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Only tourists who do not require a visa may enter via land.
- Costa Rican Embassy in Germany photo -


Land borders reopening for certain tourists, warns government





























Published Monday, April 5, 2021


By A.M. Costa Rica staff


Starting today, some tourists are allowed to enter the country through land border crossing points.

According to the government, only tourists who do not require a visa may enter via land. Those are included in the category of Group 1 and 2, following the general guidelines for entry and stay visas for non-residents.

The Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington D.C. states that tourists who do not require a visa “will depend on your nationality, purpose of visit, country of residence and duration of stay. Visa requirements are based on international agreements or treaties.”

Citizens of the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia or the United Kingdom do not require a Costa Rica entry visa.

Tourists allowed to enter have a maximum stay of 90 days and fulfill the following requirements:

• A current valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of one day from the day to enter Costa Rica.

• A return ticket to exit Costa Rica (either to return to your country or to go to another country).

The health requirements of tourists who are allowed to enter by land are the same established for tourists who enter by sea or air, such as:

• Fill out the "Health Pass" webform. This must be completed 48 hours before the trip.

• Provide proof of a valid Traveler's Insurance, not expiring during the time of stay in the country. This can be purchased in the country of departure or Costa Rica.

• Tourists must show proof by requesting a certificate issued in English or Spanish from their insurance provider that guarantees coverage for medical expenses in cases of covid-19 infection while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000. And minimum coverage of $2,000 for accommodation expenses extended, in case of being infected with covid-19.

The valid insurance document must also be uploaded onto the same online Health Pass.

However, the country is not requesting proof of a negative covid-19 test.

The Ministry of Health validates the Health Pass form, while the Tourism Institute approves the medical insurance. Both procedures must be done by tourists who enter by air and sea.

After getting the enter authorization, tourists will obtain a QR code, which will be verified by the immigration authorities at the border post.

As part of this gradual opening of terrestrial borders, authorities dismiss the sanitary order to comply with quarantine upon arrival in the country.

Tourists should double-check the entry requirements by contacting their local Costa Rican embassy or consular representation before planning a trip to Costa Rica.

More detailed information about the non-visa benefit by nationality is available online on the Consulate page.

The General Directorate of Immigration also publishes the requirements to enter Costa Rica on its website, in Spanish language.



As part of the first phase of reopening land borders, there is no authorization of passage for people traveling to the United States, whether they come from South America or from other continents, the government said in its statement.

This is the so-called controlled mixed migratory flow, which enters from Panama. For this reason, this group of people will not be able to continue their trip to North America and must stay in migrant shelters.

The government does allow the entry of Nicaraguans who have a work agreement in Panama and must enter through the southern border to reach their destination.

A special  immigration police operation called “Sanitary Bubbles” transfers immigrants from the Northern border to the Southern border.

Tourists requiring a visa  to enter Costa Rica belong to the so-called Group 3 and 4. They must wait until the Costa Rican consulates in their countries reopen the visa emission procedures.

Costa Rica closed all its borders on March 18, 2020, due to the National Health Emergency Decree to prevent the spread of covid-19. The maritime and air borders were reopened in August 2020.

In May, authorities of the National Emergency Commission announced close monitoring of the contagion rate of covid-19, so a possible spike in infections could cause an eventual order to the closure of borders in the future.

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How will selective border crossings impact the economy in Costa Rica?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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