As the host of a popular Costa Rica podcast, I get many questions about getting to Costa Rica. The following are the five most common questions about getting to Costa Rica.
1. What are the entry requirements?
If you are visiting Costa Rica as a tourist, you do not need to apply for a visa. You will need a valid passport that does not expire for at least 30 days after arrival in Costa Rica and a return ticket. Please note that your passport should be in good condition. Costa Rica’s Immigration Service denies entry if your access is damaged (torn, faded, etc.). As a tourist, you are allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa. Stays longer than 90 days must apply for an extension at the Immigration Office in Costa Rica. As a tourist, it is unlikely that your request for an extension beyond 90 days would be granted. However, each application is reviewed, and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
2. Which airlines fly to Costa Rica?
Most major airlines fly to Costa Rica’s San José International Airport (called Aeropuerto Juan Santamaria). Here is a list of some significant airlines (this list is not all-inclusive):
Lacsa (official airline in Costa Rica)
Mexicana de Aviación
The American West
3. What is the average fare to San José, Costa Rica?
It isn’t easy to offer an average fare as there are so many external factors beyond our control. For example, airfare from Miami, Florida to Costa Rica will be cheaper compared to flying from Omaha, Nebraska. In addition to dealing with the airline’s mysterious pricing code, it is a difficult task to deal with. Even on a domestic flight, the person next to you could have paid much more or less than you did for the same ticket.
4. What are the customs rules?
Special customs duties are not charged for personal luggage. Costa Rican law required that luggage be inspected, and travellers submit customs declaration forms. The same process as required by US Customs. The custom lines in Costa Rica can be very long, so be prepared to wait and be patient.
5. Departure tax
After having a great time in Costa Rica, you will have to pay a departure tax from Costa Rica at the airport. So make sure you have your cash or credit card in order. The cost is $ 26 (as of this writing-March 2008). Be sure to pay the departure tax before you get in line to check-in for your flight. If you do not have the necessary receipts, you will be expelled from the check line to pay your departure tax and then you will have to get in line again (at the end of the line) to check-in for your flight. As you enter San José International Airport, look left and right, and you will see the camp to pay your departure tax. They are located opposite the front desk.