Traveling to Costa Rica can be painless if you take a few minutes to browse the requirements demanded by the country’s immigration.

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By and large, a common requirement for every tourist (non-resident traveler) is a valid passport (only passports or machine-readable travel documents will be accepted), plenty of blank pages (for the entry and exit stamps) and confirmation of your exit (forward travel) plans from the country.

By law, an onward ticket includes any of the following on approved, commercial transport:

  • A pre-purchased bus ticket out of the country
  • A pre-purchased flight out of the country
  • Proof of passage on a cruise ship

Not all visitors to Costa Rica need a tourist visa; this will depend on your nationality, purpose of visit, country of residence and duration of stay.

US and Canadian citizens do not require an entry visa to Costa Rica. US and Canadians passport must be valid for a minimum of one day from the day you enter Costa Rica.

Other nationals might not require an entry visa to Costa Rica. To verify all entry requirements according to your nationality please see the following link nationalities.

Technically, proof of economic sufficiency in a minimum of USD$100.00 (one hundred U.S. dollars) for each month of legal stay in the country. This requirement is rarely applied.

An important one is “Not having an impediment to entering Costa Rica”, such as having previously been deported from the country, among others.

Once you arrive or depart from Costa Rica, remember if you carry an amount equal to or greater than US$10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, cash or securities, you must declare it before the Customs Authority.

Yellow fever. All travelers coming from the following countries must possess a yellow fever vaccination certificate before entry into Costa Rica will be allowed: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the Republic of Guyana.

Before traveling to Costa Rica, as a tourist, you should take into consideration where you will be staying (at least for the first night as you may be asked by the immigration official), have transport ready (rental car, bus, driver service, etc) to your destination.

For general immigration guidelines (the literal translation in English from the original version in Spanish ) to enter Costa Rica, click here.

Lastly, though not an immigration or other legal requirement, visitors should be ready to have fun, be prepared to be amazed, and ready that you may not want to leave.

Pura Vida, mae!