The best month for Costa Rica tourism during the pandemic

Each month since March 2021 has been the country’s best.

July 2021 was the month in which Costa Rica received the most visitors during the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released this week.

Nearly 150,000 people arrived to Costa Rica on international flights in July, continuing an upward trend: Each month since March 2021 has been the country’s best during the pandemic.

For context, Costa Rica welcomed 213,000 air arrivals in July 2019 and 418 in July 2020.

The United States remains (by far) Costa Rica’s biggest market. During the pandemic, more than 70% of air arrivals have come from the North American country.

“There is still a long way to go,” said Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura, adding the sector must prioritize health, environmental stewardship and sustainable growth to achieve “a better future.”

Success may not last

Historic figures suggest Costa Rica’s upward trend of tourists may not continue. In non-pandemic years, August through October are typically the country’s slowest months for visitors.

For example, in 2019 Costa Rica received 60% fewer air arrivals in September compared to its best month (March).

In addition, Covid-19 surges in the United States may depress travel from Costa Rica’s top market. Southwest Airlines is already warning the Delta variant is hurting bookings.

On a more positive note, Avianca is betting on travel growth and announced new routes between Costa Rica and Los Angeles, New York, Cali, Medellín, Mexico City and Managua beginning in the coming months.

Costa Rica tourist entry requirements

Since August 1, Costa Rica has stopped requiring a travel health insurance policy for minors and for adult tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Vaccinated adults must:

  • Have received an approved vaccine: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson.

  • The last dose of the schedule must have been administered at least 14 days before arrival in Costa Rica.

  • Proof must be demonstrated with a document that includes the person’s full name, date of each dose, formula, and lot number.

    • For U.S. visitors, the Covid-19 vaccination record card meets the requirement.

    • This proof should be uploaded to the Health Pass, which should be completed within the 72 hours before arriving in Costa Rica.

Unvaccinated adults must obtain an insurance policy as detailed here.

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