Updated COVID Requirements Costa Rica October 23

Updated COVID requirememts CROn Thursday, October 22, 2020, the Costa Rican government along with the Minister of tourism, Gustavo Segura have updated Covid requirements for travelers entering Costa Rica – both tourists and residents.
Image about Updated Covid requirements for travelers to Costa RicaThe great news with the updated requirements is that starting October 26, 2020 tourist arriving no longer a need for a negative Covid-19 PCR to enter Costa Rica. Having said this, some of the other requirements are still in place. Here is a refresher if you have been keeping track or are planning a trip to Costa Rica soon.

A) All people entering Costa Rica must complete the digital epidemiological form. This is known as the “Health Pass” or “Pase de Salud.” https://salud.go.cr/

B) Tourists must purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19. This policy can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers. The Minimum is $50,000 USD health and $2,000.00 for lodging and needs to cover you for the total time you are in the country:

Here are links to 2 Costa Rican companies that offer the required insurance. Instituto Nacional de Seguros) https://www.grupoins.com/seguroparaviajeros , or Sagicor https://tiendasagicor.com/en You can use a foreign policy but it must cover COVID-19 medical expenses and extended lodging as listed above.
Image indicating Costa Rica borders are open

Starting November 1, 2020, the Costa Rican Government updated the countries that are allowed to visit Costa Rica. They basically opened up to all countries around the word, so come and enjoy the Costa Rica Pura Vida!

In addition, the requirements for citizens of Costa Rica “Ticos” to return home have been updated. As of October 26, Costa Rican citizens returning to the country by air will not be required to quarantine for 14 days as before. Unfortunately, there was nothing stated or mentioned about quarantine for foreigners who have temporary or permanent residency. Hopefully, that will be updated as well in the coming days.

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Mistakes to avoid when visiting Costa Rica

Costa Rica MistakesThose of us who have lived for years in Costa Rica would like to help those of you who are just arriving not to make some of the mistakes we made! Maybe I am being helpful; maybe humble; maybe I just do not wish my old “lack of local knowledge” on anyone. Whatever the reasons, here I go with basic mistakes to avoid!

 

Map of Costa Rica - Costa Rica is not an islandFirst of all, Costa Rica is not an island. If you are thinking of visiting or moving here, study a map of Central America first and familiarize yourself with the geographical locations of the region. Our Caribbean cousin Puerto Rico is an island, of course, and many get the names mixed up. Now you don’t have to.

 

Rainbow over the Pacific in Costa RicaCosta Rica is intoxicatingly beautiful.  But just like other intoxicating substances, don’t let it dull your senses and lull you into a false sense of security. Petty theft happens here, and you can never think something will “be all right for just a little bit.” Never leave your car unlocked or valuables in sight (even if locked). Always have one of your group stay by your things on the beach. Mistakes like these can ruin your trip.

 

 

Night driving in Costa RicaAvoid driving at night unless you are really adventurous. Driving during daylight hours in Costa Rica is an adventure in itself depending where you are. but driving at night can be downright dangerous if you are not comfortable doing so. Poor road conditions in a lot of rural areas, unmarked roads (i.e. non-distinguishable lines or guard rails) and non-existent signage, at least the type that can assist you.  Also, heavy rain and/or fog – depending on the season – makes it a smart decision to arrive at your destination before nightfall.

Image of many cell phonesDon’t think that your phone plan from back home will provide you with cell coverage and data service here (even if you checked with them and they said they would). Some say the exception is T-Mobile, which they say offers a good international plan. AT&T network is good as well. That said, most visitors find that they end up paying a lot for extras when they get their bill. Instead, make sure your cellphone is unlocked to international service, and after you arrive in Costa Rica stop at any corner store, buy a local SIM card ($2), and insert it in your phone. Download both Waze (for directions) and WhatsApp (to communicate) on your device.

Exotic bug in Costa RicaI hope this doesn’t come as too much of a shock to you, but there are insects in paradise. Don’t come here expecting to have a bug-free experience. Most of Costa Rica is a rainforest. Even the most expensive hotels are going to have insects. In many areas of Costa Rica the nights are cool enough at night to not need AC, but that means you will likely want your windows or sliding doors open. It may surprise you to learn that screens are not a given like they are in north America. If bugs are a big thing to you, do not make the same mistakes I did 20 years ago.  Do your due diligence before arriving. Those of us who have lived here for years have learned to coexist with the insects. Well, not some of the really strange ones but they are still cool to look at!

Don’t base travel times on distance and think that just because something is “close” you can cram it into a day trip. Travel time is measured in minutes and hours, not miles (or kilometers). Roads may be in poor condition or traffic could be heavy and it will often take you longer to travel to a destination than you anticipated. A map may indicate it is only 10 miles from point A to point B, but that trip can take an hour and you may need a 4-wheel drive vehicle. In place of a map, use the Waze app.  In my opinion Waze is better than google maps in Costa Rica. It accurately reports traffic conditions and estimates travel times.

On a related note, do not try to see the whole country in 3 days! Driving here is not like driving on a freeway in the US with the cruise control on and one finger on the steering wheel. It can be a draining, white-knuckle experience; it may feel like you are dodging and weaving among obstacles like in a video game. So, take your time and do not overbook your schedule. This is one of the many mistakes I made the first time I visited Costa Rica.

Thunderstorm forming over Costa RicaDon’t believe that it won’t rain in the ‘dry’ season. There are varied weather patterns all over the country, this all depends on what part of the country you are in. That said, you’ll never suffer weeks on end of drizzly, gray skies. It rarely remains overcast for more than two days in a row. When it rains, it POURS here, and a tropical downpour complete with thunder and lightning is a wonderful experience itself. Enjoy it!

Don’t leave all your reservations until the last minute. Rooms fills up fast the same with rental cars. So, if you have your heart set on one particular place, book online but call to confirm your reservation. Ticos like to do business in person. The same goes for tour operators.

If you want to carry the local currency, which I recommend, go to any bank but you will need to show your passport to exchange money. You can pay in US dollars but the exchange rate is best at the banks.

So, I hope you find my friendly advice helpful, so when you visit Costa Rica for the first time you won’t make some of the same mistakes I made years ago. And make sure you say Hello to everyone you meet.  You will be surprised at how nice and friendly the people of Costa Rica are.

Want to keep up with everything that is happening here in Costa Rica?  Join my email list!

Want more information about Costa Rica in general visit https://www.costarican-american-connection.com/Costa_Rica_FAQs/page_2575549.html

Interested in owning a property in Costa Rica, checkout some great options here

Germany Comes to Costa Rica

German flagA lot of people are emailing me about how hard is it to meet the requirements to get into Costa Rica? Well, today I am with my friend Stephan from Muenster Germany. Stephan just arrived in Costa Rica 2 days ago on a direct flight from Frankfurt Germany to San Jose, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Flag After spending the night in an area hotel in San Jose, Stephan drove to Playas del Coco. Why? You must be thinking how come he did not fly in to Liberia. Well, unfortunately there are no flights from Germany directly to the Liberia International Airport (LIR is the code), which is just 25 minutes away from his condo.

I helped Stephan purchase his beautiful condo about a year and half ago and we are sitting at the community pool. I asked Stephan if he would do this video with me on his experience of traveling to Costa Rica from Germany with the COVID requirements that are in place. Click the link below and see for yourself what Stephan had to say.

Stephan explained all that was needed, the information is below along with link. He also said, if you were paying attention to the video, that he would have to quarantine for 14 days back in Germany if he could not get a PCR Covid test, showing negative results.  Many countries are like that. But have no fears good news about this below.

I believe that the Coco Medical and Dental Clinic offers them. So, after we finished filming this short video, I called Dr. Hanzel Larios of the Coco Medical and Dental Clinic Dr. Larios immediately responded with a YES!! The PCR test is available in their lab at the clinic, right here in Playas Del Coco. If you need it a negative PCR test to prevent having to be quarantined upon your arrival back to you home country, I recommend making an appointment (make sure you know your countries requirements) Here is a link to the clinic. https://www.cocomedicalanddentalcenter.com/

So here are the requirements related to COVID-19 for tourists visiting Costa Rica:

A) All people entering Costa Rica must complete the digital epidemiological form. This is known as the “Health Pass” or “Pase de Salud.” https://salud.go.cr/

B) Tourists must obtain a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test. The sample for this test must have been taken at most 72 hours before the flight to Costa Rica. (This was extended to 72 hours on September 1.) If you have a layover you are not allowed to leave the airport and it can only be for 18 hours.

C) Tourists must purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19. This policy can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers. The Minimum is $50,000 USD health and $2,000.00 for lodging.
Costa Rica Welcomes Germany
Costa Rica is now open!! No matter if you live in Germany, Canada, Italy or the United States of America (only certain States in the US, until November 1, 2020) , you can come to enjoy the “Pura Vida” Lifestyle you have heard about or seen first-hand from your past trips. Starting November 1, 2020 all US residents, no matter what U.S. state you live in, are allowed to come. Here is a link to a complete list of approved countries and States.

https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/traveling-costa-rica-during-covid-19-entry-requirements-protocols/

Want to keep up with everything that is happening here in Costa Rica?  Join my email list!

Want more information about Costa Rica in general visit https://www.costarican-american-connection.com/Costa_Rica_FAQs/page_2575549.html

Interested in owning a property in Costa Rica, checkout some great options here

 

News Alert! Costa Rica is Opening!

Great News, the Costa Rica government has opened the borders to travelers from the States of Texas, Florida and Georgia to the list of places that are allowed to visit Costa Rica, effective October 15th.

Costa Rica signEven better news! is that effective November 1, 2020, residents from all US States and Washington D.C. are allowed to enter Costa Rica.

As a reminder: if you are coming to visit you are still required to meet the health standards and protocols that were implemented by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica. They are listed below.
Seal of the US Embassy in Costa Rica
Here is a link and the latest news from the US Embassy in Costa Rica detailing all the requirements for tourists and US residents of Costa Rica https://cr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Requirements for tourists and returning residents from approved departure locations prior to October 16th and then those areas after November 1, 2020, are as follows:

A) All people entering Costa Rica must complete the digital epidemiological form. This is known as the “Health Pass” or “Pase de Salud.” https://salud.go.cr/

B) Tourists must obtain a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test. The sample for this test must have been taken at most 72 hours before the flight to Costa Rica. If you have a layover you are not allowed to leave the airport and it can only be for 18 hours.

C) Tourists must purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19. This policy can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers. The Minimum is $50,000 USD health and $2,000.00 for lodging.

D) Tourists from the United States must demonstrate they live in one of the authorized States, via their driver’s license or State ID.

If traveling with Children click the link below for the details as this is important as well.
Person sitting in SJO airport
Accompanying minors are not required to have a driver’s license or State ID card. The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has an English-language website detailing news with entry requirements: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements
News about Costa Rica opening up for travelers from the US
Many people have been inquiring already about this breaking news and asking, “is it safe to come to Costa Rica during this COVID mess”? Well, in my opinion YES! The number of active cases as of October 3rd are just over 32 thousand, there are roughly 5 million people in Costa Rica, that is approximately .006% of the population. Thats pretty low!

In the county of Carrillo, where Playa Hermosa, Playas del Coco, Ocotal and surrounding areas are, total active cases = 53.  With a population of roughly 46,000 people in Carrillo, that equates to approximately .001% of the population.  So, your chance of contracting COVID while in the Playa Hermosa area is very, very low. Proper social distancing is required as well as face masks in all closed environments, such as retail stores and restaurants.
Beach in Costa RicaThe Beaches are open until 2:30 in the afternoon.  All the national parks are open. Beaches and parks are only two of the many reasons people come to Costa Rica.

The borders are open!  Come on down and enjoy Costa Rica with us!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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Helpful Links

Information about living in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Condos
Costa Rica Homes for Sale
Ocean View Homes in Playa Hermosa
Beach Front properties in Playa Hermosa

Want more information about Costa Rica in general visit https://www.costarican-american-connection.com/Costa_Rica_FAQs/page_2575549.html

Interested in owning a property in Costa Rica, check out some great options here