Before You Go
- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
Passports and Visas
Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most European nations traveling to Costa Rica need a passport valid for at least six months beyond their intended length of stay, plus a ticket for onward travel. Stays of up to 90 days are permitted without a visa.
Officially, no vaccinations are required for entry into Costa Rica, but it’s a good idea to be up to date on tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis shots. If you plan on taking preventive medications against malaria, start taking them a few weeks before potential exposure.
Most international visitors fly into San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport. Travelers planning on visiting only Nicoya and Guanacaste might consider flying in and out of Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport.
Many people choose to travel around Costa Rica on inexpensive domestic flights. It’s also easy to get between popular tourist destinations on cheap public buses and tourist shuttle vans.
Car rental agencies are located in every major tourist destination, but it’s wise to book ahead. A 4WD vehicle is essential; most main roads are paved, but many popular tourist spots are accessed by rutted dirt roads.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition