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  • Katrina Julia

Travel to Costa Rica in 2021: What You Want to Know

You love adventure, outdoors, and travel and want to experience the Pura Vida in Costa Rica. You aren't exactly sure about traveling in 2021 during the pandemic. At the same time, you have zero desire to have the same experience you had last year in 2021. You are ready to transform and live and think outside the box.

I understand there are many reasons I left Atlanta, GA in 2020 on the last day of year for 1-2 years.

You may be considering getting away short or long term for an adventure to create and life and business you love globally. After all, you can work from home anywhere.

I considered destinations globally within one flight. I hosted a retreat in Costa Rica in 2016, and loved the Pura Vida life in every way.

Before I decided to travel to Costa Rica in 2021, I did some research with Costa Rican approach to the pandemic, total and daily cases, and requirements to travel. In addition, I reviewed the safety protocols of the airlines, Airbnb stays, and public places in Costa Rica.

Travel to Costa Rica includes country requirements and considerations, as well as traveler preparations before you jump on the plane.

Costa Rica 2016 Retreat in Playa Del Coco in Guanacaste near Liberia

Photo Credit: Leo Parias

Travel to Costa Rica

Travel to Costa Rica in 2021 is easier than you think. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with nature, wildlife, and beaches. I loved my time here in 2016 for our Costa Rica Retreat. I want to shoutout Two Weeks in Costa Rica and My Tan Feet for providing lots of information on destinations in Costa Rica and considerations in 2020.

Before traveling to Costa Rica, make sure you review passport requirements. Currently, Costa Rica requires your passport be valid for a minimum one day. Most countries require six months. Costa Rica allows stays up to 90 days without a visa as of this writing.

Earlier in 2020, I knew my passport expiration date was coming up in February 2021. As a result, I completed my US Passport Application in November, and sent it expedited with extra payment to overnight the passport.

Like many industries and government agencies, the passport offices are impacted as well. I realized the week before Christmas, I still did not have my passport and called the 1-800 number. The first two times, the systems were down and no one could give me specific information. The third time the system was up, and I was able to have them send a notification to the agency that had my passport application. You guys. So much faith.

I literally got the notification my passport was both issued and shipped on 12/28/2020 - three days before my travel. I had it in my hands on 12/29. I highly recommend you get your passport expedited, pay the added fee for fast shipment, and add more time than eight weeks depending on your travels.

Costa Rica opened to global travelers as of November 1, 2020. Their approach to the pandemic included being conservative in entries with global travelers into Costa Rica. This coupled with safety measures throughout the country has resulted in a total of approximately 170,000 cases as of Jan 1, 2021 for the year of 2020.

While I decided to risk travel, I considered countries with conservative measures, lower cases, and entry requirements to decrease risk of impact to people both traveling and locals.

Although I decided to take the calculated risk to travel, I decided to minimize risk by choosing airlines with increased safety measures like increased cleaning, mask requirements, and social distancing.

Behind the Scenes with Costa Rica Retreat

Photo Credit: Leo Parias


Costa Rica Requirements

As of my travels on December 31, 2020*, Costa Rica country requirements include:

1 Health Pass Form

2 Travel Insurance

These are required before you travel to certify health, as well as minimum coverage limits and proof of purchase of travel insurance. In November, once I decided to leave Atlanta, GA, I outlined an entire list with tasks to complete the week.

The week before leaving, I included completion of the Health Pass, taking an at home COVID Test**, and purchasing World Nomad's Travel Insurance.

Since 2016, I faithfully purchase travel insurance each time I travel globally. I started in 2016 with my travels to Costa Rica and my transformation and travel retreats, and continued into travels with Austria, Bulgaria and Spain.

Purchasing traveler's insurance paid off literally when I got super sick my last day in Bulgaria in 2018 before going to Spain. I filed a claim including the travel delays and flight changes, and received reimbursement within less than a month with submissions online. As a result, regardless of the country requirements, I avidly recommend traveler's insurance.

Prior to traveling here, I read that masks and sanitation stations are at public locations everywhere. I have absolutely found that the case during my first five days in Costa Rica with Uber, grocery stores, restaurants, and adventures.

*Depending on your travel dates, visit the website Visit Costa Rica and review the Entry Requirements. Keep in mind they are subject to change, and I am sharing my experiences as of my travel dates late 2020 into early 2021.

**Although as of my travels to Costa Rica, the country does not require proof of a COVID Test, I decided to take one to advocate responsibility and potential impact to others. I took the COVID Test via Pixel by Lab Corp. After ordering the test online, I received the test via Fed Ex the next day. I completed the test within <10 minutes, and dropped it off conveniently at a local FedEx. I received the results within <3 days.


Delta Airlines Experience

Once I decided I would travel to Costa Rica, I started researching airline enhancements in consideration of travel passenger safety. I wanted to align to an airline that is considering travel passenger safety and impacts to others globally of their decisions. I am not interested in flying with airlines who are completely ignoring the impacts of their decisions.

I have zero interest in supporting or spending money with airlines focusing on their bottom line without regard of consequences to human lives and countries. Interestingly, I have found time and time again in life that this mindset leads to a negative bottom line more than people imagine.

I chose to fly with Delta Airlines because of their increased Delta Care Standard including air quality, mask requirements, as well as social distancing with no middle seats being used until at least March 31, 2020. Keep in mind, review airline requirements as they may change depending on dates of travel.

I felt comfortable arriving at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport where I observed everyone wearing masked, partitions with glass protecting airline employees, and social distancing. My Delta Airlines experience traveling felt equally safe with an increased focus on sanitation, snacks provided in plastic baggies, and flying in a completely empty row.

When I sat down, I sanitized my row, arm rests, and the back of the seat in front of me. I did the same when going to the bathroom as well. While I do expect the Airline to take responsibility for their part, I do my part as well. I will take on what I consider a minor inconvenience to prevent infection for myself and others. In addition, I have zero idea how the virus would impact me or others I could potentially impact. I have no desire to find out.

Photo Credit Delta Airlines


Airbnb in Costa Rica

Whether I travel alone, in groups, or with our retreats, I love staying at Airbnbs globally. The adventures in Airbnbs I have experienced are incredible. Whether I travel for an event, or I am creating retreats, I love to have unique experiences with Airbnbs with stays and experiences.

Staying at an Airbnb makes it easy to create content while I travel for my blog, show, courses, consulting, and live experiences with workshops and transformational retreats.

When I started researching Airbnbs in Costa Rica, I outlined where I wanted to stay in the country, as well as the type of stay and experience I wanted to have for global travels. I considered the location of being near destinations like La Fortuna, Monteverde, and beaches like Nosara, Manuel Antonio, and Punta Uva. I looked at the Airbnb reviews for the sprit and energy of the host in communication, access, and service; as well as the accuracy of the place, cleanliness, outdoor space, and WiFI.

When I visited Costa Rica in 2016, I flew into Liberia and stayed in Playa Del Coco in Guanacaste. I knew I would return because Costa Rica offers so much to see and experience in adventure and wild life. This time for my travel to Costa Rica I chose La Fortuna for my first stop to experience La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano, Rio Celeste, and other adventures.

I found Dragon Fly Hideaway and couldn't have imagined a more perfect place in every way. The alignment is clear from the start from the visuals to the reviews to the story of Shelly and the ladies from Los Angeles. They visited La Fortuna for the first time years ago, and decided to create this hideaway for others to experience the Pura Vida of Costa Rica like they did.