Friday 3 December 2021

Costa Rica Opens Land Borders To Tourists Starting Today

April 5 begins the first phase of the opening of land borders. Tourists who do not require an entry visa will be the first to be received by land and must meet the same sanitary requirements as those who enter by sea or air.

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QCOSTARICA – Starting today, Monday, April 5, Costa Rica’s land borders with Nicaragua and Panama will be gradually opened.

The border line between Nicaragua and Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas. Archive photo.

Tourists who do not require an entry visa will be the first to be admitted to the country. These are those who belong to groups 1 and 2 (ie United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, among others, whose stay can be up to 90 days, in accordance with the general guidelines for entry and stay visas for non-residents. Click here for the full list of countries (start page 4).

For their part, those who require a consular visa (groups 3 and 4), will have the possibility of visiting Costa Rica when the Costa Rican consulates reopen to the public, whose date has not yet been defined. Click here for the full list of countries (start page 9).

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As part of this gradual opening of land borders, the sanitary order that forced Costa Ricans, residents and people with special migratory categories to comply with quarantine, is eliminated.


Due to the pandemic, it is important to note that those who enter by land must meet the same sanitary requirements that are required of visitors who enter by sea or air:

  • Complete the epidemiological digital form known as the Health Pass:
  • This must be completed 48 hours before the trip
  • Acquire medical insurance (local or international), which must comply with these coverages: valid throughout the stay (the maximum time of stay will depend on this); US$50,000 for medical expenses, including COVID-19; US$2,000 for lodging expenses in case of COVID-19 quarantine.

The tourist person will obtain a QR code, which will be verified by the immigration authorities at the border, as well as that the ticket for the continuity of the trip or return to the country of origin, demonstrates economic solvency (US$ 100.00 for each month of tourism) and have a valid passport in good condition.

Controlled mixed migratory flow

This first phase does not yet authorize the entry of those who cross the region to the United States, whether they come from South America or are extracontinental. This is the so-called controlled mixed migratory flow, which enters from Panama. For this reason, these people must continue in the shelters set up in that country.

Nicaraguans are authorized to enter, with jobs in Panama, and who pass through Costa Rica to return to their nation. This is done through the “Sanitary Bubbles” operations, coordinated since last year, between the immigration authorities.

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Costa Rica closed all its borders on March 18, 2020, as a sanitary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Sea and air borders gradually re-opened in August 2020, with the full opening to all on November 1, 2020.

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