Important to note, Costa Rica DOES NOT have Yellow Fever. A vaccine is only needed to enter Costa Rica if you arriving from Colombia or an affected country.

Q TRAVEL (EDITED)  The other day I got a call I have gotten many times before, a friend asking if a friend who will be travelling to Colombia in the coming weeks needs the yellow fever vaccine.

The friend of the friend is European with residency in Costa Rica. His travel plans are to leave San Jose, land in Bogota where he will stay for some time and then home to Europe. His return trip to Costa Rica is by way of Colombia.

But this applies to anyone who travels to Costa Rica by way of Colombia. Or, as it has been in some cases, their passport indicates they have been in Colombia recently. It is all up to the immigration official on entering Costa Rica.

Does he need the yellow fever and why?

What’s the process?

What happens if he doesn’t have it, can he get back in to Costa Rica?

Where does he get the shot in Costa Rica?

And finally, can he get it in Colombia?

A lot of questions packed into a short telephone conversation.

Basically, since he is not a Costa Rican national (citizen with a cedula – residency is not the same as citizenship) and will be travelling back to Costa Rica by way of Colombia, he needs proof of the yellow fever, and that it was administered at least 10 days prior to his arrival in Costa Rica.

Although the vaccine is much cheaper in Colombia, one you will need the time in Colombia to satisfy the 10 day rule and for first time travellers to the South American country and especially for those who don’t speak much Spanish, better to pay the higher price in Costa Rica than adventure it.

Travelling to Costa Rica from Colombia requires the yellow fever vaccine

At the Bogota airport there are friendly people who will help in where to get the shot, in other places it may not be as easy, given that English in Colombia is not, like in Costa Rica, a priority language.

FYI,in Colombia, the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) administers the shot and provides the corresponding certificate. In Costa Rica, you get the vaccine at the local pharmacy.

Editor’s note. The original report featured a great article that has since been removed because the author felt “it not appropriate with or without credit” us sharing it here.

You can read the article “Colombia to Costa Rica – The Yellow Fever Adventure We Didn’t Plan For” at

Important to note, Costa Rica DOES NOT have Yellow Fever. A vaccine is only needed to enter Costa Rica if you arriving from Colombia or an affected country.

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Have you ever had any problem with entering Costa Rica for not having the Yellow Fever vaccine? If so, comment below or to our official Facebook page.

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