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- Photo via Air Canada -

Over 170,000 Canadian tourists visit Guanacaste

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Published on Monday, August  21, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Between January and June of 2023, the Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), also known as Guanacaste Airport, welcomed over 173,000 Canadian tourists.

The Institute of Tourism reports that flights from Canada to Guanacaste have an average of 89% seat occupancy.

Canada has a potential tourist market of over 3 million people, primarily coming from cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. Four airlines, namely Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, and WestJet, offer direct flights to Costa Rica from these cities.

Last week, the three major airlines that operate flights between Canada and Costa Rica announced an increase in the number of flights offered in anticipation of the upcoming high tourism season, which is set to begin in December.

On average, Canadians tend to stay for 14 nights when they travel. It is estimated that most tourists spend around $105 per day. Some of their preferred activities while on vacation include visiting beaches, hiking and exploring volcanoes.

Many Canadian tourists choose to travel to Costa Rica and unwind in serene natural settings to escape the harsh winter weather in their country while also experiencing diverse cultures, authorities said.

The embassy of Costa Rica in Canada has stated that individuals holding Canadian passports can visit Costa Rica as tourists for a maximum duration of 90 days without requiring a visa.

To enter Costa Rica as a tourist, Canadians must fulfill certain criteria. These include having a valid passport with at least one day left before its expiration, providing proof of economic solvency of at least $100 per month of legal stay in the country, having a ticket to exit the country within 90 days and not being prohibited from entering the country.

If a Canadian citizen has been convicted of a malicious crime (not a wrongful act) within the last 10 years, and the offense is illegal in both Canada and Costa Rica, Article 61.3 of the Immigration law of Costa Rica mandates that they will be prevented from entering Costa Rica.

Additionally, individuals who have injunctions or pending criminal proceedings for sex crimes against minors, or those who have been convicted of such crimes within the last 50 years, are not permitted.

Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Costa Rica. As of June, more than 1,338,000 tourists have visited the country.  The number marks a new record compared to the 1,336,000 visitors registered in the country in the same period in 2019, the year before the covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, about 2.3 million tourists visited the country. That is one million more visitors than in 2021.

What other Canadian airline should increase their flights to Costa Rica?   We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com