COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Contingency Planning

Update July 23, 2020

Costa Rica will open its borders to foreign tourists from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada starting August 1, 2020.

Costa Rica also announced measures to which tourists must adhere if they visit the country.

     1     Tourists must complete and present an epidemiological form.

     2     Tourists must present proof of a negative coronavirus test received within 48 hours of their arrival to Costa Rica.

     3     Tourists must acquire travel insurance that covers medical care or an unexpected extended hotel stay.

     4     Tourists must follow all airport and local health protocols.

No word on opening dates for U.S. visitors.

Update July 9, 2020

The border will remain closed until August 1, 2020.

Update June 15, 2020

The AirPort in San Jose is preparing for reopening, which is scheduled for June 30, 2020.  Here is the TicoTimes article.

Update June 3, 2020

Costa Rica has extended its entry restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic until June 30.

Update May 12, 2020

Costa Rica’s borders remain closed to foreign tourists until June 15, 2020.

Parks are re-opening slowly as the new case count has dropped. The following national parks will open Saturday, May 16 for locals:

          Irazú Volcano National Park

          Poás Volcano National Park

          Guayabo National Monument

          Braulio Carrillo National Park

          Carara National Park

          Corcovado National Park

          Manuel Antonio National Park

          Cahuita National Park

          Arenal Volcano National Park

          Rincón de la Vieja National Park

          Los Quetzales National Park

          Tapantí National Park

In addition, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has been authorized to reopen. While Monteverde is a private reserve, it’s a “site of strong tourist visitation,” SINAC said, and critical to the local economy.

Update 4.28.20

The curve has turned.Costa Rica reports 705 cases, 16 are currently hospitalized and six fatalities.  The number of new cases reported began dropping on April 10.   The border remains closed to tourists until May 15. President Alvarado said authorities will “keep monitoring” the progression of the coronavirus pandemic and will announce new changes on May 11. “We know there is a need to economically reactivate the country,” President Alvarado said.

Update: 4.15.20

Costa Rica reports 626 cases, 16 hospitalized and four fatalities.  The number of new cases reported began dropping on April 10.  The borders remain closed until the end of April.

The country's quick action to implement travel and vehicle restrictions, closing off all public areas and most nonessential businesses will allow Costa Rica to come out of this faster than most other destinations.  Tourism is the number one industry in Costa Rica and its citizens and government understand the importance of being responsible now so tourists can safely return as soon as possible.  Costa Rica's low-density population, warm weather, safe and responsible tour operators and resorts are all reasons why we will emerge from this crisis as the premier Tropical destination for tourism

We hope the country will reopen its borders on May 1st, and that we will start seeing regularly scheduled flights by mid-June or earlier.  Of course, Costa Rica tourism is subject to the recovery in the U.S so we need to see how the situation unfolds.  Costa Rica will be safe and ready to receive travelers immediately when things start to normalize.   

Update: 4.6.20

Costa Rica has declared a State of Emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Carlos Alvarado announced 3.16.20.

The country will shut down its borders to foreigners and non-residents starting 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. The restriction applies to the country’s ports of entry via land, air or sea.  Starting on 3.19.20, citizens and residents who arrive in Costa Rica will be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, President Alvarado said.

Costa Rica has extended its entry restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic until April 30.

Costa Rica has 467 confirmed cases of COVID-19, two elderly adults have died. The number of new cases reported started decreasing on 4.10.20.

The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is gauging interest from U.S. citizens who may require a repatriation flight home.  Most airlines have suspended service to Costa Rica, and Delta Airlines’ last confirmed flight until May 2 is 3.31.20. The U.S. Embassy has been told that flight is full.  The U.S. Embassy is working with airlines to gauge demand for either additional commercial flights or U.S. government-organized flights if no commercial flights are available,” it said in an alert to citizens.  If you are a U.S. citizen interested in being added to a list for any potential U.S. government-organized flight, the Embassy asks that you use this link to an on-line form.

If you have already booked your dates (with a signed reservation agreement):

If these travel restrictions force you to postpone or reschedule your tip, here are the relevant policies and best practices on how to prepare:

Here is our Covid-19 policy.  

CANCELLATIONS/RESCHEDULES - Reschedules: If your arrival date is March 18, 2020 to April 18, 2020, we will gladly reschedule your stay at no charge (new dates are subject to availability). We will gladly reschedule your stay at no charge if you change your original reservation six months or more before your arrival date (new dates are subject to availability). The fee to reschedule is $700 if you change dates between six months & 75 days prior to arrival. Reschedules made fewer than 75 days prior to occupancy are subject to a non-refundable fee of $1700. Buy travel insurance that will reimburse these expenses! Cancellations: No refunds are provided for trips offered through charities. (Note: We will waive any rescheduling fees that are NOT reimbursed via the insurance policy.  To be eligible for the waiver, you agree to purchase the policy, submit your claim and any necessary appeals using the recommended language below.)


(Note: We recommend trip interruption insurance policies that will reimburse your rescheduling or cancellation costs, e.g. flight, lodging and tour rescheduling costs. Nationwide has one).  This is only available to purchase 30 or more days prior to your arrival.   To learn more, send us an email.

AIG TravelGuard offers a competing program.

Note: I have spoken at length with an insurance attorney experienced with insurance claims.  He reviewed the Nationwide policy and reports that the company should reimburse policy holders for expenses incurred for trip cancellation under their policy. He suggests the following language be used when you submit the claim.  You should attach proof of expenses that equal the amount covered/claimed.

In the event they deny your claim (as some insurance companies are likely to do as a routine matter), he has drafted an appeal letter, which you are welcome to use if needed.  Once you have arranged for the insurance coverage, contact us and we'll help you choose alternate dates.

Note: In order to keep your reservation "alive" (and to allow you to reschedule it), all outstanding invoices must be paid in full.

If you have a charity-issued certificate and have NOT booked your trip with us:

We will work with you to extend the validity date beyond its published expiration date.  We have established a list of certificate holders who want to extend their validity dates.  Please email us and let us know that you want to be added to that list.  When the dust settles we will contact you to reschedule your trip. Note: Extensions may be limited to the length of time the border is closed.

(Note: If you don't inform us we cannot guarantee a future date is available.)