Most visitors can enter Costa Rica without a visa and stay in the country for 90 days. Costa Rica requires Indian nationals to have a valid visa on entry. However, people of any nationality with a valid visa from the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea or a Schengen visa do not need a visa in advance. The only requirement is that the visa is valid for another 3 months and must be stamped in the passport.
Check with TimaticWeb or a Costa Rican consulate for current entry requirements before you travel. If your passport/visa combination is a bit unusual, allow extra time for check-in (especially if you are travelling with a smaller airline, such as InterJet, which may not have a TimaticWeb subscription or whose staff may not know how to use it).
One of the eligibility requirements is the possession of a return ticket. If you are travelling through several countries and the return ticket to your home country is from a neighbouring country such as Panama or Nicaragua, the immigration authorities and airline handling staff are usually satisfied. However, if you are travelling on such an itinerary (especially with an ‘unusual’ passport), it may be safer to buy a fully refundable ticket directly in Costa Rica and cancel it if it is no longer needed.
Attention Nicaraguan citizens travelling via San Jose Airport: The thirty-day tourist visa for Nicaraguans only allows one entry. If you have a flight from San Jose to another place, check with the embassy, otherwise they will force you to buy an additional flight and will not let you enter.
Costa Rica requires a valid yellow fever certificate if you are entering from countries where yellow fever is present (such as Panama and most South American countries). If this certificate is not presented, you will not be allowed to board the flight. If you have a certificate at Bogota airport, you can email it to the airline and then go to the local vaccination office to get a free duplicate. The key is to get the printed version in time. If you don’t have a certificate or can’t get it in time, you will probably be approached by friendly police officers who will offer to get it for a fee. Remember that the date of vaccination must be at least 10 days before you enter the country you are leaving.
Another way to get to Costa Rica that many people don’t know about is to travel by car and take the Pan American Highway, which runs from Alaska to the southern tip of South America (with a stop at Darien Gap in Panama/Colombia) – it’s 27,197 miles long and runs through Costa Rica.