Last Updated: November 26, 2020
Many people have been asking where you can get a Covid-19 test in Costa Rica, for purposes of onward travel. In this short post, we will let you know of some reputable private hospitals and labs that can perform the test. Most of these are in and around San Jose, but there are some options outside the city.
Covid Testing Options in Costa Rica
Some private hospitals and labs can do the test. They all perform the RT-PCR test (nasal swab) and can guarantee results in 24-48 hours.
Two private hospitals near San Jose that offer the test are Hospital CIMA in Escazu and Clinica Biblica in downtown San Jose and Santa Ana. CIMA and the Clinica Biblica in Santa Ana are about 30 minutes from the airport, with traffic.
For information on the costs and process, follow the links we just provided (for Clinica Biblica, look for “Prueba Diagnostica COVID-19”). Some of the websites allow you to change the language to English. For those that don’t, you can use Google translate.
We have had consultations and procedures at CIMA and Clinical Biblica, and found both hospitals to be very professional and modern. It is also fairly easy to find English-speaking people in these larger medical facilities, though not all staff speaks English.
Hospital Metropolitano is another good option. They have a few locations around the country (see here for the list). Their main offices are in the San Jose area, but they have satellite locations in Quepos near Manuel Antonio and Liberia and Huacas (close to Tamarindo) in Guanacaste. We have used the Quepos location for important lab work in the past, and they were very professional and helpful.
San Jose Area
A reputable lab offering the test is Labin. They have many locations all around San Jose. Their Vindi Alajuela location (see map here) is near the airport in Alajuela. This may be an easier option because you would not have to navigate at a larger hospital and figure out where you need to go. *Someone recently reported that Labin is offering drive-through testing (see comment from Daniel on November 11, below).
Lab Echandi’s Coyol Alajuela location is very close to the airport (see map here).
As we noted above, Hospital Metropolitano has a location in Liberia. They can do the test.
Currently, Covid testing is not available at either the San Jose International Airport (SJO) or Liberia International Airport (LIR).
Covid Testing Prerequisites
Medical facilities that administer Covid-19 tests do so under the authority of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Heath.
Under current Ministry of Health regulations, you no longer need to be showing symptoms or be a suspicious case due to contact with someone who tested positive in order to get a Covid test.
Making an Appointment and Getting Results
Here is how to make an appointment at each hospital/lab. They should all be able to email your results so that you won’t need to go back.
Hospital CIMA (Escazu, near San Jose) – Test is performed at the hospital. Call the main number, 2208-1000 to make an appointment (English-speaking operators available). Results are provided within 24 hours.
Clinica Biblica (Santa Ana or downtown San Jose) – Sample is taken at the hospital. Call main number to schedule at appointment: (506) 2522-1000, or contact via WhatsApp: (506) 8529-2100. Results available within 2 days.
Hospital Metropolitano (San Jose Area, Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Liberia, and Huacas near Tamarindo) – Test can be performed at any location. They have said that easiest way to schedule an appointment is to send them a private message on Facebook. Otherwise, their general phone number is (506) 2521-9595. Results are provided in 24-48 hours.
Labin (lab; locations all around San Jose) – Test can be performed at any branch. Call (506) 2586-7000 or contact via WhatsApp (506) 8933-0707. Results are provided in 24-48 hours.
Lab Echandi (San Jose Area) – Test can be performed at any branch. Make an appointment via WhatsApp at (506) 8513-1862 or by calling the location you want to be tested at (phone numbers can be found here). Results available in 24-48 hours.
Laboratorios Paez (San Jose Area & Liberia) – Test can be performed at any branch. Make an appointment by calling (506) 6060-4573 or through WhatsApp at (506) 6049-5458 . Results are available within 24-36 hours.
Prices for the test (the RT-PCR) are around 59,000 colones or $100, with tax.
We are not aware of any facilities in Costa Rica doing the rapid or any Covid-19 test other than the RT-PCR. If we hear of any, we will update this post.
Have a question about getting a Covid-19 test in Costa Rica? Ask us below.
Wondering about Costa Rica’s entry requirements, or international insurance options? Check out our detailed post Traveling to Costa Rica During Covid-19: Entry Requirements, Protocols & What to Expect.