You may know that Costa Rica re-opened its borders in August 2020. You may also know that local and international regulations have changed, been refined, and updated since then. So, what’s the current status of Costa Rica coronavirus travel? The short answer: Pretty positive. We’ll get into the details.
Because you want the details. You would love to hear that it’s safe to travel again. While each of our experiences is unique, the world collectively agrees that 2020 was a challenging year. We, you, all of us are anxious to travel again – to shed the stress of a year’s worth of self-isolation and abandon ourselves to the delight and jubilation of a well-deserved vacation.
The good news: Costa Rica coronavirus travel in 2021 is fairly easy – Costa Rica is enthusiastically welcoming tourists – and, thanks to a country’s worth of outdoor activities and private vacation homes, you can do a lot to mitigate your risk while traveling.
Here’s what you need to know about traveling to Costa Rica in 2021 (click to jump to any section):
- Costa Rica Coronavirus: Local Laws, Protocols & Regulations
- Costa Rica: “Naturally” Lower Risk
- Costa Rica Coronavirus Entry Requirements
- How to Fill Out the Costa Rica Health Pass
- Costa Rica Coronavirus Travel Insurance
- Returning Home
Costa Rica Coronavirus: Local Laws, Protocols & Regulations
Since the start, Costa Rica has done fairly well in managing the pandemic. As of March 2021, cases average ~250-500 cases per day, with a total of ~215,000 total recorded Costa Rica coronavirus cases and under 3,000 deaths. (The Ministry of Health/Ministerio de Salud provides near-daily updates via their Facebook page.)
This mostly comes down to the country’s health and safety protocols. For example, masks are required in all public indoor spaces, including the grocery store, restaurants, and airports. Outdoors, masks are not required, as long as you maintain a distance of 6 feet/1.8 meters. Note that face shields do not replace the mask requirement, and masks with valves are not permitted.
You’ll find other protections – mostly unobtrusive – peppered throughout your journeys: hand sanitizer and/or sinks available at almost every business; plexiglass partitions at the grocery store; the occasional temperature check; 6-foot distance markers at the airport; sanitation carpets in high-traffic areas; and other risk mitigation measures.
Most businesses have reopened – some (ex. restaurants and bars), operating at reduced capacity. Notably, while you may hear about driving restrictions, rental cars are exempt. Large gatherings are not permitted.
COVID Travel: Naturally Lower Your Risk Outdoors
Here’s what the science tells us:
- Fresh air helps dilute/disperse the virus.
- Fresh air also evaporates the droplets that carry the virus.
- U/V rays (from sunlight) should kill the virus.
Of course, Costa Rica is an outdoor kind of place. Here, you won’t spend your days inside at museums or enjoying the opera: You’ll be outside, bathed in sunlight, splashing in the ocean, or zipping through the treetops. And, with just a little bit of planning, you can vacation socially distanced and naturally at lower risk. Here are a few tips:
Tip: Stay in a Private Vacation Home
We know – we’re biased. But, when it comes to keeping your distance, one of the best choices you can make is to go private with your accommodations. In addition to affording you privacy and complete separation from others, our Guanacaste vacation rentals undergo strict cleaning and health protocols before you arrive. You’ll have only as much contact with the outside world as you want.
Tip: Plan on Outdoor Activities
So much of Costa Rica is open to distanced adventure and solitary relaxation: Grab a surfboard, stroll the beach, or even hop in your car to explore trails, sands, and lookouts further afield. (We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction(s)!)
And, even when you’re not going it completely alone, Costa Rica’s most popular activities are outdoors: surf lessons and ATV tours, catamaran sails and volcano hikes, waterfall swims and canopy ziplines – everything on your Costa Rica wishlist is outdoors, in the fresh air and beneath the warm tropical sun.
Tip: Go Private (When Possible)
When you do opt for guided tours and activities, ask about going private. In some cases, we can help arrange for just-you-and-your-travel-bubble excursions.
We have so much more to say, but we also want to get to the need-to-know details about Costa Rica coronavirus travel (below). If you’d like to discuss this further in detail, please get in touch: