Costa Rica Travel Insurance: Coverage & Tips for 2024

Costa Rica, a breathtaking paradise known for its lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, and stunning beaches, entices adventurers from all corners of the globe. Embarking on a Costa Rican adventure can be an unforgettable experience, but it’s critical to ensure you’re covered for any unexpected situations. Travel insurance is your safety net, offering protection against health risks, trip interruptions, and unforeseen expenses. In this essential guide, we’ll explore the top Costa Rica travel insurance providers, coverage options, entry requirements, and tips to help you choose the right plan for your needs.

Most travelers think of lesser important items when traveling to Costa Rica.  What to wear throughout the vacation, what items to pack, and how long does it take to get there?

Don’t discount travel insurance!  It can be life changing, as I wrote about my families first hand account in my Safety Wing review.

Should I Buy Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

  • Travel insurance is essential for a successful and worry-free trip to Costa Rica.
  • Compare quotes and coverage from different providers to find the best plan that fits individual needs and budget.
  • Be aware of entry requirements, health guidelines, common scams, safety measures & currency exchange before travelling in order to ensure an enjoyable experience.

Why Costa Rica Travel Insurance is Important

Costa Rica

Travel insurance is indispensable for a stress-free holiday in Costa Rica, providing coverage for various travel-related issues like lost baggage and emergency medical evacuation. Experiencing Costa Rica by staying in a unique treehouse Airbnb or navigating dirt roads in a rental car can be thrilling, but these adventures carry inherent risks. Thus, securing travel insurance is a wise measure. Emergency medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation coverage can protect your finances and well-being if you require medical care or transportation during your trip.

Costa Rica’s enticing allure, from its white-sand beaches to the dense jungles, may present certain health and safety concerns, as well as potential trip interruptions and cancellations. The significance of travel insurance is paramount, as it provides mental tranquility and financial safeguard against any unforeseen events during your visit.

Health and Safety Concerns

Access to healthcare in Costa Rica’s rural areas might be restricted, necessitating emergency medical coverage for travelers. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses a significant concern for those planning to enter the country, as there have been 1,238,884 confirmed cases and 9,428 fatalities as of November 8, 2023. Primary medical coverage is crucial to ensure you’re protected in case of health emergencies during your trip.

Although Costa Rica is a stunning destination, it’s important to consider potential risks and take necessary precautions. Travel insurance can help cover medical bills in case of emergencies during your journey, providing peace of mind and protection from unforeseen health and safety issues.

Trip Interruption and Cancellation

Coverage for trip interruption and cancellation is a key part of travel insurance, as it offers protection against unforeseen situations like weather delays, natural disasters, and personal emergencies. Trip interruption insurance, a crucial component of travel insurance, provides coverage in case your journey is disrupted due to a qualifying reason. Trip cancellation insurance provides reimbursement for nonrefundable travel expenses if your trip is canceled due to a qualifying reason. Cancel for Any Reason insurance, which allows you to cancel your trip and receive a significant portion of nonrefundable costs, may be advantageous for Costa Rica trips due to the potential for fluctuating travel plans and uncertainty.

From misplaced luggage to flight cancellations, there exist multiple reasons to secure travel insurance for your Costa Rica escapade. Having the right coverage in place can alleviate the stress and financial burden of unforeseen events, ensuring you can fully enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

Top Costa Rica Travel Insurance Providers

When strategizing your trip to Costa Rica, it’s important to select an appropriate travel insurance provider that fits your needs. Some of the top travel insurance providers for Costa Rica include Safe Travels Voyagers, Safety Wing, and World Nomads. Each provider offers unique coverage options and pricing, catering to various types of travelers, from digital nomads to adventure-seekers.

A comparison of different providers and their offerings is key to identifying the best plan tailored to your specific needs and budget. In the following sections, we’ll delve into coverage options and pricing details, helping you make an informed decision about your travel insurance for Costa Rica.

Coverage Options

Typical coverage options for Costa Rica travel insurance policies encompass:

  • Emergency medical coverage
  • Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
  • Baggage loss/delay coverage
  • Emergency evacuation coverage

It’s crucial to have at least $50,000 in medical expense coverage to ensure you’re adequately protected during your trip. Medical emergency coverage includes expenses such as hospitalization, doctor visits, emergency medical transportation, and prescription medications.

Apart from medical emergencies, travel insurance policies generally provide coverage for the theft of personal effects, including items like luggage, electronics, and valuable items. Rental car insurance is another important consideration, as it protects against any damages or losses that may occur while operating a rental car in Costa Rica. Understanding the various coverage options and selecting the most suitable plan for your needs is vital for a worry-free trip.

Pricing and Policy Details

The details of pricing and policies can differ among various travel insurance providers, hence it’s important to make comparisons and choose the best plan for your needs. Factors that can impact the cost of travel insurance for Costa Rica include:

  • The type and scope of coverage
  • Duration of the trip
  • Age of the traveler
  • Number of travelers
  • Nationality and state of the traveler

To compare prices, websites such as, InsureMyTrip, and Squaremouth are available to help travelers find the most suitable and affordable plan for their needs. By researching and comparing different providers, you can ensure that the coverage you choose adequately meets your individual requirements, offering peace of mind during your Costa Rica adventure.

Costa Rica Entry Requirements and Insurance Recommendations

Before setting out on your Costa Rica journey, awareness of the country’s entry requirements and insurance recommendations is important. For example, vaccination and health requirements may change due to the ongoing pandemic, and travel insurance is highly recommended for adventure sports and activities. By understanding these requirements and recommendations, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free trip.

In the next sections, we’ll discuss Costa Rica’s vaccination and health requirements, as well as the importance of travel insurance coverage for adventure sports and activities. Being well-prepared and informed is key to a successful and enjoyable Costa Rican adventure.

Vaccination and Health Requirements

Given the potential for change in vaccination requirements for traveling to Costa Rica due to the pandemic, it’s important to stay current with the latest information. While COVID-19 vaccination is not currently required for entry, primary medical coverage is essential to ensure you’re protected in case of health emergencies during your trip. Apart from COVID-19, the CDC and WHO suggest obtaining vaccinations for:

  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • typhoid
  • yellow fever
  • rabies
  • meningitis
  • polio
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella (MMR)
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
  • chickenpox
  • shingles
  • pneumonia
  • influenza

Travel insurance companies typically provide coverage for COVID-19 quarantine in Costa Rica, including benefits such as quarantine lodging expenses and coverage for medical expenses related to COVID-19. Ensuring you have the appropriate vaccinations and health coverage in place will allow you to focus on enjoying your Costa Rican adventure.

Adventure Sports and Activities

Costa Rica is a paradise for adventure sports and activities, ranging from diving in Cocos Island to trekking in Corcovado National Park. While these experiences can be thrilling, they also come with increased risk of accidents and injuries, making travel insurance essential for anyone looking to visit Costa Rica and participate in adventure sports and activities.

To ensure you’re adequately covered for any accidents or injuries that may occur during your trip, it’s important to choose a travel insurance plan that specifically covers adventure sports and activities. By taking this precaution, you can enjoy your Costa Rican adventures with peace of mind, knowing that you’re protected in case of any unforeseen events.

Credit Card Travel Insurance Benefits

Travel insurance benefits provided by credit cards can serve as a convenient and economical substitute for independent travel insurance policies. Some credit cards offer benefits such as rental car insurance and emergency medical coverage, which can provide protection during your trip to Costa Rica. By understanding the benefits and limitations of credit card travel insurance, you can make an informed decision about the best coverage for your needs.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss:

  • Rental car insurance offered by credit cards
  • Emergency medical coverage offered by credit cards
  • The importance of supplemental health coverage when relying on credit card benefits

Being aware of these options can help you choose the most suitable coverage for your Costa Rica vacation adventure.

Rental Car Insurance

Rental car insurance is necessary when driving in Costa Rica, as it protects against damages and losses that may occur while operating a rental car. Some credit cards offer rental car insurance as a benefit, which can save you money on rental costs and provide coverage in case of an accident. To utilize credit card insurance for rental cars in Costa Rica, you’ll need to:

  1. Have a major credit card that offers rental car insurance coverage
  2. Decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) offered by the rental agency
  3. Provide proof of your own coverage

It’s important to note that credit card insurance may not cover all damages and may have certain restrictions. Be sure to consult with your credit card provider to understand the precise terms and conditions of the insurance coverage before relying on it for your rental car in Costa Rica.

Of course, if you are looking to get a rental car and insurance for that all in one stop, I recommend Discover Cars.  They operate in 150 countries including Costa Rica.

Emergency Medical Coverage

Emergency medical coverage provided by credit cards can offer some protection in case of health emergencies during your trip to Costa Rica. However, this coverage can be limited, and supplemental health coverage may be needed to ensure you’re adequately protected. Before relying on credit card emergency medical coverage, it’s important to review the specific details of the coverage and any exclusions or limitations to make sure it meets your needs.

Some credit cards offer more extensive emergency medical coverage for international travel, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and The Platinum Card® from American Express. By understanding the limitations of credit card emergency medical coverage and considering supplemental health coverage, you can ensure you’re properly protected during your Costa Rican adventure.

Tips for Choosing the Right Costa Rica Travel Insurance Plan

Selecting the appropriate travel insurance plan for your Costa Rica trip can seem like a challenging task. To help you make the best decision, consider assessing your individual needs and comparing various quotes and coverage from different providers. By taking the time to research your options, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect plan for your unique requirements and budget.

In the next sections, we’ll discuss specific tips for assessing your needs and comparing quotes and coverage, ensuring that you can confidently choose the most suitable travel insurance plan for your Costa Rica adventure.

Assessing Your Needs

Before settling on a travel insurance plan, it’s crucial to evaluate your travel plans, potential risks, and existing coverage. Factors to consider include:

  • The duration of your trip
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Activities and adventures planned
  • The cost of the insurance

By evaluating these factors, you can determine the level of coverage needed to ensure your safety and financial security during your Costa Rican journey.

To ensure your chosen travel insurance plan, including health insurance, meets your individual requirements for domestic and international trips, review the coverage options, such as:

  • Medical coverage
  • Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
  • Baggage coverage
  • Length of the trip

By considering these factors, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right plan for your needs.

Comparing Quotes and Coverage

After determining your needs, it’s essential to juxtapose quotes and coverage from various providers to identify the best plan that suits your needs and budget. Websites such as, InsureMyTrip, and Squaremouth can help you compare prices and coverage from various travel insurance providers. By researching and comparing different providers, you can ensure that the coverage you choose adequately meets your individual requirements and fits within your budget.

When comparing quotes and coverage, be sure to consider factors such as deductibles, coverage limits, and policy exclusions. By finding the ideal balance between deductibles and coverage limits based on your requirements and budget, you can ensure that you’re properly protected during your Costa Rica adventure.

What is the Best Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

I’ve always used Safety Wing and recommended them to families and friends.

Preparing for Your Costa Rica Adventure

With your travel insurance arranged, you’re a step closer to a memorable Costa Rican adventure. Before you embark on your journey, it’s essential to organize your travel documents, understand the local currency, and be aware of common scams to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss the importance of having the appropriate travel documents and currency, as well as tips for staying safe and avoiding scams during your Costa Rican adventure. By being well-prepared and informed, you can focus on creating lasting memories and enjoying the trip of a lifetime.

Travel Documents and Currency

A valid passport and proof of intent to exit the country before the visa or entry stamp expires are essential travel documents required for a trip to Costa Rica. It’s also advisable to possess a return ticket to ensure a hassle-free entry. When it comes to currency, the official currency used in Costa Rica is the colón (₡). It’s recommended to exchange currency at banks like Banco Nacional or BCR for the most favorable exchange rates. US dollars are also commonly accepted in tourist areas, making it convenient for travelers.

By having the appropriate travel documents and currency in place, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip when visiting Costa Rica. Being well-prepared will allow you to focus on exploring the country and creating unforgettable memories.

Staying Safe and Avoiding Scams

While traveling to Costa Rica, it’s essential to ensure your safety by being cognizant of common scams, like pickpocketing and theft, and taking necessary precautions. Some common scams to be mindful of include:

  • The broken taxi meter scam
  • The overcharged taxi scam
  • Online travel scams
  • The slashed/popped tire scam

By staying vigilant and following safety guidelines, you can enjoy your Costa Rican adventure without falling prey to these scams. To ensure a smooth trip, consider our costa rica travel tips as you enter Costa Rica.

In addition to being aware of common scams, it’s important to take precautionary measures such as securing your valuables, being cautious in crowded areas and tourist destinations, and utilizing secure transportation options. By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable Costa Rican experience.


In summary, travel insurance is an essential component of any Costa Rica adventure. By understanding the importance of travel insurance, exploring top providers and coverage options, and following our tips for choosing the right plan, you can embark on your Costa Rican journey with confidence and peace of mind. With your safety and financial security ensured, you can fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty and thrilling adventures that Costa Rica has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is travel insurance necessary for Costa Rica?

Given that most U.S. health insurance plans do not cover international travel, it is advisable to have a travel insurance plan with medical expense coverage for Costa Rica.

Does Costa Rica take American insurance?

It is not possible to use your US health insurance in Costa Rica, as it is only valid for international travel and usually covers only basic medical needs.

Can I use my own health insurance in Costa Rica?

Yes, you can use your own health insurance in Costa Rica. It is advised to have your own independent coverage while residency papers are being processed, which can take up to 18 months. Additionally, many expats choose to use a combination of public and private insurance for different medical needs.

What is the average cost of travel insurance?

On average, travel insurance costs between 4-12% of the total trip cost*. Investing in this insurance might be a wise decision, as it can save you thousands of dollars should an emergency occur.

What is the best travel insurance for Costa Rica?

Seven Corners, Generali, Tin Leg, IMG, and AXA offer the best travel insurance plans for Costa Rica. Even though it is no longer required to have travel insurance in Costa Rica, we strongly recommend taking out a policy before your trip.

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Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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