COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica FAQs – What travelers need to know
Do I need to get a COVID-19 test to return to the United States, Europe, Canada, and Japan from Costa Rica?
It depends on the country. For many travelers returning to countries in Europe, a negative test result is required that has been administered in the last 72 hours before entry. Not all countries have the same requirements, so check with your country’s government before planning your trip.
All people entering the United States and Canada need to get a COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. Specifically, all people must have a negative COVID-19 test, which has been administered in the last 72 hours, or three days, before getting on the plane. This applies to tourists, residents, and citizens alike, over 2 years of age in the US and over 5 years of age in Canada.
What COVID-19 tests offered in Costa Rica are accepted for entering the US, Europe, Canada, and Japan?
The reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is valid for entry to these countries and readily available in Costa Rica.
Can I get the rapid antigen tests in Costa Rica?
Yes! In mid-February, Costa Rica approved the use of rapid testing. Several laboratories now offer rapid antigen testing throughout the country. Rapid testing is acceptable for entering the United States as long as it is an accepted viral test. It is not accepted for entry to Canada.
Where can I get COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica?
There are laboratories, clinics, and hospitals in every province that are authorized to issue the COVID-19 test. Some of the most common testing sites are:
- The Metropolitan Hospital (Hospital Metropolitano) in Quepos, Santa Cruz, Liberia, and San Jose, among other locations
- Echandi Laboratory (Laboratorios Echandi) in Limon, Puerto Viejo, Santa Cruz, Liberia, San Carlos, and San Jose, among other locations
- San Jose Laboratory (Laboratorios San Jose) in Jaco and San Jose, among other locations
- CIMA Hospital (Hospital CIMA) in San Jose
- Labin Laboratory (Laboratorios Labin) in San Jose
The complete list of testing facilities approved to administer the COVID-19 test can be found in Spanish at the Costa Rican Tourism Board. This list is updated consistently, as new labs are approved to provide the coronavirus test.
Do I have time to get the COVID-19 test before leaving Costa Rica?
Yes! Most tests for tourists send you your results within 48 hours and all guarantee results within 72 hours. As long as you get your test at the earliest possible moment (72 hours or 3 days before boarding your plane), you will have time to receive the result before leaving Costa Rica. Most testing facilities will send you your results by email, which means you won’t need to necessarily stay in the same location where you were tested in order to receive the results.
In fact, if you are booking your itinerary with an agency, including Camino Travel, then we can incorporate a testing date at an appropriate time and place into your travel plan.
Is the COVID-19 test safe and clean in Costa Rica?
Yes! Costa Rica prides itself on the high quality of its health care options. All private laboratories and hospitals that have been approved for both RT-PCR and rapid testing are excellent establishments that adhere strictly to international sanitary protocols.
How much does the COVID-19 test cost in Costa Rica?
While each private laboratory maintains their own pricing, most tests can be found within the range of $60 – $200.
When deciding on your itinerary with Camino Travel, you can find out the exact cost of the coronavirus test at the testing facility that fits within your schedule best.
Do you need an appointment to get the COVID-19 test in Costa Rica?
While some labs do not require appointments, it is always a good idea to contact them first to make sure. Most testing facilities do require an appointment.
When booking with Camino Travel, we can make the testing appointment for you.
Can I get tested for COVID-19 at the SJO airport?
There is currently no coronavirus testing in the San Jose or Liberia airports in Costa Rica.
Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 if I have gotten the vaccine?
Yes. The vaccine does not replace the requirement for the coronavirus test.
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 before leaving Costa Rica?
Visitors who test positive for COVID-19 must comply with a fourteen day quarantine, the coverage of which must be supported by their travel insurance policy. This travel insurance policy is a requirement for entering Costa Rica.
When booking with Camino Travel, we can go over potential contingency plans with you in case you or someone in your party tests positive for coronavirus at any time in your trip and especially at the last minute. We’ll do our best to help you avoid any last minute travel stress!
Please note that you should call the government hotline 1322 for help if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or are confirmed to have been exposed to someone with coronavirus. This hotline does have English-speaking operators available.