How To Enter Costa Rica

Entry/Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens

Visit the Embassy of Costa Rica in the United States website for the most current visa information. For entry into Costa Rica, you must present both a valid passport and either a round-trip ticket or proof of onward travel to another country. Because of possible fines levied by Costa Rican Immigration, many airlines will not permit passengers without proof of return or onward travel to board flights to Costa Rica unless they have Costa Rican citizenship, residency, or a visa. Costa Rican Immigration now also requires that you be able to demonstrate financial capacity of at least $100 per month while you are in Costa Rica as a tourist. When you leave Costa Rica, you will have to pay a departure tax of $29 USD.

Passports should be in good condition; Costa Rican Immigration may deny entry if a passport is damaged in any way. Costa Rican authorities may permit U.S. citizen tourists to stay up to ninety (90) days, but shorter time periods of thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days are also common. To extend the period you are given, you must submit an application for an extension to the Office of Temporary Permits in the Costa Rican Department of Immigration. Extension requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Tourists who overstay the period of stay authorized by Costa Rican authorities without receiving an extension may experience a delay at the airport when departing, are subject to deportation and/or a fine of $100 for each month of overstay, and may be denied entry to Costa Rica on future visits.

Most Costa Rican educational institutions will assist individuals planning to study in Costa Rica to apply for a student visa, if a visa is necessary. Individuals with round-trip tickets who plan to study for less than three months do not need a visa and may enter for up to 90 days as a tourist. Individuals who plan to study for longer than three months and will be attending an educational institution that does not provide assistance to obtain a visa should verify documentary requirements in advance with the nearest Costa Rican Embassy/Consulate as well as with the pertinent airline.

All persons – including U.S. citizens – traveling to Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa must provide evidence of a valid yellow fever vaccination prior to entry. The countries considered at risk are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana and Venezuela. You can travel to Costa Rica no sooner than 10 days after receiving the vaccination. See “SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES” for information on requirements to carry identity documentation within Costa Rica and on travel by minors who are dual nationals or legal residents.

The most authoritative and up-to-date information on Costa Rican entry and exit requirements may be obtained from the Consular Section of the Embassy of Costa Rica at 2114 “S” Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 480-2200, fax (202) 265-4795. You may visit the Embassy of Costa Rica’s website or contact the Embassy via email. You may also obtain information from the Costa Rican consulates in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, or the honorary consulates in Minnesota and Arizona. Please also see the Costa Rican Immigration Agency website. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington or one of Costa Rica's Consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements before shipping any items.

Visitors who plan to drive and/or rent an automobile in Costa Rica should be aware that the Costa Rican government may prevent any driver involved in a vehicular accident from departing Costa Rica until any/all injury claims have been settled. This is true regardless of whether the driver is covered by insurance and/or considered to have been negligent in the accident. Because the courts often delay imposing a settlement until any/all injured parties have fully recovered and the definitive costs are known, a prohibition on travel could be imposed for months, or even years, until a local judicial resolution is reached. Visitors should carefully consider the hardships such an extended stay in Costa Rica could impose on themselves and their families before deciding to drive in Costa Rica.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe