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Welcome Back to Costa Rica! | Senderos Travel Update

Thanks to Costa Rica’s decisive intervention and control of the pandemic, the country is now beginning to open up to travelers from around the world, including the U.S.

At Senderos, we’re thrilled. This place is at its best when we can share it with our friends from around the world, and along with our national and local governments, our businesses, and our community, we’re taking careful steps to welcome travelers again in a safe, responsible way. 

Your Private Paradise Awaits!

Indulge in the Best of Coastal Living. Experience the Relaxation, Beauty, and Serenity of Costa Rica in Tamarindo’s Premier Development.

For example, our local airport, Liberia International Airport (LIR), has recently taken the steps to receive the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA), making it only the second airport in Central America to achieve the highest standard of traveler health. 

In this project update, we’ll go into detail on how to get here from different parts of the world, and we’ll also touch on what you can expect once you arrive.

Note: These are the current restrictions and regulations. However, as Costa Rica continues to open up, even more regulations and rules will be lifted.

If you’d like the most accurate update on current regulations, as well as advice on your upcoming trip, you can reach out to our team at sales@senderos-cr.com.

Getting to Costa Rica from Around the World | Update as of October 2nd, 2020

Costa Rica has opened up travel from countries, regions, and select US states that have effectively contained the spread of the virus. For travelers from these areas, Costa Rica requires a negative test for COVID-19, a health form, and traveler’s insurance, which we’ll explain below. 

If all of these requirements are met, visitors are allowed to enter the country with no quarantine period. 

Visiting Through Commercial Air Travel

Travel is allowed to Costa Rica from the following countries and regions: 

United States of America (State by State Basis)

As of October 1st, commercial air travel will be allowed from:

  • New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C., Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, California, and Rhode Island

As of October 15th, commercial air travel will be allowed from:

  • Georgia, Florida, and Texas

Only residents of these states (which must show a valid driver’s license or state ID) can travel to Costa Rica through commercial air travel. 

After November 1st, all United States residents will be allowed to travel to Costa Rica.

The European Union and the United Kingdom

Commercial air travel from this region is only allowed for citizens and residents of the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom.

Canada

Commercial air travel from this region is only allowed for citizens and residents of Canada, as well as for citizens and residents of the European Union and the United Kingdom.

South America (Uruguay)

Commercial air travel from Uruguay is only allowed for citizens and residents of Uruguay. Commercial air travel is not allowed originating from any other South American country. 

Asia (Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China)

Commercial air travel from this region is only allowed for citizens and residents of Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China.

Oceania (Australia and New Zealand)

Commercial air travel from this region is only allowed for citizens and residents of Australia and New Zealand.

Entry Requirements from Approved Regions

Visitors from the approved regions above must complete the following entry requirements:

  • Travelers must complete the electronic epidemiological HEALTH PASS form, available at https://salud.go.cr.
  • Travelers must complete an RT-PCR diagnostic test with a negative result. The sample must have been taken within 72 hours of travel to Costa Rica.
  • Travelers must purchase Traveler’s Medical Insurance, which can be either purchased ahead of your trip from a Costa Rican insurer (with both public and private options), or from an international insurer.
    • Policies from an international insurer must include certification in English or Spanish of three things: effectiveness during a visit to Costa Rica, medical coverage for a minimum of $50,000, and lodging coverage for a minimum of $2,000.
  • Passengers coming from the United States of America before November 1st must prove through their driver’s license that they live in one of the authorized states 

No Need to Quarantine, But Regular Travel Rules Still Apply

One notable factor of this restriction plan is that you are not required to be quarantined upon arrival, which makes travel plans more flexible.

However, as Costa Rica is dedicated to keeping the country safe both for its guests and its people, these rules are very strict. Any commercial air travelers who fail to comply with these requirements may not enter the country.

In addition to the new travel requirements outlined above, the existing requirements for travel to Costa Rica — proof of return travel, possession of legal and unexpired passports, and adherence to declaration regulations — remain in effect and can be reviewed here

Charter and Private Travel

Charter air travel and private yacht travel function slightly differently than commercial air travel. 

Starting on September 1, private/charter flights to Costa Rica will be allowed from within any U.S. states, provided that travelers follow the entry requirements detailed above (with a US Passport taking the place of a state ID). 

Starting on September 1, private yachts will also be allowed to enter Costa Rica by following the entry requirements detailed above. In the case that a negative test is not possible within 48 hours of travel, as is likely with yacht travel, vessels will be allowed to enter after a required quarantine period, with days on the high seas deducted.

Permanent and Temporary Residents

Permanent and Temporary Residents of Costa Rica may enter the country via air regardless of their country of entry as long as they have evidence of the following documentation:

  • Passport
  • Valid DIMEX
  • Evidence that Caja payments are up to date for each person
  • A completed Health Pass (Pase de Salud)  

The default for Permanent and Temporary Residents, as well as Costa Rican citizens, is a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. 

However, the quarantine is waived if residents or citizens: 

  • Are arriving from one of a list of authorized countries (the United States is not currently on this list of authorized departure points)
  • Have proof of stay for the past 14 days in that country
  • Carry a negative COVID-19 test (PCR-RT) taken no more than 48 hours before their flight to Costa Rica. 

For a summary of entry requirements for permanent and temporary residents, you can visit this link.

Once You’re in Costa Rica

Arrival and General Regulations

When traveling by air, there are a few considerations to take into account upon landing in Costa Rican territory. Travelers must wear face protection and comply with the strict protocols of the air terminal with regard to physical distancing, disinfection of carpets, taking temperature readings, and any other sanitary instructions.

Then, throughout the country, there is a mask mandate in effect while in indoor locations and waiting at bus stops. Notable exceptions are when eating at restaurants, and when in private residences.

Driving in Costa Rica During COVID-19

Several nationwide driving restrictions have been put into effect as a result of the pandemic.

If you own a vehicle in Costa Rica, you must comply with the nationwide and canton-specific driving restrictions.

However, rental cars are exempt from driving restrictions. So if you choose to rent a car while visiting the country, you can drive freely (following 5 am – 10 pm and 5 am – 7pm restrictions).

What’s Open Right Now in Costa Rica?

Fortunately, much of Costa Rica’s allure is its natural beauty and outdoor activities, and the vast majority of these are open with some restrictions. 

  • Beaches are open every day from 5:00 am to 2:30 pm, which includes aquatic activities like diving, snorkeling, and fishing (through private charters). 
  • National parks are currently open at limited capacity, with the purchase of tickets online ahead of time. 
  • Restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets are open, along with most hiking and biking trails, spas and hot springs, and various other outdoor activities. 

Note on Restrictions by Canton

Costa Rica’s quarantine is divided into “yellow” and “orange” alerts, with orange alerts requiring more strict protocols. 

Senderos, Tamarindo, and the surrounding areas are in yellow alerts, which means they have the lightest form of restrictions. 

If you’re planning to leave the canton, take a few moments to visit the Ministerio de Salúd’s website to understand any other potential restrictions you might encounter. 

We Hope to See You Soon!

There’s nowhere we’d rather be than Costa Rica, and we’re immensely proud of our country’s ability to come together and control this pandemic. 

Costa Rica is made even more vibrant and beautiful by the many people who visit from around the world, and we’re excited to welcome guests back to Costa Rica, to Tamarindo, and to Senderos. 

We mentioned in our early August update that things have been humming along here, and we’re thrilled to share some of that progress, with an update on “The 290 House”, another addition to our Virtual Tour of Senderos Collection Home Designs.

We hope to see you here soon.