Costa Rica Entry Cheat Sheet



Laboratorios Echandi is advertising rapid antigen tests at Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, Guanacaste.

The lab is promising results within an hour for tests taken at the airport.

“Arrive at the airport 4 hours before check-in and receive your Covid-19 antigen test results in less than an hour,” their advertisement reads.

The one-hour antigen test at LIR costs $65. Interested travelers should schedule their test at this link.

“These tests are only authorized for air travel to certain countries, including the United States,” the lab says. “Please have your ticket information and passport ready for verification at the testing site.”


All air passengers — including U.S. citizens and permanent residents — must get tested for the coronavirus within three days of their flight to the U.S.

Why does the Order specify 3 days rather than 72 hours? What is considered 3 days?

The 3-day period is the 3 days before the flight’s departure. The Order uses a 3-day timeframe instead of 72 hours to provide more flexibility to the traveler. By using a 3-day window, test validity does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test was administered.

For example, if a passenger’s flight is at 1pm on a Friday, the passenger could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after.

Passengers must show written documentation of a negative test result.

Update February 17, 2021 – The expensive, inconvenient, and time consuming rtPCR test ($90 to $250, 1 to 3 days for results) is no longer necessary (except for Canadians).  Three medical franchises in Costa Rica are now offering the rapid antigen test for about $50.  Locations available near many popular tourist destinations but more importantly near both international airports. Travelers from the U.S. also have the option of bringing a “Do It Yourself” test from home – $30, 15 minutes. (from

Local Options for Testing:

Medklined Bio Análisis:

Medklined Bio Análisis offers the Covid test. They are located in Nosara town.

They are the fastest and most reliable for Rapid Antigen testing. It is a $40 taxi ride (round trip) from the facility, which includes the driver waiting for your test to finish.

The Nosara Paradise Rentals office staff will set the appointments for our guests.

Here is their Facebook page:

Paradise Medical:

Paradise Medical offers the Covid test. They are located directly across the street from Nosara Paradise Rentals Main Office.

The test results will be ready between 48 and 72 hrs, and you have to set up the appointment a week before. Price is $133.

To book, send a WHATSAPP message: +506 86124242 and they will respond as soon as possible to try to accommodate everyone’s travel requirements the best they can.

They are also very responsive on Facebook:

United Airlines Travelers – Self Test:

Also, you have the option to preorder a packable antigen test to take with you on your trip. These kits must be ordered and delivered to a US residence. Note that there are requirements that must be completed prior to leaving the US.

Visit for additional instructions and technology requirements for your at-home, virtually guided test.

Testing Near the Airports:

Several labs have opened in the immideiate vicincty of the SJO and LIR Airports. These labs have a 45-minute turnaround time and are geared for Americans returning to the US. Here are the Locations available


These requirements remain in place:

1.) Health Insurance


This interface is user friendly and operates like a shopping cart on Amazon or eBay.

Also Trawick International offers affordable policies for U.S. citizens that meet Costa Rica’s requirements.

2.) Health Form

You are not allowed to fill this out until you are within 48 hours of your flight.

You have to fill out the form yourself, and the form doesn’t work with all browsers.

You will want to use Firefox, Safari, or Opera. We’ve had trouble making Chrome or IE/Edge work.  If you are using a iPhone then use Safari, if Android the use Opera.

Address: The form asked for your destination address, and here it is:

Nosara Paradise Rentals, Playa Guiones, Guanacaste


Beginning on October 26, arriving visitors will no longer need to show proof of a negative PCR coronavirus, Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura said.

Costa Rica forms cheat sheet:

1.) Your US phone number goes like this: +001 (areacode) number…So the phone number (904) 591-2161 would be displayed as +0019045912161

This is also how you will have to dial back home when you are in CR, even though your cell phone will work normally except the dialing part.

2.) They do the day and month in reverse of the US method: dd/mm/yyyy

This means December 8th, 2020 is 08/12/2020 instead of our way which is 12/08/2020

3.) Most Americans only have two names (first and last) but Central Americans have 4 or more. On the forms:

First Surname = Last Name
Second Surname = Leave Blank
First Name = First Name
Second Name = Leave Blank