ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS


Requirements for Entry

* Passport or tourist card

* Ticket out of the country (air or bus ticket)

* Length of stay permitted: 90 days with passport, no visas are necessary. If you don't have a passport, purchase a tourist card at the airline ticket counter when you fly to Costa Rica ; you will need a birth certificate or voter registration document along with photo identification, such as a driver's license. Citizens of other countries can check with the nearest Costa Rican consulate or the Costa Rican Tourism Institute for entry requirements.

The law requires travelers to carry a passport or tourist card at all times while in the country. A photocopy of the passport will do, so leave the original in the hotel safe-deposit box. Be sure to copy pages that show your name, photo, passport number, and date of entry into Costa Rica . (Copy machines abound-signs advertise "Copias.")

Exit Requirements

- Airport departure tax (exit visa): $25 When leaving the country by air, tourists must pay a departure tax, which may be paid in U.S. dollars or colones or visa credit card (not traveler's checks). The exit visa can be purchased at a window inside the airport only don't be tempted to by it or from authorized agents who meet arriving taxis and cars-look for the agents' badges.

If you leave Costa Rica within the time allotted-30 days for entry with tourist card, 90 days with U.S. or Canadian passport-you are not affected by government regulations that tighten up on those who overstay. At one time travelers who entered with a passport could apply for an exit visa at the end of the 90 days and receive a de facto extension of another 3 month. No more. Travelers have only five days in which to leave after the exit visa is issued or they risk deportation and limitation on reentry. For anyone who stays beyond the legal limit, the airport tax jumps to what Costa Ricans pay, about $45.

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Costa Rica Hotels

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