This page has information on travelling to Costa Rica.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Costa Rica set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Costa Rica’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.
All travellers from any country will be admitted into Costa Rica as long as they meet the visa requirements. More information is available on the Costa Rica tourism board website.
Entry requirements in response to coronavirus
There are no COVID-19 related entry requirements for Costa Rica. The former requirements for filling in a Health Pass and for showing proof of adequate insurance policy are no longer in force. However, the authorities in Costa Rica may restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company, airline and the Costa Rica tourism board website for any changes at short notice. A travel insurance policy is recommended to cover medical expenses and lodging in the event of COVID-19 infection.
Transiting Costa Rica
The authorities are permitting same-day airside transit with a confirmed onward booking.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
If you are visiting Costa Rica, your passport should have at least one day’s validity from the date you are leaving Costa Rica.
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
British nationals do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You may stay as a visitor for up to 90 days under a tourist visa waiver, although the exact period is at the discretion of the immigration officer on arrival. If you plan to work, or stay for a longer period, then multiple exit and entry is not an approved alternative to obtaining the relevant visa for your circumstances. You should check the requirements with the Costa Rican authorities.
The immigration authorities are strict about foreigners who have overstayed. Fines of $100 per month of overstay and restrictions on return can be applied under local law.
Your passport should have at least one day’s validity from the date you are leaving Costa Rica. If you hold a passport other than a British Citizen passport, different regulations may apply.
Evidence of onward travel
Entry to Costa Rica may be refused if you are unable to produce evidence of return or onward travel (for example a return air ticket).
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Costa Rica.
There’s a departure tax of $29 when leaving the country by air. Most airlines include this in ticket prices; a few have still not done so. Check with your airline or travel company whether you need to pay this separately. If so you can pay by cash or credit/debit card in dollars or local colones.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
Travelling with children
Under Costa Rican law, children under the age of 18 born in Costa Rica are automatically considered to be Costa Rican citizens, even if travelling on a British passport. Either notarised written consent from both parents or a Costa Rican passport is required in order for the child to leave Costa Rica. Contact the Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate for further information on laws regarding the international travel of Costa Rican children.