Rome for under US$500 on Air Canada
Rome for under US$500 on Air Canada

(QTRAVEL) As incredible as that sounds, it’s true, a round trip airfare between Costa Rica and Europe for under US$500.

There is one catch: a stop in Toronto and Brussels (for my chosen destination of Rome).

Air Canada, Canada’s national airline famously known for its exorbitant airfares, will take you from San Jose to Rome for US$473.57  or $634.75 in loonies (Canadian dollars), for a flight leaving San Jose (SJO) on November 22 to Rome’s Fumicino airport (FCO) and returning November 29, in economy class.

Screenshot of Air Canada reservation for fligth between San Jose and Rome, departing November 22 and returning November 29
Screenshot of Air Canada reservation for fligth between San Jose and Rome, departing November 22 and returning November 29

Other dates and destinations are available, you have to tweak the dates and routes to your preferred destination. The airline also offers class upgrades, and along with that the famous Air Canada(high) prices.

Many Costa Ricans opt out of this option given they require a visa for Canada. However, that is solved by way of a “transit visa” that can be obtained at the Canada visa application centre (CVAC) in Costa Rica, located in Barrio La California, east of downtown San Jose (on the main road to San Pedro).

The CVAC is not part of the Canada Embassy in San Jose, rather an exclusive service provider for the Government of Canada, authorized to provide administrative support services to visa applicants in Costa Rica. The CVAC is operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with VFS Global.