The airport departure tax is $26, payable in cash (dollars or colones) or with Visa. (Paying the tax via credit card means the transaction will be processed as a cash advance and incur additional fees.)
The tax is payable by everyone (tourist, resident or citizen) every time they leave the country by the air. It must be paid and a receipt obtained before reaching the airline counter. Some hotels collect the tax and issue a receipt to their guests, but usually add a service charge of up to US$3 or more.
Paying the tax at the airport is a simple as presenting your travel document (usually your passport) at the Bancrédito counter located in the international airports. A receipt will be given for each passenger which must fill out and hand over to the airline before a boarding pass can be issued.
The tax only applies when you leave the country by air and does not apply for land exits for which there is no fee.
The airport departure tax is based onLaw N 8316, governing the rights of leaving the country, published in La Gaceta N 205 on October 24, 2002; establishing a single tax and definitive concept of the right of exit from Costa Rica, which will have to be paid by all the persons who leaves the country by air.