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Program attendees on a walk in the jungle in Costa Rica

Two Priorities to Promote Safe and Sustainable Travel to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is more than just a travel destination. Located in Central America, it holds a unique position in the world, both ecologically and historically. Representing just a small fraction of the Earth’s surface, it boasts a significant portion of the world’s known species. Additionally, its archaeological sites offer insights into ancient cultures that have shaped the region. The challenge, then, is to ensure that this rich biodiversity and historical heritage remain intact for future generations. Conservation efforts, backed by laws and driven by entities like Premio DMC as a member of Camino Group, have been central to this mission. This post delves into Costa Rica’s dedication to preserving its natural and cultural wonders and how the travel industry, tourists, and local entities can play a part in this crucial endeavor.

Conservation of Wildlife in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a small Central American country, is often referred to as the jewel of biodiversity. Despite covering only about 0.03% of the Earth’s surface, it is home to nearly 5% of the world’s known species. This exceptional diversity is due to its varied topography and climates ranging from tropical rainforests to misty cloud forests, coastal mangroves to dry savannahs. Such abundance is not just a source of pride for Costa Rica; it plays a pivotal role in the global ecosystem. These ecosystems act as carbon sinks, reducing global warming, while also serving as research areas for medicinal discoveries, ecological studies, and much more.

Introduction to the Ley de Conservación de la Vida Silvestre N° 7317

Ley de Conservación de la Vida Silvestre N° 7317, or the Wildlife Conservation Law No. 7317, is one of Costa Rica’s most important legal frameworks geared towards the protection of its vast wildlife. Introduced in 1992, this law emphasizes the protection, recovery, and management of wildlife species, their products, and by-products.

A Brief History and Purpose of the Law

Before the 1990s, while Costa Rica was recognized for its rich biodiversity, the nation lacked a comprehensive legal structure to ensure wildlife conservation. Observing the rapid deforestation and habitat destruction, the Costa Rican government, with input from environmentalists and experts, introduced the Wildlife Conservation Law in 1992. The primary purpose of this law is to ensure sustainable use of the nation’s wildlife resources while preserving their habitats and promoting recovery of threatened species.

Its Role in Preserving the Wildlife and Habitats of Costa Rica

The law prohibits hunting for sport, sets regulations on the capture and trade of wild species, and emphasizes the importance of habitat conservation. By providing a legal framework for prosecution and penalties for wildlife crimes, the law has played a crucial role in deterring illicit activities like poaching, illegal pet trade, and habitat destruction.

How Premio DMC Supports and Adheres to This Law:

Activities and Initiatives to Conserve Wildlife: Premio DMC is staunchly dedicated to preserving the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica. By funding and participating in reforestation projects, species recovery efforts, and establishing private reserves, the group ensures a hands-on approach to conservation.

Promoting Awareness Among Visitors: Through eco-tourism initiatives, Premio DMC educates tourists about the diverse species of Costa Rica, their importance, and the threats they face. By fostering a sense of responsibility and admiration, they encourage visitors to be ambassadors for conservation.

Collaborating with Local Communities and Conservation Organizations: Recognizing that conservation is a collective effort, Premio DMC actively collaborates with local communities, ensuring they benefit from conservation initiatives, and partners with other organizations to amplify the conservation impact.

Ensuring Responsible Travel and Tourism: The tours and activities organized by the Premio DMC are designed to minimize environmental impact. They strictly follow guidelines that ensure habitats remain undisturbed and the life cycles of species are respected.

Sustainable Choices: How Your Purchases Impact Biodiversity

Our choices as consumers directly affect the world around us. Each purchase has the potential to either support or harm our planet’s diverse ecosystems. Want to be part of the solution? Here are five pivotal tips to guide you on a more sustainable path:

1. Know Before You Buy:
Always be informed about the origins of what you purchase. For example, avoid products made from tortoiseshell, as these originate from endangered hawksbill turtles. The rule of thumb? Avoid any product that threatens wild species.

2. Rethink Animal Products:
Fashion choices can have significant ecological consequences. Avoid fur, leather, and products like tortoise-shell glasses. If it came from an animal, especially a wild one, think twice before buying.

3. Be Seafood-Savvy:
Protect our marine life by avoiding products from cetaceans like whales. If seafood is on your plate, choose larger-sized fish and steer clear of shark fin products. This ensures young fish get a chance to grow and reproduce.

4. Handcrafted with Care:
Handmade products can be tempting, but always ensure they aren’t sourced from the wild. From butterflies to bird feathers, a responsible purchase respects nature’s boundaries.

5. Sustainable Farming Matters:
Support agriculture that’s kind to Earth. Choose organic products free from harmful pesticides and support local farmers who sustainably manage their resources.
Our daily choices, no matter how minor they seem, have measurable impacts on global biodiversity. By adopting sustainable consumption habits, we can directly contribute to the conservation of essential ecosystems. By understanding and avoiding products that harm wildlife, we support healthier oceans, forests, and habitats. As consumers, we possess the collective power to drive market demand towards sustainable sources. It’s crucial to stay informed, make choices based on evidence, and share this knowledge with others. The future of our planet’s biodiversity, in many ways, rests on our informed decisions.

Importance of preserving Costa Rica’s archaeological heritage.

Costa Rica, while renowned for its biodiversity, is also a treasure trove of ancient history and archaeology. From pre-Columbian settlements to intricate stone spheres and petroglyphs, the nation’s archaeological heritage offers a window into the lives, cultures, and histories of its indigenous inhabitants long before European contact. Preserving this archaeological heritage is not just about protecting the past; it’s about understanding our human journey, celebrating the cultural diversity of Costa Rica, and ensuring that these invaluable lessons are available for future generations.

A glimpse into the Ley de Patrimonio Arqueológico N° 6703

The Ley de Patrimonio Arqueológico, or the Archaeological Heritage Law, is Costa Rica’s primary legal instrument for the protection and promotion of its ancient treasures.

Its Role in Preserving and Promoting Archaeological Sites and Artifacts: This law safeguards archaeological sites from unauthorized excavations, looting, and damages. It mandates that any archaeological find, be it by accident or during construction works, should be reported to relevant authorities. By ensuring that experts manage and interpret these sites, the law guarantees that the integrity and context of the artifacts and sites are maintained.

Ensuring the Rich History and Culture of Costa Rica is Passed Down to Future Generations: The law promotes research, documentation, and public education. Museums, interpretative centers, and educational programs benefit from this legislation, allowing Costa Rica’s rich history and culture to be shared with both locals and the world.

Premio DMC's role in upholding this law:

Organizing Tours that Educate Tourists: Premio DMC curates educational tours that offer tourists a deep dive into Costa Rica’s archaeological wonders. Guided by knowledgeable experts, visitors gain insights into the significance of each site and artifact, ensuring a holistic understanding of the nation’s past.

Collaborating with Local Historians and Archaeologists: Understanding the importance of authenticity and accuracy, Premio DMC collaborates with local historians and archaeologists. This collaboration ensures that the information relayed to tourists is factual, current, and comprehensive.

Ensuring Respectful Approaches: Premio DMC is adamant about the respectful approach to archaeological sites. They ensure that all tours adhere to best practices, causing no harm or disruption to these sensitive sites.

Promoting Awareness: The importance of preserving archaeological heritage is a cornerstone of Premio DMC’s ethos. Through brochures, multimedia presentations, and interactive sessions, they emphasize the need to protect and respect these vestiges of the past to tourists and stakeholders alike.

Making Travel and Tourism Safe for Everyone Involved Remains a Crucial Priority for Premio DMC

At Premio DMC and Camino Group as a whole, we’re deeply invested in sustainable tourism in Costa Rica. Our dedication isn’t just about offering tours; it’s about respecting and preserving the rich environment and cultural heritage that Costa Rica generously shares. In the vast expanse of the travel industry, our choices and the choices of our travelers leave lasting impacts. When travelers choose a tour operator like Camino Group, they’re actively supporting the preservation and respect of the destinations they cherish.

For an authentic and responsible travel experience, partnering with entities that prioritize both the environment and local culture is crucial. This commitment ensures that destinations remain vibrant and intact for future explorers.

About Premio DMC’s Partnership with Pack for a Purpose

About Premio DMC’s Partnership with Pack for a Purpose

For many years, Premio DMC has proudly partnered with Pack for a Purpose (PfaP). It’s proven to be one of the most rewarding aspects of our journey as a group. Through PfaP, we've been able to channel the generosity of our guests towards meaningful projects, leaving a lasting positive impact on local communities in need.

 

The response has been nothing short of inspiring. Travelers to Costa Rica have embraced the opportunity to contribute to local initiatives supported by PfaP. It's heartening to witness their genuine interest in the specific needs of beneficiary communities, reflecting a desire to make a tangible difference during their travels.

 

 

Supporting Hogar Brotes de Olivo

For us, supporting projects like Hogar Brotes de Olivo is why we do it. This children's home provides a temporary haven for vulnerable kids, offering essential care and support in high-risk situations. Despite the tireless efforts of the staff, the home often grapples with shortages of basic necessities. Through the generosity of our guests, we've been able to lighten the load a little.

 

Some of the most requested products, such as food supplement powders, bars of soap or baby formula, may not seem like a lot to most travelers. However, you'd be surprised at the meaning it has for this essential project.

 

The donations that we have recently delivered to Hogar Brotes de Olivo included, besides the above mentioned items, diapers, moisturizing cream for babies, shampoo, liquid soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, baby wipes, laundry detergent, and dishwashing soap, among others. One group of travelers coming to Costa Rica from Germany found out about how the roof and metal posts of the children's home needed to be repaired, as they were old and rusty. In an incredible act of generosity, they donated the funds to buy the paint and the solvent. The difference is immense, as this has improved the maintenance of the facilities.

 

 

Why we partner with Pack for a Purpose 

Participating in PfaP has not only facilitated our social responsibility efforts but also provided reassurance to international travelers. The program's established reputation and transparent approach instill confidence that their contributions will directly benefit communities in need. Being part of PfaP is a source of pride for us, affirming our commitment to ensuring the positive impacts of tourism reach those who need it most.

 

 

 

Our partnership with PfaP exemplifies our commitment to sustainable travel by actively engaging in community development and support. Here's how our collaboration contributes to sustainable tourism and empowers local communities:

 

Empowering Local Initiatives: Through PfaP, we identify and support grassroots projects initiated and led by local community members. By focusing on initiatives like Hogar Brotes de Olivo, we help empower local communities to address pressing social issues within their own context.

 

Fostering Cultural Exchange: Sustainable travel emphasizes meaningful interactions between travelers and local communities. Through our partnership with PfaP, travelers have the opportunity to learn about the challenges and triumphs of the communities they visit, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures.

 

Long-term Community Development: Sustainability is about long-term impact rather than short-term gains. By supporting projects like Hogar Brotes de Olivo consistently over the years, we contribute to the sustainable development of communities, laying the foundation for future growth and prosperity.

 

Promoting Responsible Travel Practices: At Premio DMC, we promote responsible travel practices among our guests. By educating travelers about the needs of local communities and encouraging them to pack with a purpose, we empower them to make conscious choices that benefit both the destination and its residents.

 

 

In essence, our partnership with Pack for a Purpose underscores the transformative power of collective action. Together, we're not just travelers but agents of change, enriching lives and fostering brighter futures in the communities we touch. As we continue on this journey, we're reminded that the true essence of travel lies in the connections we forge and the lives we impact along the way.

An oxcart themed entrance to a Premio DMC activity

Premio DMC Celebrates 25 Years in the Incentives & Meetings Industry

We are thrilled and proud to announce the 25th anniversary of Premio DMC this year!

It was back in 1998 that we first opened the doors of Premio DMC in Costa Rica, leveraging the experience we'd gained since 1991 with our sibling tour operator, Camino Travel. It was a challenging beginning, with a limited availability of quality products and services for incentives. However, gradually, new luxury hotel chains came in, the Guanacaste airport was modernized, more air routes were opened, the reputation of the destination continued to grow, and we increasingly had staff who were better trained and more experienced.

With significant effort, we established ourselves as a preferred DMC for major hotels and incentive houses, who recommended our services due to the excellent results of our programs and the feedback from our customers.

Since then, we've been growing steadily. However, there have also been many challenges over the years... tough and scary moments for the corporate tourism market, up to global events that we could never have predicted and had to experience first hand.

 

 

But all of this only made us stronger and taught us how to adapt to change. It instilled in us a new mindset and a winning attitude, alongside the rest of the businesses in the Camino Group. Today, we are very pleased to be celebrating 25 years of success. We are grateful to everyone who believed in us and has been with us and supported us over the years – our customers, hotels, suppliers, professionals, etc., as we blazed our own trail. We did the groundwork, being authentic, ethical, and believing in our abilities and potential.

Above all, our heartfelt thanks go to the Premio DMC Dream Team, who have demonstrated that going the extra mile is possible, both individually and as a team.

We're announcing the celebration right after an extraordinary 2023 high season, marked by the consistent execution of programs, inspections, and the creation of sales proposals like never before.

So, let's start celebrating for the remainder of 2023! There's more to come!

 

Playa Conchal in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

A Guide to Guanacaste for the MICE Industry in Costa Rica

There’s a good reason why so many companies in the MICE industry choose Guanacaste as their destination of choice. For one, the Guanacaste Airport (LIR) makes it easy to access anywhere in Guanacaste in one to two hours or even less. For another, the weather is superb, year-round. Finally, the area has plenty of options for luxurious hotels, fun activities, and other amenities that can easily receive and delight exclusive groups of people.

We’ve been working in the MICE travel industry since 1998, and we’ve never found a location with such a great combination of nature, adventure, and luxury. 

 

Where is Guanacaste Located in Costa Rica?

Guanacaste is one of Costa Rica’s seven provinces. Explore the map of Costa Rica. It is located in the northwest, bordering Puntarenas province to the south and Nicaragua to the north. Part of Guanacaste is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, while the rest stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the west past the mountain range that contains the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano to the east. 

Around 350,000 people reside in Guanacaste, though the non-permanent population is much larger, as the beaches of Guanacaste are also popular tourist destinations. 

 

Guanacaste Highlights

Here are the main regions of Guanacaste where incentive groups, meetings, and events will find their hotel, go on tours, or arrive and depart the country. 

 

1. Papagayo 

Papagayo is a small peninsula located in the middle section of the Guanacaste coast. Combined with the Gulf of Papagayo, with Panama, Hermosa, and Coco Beaches, this area is home to some of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels in Costa Rica, making it a perfect MICE travel destination. The hotels on and around this peninsula mix nature, beautiful architecture, and perfect relaxation to provide one of the best experiences in the country. Some popular hotels for events and incentive programs are Four Seasons Resort, Andaz Resort, El Mangroove Hotel, and Secrets Papagayo. 

Groups can find a marina, a golf course, and beach clubs on the Papagayo Peninsula itself. The Gulf of Papagayo provides other fun activities, such as scuba diving, jet skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, and boat trips. Access to the Papagayo Peninsula is strictly monitored, with only staff, residents, and group participants allowed access, providing an extra layer of privacy, security, and exclusivity to the experience. 

Distance from Guanacaste Airport (LIR): ~30-45 minutes

 

2. Tamarindo and Nearby Beaches

The Tamarindo area centers on Tamarindo town, which has an ever-present lively mood, with streets full of little shops where participants can find all kinds of souvenirs, from bright, flowery shirts to handmade coconut jewelry. Surrounding this area is a mangrove estuary, which provides an important marine ecosystem and a place for participants to enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, and wildlife sightings JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort at Hacienda Pinilla is a great hotel that can be found in this area.

Tamarindo is neighbored by plenty of beach options, from beautiful Langosta Beach to surfer’s paradise, Avellanas Beach, to the south. Conchal Beach is another area we recommend to MICE groups. Reserva Conchal is a private community of hotels and resorts that borders this gorgeous beach and includes The Westin and W Costa Rica. Danta Beach and Flamingo Beach are also notable beaches in the Tamarindo area. The new marina provides a great location for water sports for incentive groups. Las Catalinas and Santarena Hotel are some of our favorite properties in this area.

Distance from Guanacaste Airport (LIR): ~1-1.5 hours

 

3. Rincón de la Vieja Volcano

Within sight of nearly all of Guanacaste’s lowlands on the coast is the active volcano, Rincón de la Vieja. This volcano and its many fumaroles and hot springs reside within Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Both in and around the park are plenty of hiking options, where participants can look for wildlife and appreciate the unique tropical dry forest.

Travelers are always enthralled by the bright blue color the water flowing from the volcano tends to have. These rivers provide beautiful scenery to zipline over, raft through, or ride horseback. Also covering the mountain is Guanacaste’s usual tropical dry forest, which can be appreciated on the volcano’s slopes more than anywhere else. 

Distance from LIR/Guanacaste Airport: ~1-1.5 hours

 

4. Liberia

Liberia and Guanacaste Airport (LIR) make this province the travel hub it is. Known officially as Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, this airport provides great services for flights to and from many popular destinations, including daily flights from Miami (MIA), Atlanta (ATL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), and Austin (AUS). 

 

5. Northern Pacific: Santa Rosa National Park, Junquillal Wildlife Refuge & Salinas Bay

The main destination for the MICE travel industry on the Northern coast of Guanacaste is Dreams Las Mareas, which is nestled in Salinas Bay and surrounded by tree-covered hills. This area is notably less populated than other popular MICE destinations, such as the Gulf of Papagayo, giving travelers a unique, secluded experience. 

Also in this Northern Guanacaste region are Santa Rosa National Park, which holds special historical significance for Costa Rica, and Junquillal Wildlife Refuge, which is home to a diverse amount of wildlife. Salinas Bay protects its beaches from strong currents, allowing people to enjoy kiteboarding and paddle boarding.

Distance from LIR/Guanacaste Airport: ~1.5 hours

 

The Weather in Guanacaste

Like the rest of Costa Rica, Guanacaste has just two seasons: the dry season and the green season. Guanacaste tends to be hotter and drier than the rest of the country. If your group is looking to avoid the rain as much as possible, they’ll want to plan their event between December and May, with the hottest months being March and April. Average dry season temperatures in Guanacaste range from 68°F (20°C) to 91°F (33°C).

It does rain in Guanacaste during the rainy season, stretching from May to November. However, we don’t dissuade groups from booking during these months because rain rarely lasts when it does come. Plus, it leaves the surrounding foliage bright green, a treat in the region. 

 

Guanacaste Flora and Fauna

While rainforests and cloud forests blanket the rest of Costa Rica, Guanacaste is home to the tropical dry forest. Temperatures tend to be higher year-round in this part of Costa Rica. Trees in Costa Rica's tropical dry forest tend to have less dense canopies and more space between trees, and larger mammals live there. Otherwise, these forests tend to have many of the same animals you can find around the rest of Costa Rica, including puma, white-faced monkeys, armadillos, toucans, and even jaguars. 



Costa Rica’s Blue Zone in Guanacaste

Located between the provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste rests an extra special region—not just in Costa Rica, but in the whole world. Nicoya is one of five Blue Zones in the entire world. If you’re not familiar with a Blue Zone, these regions are places with a higher than average population of over 90 and over 100-year-old people. Between diet, activity level, and familial connection, people in this area tend to live longer than anyone else. That alone might be a great reason to choose Guanacaste as your MICE destination and spend some time here.  

 

Guanacaste Is a Great MICE Travel Destination

All of these different factors, from infrastructure to weather, work together to create the ideal environment for meetings, events, and incentive programs. There is so much to appreciate and enjoy in this area, and we’ve seen countless groups have such a fulfilling experience here. Does it sound like a destination your group would enjoy? Contact us and we’ll start looking at what your specific group is looking for.

Two toed sloth

A Frontier Airlines Plane Tail Gives a Nod to Costa Rican Conservation

Frontier Airlines has announced they will be painting one of their plane tails with a two-toed sloth in promotion of Costa Rica and our dedication to sustainability and conservation. Travelers will enjoy seeing one of Costa Rica’s most popular creatures on their planes, especially considering most people traveling to Costa Rica do so with high hopes of seeing a sloth. 

 

The head of Promotion at the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), Ireth Rodriguez, announced “We are honored that such an iconic species of our country and a national symbol is now an ambassador of our nature every time it takes to the air on the tail of a Frontier aircraft.” 

 

Frontier Airlines announced their new tail artwork on Facebook, saying “Say hello to the newest endangered species joining our fleet, the Two Toed Sloth! 

 

“The Two Toed Sloth who has yet to be named, lives in the rainforests of Costa Rica and is known for its laid-back lifestyle, spending up to 20 hours of its day asleep. Even though they like to keep to themselves, they are an important part of the rainforest ecosystem, and their endangered status can prove problematic for the rainforest in Costa Rica.”

 

Frontier Airlines Flights to Costa Rica

As of this announcement’s publication date, Frontier Airlines flies to both Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose (SJO) and Guanacaste Airport in Liberia (LIR).

 

 

Check out the original announcement for more details here.

MICE traveler ziplining in Costa Rica

Updated 2022 COVID Restrictions in Costa Rica for Meetings, Incentives and Conferences

The 2022 COVID-19 Situation in Costa Rica 

Just over two years from the official beginning of the pandemic, Costa Rica has announced it is lifting nearly all its COVID restrictions. 

 

COVID-19 Restrictions Lifting in April 2022

 

No More Social Distancing & Vaccination Requirements in Costa Rica

As far as the situation in the country, beginning April 1, establishments, activities, and events will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity without requiring a vaccination QR code upon entry. This includes formerly restricted establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, tour activities, and stores.

 

No More Official Health Pass to Enter Costa Rica

As of April 1, 2022, the official Health Pass will no longer be required by any travelers to enter Costa Rica. Additionally, the travel insurance policy for non-vaccinated travelers will no longer be required. 

 

No More Establishment & Vehicle Curfew

As of March 7, there is no longer a vehicle curfew in Costa Rica. Previously, non-tourism, emergency, or taxi vehicles were not allowed to be on the roads during night. However, this restriction is no longer active. This means all vehicles, regardless of purpose may drive at any time of the day or night in Costa Rica.

 

Related to this, all establishments can operate according to their regular pre-pandemic schedules. For example, restaurant patrons will no longer have to worry about leaving before the restriction. 

 

The Last Remaining COVID-Related Restriction: Mask Use

As of April, 2022, there will be only one major coronavirus-related restriction in place. So far, the government has not announced when it will be lifting indoor mask-use mandates. We expect this mandate to remain for a little while longer, as there are still active COVID-19 cases in Costa Rica. 

 

However, Costa Rica is steadily on its way back to normalcy after two years of strict pandemic-related restrictions.

Costa Rica's Flag

Costa Rica Will Require Proof of Vaccination to Enter Many Spaces in 2022

Updated October 27, 2021

 

The New Policy Starts January 8, 2022

 

The Costa Rican government recently announced a new policy that will affect all who live in or travel to Costa Rica. As of January 8, 2022, people will have to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the following non-essential establishments: hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, shops, museums, gyms, resorts, and adventure tourism. 

Travelers can verify their vaccination status with a government provided QR code or official printed vaccination certificates. This applies to all patrons over the age of 12.  

Vaccines that the Costa Rican health ministry accepts for this policy include Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and J&J vaccines. Noticeably absent from this list are supermarkets, pharmacies, and other establishments that are considered essential services. Travelers with an approved, documented medical condition that prevents them from applying the vaccine are exempt from this new policy. 

 

What does fully vaccinated mean in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica recognizes fully vaccinated as the total number of doses for each vaccine as indicated by its corresponding pharmaceutical company, with the final dose having been applied at least 14 days before entry into Costa Rica. The indicated doses for each approved vaccine are:

  1. AstraZeneca/Oxford: 2-dose series
  2. Pfizer-BioNTech: 2-dose series
  3. Moderna: 2-dose series
  4. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson): single dose

COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted as long as they have been authorized by a Strict Regulatory Authority (e.g., WHO). Cases in which the traveler receives a single dose after being diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus will also be considered fully vaccinated by Costa Rica. In these instances, the vaccination documentation must indicate a 1/1 dose (dose one of one).

Documentation verifying vaccination status in the Health Pass must contain the following information in order to apply:

  1. Full name (consistent with passport)
  2. Name of administered vaccine
  3. Date of each administered dose

 

Is having recovered from COVID-19 recently an alternative to being vaccinated?

No. While travelers who are not fully vaccinated may enter the country, this is not an alternative to the requirement to enter commercial establishments.

 

 

How will travelers obtain a QR code as proof of vaccination?

Travelers must fill out a Health Pass in order to enter the country. Upon filling out this digital form, they will receive a QR code. If they entered data to support full vaccination status, this QR code will work to let them enter commercial establishments.

 

What is the transition period between December 1, 2021 and January 7, 2022?

There will be two models for commercial establishments operate under as the country transitions to this new policy. All establishments, including hotels, restaurants, adventure tourism, museums, stores, bars, casinos, gyms, and pools must visibly display signage indicating which model they are operating under.

Fully Vaccinated Model

Establishments may operate at 100% capacity as long as they’ve verified that all clientele aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated Model

For establishments not checking and requiring vaccination status, their capacity will be limited to 50%.

 

Will Tours Require Proof of Vaccination?

Yes. All adventure tour operators will only permit fully vaccinated individuals as of January 8, 2022. This includes, but is not limited to the following activities:

  • Terrestrial activities: Hiking, mountain biking, trekking, horseback riding tours
  • In-air activities: Ballooning (hot air balloons), paragliding
  • Aquatic activities: rafting, scuba diving, tubing, kayaking, parasailing
  • Activities with cables and ropes: Climbing, bungee jumping, rappelling, zip-lining, canyoning, via ferrata, spelunking (caving), high ropes, pendulum (Tarzan swing)
  • Motorized activities: use of quad-cycles, motorcycles, boats, jet-skis

 

COVID-19 Testing Policies Remain the Same 

As of the time of this publication, travelers still do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test when entering Costa Rica. 

 

Vaccinations Entry Requirements Remain the Same

While there are vaccination policies within the country, as established above. Vaccination is still not an entry requirement for travelers entering Costa Rica. 

As of August 2021, vaccinated travelers are not required to purchase COVID-related travel insurance. However, unvaccinated travelers are still required to purchase this. Travel insurance for unvaccinated travelers must cover all COVID-19 related medical expenses and lodging in the case of quarantine. 


For more on COVID-19 related entry requirements, visit the official page here.

A person picking up a plastic bottle on the beach

How Costa Rica is Getting Closer to Carbon Neutral Sustainability Every Year

Apart from Costa Rica’s renowned beaches and well-developed infrastructure, there is one other thing that brings travelers to this tropical paradise. It’s a singularly sustainable country. Many companies and groups prioritize incentive programs and meetings that are ethical and sustainable, whether due to corporate social responsibility policies or preference. 

 

Costa Rica is known worldwide as one of the most sustainable countries in the American continents, if not the world. The government of Costa Rica stated their objective to become the first carbon neutral country in the world.  Recently, there have been some interesting policy changes that are making sustainability in Costa Rica even stronger.

 

Costa Rica Banned the Importation of Styrofoam

 

The president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado signed a law to ban companies from importing and selling Styrofoam on July 15. While there are some exceptions for cases where no other alternative exists, this law will drastically cut down on the existence of Styrofoam. As Daniel Salas, the Health Minister, said, “[Styrofoam] is a material that can’t be re-utilised. This is why this ban on import and commercialisation is so important, as it will reduce the pollution caused by this type of waste.”

 

Costa Rica Banned Single-Use Plastic Straws and Bags

Our Legislative Assembly approved a law in 2018 to ban single-use plastic bags and plastic straws. This was considerable progress on their objective to eliminate all single-use plastics before the year ends. There is an exception, depending on the way the plastic straw or bag was made. If they are made of recycled material or are biodegradable, they are allowed. 

 

 

No More Single-Use Plastics in Costa Rica’s National Parks

On February 25, travelers could no longer bring single-use plastics into the national parks of the country. This was a decision made by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC). Included in this ban are non-reusable plastic bags, disposable plastic bottles, straws, and food wrappers that are not part of the final product. 

The executive director of SINAC stated, “we take a step forward to contribute to the reduction of the use of disposable plastics within the National Parks and Biological Reserves as a conservation strategy, but also as a way of sensitizing and educating the visitor and surrounding communities.” 

 

Companies Cannot Import or Purchase Single-Use Plastic Items in Costa Rica

In order to uphold the previous mandates, the Costa Rican government has approached it from another angle. Instead of prohibiting companies from using single-use plastics, they’re cutting them out of the supply chain altogether. That means no companies will be able to import single-use plastics that are not recyclable or made of recycled materials. This will greatly decrease the amount of plastic cutlery, straws, bags, and other items that may have ended up in landfills or worse, polluting the ocean.

 

 

How Costa Rica’s Sustainability Policies Affect Travelers

If your participants are going hiking in one of Costa Rica’s national parks, they will not be able to bring disposable water bottles into the park. In fact, around the country, single-use plastics are becoming a frowned-upon item. 

Premio DMC has a policy of working with hotels, tours, and other tourism providers who enable the use of refillable bottles whenever possible. This includes often providing refillable bottles and refilling stations.

It’s exciting to see Costa Rica becoming more and more sustainable each year. As a country, we are proud that 25% of our land is protected, divided between national parks, wildlife refuges, and biological reserves. Additionally, 93% of our electricity comes from 100% renewable sources. For this reason, and many others, Costa Rica is not only one of the UN’s Champions of the Earth, but a favorite destination for incentive programs and meetings worldwide.

An airplane at the SJO Airport in Costa Rica

Travel Requirements for Participants of Incentive Trips and Meetings in Costa Rica

Passports and Visas

Travelers to Costa Rica must have a passport that is valid for at least six months from their entry date. They must also provide proof of a return ticket out of Costa Rica for within 90 days of entry.

Not everyone requires a tourist visa to enter Costa Rica. In fact, travelers from the US, Canada, UK, and EU do not need to get a visa prior to entry. Their passport will be stamped and dated for up to 90 days. Check here for visa requirements for other countries. 

Premio DMC also recommends travelers have a photocopy of the photo page of their passport, as well as another official photo ID, such as a driver’s license. 

 

Yellow Fever Vaccination

As of July 30, 2007, travelers coming from some countries in Africa and South America must possess a yellow fever vaccination certificate before being allowed entry into Costa Rica. Please consult if your country is on the list.

Bioluminescence Tour in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Premio DMC Adds New Bioluminescence Tour in Guanacaste

You Can Now Add a Bioluminescence Tour for Participants in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Bioluminescence is one of the most magical natural phenomena in Costa Rica. It’s one of the best kept secrets of our shores. Now, it is a stunning tour that can be added to the program through Premio DMC in Costa Rica.

 

Interested in Costa Rica for incentive trips and meetings? Check out some of our most recent international awards.

 

 

What is Bioluminescence?

Bioluminescence is a completely natural light that is created by a chemical reaction in living organisms. There are several organisms that can create this biological light, such marine bacteria, algae, crustaceans, fish, and worms. In the case of the Papagayo Bay, it’s algae that gives off this blue-green light.

People can see bioluminescence when water is disturbed, such as by a hand in the water or the hull of a moving boat. It’s one of the most incredible experiences, like sparks shooting through the water. While this light is very difficult to capture on standard cameras, it will still leave a lasting memory for all who witness it.

 

 

Where Can Participants See Bioluminescence in Costa Rica?

There are a couple places in Costa Rica where bioluminescence appears. For participants of incentive programs and meetings visiting Guanacaste, Papagayo Bay is the best place to find this phenomenon. That’s why we’ve set up a tour of MICE groups off of Hermosa Beach. Viewers are sure to leave with poignant memories of this amazing occurrence. 

 

When is Bioluminescence Visible?

Because bioluminescence is made up of light, it’s best seen on dark nights. Ideally this tour will be booked on nights with no moon, either during a new moon or when the moon is below the horizon. It is still usually possible to see bioluminescence on other nights, though you’ll want to avoid full moons when booking this tour. 

 

 

What’s the Guanacaste Bioluminescence Tour Like?

Participants will board a boat and head out to the bay for this experience. As the boat cruises through the sparkling water, cocktails and dinner will be served. Adventurous participants can choose to get on a stand up paddle board or floating mat, in order to see the bioluminescence up close.

If groups wish, they can take this experience to the next level and add a setup on a secluded beach in the area. 

 

Included in the Tour

  • Private boat tour leaving from the hotel beach
  • Stand-Up Paddle Boards and Floating Mat
  • Bilingual Guide
  • Microfiber Towels
  • Open Bar and Dinner on the Boat

Contact Premio DMC for more information about this and other tours and programs.

 

 

Airplane on the runway at sunset

LIR Airport in Costa Rica Changes Name to Guanacaste Airport

The LIR Airport Was Formerly Called the Liberia International Airport

Updated July 28, 2021

 

Guanacaste has been home to the second largest international airport in Costa Rica since 1995. While it’s formally named the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR), most people called it the Liberia International Airport, due to its proximity to Liberia, the capital town in Guanacaste. 

A New Name: Guanacaste Airport

However, this airport has been rebranded. Costa Rican authorities announced the new name and logo in a press conference on July 22, 2021. The Guanacaste Airport will retain its official IATA abbreviation: LIR. 

It is hoped that the new name and brand will better represent the airport as the closest international airport for tourists coming to visit the northern Pacific coast and the Nicoya peninsula.

 

New Guanacaste Airport Logo

 

An Airport Growing in Popularity and Traffic

The reality is that the Guanacaste Airport has seen a consistent increase in tourism and MICE traffic up until the pandemic hit in 2020. From 2018 to 2019, airport traffic increased by 8.5% with 600,000 people transiting the airport in 2019. 

Now that restrictions are loosening in Costa Rica and worldwide as more and more people are vaccinated and ready to travel again, the Guanacaste Airport has seen numbers returning to normal. They are anticipating the pre-pandemic growth to continue, meaning this airport will continue to be of utmost importance for the country.

 

How This Affects the MICE Industry

Since most of our MICE participants stay in Guanacaste, this airport has always been a favorite of our clients and partners. Event planners can expect to see the name “Guanacaste Airport” pop up when they search for flights to LIR. Rest assured that this is the same airport as always.

Travelers wearing masks

Costa Rica Drops Travel Insurance Requirement for Vaccinated Travelers

Costa Rican beach

Traveling in Costa Rica: 2021 Restrictions and Guidelines

8 Things Travelers Can Do in Costa Rica and 3 COVID-19 Restrictions

Updated July 28, 2021 

 

All things considered, Costa Rica is doing a pretty good job keeping the country both operating and safe. In fact, the Costa Rican government’s initiative is called, in Spanish, the Costa Rica Works and Stays Safe Model. 

Are there restrictions in Costa Rica? Yes. 

Is there risk of the virus in Costa Rica? Yes. 

Is there still a lot of things travelers can do in Costa Rica despite these restrictions, while keeping as safe as possible? YES! 

Let’s take a look at what travelers can and cannot do in Costa Rica in 2021

 

 

1 -- Travelers CAN Travel Freely Around Costa Rica 

Costa Rica is a small country. It’s quite possible to drive from the Pacific coast to the Caribbean in one day. There is even a peak where you can see both seas at once on clear days. However, despite being so small, Costa Rica is also known for its incredible wealth of biodiversity, geography, and microclimates. 

We’re happy to inform you that there are no restrictions to where your participants can travel around our country. 

Currently, there is a driving curfew during the night, which changes in reaction and anticipation of peaks in the virus. That means no one is on the road during these hours of the night, except for essential workers with a special permit, public transportation, and taxis. 

You can still drive along the Guanacaste Pacific coast while enjoying the sea breeze or marvel at the lush green of the surrounding hills as you approach the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. 

 

2 -- Travelers CAN Go to Restaurants in Costa Rica

Whether your participants are looking for our famous Caribbean Rice and Beans or excited to experience one of our many gourmet fusion restaurants, you’ll be happy to hear that restaurants are open in Costa Rica. By law, they are operating at lower capacity, of course, but they are open. 

The law governing health measures in restaurants is quite strict, requiring the following: 

  • People must use masks whenever in all spaces, except for when at their table
  • The earliest they can open is 5am and the latest is 10pm (or whatever the circulation current curfew is)
  • The restaurant cannot fill more than 50% of their capacity 
  • Tables must be spaced at least 6 feet (1.8 meters)

Additionally, the health department has established detailed guidelines for restaurants and cafes, which include the following: 

  • Disinfect and wash tables, chairs, bathrooms, and all surfaces between use
  • People are advised to keep at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) whenever not at their table 
  • Most restaurants let you swipe or insert your debit or credit card directly, avoiding unnecessary contact.
  • Scan the temperature of everyone who enters the restaurant

 

3 -- Travelers CAN Stay at Costa Rican Hotels 

Hotels that have more than 100 rooms are allowed to operate at 75% capacity. While hotels are operating, almost as usual, due to the uncertain times, there are possibilities that hotels booked far in advance may not be able to complete your booking when the time comes. Many hotels and DMCs are offering flexible reservations where you can reschedule your reservation at a later time. Check with your local agent about the rebooking policies of your hotels. 

The Costa Rican Tourism Board has established 16 sanitary protocols for hotels as well as tour operators and other activities and establishments associated with tourism. Institutions that follow these protocols strictly are awarded the Safe Travels Stamp, an internationally recognized certificate of risk-minimization best practices. Ask your DMC about the Safe Travels Stamp status of your lodging and tour operators.

In fact, there is a good chance travelers will be enjoying your hotel with fewer guests than normal, allowing them to enjoy its amenities all to themselves. 

 

4 -- Travelers CAN Go to the Beach in Costa Rica

Costa Rican beaches are currently open every day between 5am and 6pm. Our gorgeous tropical beaches are why so many people travel to Costa Rica after all! 

Even when restrictions to the beaches were stricter during 2020, they were still almost always open during specific schedules of the day. There is a good chance restrictions won’t get stricter than they are now, but if they do, you will still most likely be able to visit the beach. 

The risk of infection is much less when people in open-air areas, making the beaches one of the best places to be. The sea breeze is both a welcome companion to the tropical heat and a risk diffuser. Maintain social distancing and use masks when in close proximity to others and participants can enjoy these Costa Rican beaches almost as much as they want. 

 

5 -- Travelers CAN Go to Many National Parks 

Did you know that 25% of Costa Rica’s land is protected? Costa Rica is proud of its 28 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected zones, 15 mangroves and wetlands, 12 conservation areas, and 8 biological reserves. 

The tourists who come visit Costa Rica love its protected, natural beauty. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the national parks everyone has come to know and love. Not every single park is open with such few restrictions, but the most popular and developed ones are. 

Never fear, travelers can still go searching for the monkeys, sloths, toucans, and all the other delightful fauna that makes these protected areas their home. 

 

6 -- Travelers CAN Go on Costa Rican Adventure Tours

Zipline. White water rafting. Kayaking. Choose an adventure and Costa Rica delivers. Participants will be happy to hear that tour operators are still open for business. The government health ministry mandates that masks must be worn when putting on and taking off security equipment and when in close proximity to tour operators and other participants.

As a tropical country with a mild climate, Costa Rica offers good weather all year long, even when in the “rainy” season. Costa Rica experiences the most rain between May and December, however most of the rain occurs in the afternoons, leaving the mornings bright and sunny. No matter what time of year you visit, you will have plenty of time to fit in all the adventure and enjoyment you desire. 

 

 

7 -- Travelers CAN Go to a Bar or Casino

One of the most recent updates to the restrictions and limitations in Costa Rica is the reopening of bars and casinos. All chairs and tables must be kept at a distance of 6 feet (1.8 meters), masks must be worn whenever not at your table, and the maximum capacity is 25% of the establishment. 

The good news is that participants can still enjoy their piña colada or ice cold beer in peace, whether in a public or hotel bar or on the beach. 

 

8 -- Travelers CAN Enter the Country without a COVID-19 Test or Vaccination 

Due to many regulations and guidelines provided by the Costa Rican Health Ministry and Tourism Institution, it has been deemed safe for visitors to enter the country and circulate without needing a proof of a test or vaccination. The sanitation measures applied to all establishments and institutions intend to keep everyone as safe as possible and minimize risk of infection by all parties. 

You will be asked a questionnaire about recent exposure and any symptoms you may be experiencing upon travel to Costa Rica. Travelers who have not been fully vaccinated for at least 15 days will be required to purchase health insurance that covers COVID-19 related expenses, including a potential 15 day quarantine in case of positive testing prior to departure. When going through the airport, all travelers are scanned automatically for raised temperature. 

 

Conclusion: Costa Rica is Open for Tourism with Minimal Risk, Thanks to Detailed Guidelines and Reasonable Restrictions

As the situation with COVID-19 and international and local vaccination efforts continue to evolve, these limitations will also continue changing. If you have booked a MICE event in Costa Rica, keep in contact with your travel agency, who should always have the most recent list of permissions and restrictions on hand. We'll do our best to ensure a spectacular and safe event for all participants.

Outlets and Voltage in Costa Rica for MICE Participants

Outlets and Voltage in Costa Rica for MICE Participants

Travel is now picking up around the world, which includes both tourism and corporate travel as well. As passengers prepare to go abroad, governments have imposed COVID-19 testing requirements for people returning home after being in other countries. 

 Fortunately, COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica is widely available throughout the country. Here is what you need to know in order to help program participants best prepare for their trips. 

Which COVID-19 Tests are Currently Offered in Costa Rica?

Currently two kinds of tests are offered in Costa Rica: 

  • Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests 
  • Rapid Antigen Tests 

Where can Visitors Get Tested for COVID-19 in Costa Rica?

There are three options for getting COVID-19 tested for participants of incentive programs and corporate travelers. 

Testing at the Hotel 

Most major hotels offer travelers the possibility of testing onsite. Private labs can be arranged to come to the hotel itself and conduct tests on all members of the group. 

Testing in the Airport in Guanacaste 

There is now testing available in the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. However, as of the most recent update to this article, there is no testing available directly in the Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.

Testing in a Laboratory  

Every province and major city in Costa Rica has authorized testing facilities. Some of the common labs and hospitals that provide COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica are: 

  • Echandi Laboratory (Laboratorios Echandi). This common lab can be found in the Daniel Oduber Airport in Guanacaste, in Limon, Puerto Viejo, Santa Cruz, Liberia, San Carlos, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • The Metropolitan Hospital (Hospital Metropolitano). There are satellite hospitals in Quepos, Santa Cruz, Liberia, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • San Jose Laboratory (Laboratorios San Jose). This lab can be found in Jaco and San Jose, among other locations
  • CIMA Hospital (Hospital CIMA) in San Jose.
  • Labin Laboratory (Laboratorios Labin) in San Jose

 

If you’re looking for the complete list of testing facilities, which number in the dozens, check the Costa Rican Tourism Board. This list is in Spanish, but includes all authorized labs and is updated consistently. 

 

All travelers can be assured of safe and sanitary testing in the labs that have been authorized by the Costa Rican government. These labs follow strict international regulations. 

 

Can Visitors Get COVID-19 Tests Results in Time Before Leaving the Country?

Yes they can. The COVID-19 testing infrastructure in Costa Rica has developed protocols specifically for visitors. Mosts tests facilities aim to return results within 48 hours of testing and guarantee results in 72 hours. Some labs, such as the one newly opened in the airport in Guanacaste, deliver results within 3-4 hours. 

What is the Cost of COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica?

There is no simple answer to this question. Each lab and hospital maintains their own prices for the different COVID-19 tests. Generally, testing can be found in the $60-$200 range. When scheduling itineraries with Premio DMC, the most convenient testing sites will be decided upon, including prices.  

Are Appointments Necessary for COVID-19 Tests in Costa Rica?

Some labs require appointments, while others welcome walk-in visitors. However, we do recommend making appointments for travelers regardless, in order to make sure the test works within their itinerary. Premio DMC can make all necessary testing appointments for their clients. 

Are There Contingency Plans for Travelers Who Test Positive for COVID-19 Prior to their Date of Departure? 

All travelers who test positive for COVID-19 in Costa Rica must comply with a 14 day quarantine period. This quarantine must be supported by their travel insurance policy, which is a requirement for entering Costa Rica to begin with. 

 

Premio DMC usually works with clients to consider potential contingency plans for anyone who tests positive for the virus, whether mid trip or prior to departure.

 

All travelers should be made aware of the Costa Rican government COVID-19 hotline 1322. Anyone presenting with symptoms or who have been exposed to an infected individual can call the hotline and receive guidance. There are English speaking operators available at this hotline. 

Coronavirus Vaccinations in Costa Rica: May Update

Coronavirus Vaccinations in Costa Rica: May Update

Travel is now picking up around the world, which includes both tourism and corporate travel as well. As passengers prepare to go abroad, governments have imposed COVID-19 testing requirements for people returning home after being in other countries. 

 Fortunately, COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica is widely available throughout the country. Here is what you need to know in order to help program participants best prepare for their trips. 

Which COVID-19 Tests are Currently Offered in Costa Rica?

Currently two kinds of tests are offered in Costa Rica: 

  • Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests 
  • Rapid Antigen Tests 

Where can Visitors Get Tested for COVID-19 in Costa Rica?

There are three options for getting COVID-19 tested for participants of incentive programs and corporate travelers. 

Testing at the Hotel 

Most major hotels offer travelers the possibility of testing onsite. Private labs can be arranged to come to the hotel itself and conduct tests on all members of the group. 

Testing in the Airport in Guanacaste 

There is now testing available in the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. However, as of the most recent update to this article, there is no testing available directly in the Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.

Testing in a Laboratory  

Every province and major city in Costa Rica has authorized testing facilities. Some of the common labs and hospitals that provide COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica are: 

  • Echandi Laboratory (Laboratorios Echandi). This common lab can be found in the Daniel Oduber Airport in Guanacaste, in Limon, Puerto Viejo, Santa Cruz, Liberia, San Carlos, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • The Metropolitan Hospital (Hospital Metropolitano). There are satellite hospitals in Quepos, Santa Cruz, Liberia, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • San Jose Laboratory (Laboratorios San Jose). This lab can be found in Jaco and San Jose, among other locations
  • CIMA Hospital (Hospital CIMA) in San Jose.
  • Labin Laboratory (Laboratorios Labin) in San Jose

 

If you’re looking for the complete list of testing facilities, which number in the dozens, check the Costa Rican Tourism Board. This list is in Spanish, but includes all authorized labs and is updated consistently. 

 

All travelers can be assured of safe and sanitary testing in the labs that have been authorized by the Costa Rican government. These labs follow strict international regulations. 

 

Can Visitors Get COVID-19 Tests Results in Time Before Leaving the Country?

Yes they can. The COVID-19 testing infrastructure in Costa Rica has developed protocols specifically for visitors. Mosts tests facilities aim to return results within 48 hours of testing and guarantee results in 72 hours. Some labs, such as the one newly opened in the airport in Guanacaste, deliver results within 3-4 hours. 

What is the Cost of COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica?

There is no simple answer to this question. Each lab and hospital maintains their own prices for the different COVID-19 tests. Generally, testing can be found in the $60-$200 range. When scheduling itineraries with Premio DMC, the most convenient testing sites will be decided upon, including prices.  

Are Appointments Necessary for COVID-19 Tests in Costa Rica?

Some labs require appointments, while others welcome walk-in visitors. However, we do recommend making appointments for travelers regardless, in order to make sure the test works within their itinerary. Premio DMC can make all necessary testing appointments for their clients. 

Are There Contingency Plans for Travelers Who Test Positive for COVID-19 Prior to their Date of Departure? 

All travelers who test positive for COVID-19 in Costa Rica must comply with a 14 day quarantine period. This quarantine must be supported by their travel insurance policy, which is a requirement for entering Costa Rica to begin with. 

 

Premio DMC usually works with clients to consider potential contingency plans for anyone who tests positive for the virus, whether mid trip or prior to departure.

 

All travelers should be made aware of the Costa Rican government COVID-19 hotline 1322. Anyone presenting with symptoms or who have been exposed to an infected individual can call the hotline and receive guidance. There are English speaking operators available at this hotline. 

Costa Rica: Wins Top Sustainable award by National Geographic

Costa Rica Recognized for Top Sustainability by National Geographic and Other Recent Awards

Travel is now picking up around the world, which includes both tourism and corporate travel as well. As passengers prepare to go abroad, governments have imposed COVID-19 testing requirements for people returning home after being in other countries. 

 Fortunately, COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica is widely available throughout the country. Here is what you need to know in order to help program participants best prepare for their trips. 

Which COVID-19 Tests are Currently Offered in Costa Rica?

Currently two kinds of tests are offered in Costa Rica: 

  • Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests 
  • Rapid Antigen Tests 

Where can Visitors Get Tested for COVID-19 in Costa Rica?

There are three options for getting COVID-19 tested for participants of incentive programs and corporate travelers. 

Testing at the Hotel 

Most major hotels offer travelers the possibility of testing onsite. Private labs can be arranged to come to the hotel itself and conduct tests on all members of the group. 

Testing in the Airport in Guanacaste 

There is now testing available in the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. However, as of the most recent update to this article, there is no testing available directly in the Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.

Testing in a Laboratory  

Every province and major city in Costa Rica has authorized testing facilities. Some of the common labs and hospitals that provide COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica are: 

  • Echandi Laboratory (Laboratorios Echandi). This common lab can be found in the Daniel Oduber Airport in Guanacaste, in Limon, Puerto Viejo, Santa Cruz, Liberia, San Carlos, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • The Metropolitan Hospital (Hospital Metropolitano). There are satellite hospitals in Quepos, Santa Cruz, Liberia, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • San Jose Laboratory (Laboratorios San Jose). This lab can be found in Jaco and San Jose, among other locations
  • CIMA Hospital (Hospital CIMA) in San Jose.
  • Labin Laboratory (Laboratorios Labin) in San Jose

 

If you’re looking for the complete list of testing facilities, which number in the dozens, check the Costa Rican Tourism Board. This list is in Spanish, but includes all authorized labs and is updated consistently. 

 

All travelers can be assured of safe and sanitary testing in the labs that have been authorized by the Costa Rican government. These labs follow strict international regulations. 

 

Can Visitors Get COVID-19 Tests Results in Time Before Leaving the Country?

Yes they can. The COVID-19 testing infrastructure in Costa Rica has developed protocols specifically for visitors. Mosts tests facilities aim to return results within 48 hours of testing and guarantee results in 72 hours. Some labs, such as the one newly opened in the airport in Guanacaste, deliver results within 3-4 hours. 

What is the Cost of COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica?

There is no simple answer to this question. Each lab and hospital maintains their own prices for the different COVID-19 tests. Generally, testing can be found in the $60-$200 range. When scheduling itineraries with Premio DMC, the most convenient testing sites will be decided upon, including prices.  

Are Appointments Necessary for COVID-19 Tests in Costa Rica?

Some labs require appointments, while others welcome walk-in visitors. However, we do recommend making appointments for travelers regardless, in order to make sure the test works within their itinerary. Premio DMC can make all necessary testing appointments for their clients. 

Are There Contingency Plans for Travelers Who Test Positive for COVID-19 Prior to their Date of Departure? 

All travelers who test positive for COVID-19 in Costa Rica must comply with a 14 day quarantine period. This quarantine must be supported by their travel insurance policy, which is a requirement for entering Costa Rica to begin with. 

 

Premio DMC usually works with clients to consider potential contingency plans for anyone who tests positive for the virus, whether mid trip or prior to departure.

 

All travelers should be made aware of the Costa Rican government COVID-19 hotline 1322. Anyone presenting with symptoms or who have been exposed to an infected individual can call the hotline and receive guidance. There are English speaking operators available at this hotline. 

COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica for Travelers Returning Home

COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica for Travelers Returning Home

Travel is now picking up around the world, which includes both tourism and corporate travel as well. As passengers prepare to go abroad, governments have imposed COVID-19 testing requirements for people returning home after being in other countries. 

 Fortunately, COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica is widely available throughout the country. Here is what you need to know in order to help program participants best prepare for their trips. 

Which COVID-19 Tests are Currently Offered in Costa Rica?

Currently two kinds of tests are offered in Costa Rica: 

  • Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests 
  • Rapid Antigen Tests 

Where can Visitors Get Tested for COVID-19 in Costa Rica?

There are three options for getting COVID-19 tested for participants of incentive programs and corporate travelers. 

Testing at the Hotel 

Most major hotels offer travelers the possibility of testing onsite. Private labs can be arranged to come to the hotel itself and conduct tests on all members of the group. 

Testing in the Airport in Guanacaste 

There is now testing available in the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. However, as of the most recent update to this article, there is no testing available directly in the Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.

Testing in a Laboratory  

Every province and major city in Costa Rica has authorized testing facilities. Some of the common labs and hospitals that provide COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica are: 

  • Echandi Laboratory (Laboratorios Echandi). This common lab can be found in the Daniel Oduber Airport in Guanacaste, in Limon, Puerto Viejo, Santa Cruz, Liberia, San Carlos, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • The Metropolitan Hospital (Hospital Metropolitano). There are satellite hospitals in Quepos, Santa Cruz, Liberia, and San Jose, among other locations.
  • San Jose Laboratory (Laboratorios San Jose). This lab can be found in Jaco and San Jose, among other locations
  • CIMA Hospital (Hospital CIMA) in San Jose.
  • Labin Laboratory (Laboratorios Labin) in San Jose

 

If you’re looking for the complete list of testing facilities, which number in the dozens, check the Costa Rican Tourism Board. This list is in Spanish, but includes all authorized labs and is updated consistently. 

 

All travelers can be assured of safe and sanitary testing in the labs that have been authorized by the Costa Rican government. These labs follow strict international regulations. 

 

Can Visitors Get COVID-19 Tests Results in Time Before Leaving the Country?

Yes they can. The COVID-19 testing infrastructure in Costa Rica has developed protocols specifically for visitors. Mosts tests facilities aim to return results within 48 hours of testing and guarantee results in 72 hours. Some labs, such as the one newly opened in the airport in Guanacaste, deliver results within 3-4 hours. 

What is the Cost of COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica?

There is no simple answer to this question. Each lab and hospital maintains their own prices for the different COVID-19 tests. Generally, testing can be found in the $60-$200 range. When scheduling itineraries with Premio DMC, the most convenient testing sites will be decided upon, including prices.  

Are Appointments Necessary for COVID-19 Tests in Costa Rica?

Some labs require appointments, while others welcome walk-in visitors. However, we do recommend making appointments for travelers regardless, in order to make sure the test works within their itinerary. Premio DMC can make all necessary testing appointments for their clients. 

Are There Contingency Plans for Travelers Who Test Positive for COVID-19 Prior to their Date of Departure? 

All travelers who test positive for COVID-19 in Costa Rica must comply with a 14 day quarantine period. This quarantine must be supported by their travel insurance policy, which is a requirement for entering Costa Rica to begin with. 

 

Premio DMC usually works with clients to consider potential contingency plans for anyone who tests positive for the virus, whether mid trip or prior to departure.

 

All travelers should be made aware of the Costa Rican government COVID-19 hotline 1322. Anyone presenting with symptoms or who have been exposed to an infected individual can call the hotline and receive guidance. There are English speaking operators available at this hotline.