June 1, 2020
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with travel dates on or after
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with effective start dates on or after
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If you’re craving an adventure, Costa Rica is calling.
Hike, surf, sail, snorkel, fish, or just kick back on the beach, all while marveling at the nature around you. This small, lush nation, which pioneered the concept of eco-tourism, is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and a living testament to the power of conservation. Fully 28 percent of Costa Rica’s land is protected as a national park or reserve.1
The Caribbean side is known for its humid, jungled coastline; the Pacific side boasts sunny beaches and tropical dry forest; and in the northwest, you’ll find the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest with its resident poison dart frogs.
Make sure you’re ready for your trip with our quick-read travel guide to Costa Rica.
If you’re thinking of planning a getaway to Costa Rica, here’s what you need to know. International entry rules can change frequently, so check our interactive, updated map to see the latest travel restrictions and requirements for Costa Rica. You also should consult the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica for the latest updates and travel advisories.
Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test is not required to visit Costa Rica. You do need a passport to travel to Costa Rica. (Don’t have a valid passport? Read The Ultimate Guide to Applying for a Passport & Passport Renewal.)
Is travel insurance required for visiting Costa Rica? Not currently—but it’s still a really good idea to buy it. Here’s why.
One last thing: Be sure to download the free Allianz TravelSmart app before you travel! This highly rated app gives you one-touch access to your travel insurance plan and 24-hour assistance services, as well as essential local information.
One of the best-known Costa Rica eco-lodges is Lapa Rios on the Osa Peninsula, where you can stay in one of 17 rainforest bungalows in a 1,000-acre private reserve. While you’re there, enjoy one of the three on-site beaches, hike to nearby waterfalls or kayak through the mangroves.
If the water is calling you, stay at Si Como No, an eco-friendly resort near the Pacific beach town of Manuel Antonio. Its 54 rooms have views of the sea and the jungle, with an on-site spa and three restaurants. Don’t be surprised if you encounter a few visitors during your stay, such as sloths, squirrel monkeys and toucans.
For people who truly want to immerse themselves in nature, Rara Avis (open seasonally and on demand) offers the chance to get as far away from civilization as possible. There are only two ways to travel to this rainforest retreat: by tractor, or on foot and horseback. Your reward is the chance to see rare animals and frolic in a double waterfall.
Costa Rican cuisine is generally simple and satisfying. At almost any restaurant, the thing to order is the casado, a set plate that’s usually heaped with black beans and rice, fried plantains, cabbage salad and grilled meat, chicken or fish.7 In San José, the Restaurante Grano de Oro has become famous for a European approach to Costa Rican specialties such as heart-of-palm salad and local red snapper.
Sikwa, also in San José, takes an entirely different approach that’s inspired by the ancestral, indigenous cuisine of Costa Rica. “We say that we are not a restaurant, we are a gastronomic education and information center that sells food,” according to chef and founder Pablo Bonilla. On the menu, you might find fried cassava, shrimp with arracache (a native root vegetable), and chicken with pineapple and achiote.
For a perfectly beachy vibe, head to Lola’s on Playa Avellana. Relax under the palm trees, say hi to Lolita the pig, and order ceviche, a thin-crust pizza, and a Lolajito (or several.)
Wherever your Costa Rican adventure takes you, be sure to protect your vacation with travel insurance. Allianz Travel Insurance can help you recover from travel mishaps big and small, such as lost bags, delayed flights, medical emergencies and trip cancellations. Find your perfect plan.