Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is a passport needed to enter Costa Rica?

A valid Passport is needed to enter the country.

2. Do I need a visa to visit Costa Rica?

Depending on your nationality, you may not need a visa to enter the country. Benefiting from this are those that hold passports from the US, Canada and most European countries.

  • Depending on the country, it is determined the number of days available to visit as a tourist.

  • In some cases, an immigration official could ask you to demonstrate your economic solvency for your stay in the country..

  • Although you may have 90 days available on your tourist visa, the immigration official will assess the allowed visiting period on your passport.

  • Visitors to Costa Rica must have a valid passport, as well as proof that they will be departing the country before their visa or entrance stamp expires, generally within the 90 days.

  • More information: Visas

3. Can I enter Costa Rica with a one-way air ticket?

All visitors must have an entry ticket as well as a departure ticket, whether it is by air or land, as appropriate, as an entry requirement.

4. Is an international driver´s license needed?

Anyone over the age of 18 can drive with a license from their country, for a period of three (3) months. However, if you wish to rent an automobile, you must be over the age of 21.

5. Can I get married in Costa Rica? What are the necessary documents?

It is possible to marry in Costa Rica, the required documents are: a valid passport or valid travel documents and a sworn statement (affidavit) signed in the presence of a Costa Rican lawyer (if divorced, you will need the document of such divorce from your country or wherever the divorce was granted).

6. What is the difference between a rainforest and a cloud forest?

The main difference is that in a rainforest the precipitation is higher. The flora and fauna differ from one type of forest to another as well.

7. Can you drink the water in Costa Rica?

The water is potable in greater parts of the country. However, we recommend the consumption of bottled water, especially in areas near the coast.

8. Is there train service in Costa Rica?

There is no train service to destinations outside the Central Valley, the only existing service, is between Cartago-San José and San José-Heredia during the peak hours from 6:00 am to 8:00 am, and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Service itineraries can be found at:

9. What is the Costa Rican currency?

The colon is the currency of Costa Rica. American dollars and credit cards may be used.

10. Can I use credit cards in Costa Rica?

Major credit cards are accepted. Also, you can locate ATMs throughout the country.

11. What type of vaccination is needed to enter Costa Rica?

Costa Rican authorities require a yellow-fever vaccine certification from travelers of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leon, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Guyana, even if your were only transiting through any one of these countries. 

12. Do I need a plug adapter for my blow dryer?

Costa Rica´s outlets are 110 volts, with a standard duplex outlet.

13. What are the necessary documents to bring pets into Costa Rica?

All cats and dogs entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate from a veterinarian and endorsed by a veterinarian service. A physical exam must be conducted two weeks prior to the date of the trip. The required vaccines are: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies (for animals over 4 months old).

14. What is the cost of the exit tax?

The exit tax, via air is US $29.00 and US $7.00 by land payable in US dollars, colones or credit card at the Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago, Banco Lafise, or the Banco de Costa Rica. Some airlines already include this fee in the airline ticket; therefore, we recommend you consult your airline.

15. How do I get a work visa?

You can apply for this type of visa at the Costa Rican Consulate in your country. The link of the Costa Rican consulates abroad is:


16. How do I apply for legal residency?

There are various ways to legalize your stay: - temporary resident – retired – governmental international mission – For more information contact the Costa Rican Consulate, the Residents Association at or you can visit: migration 

17. Are the national parks accessible to persons who are physically disabled?

The Poas Volcano National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, and Carara National Park

18. Is there a tour operator company that offers services for persons with physical disabilities?

Many companies offer these services, given their compliance with Law 7600, however you can visit those found on this page.

19. Is there an American Legion in Costa Rica?

There is one for those that served in the military. You may also contact the Resident Association of Costa Rica at or (506) 2233-8068

20. If I decided to extend my stay, can I get a visa for this while in Costa Rica?

The residents from countries that enter with a 30-day visa can go to the Immigration and Foreign Department for an extension of their visa for up to 90 days. You must take into account that: 1- you have a valid passport, 2- demonstrate economic solvency and 3- have a departure ticket or fare. The amount of time allowed to stay in the country will depend on the immigration official.

For more information please visit Information only in spanish

21. What should I bring to the rainforest?

You will need insect repellent, rain poncho, and comfortable shoes.

22. Are there domestic airlines?

You can contact SANSA at (506)2290-4100, or Nature Air at (506)2299-6000, which offer steady routes to the different tourist destinations within the country.

23. What is the sales tax in Costa Rica?

There is a 13% sales tax on the price of goods. Restaurants also have a 10% service tax.

24. What is the number I should call in case of an emergency?

Call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance. For tourist assistance, you can dial: 800-turismo..

25. Are their English language newspapers?

The main English-language newspaper is The Tico Times:

26. In which rivers can I go white water rafting?

White water rafting can be enjoyed on the: Pacuare, Reventazón, Corobicí, Sarapiquí, Naranjo and Savegre rivers. You can check out some tour operators for white water rafting on this page.

27. Where can I watch turtles during nesting season?

You can visit the Tortuguero National Park in the Caribbean and the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific. Ver folleto

28. What are the natural boundaries of Costa Rica?

-North: Nicaragua -South: Panama -East: Caribbean Sea -West: Pacific Ocean.

29. What are the natural boundaries of Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is divided into seven (7) provinces: Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, San José, Puntarenas, Limón and Guanacaste.

30. Can I use my mobile phone in Costa Rica?

If you want to use a mobile phone in Costa Rica, you must have an UNBLOCKED cellular phone and purchase a prepaid SIM card. You can also visit the different telephone companies throughout the country; they offer different options for prepaid cards, including internet access.

31- What are the country´s international airports?

Costa Rica has four (4) international airports: Juan Santamaría Airport in Alajuela, Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Tobías Bolaños International Airport in San José, and the Limón International Airport.

Visite: Aeropuertos Internacionales

32- Where do I buy bus tickets for other parts of Costa Rica?

You can contact some of the travel agencies or tour operators listed on this page to guide you to the locations where you can purchase the tickets.

33- What is the area code for Costa Rica?

Dial 00-506-number. For assistance on international calls dial 1024.

34. Is Gasoline sold by the liter or gallon?

Gasoline is sold by the liter..

35. If I rent a car, can I drive it to Nicaragua or Panama?

Rental cars are not allowed to leave the country.

36. Can I pay with dollars or credit cards at the gas stations?

Both options can be used as a form of payment.

Tourism Companies Access | Privacy Policy
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo
Copyright ©2015 ICT CST Gobierno Digital Centroamerica