Immunizations and Vaccines Needed to Travel to Costa Rica
There are currently no immunization requirements for travelers entering Costa Rica directly from the U.S., Europe or Canada.
There are some exceptions.
Anyone (including travelers from the USA, Europe or Canada) arriving from a country in South America or Africa where yellow fever is endemic must show a record of vaccination.
These countries include: Americas/Caribbean: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, French Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Sao Tomé and Príncipe, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
You must be vaccinated at least one week prior to entering Costa Rica. Entry is also allowed if, after visiting Africa or South America you have spent at least one week in a country with no risk of yellow fever and you have a normal body temperature when you arrive in Costa Rica. Passing through a country’s airport, port or border post on a transit visa does not require a vaccination.
If you aren’t a citizen of, or do not have any stamps in your passport from Africa or South America, you do not need to receive a yellow fever vaccination to enter Costa Rica.
If you have traveled to Africa or South America, and want to travel to Costa Rica immediately after visiting one of the endemic countries listed above, you may be forced to remain wherever your flight originated to wait for a week after your vaccination. You will not be allowed into Costa Rica until you’ve been immunized and completed the one-week waiting period.
Routine & Recommended Vaccinations: NOT REQUIRED
Routine: These vaccinations are normally administered during childhood and international travelers should make sure that their vaccinations are up to date and that no boosters are required.
Recommended: These vaccinations are given to protect travelers from illnesses that may occur in specific regions and during certain seasons (e.g., malaria). Your age, overall health status, and immunization history will likely play a role as well. Most dental tourist will not need any of these immunizations unless you plan to visit outlying areas where the risk for malaria and dengue fever may be higher. Please note that most visitors to Costa Rica for dental care do not receive any immunizations.
If you would like to learn more, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC are excellent sources for reliable up to date information.