality.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine, varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, and your yearly flu shot before every trip.
There are no vaccinations required for entry into Costa Rica, unless you are traveling from an endemic yellow fever area within six weeks prior to entry.
Some physicians recommend that travelers get hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines before visiting Costa Rica.
Please consult your physician for additional information and recommendations based on your individual circumstances.
The CDC warns that travelers to Central America may be at risk for exposure to malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite found in Anopheles mosquitos, which are active from dusk until dawn. Prevention is twofold: the use of anti-malarial drugs and the prevention of insect bites. If you choose to use an anti-malarial drug, as recommended by the CDC, see your physician for a prescription.
In June 2014, El Salvador reported locally transmitted cases of chikungunya in Central America. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with chikungunya and are spreading it to people. Local transmission of chikungunya is now being reported in other countries in Central America. CDC recommends that travelers to the Central America area protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Locally transmitted cases of Zika virus have been reported in Costa Rica. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika and are spreading it to people. The CDC recommends that travelers to Costa Rica protect themselves from mosquito bites. As a precaution, the CDC advises women who are pregnant to consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
The effects of the sun can be damaging to the eyes and skin. Spending time outdoors exposes you to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, even on cloudy days. To protect yourself from the sun, use a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15, protect skin with clothing, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and drink plenty of fluids.