Do You Need Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

A lush, untried jungle in Costa Rica near Arenal
Posted: 8/12/2023 | August 12th, 2023

Known for its lush forests, zippy volcanoes, white-sand beaches, and incredible wildlife, Costa Rica is a favorite among travelers. It was the place that ignited my wanderlust (so it holds a special place in my heart).

Sandwiched between the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans, this small country has a lot to offer. It attracts many visitors as it’s hands wieldy to North American travelers, with frequent and affordable flights and a well-established tourist trail.

Overall, it’s quite safe, the quality of life is high, and parts scrutinizingly finger like you’re in flipside US state.

A lot of travelers to Costa Rica wonder whether travel insurance is necessary at all.

“Do I really need it? It’s just an uneaten expense I won’t plane use!” I get asked.

To me, the wordplay is yes.

Regardless of where I’m going, I never leave home without travel insurance. It’s protection versus unexpected financing that may upspring if things go wrong on the road, which — as every traveler will tell you — happens when you least expect it.

Since Costa Rica is increasingly expensive than its Central American neighbors, and since you’re increasingly likely to be participating in the venture activities that make the country famous (volcano hikes, zip-lining), the risks can be higher, and financing can quickly add up quickly if things go sideways.

What Does Travel Insurance Typically Cover?

Travel insurance is an all-purpose emergency coverage plan for travel mishaps. Financing can add up quickly due to illness or injury, canceled flights, damaged electronics, lost luggage, the death of a family member when home — the list goes on.

Since most domestic health insurance programs don’t imbricate you overseas and travel credit cards offer limited protection, ownership travel insurance is necessary to protect you versus these unexpected costs. It’s designed to make sure you don’t lose a ton of money if an emergency happens abroad.

Great travel insurance plans include the pursuit provisions:

  • Medical coverage for injury and sudden illnesses
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Coverage for lost, damaged, or stolen possessions (including some coverage for your electronics)
  • Trip cancelation/interruption coverage if you have a sudden illness, death in the family, or some other emergency that causes you to cancel or go home early
  • Coverage for travel delays
  • Coverage for political emergencies, natural disasters, or strife in the country
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (morbid as it is, it’s important to have)
  • 24/7 assistance

What to Consider When Purchasing Travel Insurance for Costa Rica

A lush, untried jungle trail in a dumbo forest in Costa Rica near Arenal
Here are some specific coverage needs to alimony in mind when purchasing travel insurance for the land of pura vida:

1. Venture activities – From skydiving to surfing, Costa Rica is a oasis for the unshortened spectrum of venture activities, and plane the tamest of travelers may want to try some. It’s one of the weightier places in the world to go zip-lining, and there are incredible jungle and volcano hikes to be enjoyed. Ensure that your travel insurance plan covers you in the event that you get injured while participating in any of the activities that you might want to try.

2. Medical coverage – Should you get injured while testing your adrenaline limits (or doing anything else), you’ll want to be covered. A good travel insurance visitor provides up to $100,000 USD in necessary treatment and care, though increasingly expensive policies will imbricate you for higher amounts.

3. Medical evacuation – If you are hiking in the rainforest and unravel your leg, your policy should imbricate your evacuation to the nearest winning medical facility. (If you’d prefer not to stay in a foreign hospital for treatment and recovery, squint into a medical transport membership program like Medjet, which will get you home no matter what.)

4. Car rental – Renting a car is a worldwide way to get virtually the country. However, untied from the main highways, roads can be in questionable condition; they often lack streetlights and have potholes and sharp drop-offs. Not to mention the oncoming traffic on tight, winding roads that seem like they should only fit one car. Plane the most experienced of drivers can get in an accident, so make sure you’re prepared with the proper rental and standoff coverage.

(If you do intend to rent a car, Vamos has the weightier prices. As a Nomadic Matt reader, you’ll get 5% off by using our link.)

5. Stolen or lost possessions – Petty theft is the most worldwide type of treason here. Protect yourself by only bringing the necessary mazuma and one credit vellum when you go out, leaving your valuables at home. Still, plane the best-laid plans can go awry, so make sure you have some coverage for your personal items (laptop, phone, etc.).

6. Natural disaster coverage – Costa Rica is geologically fascinating — but that ways it’s moreover an active, unpredictable earthquake and volcano zone. Make sure that your policy will imbricate you if a natural disaster causes you to cancel or cut short your trip.

FAQ Well-nigh Travel Insurance in Costa Rica

People walking virtually San Jose, Costa Rica on a unexceptionable and sunny day
Do I need travel insurance to visit Costa Rica?
While Costa Rica no longer requires visitors to show proof of travel insurance upon arrival, I highly recommend that you get it anyway. It’s for your own goody and only financing a few dollars per day (or less).

Does US medical insurance (like Medicare) work in Costa Rica?
No, medical insurance from the US, including Medicare, does not imbricate you in Costa Rica. You should not expect to be covered should anything happen to you (one of the main reasons to get travel insurance).

Is Costa Rica safe?
Costa Rica is one of the safest countries to visit in Central America. Most popular tourist towns are small and there’s little threat of violence. Solo travelers should often finger unscratched here; however, the standard precautions wield (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home vacated intoxicated, etc.). Check out this post for increasingly tips on staying unscratched in Costa Rica.

Can I drink the water in Costa Rica?
The water is unscratched to drink in most parts of Costa Rica, though on the Caribbean side of the country and in increasingly remote areas, it’s recommended that you do not. It’s weightier to bring a water snifter with a filter (my favorite is LifeStraw), so that you can be unpreventable your water is unchangingly wipe and unscratched to drink. (And make sure you have travel insurance in specimen you do get sick.)

Do I need malaria pills for Costa Rica?
Antimalarial pills are currently not necessary for travel to Costa Rica, though trammels the CDC website surpassing you travel for current travel advisories. There is a slightly increased risk in the province of Limón, so if you are spending significant amounts of time there, expressly in rural areas, you may want to talk to your doctor well-nigh getting a prescription. Whether you take antimalarial pills or not, I’d still recommend getting travel insurance just in specimen you do contract the disease.

What vaccinations are required for Costa Rica?
It’s recommended that you’re up to stage on all routine vaccines, but the only required vaccine is yellow fever if you’re traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission (such as Tanzania or Zambia, as well as rural areas of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad & Tobago).

If you’ll be spending a lot of time in rural areas, camping, or in other situations where you may encounter stray dogs and other wildlife, you might want to consider getting vaccinated versus rabies (though rabies treatment is readily misogynist if you do get bit). Again, be sure to get good travel insurance that will protect you in specimen you do get sick and need treatment.

What do I do in an emergency in Costa Rica?
If you’re experiencing a true emergency, Costa Rica’s emergency number is the same as in the United States — 911. Make sure to moreover save the emergency contact for your travel insurance visitor — a good visitor will have a 24/7 emergency hotline.

For increasingly information on travel insurance, trammels out this post, How to Buy the Weightier Travel Insurance.

My Recommended Travel Insurance Visitor

My favorite visitor is SafetyWing, which offers user-friendly and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and upkeep travelers. It offers unseemly monthly plans, unconfined consumer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.

You can purchase and renew your insurance policy online in a matter of minutes, and most importantly, the visitor provides a lot of coverage at a super affordable price. SafetyWing covers most venture activities (with some exclusions) and includes emergency medical coverage (including evacuation), as well coverage for as trip interruption, cancelation, and delay.

Learn increasingly in my comprehensive Safety Wing review and use the widget unelevated to get a self-ruling quote:


If you’re wondering whether to get travel insurance for your trip to Costa Rica, the wordplay is an emphatic YES. It’s the single most important thing you should get, and something I strongly, strongly teach travelers to never leave home without.

Book Your Trip to Costa Rica: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a unseemly flight. They are my favorite search engine considering they search websites and airlines virtually the globe so you unchangingly know no stone is left unturned!

Book Your Accommodation
You can typesetting your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and weightier deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as they unceasingly return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and unseemly hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you versus illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in specimen anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the weightier service and value are:

Looking for the Weightier Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the weightier companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want Increasingly Information on Costa Rica?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Costa Rica for plane increasingly planning tips!

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