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Costa Rica Travel Insurance: Requirements, Tips & Safety Info

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Based on our research, the best travel insurance plans for Costa Rica come from Seven Corners, Generali, Tin Leg, IMG, and AXA (skip ahead to see plans).
  • Costa Rica no longer requires you to have travel insurance for your trip, but we recommend taking out a travel insurance policy before you leave.
  • Costa Rica is not an inherently dangerous country, but it is covered in wilderness and home to diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Zika, and more.
  • Travel insurance can protect you if you become ill or need emergency medical care while in Costa Rica. It also offers protection if your trip is canceled or interrupted for reasons beyond your control.
  • Costa Rica travel insurance policies can vary in terms of cost and included coverages, so we recommend to using a comparison tool to find a policy that includes medical coverage and evacuations at a minimum.

Costa Rica is a popular travel destination for families, adventure travelers and nature lovers alike, and it’s easy to see why. This country in Central America boasts coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and it is home to volcanoes, jungles and rainforests, rivers, mountains, and incredible landscapes from shore to shore.

Families visit Costa Rica to do adventure activities like climbing, white water rafting, and zip lining, and to see the beautiful creatures this area of the world is known for. For example, Costa Rica boasts giant sea turtles, rare birds, sloths, and enormous crocodiles, just to name a few animal inhabitants that call the country home.

All this being said, there’s a lot that could go wrong during a trip to Costa Rica — especially for travelers who plan to go off the beaten path to explore the nation’s vast wilderness areas and jungles.

Here’s everything you need to know about Costa Rica travel requirements, as well as what to look to choose the best travel insurance policy.

Our top picks for the best Costa Rica travel insurance

Advertiser Disclosure
Best Budget Travel Insurance

Tin Leg

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
4.6
Preferred Plan
Economy
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$20,000 / $100,000
Best for Last-Minute Coverage

IMG

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
4.24
Preferred Plan
iTravelInsured Travel SE
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$250,000 / $500,000
Best for Trip Cancellation

AXA Assistance USA

GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
4.22
Preferred Plan
Platinum
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$250,000 / $1,000,000

Do I need travel insurance for Costa Rica?

Travel insurance is not a legal requirement to enter Costa Rica. However, it’s recommended as Costa Rica is a country filled with rainforests, and animal-borne diseases such as Dengue Fever are common throughout the country. Therefore, you’ll want to look into travel insurance for trips to Costa Rica as a precaution.

This way, should you become ill while away, you’ll have coverage for emergency medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation. As an addd benefit, these plans usually come with coverage for lost or delayed baggage, travel delays, and other mishaps that could occur.

Not having travel insurance leaves you financially vulnerable to a wide range of circumstances.

Our top picks for the best Costa Rica travel insurance

Advertiser Disclosure

Best Budget Travel Insurance

Full Policy Details

Tin Leg

4.6
GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Economy
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$20,000 / $100,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

Tin Leg is known for offering high-quality travel insurance coverage at a reasonable price.

All Tin Leg policies have an A- rating or better for their financial strength from AM Best. We also like the fact this provider has a budget travel insurance plan with basic protections at an affordable price.

Even though it’s inexpensive, this Economy plan still comes with the most important protections you need for your trip. This includes trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of the prepaid trip cost, trip interruption coverage worth up to 100%, specialized protection for hurricanes and weather, up to $20,000 per person in secondary travel protection for emergency medical with no deductible, and up to $100,000 in protection for evacuation and repatriation of remains.

Travelers also qualify for travel delay insurance, insurance for lost or delayed baggage, and 24-hour travel and emergency assistance.

Tin Leg also offers an Adventure plan. This provides coverage if you’re planning to do adventure activities in Costa Rica, such as mountain climbing.

PROS

  • Choose from budget to premium coverage
  • Protection for COVID-19-related medical expenses included
  • All plans come with a 10 to 15-day money-back guarantee

CONS

  • The Budget Economy plan has lower policy limits
  • Not all plans let you add on CFAR coverage

Best for Last-Minute Coverage

Full Policy Details

IMG

4.24
GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
iTravelInsured Travel SE
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$250,000 / $500,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

We like IMG Global because it offers a range of affordable and flexible travel insurance plans that you can purchase up until the day before you depart for your Costa Rica trip.

The iTravelInsured Travel SE plan comes with plenty of benefits for families and groups who need to secure coverage for an affordable price, and individuals up to the age of 99 can purchase a plan.

This plan will cover trips lasting up to 180 days. It includes trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of the trip cost and travel interruption coverage worth up to 150% of the trip cost. Other coverage benefits include up to $2,000 for trip delays, up to $250,000 for emergency medical expenses, and up to $500,000 for emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains.

PROS

  • Purchase your plan up until one day before you depart
  • Generous limits for trip delays, emergency evacuation, and more
  • Pre-existing condition waiver available if purchased within 20 days of initial trip deposit
  • 24/7 emergency travel assistance included
  • Coronavirus-related medical expenses covered

CONS

  • Plan gets notably more expensive with age

Best for Trip Cancellation

AXA Assistance USA

4.22
GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Platinum
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$250,000 / $1,000,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

Since AXA Assistance USA offers three coverage levels, you can tailor your policy for Costa Rica to suit your needs and budget.

AXA Assistance USA has an A rating from AM Best. It offers a range of travel insurance plans geared to different types of trips. The three coverage levels offered are:

  1. Silver
  2. Gold
  3. Platinum

We like the Platinum plan from AXA Assistance USA because it includes trip cancellation coverage worth up to 100% of non-refundable travel expenses, $1 million in medical evacuation protection, $250,000 in insurance for medical expenses, $100,000 in coverage for non-medical emergency evacuation, and more. You can also add cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage to this plan for an extra cost.

PROS

  • High coverage limits in every category. Extremely comprehensive
  • Includes identity theft coverage & non-medical evacuation coverage
  • CFAR coverage reimburses 75% of prepaid travel expenses

CONS

  • Coverage cannot be extended unlike other plans
  • Medical limit is lower than other cheaper plans, but still sufficient

Best for Premium Coverage

Full Policy Details

Generali Global Assistance

4.34
GET A QUOTE via Squaremouth’s secure website
Preferred Plan
Premium
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$250,000 / $1,000,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

Generali Global Assistance offers high coverage limits for medical expenses, emergency dental expenses, emergency medical evacuation coverage, and more for your trip to Costa Rica.

This travel insurance provider has an A rating from AM Best and offers three tiers of travel insurance coverage to suit your needs:

  1. Standard plan
  2. Preferred plan
  3. Premium plan

If you’re looking for the most coverage, then the Premium plan may be your answer. It comes with 100% reimbursement for prepaid travel expenses due to trip cancellation, 175% reimbursement for eligible trip interruption claims, up to $250,000 in coverage for emergency medical and dental expenses, $2,000 in baggage loss protection per traveler, and more.

The Premium plan also includes coverage for rental cars and pre-existing conditions, and CFAR coverage is available as an add-on.

PROS

  • High coverage limits with top tier Premium plan
  • Some plans let you add on CFAR coverage
  • Pre-existing conditions covered in the Premium plan
  • Comes with 24-7 worldwide travel assistance services

CONS

  • The standard plan comes with low plan limits, including just $50,000 per traveler in medical and dental expense
  • CFAR coverage must be purchased within 24 hours of the initial trip deposit
  • A 12-hour waiting period is required for luggage delay coverage

Best for Customer Service

Full Policy Details

Faye Travel Insurance

4.5
GET A QUOTE via the Faye website
Preferred Plan
Faye Travel Protection Plan
Covers COVID
Yes
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$100,000 / $500,000
Why We Like It

Editor's take

Faye is a new travel insurance disruptor that offers an innovative solution to travel insurance with a digital-first approach. What sets them apart is their user-friendly solution to a traditionally bureaucratic system. With Faye, users can manage everything online or via the Faye app – including the entire booking and claims process. Although it’s a newer provider in the travel insurance industry, Faye is already rising as a fan favorite among young, tech-savvy travelers and digital nomads who want quick, convenient, and reliable travel insurance without having to go through an agent.

Apart from their online-first approach, Faye is easy to use and caters to all types of travelers including those who may want help via phone support.

Another feature that sets Faye apart from the competition is their plan offerings. Faye offers one base plan with an array of comprehensive coverage and optional add-ons to customize your plan.

Potential Add-ons include:

  • Pet care
  • Rental car care
  • Cancel for any reason
  • Vacation rental damage
  • Adventure & extreme sports

If you are looking for a convenient and cost-effective way to insure your vacation, consider opting for Faye travel insurance. *Note: Coverage limits and availability may vary by state of residence.

PROS

  • Friendly agents
  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • Fast reimbursements for eligible claims
  • Prompt replies to questions

CONS

  • Long wait times for reimbursement
  • Difficulty reaching Faye outside of email & virtual chat
Passport and Plane Ticket

How much does Costa Rica travel insurance cost?

The cost of travel insurance depends on a wide range of factors, including the following:

The chart below shows how much different policies cost across three different travel insurance companies for trip dates over January of 2024. All quotes received were for two travelers aged 40 and a seven-night vacation with a total cost of $5,000.

Average costs for Costa Rica travel insurance

Travel insurance company Plan type Premium
Allianz Travel Insurance OneTrip Prime $290
Allianz Travel Insurance OneTrip Premier $398
IMG Global iTravelInsured Travel SE $233.60
Trawick International Safe Travels Flex $286.42
Trawick International Safe Travels First Class $390.74
Travelex Travel Basic $174
Travelex Travel Select $260
World Nomads Standard Plan $169.68
World Nomads Explorer Plan $273.28

What does travel insurance for Costa Rica cover?

As you start browsing insurance options for your trip to Costa Rica, you’ll notice that different insurance companies have their own share of included coverages and limits can vary widely.

You’ll want to make sure your plan includes the following coverages at a bare minimum.

Travel medical insurance

Travel medical coverage can pay for emergency medical expenses that occur during your trip, whether they result from an illness or an injury. For example, this coverage can pay for doctor bills, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and outpatient care. Travel medical insurance can also pay for quarantine due to COVID-19 if it’s ordered by a physician.

While travel medical policies vary in terms of the coverage they offer, most provide between $15,000 and $250,000 in limits for emergency medical expenses.

*Example: You’re walking through the jungle and you trip over a large log, breaking your ankle as a result. In this case, travel medical coverage would pay for the treatment and medication you receive until you can return home.*

Medical evacuation coverage

Medical evacuation coverage can kick in when you’re injured in a remote area and you need transportation to a local hospital or clinic. This coverage can also apply when you need to be medically evacuated to your home country.

Coverage for emergency medical evacuation typically falls between $100,000 and $1 million depending on the policy.

*Example: You’re hiking on the side of a mountain and you suddenly fall more than 20 feet through rugged terrain. You have to be rescued by a helicopter before you can reach the local hospital for treatment.*

Trip delay insurance

You’re at the airport waiting for your flight to depart, but it’s suddenly delayed until the next morning. In this instance, you’ll want to have trip delay coverage in place.

Many trip delay policies only kick in when your vacation is delayed for a certain length of time, usually six to 12 hours or longer. Policy limits vary for trip delay insurance, but this coverage may be worth between $100 to $300 per day.

*Example: You’re on your way to Costa Rica and have stopped in Miami, Florida for your layover. Your onward flight has been canceled, and this requires you to pay for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning, as well as a hotel stay.*

Trip cancellation insurance

Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses when a trip must be canceled for a covered reason.

This coverage can be worth up to 150% of the trip cost depending on the provider.

*Example: You’re gearing up for your trip to Costa Rica in a few days, but a natural disaster shuts down the hotel you’re planning to visit. In that scenario, a trip cancellation benefit could help you get your money back.*

For added flexibility, consider opting for Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance, allowing you to cancel your trip for non-covered reasons and still receive partial reimbursement.

Trip interruption insurance

Trip interruption insurance comes into play when a trip must be interrupted after it has already started. This coverage can reimburse you for prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses when a trip must be cut short for a covered reason.

While trip interruption benefits vary across travel insurance companies, this coverage is often worth up to 175% of the total trip cost.

*Example: You’re enjoying your trip immensely, yet terrorist activity in your destination requires you to return home right away. In that case, having trip interruption coverage could help you get some of your expenses back.*

Baggage insurance

Some travel insurance policies also come with baggage insurance that can reimburse you if your bags are lost or stolen when in the care of a common carrier. Baggage delay coverage is also common, and this coverage pays for unexpected expenses that occur when you are stuck waiting for your bags to arrive.

Baggage insurance benefits may be worth anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 per traveler.

*Example: You’ve landed at your destination, but your luggage never arrived. You never see your bags again, so you file a claim with your travel insurance company that helps you recoup the expense of your luggage and belongings inside.*

Where can I get Costa Rica travel insurance?

If you’re ready to buy travel insurance for your trip, you should know that there are many ways to line up this coverage ahead of time.

You can purchase travel insurance through any of the following methods:

Tips for choosing the best Costa Rica travel insurance

Buying travel insurance can help you enjoy your trip without worrying about what could go wrong, but you’ll need to make sure you have the right policy for your needs.

Consider the advice listed below before you invest in a plan for your Costa Rica getaway.

1

Check which adventure activities are covered.

If you plan to go white water rafting, zip lining, or climbing during your Costa Rica vacation, you’ll want to make sure your travel insurance policy does not exclude these adventure activities.

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2

Choose a plan with adequate medical coverage and emergency evacuation coverage above all else.

While all types of travel insurance are important, having adequate coverage for emergency medical expenses is crucial. We suggest securing medical coverage worth at least $50,000 per person, and potentially even more. Also, look for plans with high amounts of coverage for emergency medical evacuation (at least $100,000).

See More See Less
3

Compare plans based on policy limits and coverages offered.

You’ll notice that the least expensive plans offer lower coverage amounts overall, whereas premium travel insurance plans cost more on average.

See More See Less
4

Make sure you have coverage for pre-existing conditions.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition of any kind, you’ll want to make sure your travel insurance plan comes with a pre-existing medical waiver — and that you qualify. If you fail to line up coverage for pre-existing conditions and you have to file a claim due to the medical care you received, you will likely be denied coverage.

See More See Less
Passport and Plane Ticket

Costa Rica travel information & requirements

Before you plan a family vacation or adventure trip to Costa Rica, you’ll need to look over travel requirements for U.S. citizens.

The chart below shows the documentation you’ll need before you travel, as well as up-to-date entry and exit requirements for tourists.

Question Answer
Is a tourist visa required for U.S. citizens? Not required for stays of less than 90 days, return ticket required
How long can I stay without a visa? Up to 90 days as a tourist
Are there passport requirements? Passport must be valid for the length of the stay
Are there currency restrictions for entry or exit? $10,000 USD
Are there other entry requirements? Proof of funds of at least $100 per month for the duration of stay
Are there vaccine requirements? Yellow fever vaccine required if traveling from certain countries in South America
Is COVID testing required? No
Are there COVID restrictions? No
What is the travel advisory level? Exercise increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime
Is travel insurance required? No, but it’s highly recommended
Is U.S. health insurance accepted? No

Do I need a visa or passport for Costa Rica?

US residents need a passport to visit Costa Rica, and visits can last for up to 90 days. The passport must be valid for the duration of the trip. You will also need proof of a return ticket home before being allowed entry.

According to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, you may also have to prove financial solvency to enter the country. This can mean showing you have at least $100 per month in discretionary funds to spend during your trip, as well as a place to stay.

Are there COVID-19 restrictions for U.S. visitors?

Similar to other nations in the Caribbean Sea region, Costa Rica did have COVID-19 entry requirements in place throughout 2020, 2021, and parts of 2022, all temporary measures have been suspended. This means US citizens, Canadians, and all non-US visitors can head to Costa Rica without being tested for COVID-19 or showing proof of vaccination.

Is Costa Rica safe to visit?

Costa Rica is generally safe to visit and is a quiet country known for its pure lifestyle, or “pura vida” in Spanish.

That said, unlike closer Central American locations such as Mexico, the U.S. Department of State recommends exercising increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime. However, this doesn’t mean that Costa Rica is necessarily unsafe. Early thisyear, 2024, the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) and Costa Rican public security authorities introduced new security measures to protect visiting tourists.

FAQ: Costa Rica Travel Insurance

Do you need special insurance to visit Costa Rica?

Travelers aren’t required to purchase travel insurance to visit Costa Rica, but buying a policy is still recommended.

How much does Costa Rica travel insurance cost?

Based on our internal analysis, the cost of travel insurance for a seven-night trip that costs $5,000 ranges from around $175 to $400 for two 40-year-olds.

Does US health insurance work in Costa Rica?

U.S. health insurance does not apply in Costa Rica, which is a big reason you’ll want to buy travel insurance with medical coverage for your trip.

Is it worth it to get travel insurance for Costa Rica?

Buying a travel insurance plan makes sense if you’re worried about racking up medical bills overseas or if you want protection for trip cancellation, trip interruptions, travel delays and lost baggage.

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Finance Expert

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade.

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.

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