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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. 

 

COVID-19 Requirements

Travelers are currently able to enter Costa Rica without a proof of negative COVID-19 test or vaccination. 

Everyone who enters the country must fill out a Health Pass, provided by the Costa Rican Health Ministry online, which you can find and fill out here. Fill out the Costa Rican Health Pass (Pase de Salud in Spanish) within 48 hours of travel. Upon filling it out, travelers will receive an email with a QR code, which officials will ask to scan.

For information on what is currently open and permitted in Costa Rica, consult this article.

 

COVID-19 Related Travel Insurance

As of August 1, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to buy COVID-19 related travel insurance. For official purposes, fully vaccinated means having received all required shots of an accepted vaccine, at least 14 days before entry. 

Anyone who is not fully vaccinated can still enter the country, but must purchase travel insurance that specifically covers COVID-19 related expenses. This travel insurance includes at least $2000 for potential quarantine or trip interruption in the event a participant tests positive for COVID-19 in Costa Rica. 

 

COVID-19 Testing Prior to Departure

For travelers departing Costa Rica for countries that require COVID-19 testing prior to entry, there are several options.

Most major hotels will arrange COVID-19 testing for guests. Additionally, there are several labs, clinics, and hospitals throughout the country that offer official testing. Travelers can also get tested at the airports in Guanacaste and San Jose. Coordinate with your Premio DMC planner as to the best option for your group.

 

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.