Where to Get a Covid-19 Test in Costa Rica

Last Updated: June 15, 2022

Many people have been asking where you can get a Covid-19 test in Costa Rica, for purposes of onward travel. In this post, we will let you know of some reputable private hospitals, clinics, and labs that can perform a test. Many of these are in and around San Jose, but there are options near popular tourist destinations as well. 

*AIRPORT TESTING: Covid testing is available at both San Jose Airport and Liberia International Airport. Results are provided in less than one hour. See below for more. 

CIMA Hospital Covid Testing Costa Rica

Background on Covid Testing in Costa Rica

RT-PCR Test

Covid testing is available at many private hospitals, clinics, and labs. The testing facilities listed below all perform the RT-PCR test and can guarantee results in 24-72 hours. The specific test type is hisopado nasofaringeo (hisopado nasalpharyngeal), deep nasal swab.

Antigen/Rapid Test

Antigen (rapid) tests are also available in Costa Rica. Results are provided the same day (1-2 hours for many labs and hospitals in San Jose). The type of test is a hisopado nasopharyngeal (nasal) swab. 

Antigen tests cost $50-65 in the San Jose area and up to $110 in rural areas. 

Network of Testing Facilities

In January 2021, the government established a network of private labs to offer both types of tests. These are located all throughout the country. (See the full list here.) They are supposed to guarantee results within 48 hours for the RT-PCR test and much faster for the antigen test. 

In this post, we include the authorized network of labs. We also include other labs and clinics that can do Covid testing. While not in the network, they are affiliated with authorized labs. This means they can take the samples, then they send them for testing to the authorized lab. Including these affiliated labs gives many more testing options, especially in rural areas. 

Do You Need an Appointment? IMPORTANT

Most testing facilities require an appointment. In San Jose, some do not, but always check first.

This is especially important if you are visiting during busy times of year (December through July). If you don’t have an appointment, you may not be able to be seen in some of the smaller labs outside San Jose. We highly recommend making an appointment at least one week before you want to be tested, if you are outside the San Jose area.

Online Form – MiPruebaCovid

Prior to getting tested, the testing facility may ask you to fill out an online epidemiological form from the Costa Rica government. It asks for personal information related to your health and travels in Costa Rica and is for case-tracking purposes. After filing it out, you will get a confirmation number at the bottom of the form to give to the testing facility. 

The form is available in English. You may want to fill it out before getting to the testing location. You will need to put in certain information about your location in Costa Rica (e.g., which province and canton/county).

Test Cost

Prices for the RT-PCR are around 59,000-80,000 colones or $100-$130, plus tax. 

Prices for the antigen (rapid) test are around $50-70.

Some facilities in rural areas charge more. Below we give specific pricing when available. 

Getting Results by Email 

All the labs will be able to email your results so you won’t need to go back.

Covid Testing Options in Costa Rica

Airports

Antigen (rapid) testing and PCR testing are now available at both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR). Lab Echandi, a reputable lab in Costa Rica, performs the test. You need to make an appointment online. Here is the link

Testing at SJO Airport is available 24 hours a day. The testing site is just outside the airport in a tent. Here is a map to the exact location. They have a free shuttle.

At Liberia Airport, testing is from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. They also have a tent set up.

Antigen Test: $65. Results in 1 hour. They recommend making your appointment 4 hours in advance of your flight. 

RT-PCR (Next Day): $99. Results are delivered the next day between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Results will take 2 business days when the sample is taken on Sunday.

RT-PCR (3 hours): $240. Results provided in 3 hours.

Private Hospitals 

Hospital CIMA and Hospital Clinica Biblica – San Jose Area (Authorized Labs) – Rapid Test Option

Two private hospitals near San Jose that offer the RT-PCR and antigen 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.

RT-PCR Test: Results at CIMA are provided within 1-2 days and within about 36 hours at Clinica Biblica. Cost: Hospital CIMA – $85. Clinica Biblica – 53,000 colones (about $86). CIMA can also test children under 5. They charge $131.

Antigen/Rapid Test: Hospital Clinica Biblica – Testing is available 24 hours a day in both the San Jose and Santa Ana locations. Results are provided in 2 hours. Cost: 30,000 colones (about $50). Hospital CIMA: Results are provided in 4 hours. Cost: $49 with tax.

Making an Appointment: CIMA – Testing is available 24 hours a day. It is performed in the emergency department. No appointment is needed for either test type. For information, call the main number, (506) 2208-1000, or from the US, call 1 (855) 782-6253. English-speaking operators available. 

Clinica Biblica – Sample is taken at the hospital or from your car (see Drive-Through Testing section, below). Call main number to schedule an appointment: (506) 2522-1000, or contact via WhatsApp: (506) 8529-2100. For drive-through testing, they will send a link by email to make the payment online in advance. 

Drive-Through Testing at Hospital Clinica Biblica – Downtown San Jose & Santa Ana (Authorized Labs)

Clinica Biblica offers drive-through testing (Servicio de AutoCovid) for the RT-PCR test and antigen test at their main hospital in downtown San Jose (see location here) and in Santa Ana (see location here). The sample is taken right from your car so you don’t need to get out.

Drive-through testing is available every day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You need to make an appointment and pay in advance. Results are provided within about 36 hours for the PCR test and within about 2 hours for the antigen test.

Here is a link to the hospital’s website with more information. Although the website says that this service is available in downtown San José only, we confirmed with Clinica Biblica that you can do it at either location.

Cost: RT-PCR – 53,000 colones (about $86). Antigen – 30,000 colones (about $50).

Hospital Metropolitano – San Jose, Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Liberia, and Huacas near Tamarindo (Authorized Labs)

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 (1) Quepos/Manuel Antonio, (2) Liberia (Guanacaste), and (3) Huacas (near Tamarindo/Flamingo/Conchal/Potrero).

All locations can do the RT-PCR test and antigen (rapid) test.

We used the Quepos branch for a PCR test (see below), and they were very professional and helpful. The Quepos location is in Marina Pez Vela, which has several oceanfront restaurants as well.

RT-PCR Test: Results are provided within 24-48 hours. *Can take up to 72 hours in Liberia, Quepos, and Huacas. Cost: 53,000 colones (about $86) at their San Jose locations, or 68,000 (about $111) at their rural locations. They can also test children. The price is 89,000 colones (about $146).

Antigen Test: Results in 4-8 hours. Cost: 33,000 colones (about $54).

COVID Sample Times:
-San José and Lindora (Santa Ana): 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
-Lincoln (San Jose): Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
-Huacas (near Tamarindo): Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
-Liberia: Monday to Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
-Quepos: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Sunday, 9:00 a.m.- 1:45 p.m. 

Making an Appointment: The RT-PCR test requires an appointment. For the antigen test, an appointment is needed at Huacas, Liberia, and Quepos only. No appointment required at other locations.

Call main number to schedule an appointment in San Jose: (506) 2521-9595. For Quepos location, call them directly at (506) 2519-9733, 2519-9754, or 2519-9734. For Liberia, call them directly at (506) 4000-6762 or (506) 7171-0103. For Huacas, call them directly at (506) 4000-3822 or (506) 8465-7484.

A Covid testing kiosk in Huacas Costa Rica
Hospital Metropolitano’s separate Covid testing building in Huacas near Tamarindo. Thanks to an anonymous reader for sending us the picture.

Hospital La Catolica (Authorized Lab) – Rapid Test Option

Hospital La Catolica is another good hospital testing option in San Jose for the RT-PCR or antigen test. They are located in the Guadalupe area of the city (see map location here). Covid testing at La Catolica is done in the emergency area in a tent.

RT-PCR: Results are provided in 48-72 hours. Cost: 72,800 colones (about $120). At-home testing is not available. 

Antigen/Rapid Test: Results are provided in 1-3 hours. Cost: 30,000 colones (about $50). 

An appointment is required. Call (506) 2246-3000. 

Hospital San Rafael Arcangel – Liberia (Affiliated Lab) – Rapid Test Option

Hospital San Rafael Arcangel is a private hospital in downtown Liberia, Guanacaste (see map with location here). They can do the RT-PCR and antigen test.

RT-PCR: Results in 24 hours. Cost: 80,000 colones (about $130).

Antigen Test: Results in 2 hours. Cost: 30,000 colones (about $50).

Testing is available Monday to Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Call (506) 2660-5500 or WhatsApp (506) 8766-7881 to make an appointment. 

The other options for testing in Liberia are Hospital Metropolitano (see above), and Vidalab and Lab San Jose (see below)

Travel Insurance: Do you need to buy insurance for your trip?

Trawick International is one of the most popular options due to its low price. US residents can use the Safe Travels Voyager plan. The Safe Travels International plan and Safe Travels International Cost Saver plan are available for travelers from other countries. For more information on insurance and Costa Rica’s entry requirements, read our post Traveling to Costa Rica During Covid-19.

By buying your insurance through our links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps us keep this information up to date. Thank you!

Labs and Clinics in San Jose Area – Including Drive-Through Testing 

Labin – Rapid Test Option

A reputable lab offering the RT-PCR and antigen test is Labin (authorized lab). They have many locations all around San Jose. 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.

RT-PCR: 59,000 colones (about $96). Results are provided within 24-36 hours. *If you are tested before 9:00 a.m., results will be in 24 hours. After this time, it’s 36 hours. 

Antigen Test: 31,140 colones (about $50). Results in 2 hours. 

Labin Drive-Through Testing: Labin also offers a drive-through testing option (Covid-Car) at two locations: (1) Zapote Edifico Central (San Jose, in front of the National Archive – see map location here), and (2) Escazu Parking near Labin at Plaza Laureles, Escazu (see map location here). Monday – Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No appointment needed. Payment is made by cash or credit card when you arrive.

Labin Contact Information: Call (506) 2586-7000 or contact via WhatsApp (506) 8933-0707.  

Lab Echandi – Rapid Test Option

Another good lab option is Lab Echandi (authorized lab). They have locations all around San Jose and can test at San Jose Airport and Liberia Airport now too. Click here to see a list of locations. You can click on one and it will show you where it is using WAZE.

RT-PCR Test: Results are provided within 24 hours. Cost: 59,000 colones (about $96).

Antigen Test: Results are provided within 3 hours, or within 1 hour at Liberia Airport. Cost: 33,000 colones (about $54). $65 for Liberia Airport.

Autotest Covid – Lab Echandi has two locations with drive-through testing near San Jose for the RT-PCR and antigen/rapid test. (1) Mediplaza in Escazú (see map link), and (2) Plaza Freses Curridabat (this is west of San Jose, see map link). Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For testing Monday-Friday, results provided next day for the PCR test. Saturdays and Sundays, results provided on Monday. Click here for more information.

Making an Appointment: Through their website, WhatsApp (506) 7161-6956, or call (506) 2258-4334.

Lab San Jose – Rapid Test Option

Another lab in San Jose with multiple locations is Lab San Jose (authorized lab). They can do both the RT-PCR and antigen test. Most of their offices are in the San Jose area, but they have a new office in Liberia (Guanacaste).

RT-PCR Test: Results in 24 hours. Cost: 55,000 colones (about $90).

Antigen Test: Results within 2 hours. Cost: 30,000 colones (about $50). It is available at all locations. 

Here’s a link to Lab San Jose’s locations with a handy map.

An appointment is required for both tests. Call or WhatsApp (506) 6063-6363.

Lab Paez – Rapid Test Option

Lab Paez (authorized lab) in the San Jose area provides results in 48-72 hours for the RT-PCR. Cost: 59,000 colones (about $97).

For the antigen test, results are provided in 4-8 hours and the cost is 33,000 colones (about $55). 

PCR testing can be done at any Lab Paez location. Currently, only four locations can do antigen testing (Paez Americana; Paez Tibas; Paez Calle Blancos; Paez Lindora).

Here is a link to their locations. The Lindora location in Santa Ana has an AutoCovid option, where you can get the PCR test from your car. See map with exact location here.

No appointment required for antigen testing. For the PCR test, make an appointment by calling the main number (506) 6060-4573 or through WhatsApp at (506) 6048-1907. 

Labs and Clinics Outside San Jose

Jaco/Herradura

Currently, there are at least four labs in the Jaco area for Covid testing.

Lab MMI – Rapid Test Option

In Jaco, a private clinic called MMI (affiliated lab) can do the RT-PCR test and antigen test. This clinic has a couple of general practioners and also a lab on-site. They take the sample and send it off to San Jose for testing. They are located right in downtown Jaco (see map here).

RT-PCR: Results are provided within 24 hours. Cost: $125.

Antigen Test: Results provided the same day. Cost: $80.

Prior appointment required. Make an appointment at this website. Testing available every day of the week except Sunday.

Laboratorio Clinico Jaco – Rapid Test Option

A lab testing option for both the RT-PCR and antigen test is Laboratorio Clinico Jaco. They are an authorized lab so perform the tests themselves in their lab. They are located in Jaco Walk.

RT-PCR: Results are provided in 24-36 hours. Cost: $125.

Antigen Test: Results are provided the same day. Cost: $75.

They offer testing in the morning only (7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.), on a limited basis. Closed Sundays.

For more information and to make an appointment, visit their website.

Clinica Alma Advance Láser Medical & Aesthetics – Rapid Test Option

Another option for both the RT-PCR and antigen test in downtown Jaco is Clinica Alma (affiliated lab). Here is a map link to their location.

RT-PCR: $130. Results are provided in 48 hours.

Antigen (rapid) Test: $90. Results are provided the next day if the test is taken before 12:00 p.m.

For an appointment, call or WhatsApp Dr. Vladimir Mata at (506) 8705-5388 or email vladimir@profesional.co.cr

Clinica Herradura (Los Suenos)  – Rapid Test Option

For those staying at Los Suenos Resort or Los Suenos Marriott in Herradura, there is a testing option right next door. Clinica Herradura (affiliated lab) can do both the RT-PCR and antigen test.

RT-PCR: Results in 36-48 hours. Cost: $150. They recommend testing 3 days before your flight.

Antigen Test: Results in 24 hours. Cost: $85.

Call (506) 2637-8610 or email clinicaherradura@gmail.com to make an appointment.

Lab Jaco Covid Testing
A lab in Jaco that offers Covid testing

Manuel Antonio/Quepos

The Manuel Antonio area has 4 testing options.

Hospital Metropolitano – Rapid Test Option

Hospital Metropolitano (authorized lab) has a small satellite office in the Quepos Marina. They can do both the RT-PCR and antigen test. This is where we had our PCR test done (see below for more on the experience).

RT-PCR Test: 68,000 colones (about $111). Results are provided within 72 hours. They can also test children. The price is 89,000 colones (about $146).

Antigen Test: Results in 4-8 hours. Cost: 33,000 colones (about $54).

COVID Sample Times: Quepos – Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Sunday, 9:00 a.m.- 1:45 p.m.

An appointment is required. Call (506) 2519-9733, 2519-9754, or 2519-9734. 

Quepos Urgent Care – Rapid Test Option

Quepos Urgent Care (affiliated lab) can also do the RT-PCR and antigen test in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. This is a small private clinic in downtown Quepos (map location here) with a couple of English-speaking doctors. We have used them before and they have been great.

RT-PCR: Results are provided within 72 hours. Cost: $160. 

Antigen: Results provided within 24 hours. Cost: $65, or $70 for at home testing in Quepos/Manuel Antonio area.

Testing is available every day from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Walks in welcome; no appointment needed.

Linea Vital de CR – Rapid Test Option

Another testing option in downtown Quepos for the RT-PCR and antigen is Linea Vital de CR (affiliated lab). See map location here.

RT-PCR: Results in 48-72 hours. Cost: $125, or $150 for at home testing in Quepos/Manuel Antonio area.

Antigen: Results in 24 hours. Cost: $65, or $75 for at home testing in Quepos/Manuel Antonio area.

An appointment is required. Call (506) 2446-7440. 

Laboratorio Clinico Six Sigma – Rapid Test Option

A lab in downtown Quepos that can do both the RT-PCR and antigen test is Laboratorio Clínico Six Sigma (affiliated lab). We have used them for lab work in the past and they were very professional. This option is nice because you wait outside for your appointment and only go in the building when it’s time for the test.

RT-PCR: $160. They send the sample to San Jose. Results are provided within 48 hours.

Antigen: $70. Free at home testing in Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. $80 for at home testing in the Dominical/Uvita area. They can process the antigen test in their lab. Results are sent the same day.

To make an appointment, call or WhatsApp (506) 8834-9564. Open Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday.

Uvita/Dominical (Southern Pacific Coast)

Consultorio Medico Vargas – Rapid Test Option

In the Uvita/Dominical area, Consultorio Medico Vargas (affiliated lab) can perform the RT-PCR and antigen test. Here is a link to their location in Uvita.

RT-PCR: Results are provided within 24 hours. The price is $120.

Antigen Test: Results in 10 hours. $80.

Make an appointment through WhatsApp or by calling (506) 8750-9118. 

Servicios Medicos Bahia Ballena – Rapid Test Option

Another option in Uvita is Servicios Medicos Bahia Ballena (affiliated lab). This small medical office is located in the Dome plaza, right off the highway (see map location here).

RT-PCR: 90,000 colones (about $147). Results are provided in 72 hours or less.

Antigen Test: 65,000 colones (about $106). Results are provided in about 30 hours.

To make an appointment, WhatsApp Dr. Mauricio at (506) 8839-4492, call the office at (506) 2743-8595, or email serviciosmedicosbb@gmail.com

Other Options Near Uvita

Other facilities in the Uvita area are Hospital Metropolitano in Quepos (see above) or Laboratorio Biotest in San Isidro de El General (see below)

San Isidro de El General (Southern Zone, near Dominical)

Laboratorio Biotest (affiliated lab) is a lab in the city of San Isidro de El General that can do the RT-PCR test. Here is a link to their location. Results are provided within 48 hours. The cost is 65,000 colones (about $105). Testing is available Monday-Saturday. They can perform at home/hotel testing. Make an appointment by calling (506) 2772-0909 or contact via WhatsApp at (506) 8912-0909. 

Another option in San Isidro de El General for the RT-PCR is Laboratorio Clínico Calderón González (affiliated lab). Results are provided in 48 hours. See map location here. Call (506) 2772-2244 to make an appointment.

Puerto Jimenez (Osa Peninsula)

This is a testing option in Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula on the southern Pacific coast. Laboratorio Clínico Puerto Jimenez (affiliated lab) can do the RT-PCR test as an affiliated lab. They do not have a website. Results are available in 48 hours. Cost: $160. 

Make an appointment at least 5 days in advance by calling or WhatsApp – Clinica OSALUD Dr. Dorothy Skotak (506) 8755-0405. Note: This number is different than the one on the Tourism Board document. We contacted that number (8820-2457) and they told us to contact the one we provided above.

Rio Claro (Southern Zone)

Laboratorio Clìnico Popular Rio Claro – Rapid Test Option

In very southern Costa Rica, the only option we know of is Laboratorio Clìnico Popular in Rio Claro (affiliated lab). See map location here. Rio Claro is a reasonable drive from Golfito (15 minutes), Pavones and Zancudo (1.5 hours), San Vito (1 hour), and Sierpe (1 hour). In addition, this lab has a mobile service and can do testing in locations within the Southern Zone.

RT-PCR: Results are provided in 48 hours. Cost: $80,000 (about $130).

Antigen: Results in 3 hours. Cost: $60,000 (about $97)

To make an appointment, call (506) 2445-4141 or WhatsApp (506) 8940-2880. 

Liberia

In addition to Liberia Airport (see above), the labs below have Covid testing in Liberia.

Vidalab – Rapid Test Option

In addition to Hospital San Rafael Arcangel and Hospital Metropolitano in Liberia (see Hospital section, above), Vidalab (affiliated lab) offers RT-PCR and antigen testing in downtown Liberia. See map location here.

RT-PCR: They prefer to take the test 3 days before your flight to guarantee results in time. Cost: 70,000 colones (about $115).

Antigen Testing: Results within a couple of hours. Cost: $50.

At home/hotel testing is available. Call (506) 4700-9131 to make an appointment.

Lab San Jose – Rapid Test Option

Another lab option in Liberia is Lab San Jose (authorized lab), which recently opened an office here. They are located in Plaza Santa Cruz (see map). They can do both the RT-PCR and antigen (rapid) test.

RT-PCR: Results in 24 hours. Cost: 55,000 colones (about $90).

Antigen test: Results in 2 hours. Cost: 30,000 colones (about $50).

An appointment is required for both tests. Call or WhatsApp (506) 6063-6363.

Tamarindo/Flamingo/Conchal/Potrero Area (Guanacaste)

BeachSide Clinic – Rapid Test Option

In the Tamarindo area, the BeachSide Clinic (affiliated lab) has two locations that can do RT-PCR and antigen/rapid testing. One is in Huacas, close to Tamarindo (see map location here). The other is in Potrero, close to Playa Flamingo (second floor of the MerKado building, next to the pharmacy, in SurfSide Potrero). 

RT-PCR Test: Results are provided within 72 hours. Cost: 68,000 colones (about $110).

Antigen Test: Results are provided within 8 hours. Cost: 33,000 colones (about $54).

Testing is available 7 days a week in Huacas. In Potrero, Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To make an appointment, first fill out the required government form at https://www.mipruebacovid.com/ 24 hours before making your appointment. Then, call the clinic at (506) 2653-6760 or email covidtest@beachsidecliniccr.com. They will need the code at the bottom of the finished form.  

Hospital Metropolitano – Rapid Test Option

Hospital Metropolitano (authorized lab) has a small satellite office in Huacas near Tamarindo. They can do both the RT-PCR and antigen test. 

RT-PCR Test: 68,000 colones (about $111). Results are provided within 72 hours. They can also test children. The price is 89,000 colones (about $146).

Antigen Test: Results in 4-8 hours. Cost: 33,000 colones (about $54).

COVID Sample Times: Huacas, Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

An appointment is required. Call (506) 4000-3822 or (506) 8465-7484. 

Clínica Médica Dental Villareal

The closest option to Tamarindo that we know of is Clinica Medica Dental Villareal (affiliated lab). They can do only the RT-PCR test. Here is a map link with their location.

Cost: $120. Results provided in 72 hours.

To make an appointment, call (506) 2653-4141.

Centro Medico y Farmacia Huacas/Laboratorio Clínica Huacas

Centro Medico y Farmacia Huacas/Laboratorio Clínica Huacas (affiliated lab) also offers RT-PCR testing. Currently, testing is done at your home/hotel. Results are provided within 48 hours. Cost: 70,000 colones (about $115).

The clinic’s main number is (506) 2653-6866. Call the person in charge of the test, Dr. Marena García, for an appointment. Her phone is (506) 8998-1078, she speaks English and Spanish.

Playas del Coco/Ocotal (Guanacaste)

If you’re staying in Playas del Coco, Ocotal, Playa Hermosa, or Playa Panama, Coco Medical and Dental Center (affiliated lab) can do RT-PCR testing. They are located in Playas del Coco. Testing is available 24 hours a day. Results are provided within 72 hours. Cost: 95,000 colones (about $155).

This clinic also can do antigen testing now.

Call (506) 2670-1234 to make an appointment or visit their website.

Nosara

Paradise Medical Services – Rapid Test Option

In Nosara, a private clinic called Paradise Medical Services (affiliated lab) recently started testing again. They can do the RT-PCR and antigen test. Paradise Medical is located in Playa Guiones across from Robin’s Ice Cream (see map location here).

RT-PCR: $140. Results in 72 hours or less.

Antigen Test: $65. Results in 24 hours or less.

They take samples every day except Saturday. Children over 2 years old can be tested using a oropharngeal swab (throat swab).

For an appointment, contact them via WhatsApp at (506) 8612-4242 or email nosaracovidsafe@gmail.com

Medklined BioAnalisis Laboratorio – Rapid Test Option

A lab in Nosara that offers the RT-PCR and antigen test is Medklined BioAnalisis Laboratorio (affiliated lab). They are located in the Arenales area of Nosara (map with location here).

RT-PCR: About $120. Results are provided in 24-48 hours. 

Antigen Test: $89. Results are provided in 4 hours. 

Open Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

An appointment is required. Call (506) 4703-6007, WhatsApp (506) 8976-6458, or email infomedklined@gmail.com. 

Nicoya/Samara 

If you are traveling to Samara, the city of Nicoya is the closest testing location. It is about 45 minutes away. There are two options in Nicoya. One has the antigen (rapid) test.

Clinica Monte de la Cruz – Rapid Test Option

Clinica Monte de la Cruz (affiliated lab) does RT-PCR testing for 80,000 colones (about $130) and can guarantee results in 24-48 hours.

Clinca Monte de la Cruz can now do the antigen test as well. The cost is $75 and results are provided within 2-3 hours.

Testing is available every day from 8:00-10:00 a.m. Here is a map link to their location in downtown Nicoya.

For an appointment, call (506) 2686-4747 or 2685-3371 or WhatsApp (506) 8359-5950. 

Laboratorio Dr. Ricardo Cerdas

The other option in Nicoya is Laboratorio Dr. Ricardo Cerdas (affiliated lab). This lab charges 80,000 colones (about $130) for the RT-PCR test and provides results in 72 hours or less.

A map with the exact location is not available. They are located 75 meters east of the Colonial Nicoya church (view map here). 

*Laboratorio Cerdas also offers hotel testing in Samara. Samples are taken Monday through Friday from 7:00-8:30 a.m. No additional cost.

You need to make an appointment. Call (506) 2685-5172 or WhatsApp (506) 8589-3682. 

Santa Teresa/Montezuma (Southern Nicoya Peninsula) 

In the Southern Nicoya Peninsula, there are two testing options that we know of.

Lifeguard Costa Rica – Rapid Test Option

Lifeguard Costa Rica (affiliated lab) is offering RT-PCR and antigen testing in Santa Teresa (Playa Carmen – see map location here) and Cobano (see map location here). Cobano is close to Montezuma, so a testing option if you are staying in that town. 

RT-PCR: Results are provided within 24-48 hours. Cost: $150.

Antigen: Results in about 8 hours if sample is taken before 12:00 p.m. $80. 

Here is a link with more information and to make an appointment.

For questions, call or WhatsApp (506) 8512-9111 or email covid@lgcr.co. 

SAAT

Another testing option in Santa Teresa for the RT-PCR is SAAT (Soporte Asistido Aereo y Terrestre – affiliated lab). They offer at home/hotel testing for $150. Some of the hotels in the area use SAAT for their guests.

Results are available within 24-48 hours once they are sent to the lab in San Jose, so we recommend getting tested as far in advance as possible. 

Call or WhatsApp (506) 8630-1752 or 8817-6336 to make an appointment. 

La Fortuna/Arenal Area

There are 5 testing options in La Fortuna.

Clinica Internacional La Fortuna

A private clinic called Clinica Internacional La Fortuna (affiliated lab) offers the RT-PCR test from their location in downtown La Fortuna (see map here). Results are available in 48-72 hours. Cost: $150. An appointment is required. Call (506) 2479-7679. 

Unimed Urgent Care – Rapid Test Option

Another private clinic for the RT-PCR and antigen test is Unimed Urgent Care (affiliated lab). They are also located in downtown La Fortuna (see map location here).

RT-PCR: $150 or $160 if they come to your hotel/vacation rental. Results are provided within 24-36 hours. 

Antigen: $80. Results in 12 hours.

Testing is available 7 days a week. Make an appointment by calling (506) 2479-1903 or email labcr@unimedhs.com 

Labifort – Rapid Test Option

A lab that can perform the antigen test is Laboratorio Labifort (affiliated lab), located in downtown La Fortuna (see map here). Currently, they are testing only on certain days – Monday (for Thursday flights), Tuesday (for Friday flights), and Wednesday (for Saturday flights).

Cost: 35,000 colones (about $57). Results in 24-36 hours.

When you contact them to make an appointment, let them know what day you are flying. Phone: (506) 2479-7612 or WhatsApp: (506) 8366-8986. Email: labifort@gmail.com 

CM Sanar Fortuna – Rapid Test Option

CM Sanar Fortuna (affiliated lab) is a clinic in downtown La Fortuna that can do both tests. Here is a map link to their location.

RT-PCR: $170.

Antigen: $130. 

For an appointment, call (506) 2479-9420 or WhatsApp (506) 8921-1823. 

Lab Echandi – Rapid Test Option

Another less expensive option is Lab Echandi (authorized lab) in Ciudad Quesada. They are located about 50 minutes from downtown La Fortuna. Here is a link to the exact location. This lab has other offices in San Jose and is well established.

RT-PCR: $115. Results are provided in 24-48 hours, except on weekends.

Antigen Test: Results are provided within 3 hours. Cost: 33,000 colones (about $54). 

Make an appointment through their website.

Monteverde/Santa Elena

Monteverde has two testing locations.

Dr. Hernandez

In Monteverde, Dr. Hernandez’s office – Centro de Salud (affiliated lab) can do RT-PCR testing. They are located in Santa Elena in the Mega Super grocery store plaza (see map here). Results are provided in 24-36 hours. Cost: $160.

An appointment is required. Call (506) 2645-6065, WhatsApp (506) 8589-8227, or email centrosaludhernandez@gmail.com 

Lifeguard Costa Rica – Rapid Test Option

Lifeguard Costa Rica (affiliated lab) is offering RT-PCR and antigen testing in Monteverde. They are located next to Hotel El Sueno Monteverde in downtown Santa Elena. 

RT-PCR: Results are provided within 24-48 hours. Cost: $150.

Antigen: Results in about 8 hours if sample is taken before 12:00 p.m. $80. 

Here is a link with more information and to make an appointment.

For questions, call or WhatsApp (506) 8512-9111 or email covid@lgcr.co. 

Tilaran (Lake Arenal Area) – Rapid Test Option

In Tilaran, Laboratorio Clinico Santorini (affiliated lab) can do the RT-PCR and antigen test. 

RT-PCR: 85,000 colones (about $140). Results: Monday through Thursday: 48 hours. Friday and Saturday: 72 hours. Closed Sunday.

Antigen Test: 35,000 colones (about $57). Results in 4 hours.

An appointment is required. Call (506) 2695-2105 or WhatsApp (506) 8582-6000.

Grecia (Central Valley, west of San Jose) – Rapid Test Option

If you are visiting the Grecia or Atenas area, a testing option is Laboratorio Clinico Dr. Jimenez (affiliated lab). They can do both the RT-PCR test and antigen test. The lab is located right in downtown Grecia (see map here).

RT-PCR Test: Results are provided within 24 hours.

Antigen (rapid) Test: Results within 3 hours.

Hours: Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Make an appointment by calling (506) 2444-6503 or emailing labdrjimenez@hotmail.com 

Guapiles (Limon Province, off Highway 32)

On the Caribbean slope, Kerygma Clínica y Laboratorio (affiliated lab) is an option for the RT-PCR test in the small city of Guapiles (see exact location here). Guapiles is in between Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and Siquirres, so a good option if you are visiting those areas. It is also on the drive between La Pavona (boat docks to Tortuguero) and La Fortuna/Arenal.

Results are provided in 3 business days. Cost: 65,000 colones (about $107).

Make an appointment by calling (506) 2711-2020, emailing info@kerygmaclinica.com, or by WhatApp (506) 8319-9024. 

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca/Cahuita (Southern Caribbean Coast)

For those traveling to Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo, Limon, or Cahuita on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, there is one testing option. Laboratorio Bioclinic Puerto Viejo (affiliated lab) is located right in downtown Puerto Viejo (see map here).

The cost for the RT-PCR test is 80,000 colones (around $130). Results are provided within 48 hours. 

Use WhatsApp to make an appointment (506) 8950-9101 or email laboratoriobioclinic@yahoo.com. 

Testing in Remote Areas

In some areas of Costa Rica, you cannot get a Covid test done privately. Although there may be private medical clinics or labs there, they may not offer the type of Covid test you need. Some, for example, offer only the antibody test, which checks to see if you have had Covid in the past and doesn’t check for an active infection.

Below are the areas we know of that do not offer the RT-PCR or antigen test. If you know of a facility that can do a test in one of these areas or another area we haven’t covered yet, please let us know in the comments below.

San Vito (Southern Zone) – A medical clinic here confirmed there are no private testing options in the canton of Coto Brus. The nearest lab is in Rio Claro.

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.

Our Experience Getting a Covid Test

In December 2020, we needed to get a Covid test done at Hospital Metropolitano in Quepos/Manuel Antonio and can report back on the experience.

We tried to make an appointment using their Facebook page as they suggested, which connected us to their main number. We found out that this works only for their San Jose locations. For the Quepos location, you need to call the Quepos office at (506) 2519-9733. Once we got through, making an appointment was easy. We were able to get one for the same day.

They will ask for your email over the phone, then email you an appointment confirmation. They’ll also send a link to a medical form you have to fill out online before you get there. It asks (in Spanish) for basic personal and health information. You will need your passport or cedula number.

For the test, we checked into the office first. Then they directed us to another office a few doors down for the actual test.

The lab technician was in full personal protective equipment. He swabbed both nostrils and the throat for the RT-PCR test. It took about five minutes total, including his short explanation of how the test would be performed. The experience was very professional.

They emailed us the results the next day, within about 24 hours. The results were in Spanish. Thankfully, it was negative and we think we just had food poisoning! 

Have a question about getting a Covid-19 test in Costa Rica? Ask us below. 

Looking for more information to plan your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these posts:

Traveling to Costa Rica During Covid-19: Entry Requirements, Protocols & What to Expect: Learn about Costa Rica’s entry requirements and options for international insurance.

Costa Rica’s Required Travel Insurance – Answers 15 frequently asked questions about the Covid travel insurance you need to enter Costa Rica.

Covid Travel: What It Is Like in Costa Rica Right Now – Wondering if restaurants, bars, activities, and attractions are open? Or what the scene is like/if people are actually traveling? Check out our post on what it’s like right now.

Packing for Costa Rica: The Essentials – Costa Rica has so many different microclimates, it can be hard to know just what to pack. Get key tips with our guide.

Rental Car Discount: If you still need to rent a car for your trip, check out our discount to save 10% and get extras like a free second driver and car seats for kids.

584 Comments

    1. Hi Glenn, We’re not sure. Regular health insurance for use in the United States probably wouldn’t cover you abroad. If you have travel insurance that covers Costa Rica as well, then it seems it should cover you abroad. But we would ask your insurance company to find out for sure.

      1. hi, we are arriving LIR early December and heading to Nica. They require (at the moment) a RT-PCR test which we would like to get in Liberia (or close by). Do you know if that is possible and do we need a doctor’s referral? thank you George

        1. Hi George, Yes, you could get tested at Hospital Metropolitano in Liberia (see map point here). I think they are the only option for places in Liberia that have been approved to do the test. There doesn’t seem to be a lab there that can do it.

          You are technically supposed to have a doctor’s referral, but the hospitals and labs we have seen all say they can take care of that for you as part of the visit. We would contact Hospital Metropolitano in advance to make sure you fully understand the process and to double check that they can do the test at their Liberia location. The link we gave to their Facebook page earlier says to send them a message through Facebook messenger. It should be fairly easy to figure out. Good luck!

          1. Hi Does anyone know if rapid tests ( Max 4 hours before flight ) are available in San Jose or airport area ?

            Thanks ! Sebastian

      2. Hello and thank you for the valuable information. Do you know where I can make the rest and get results in English?
        Thank you!!

          1. Hello, big fans of your site. Was very useful for our trip Jan22-Feb01.

            URGENT: Lifegaurd Costa Rica tests at Carmen and in the Santa Teresa area, you will not get your tests in time. Please update your site. We got tested on there Jan 28 and today is Feb 01 and we have still not received our tests and had to miss our flights and get a new test. At the airport they are having lots of people missing flights due to Lifegaurd Costa Rica in the Santa Teresa/ Playa Carmen area. So you are aware. Plan accordingly.

            Thanks

          2. Thanks Danny. We added a note to our article about the delays. I think it was delays from the lab that processes the tests in San Jose. They are experiencing an influx of tests to process right now because of the new US testing requirements. Hopefully they work out the kinks and this isn’t a problem for very long.

      3. Hola! Thanks for this handy-dandy list of Covid 19 testing sites. Could you please add to it Laboratorio clínico Dr. José María Jiménez in Grecia, Alajuela. They are open Mon-Friday & Sat until 11:30 am, Sunday closed. Results in 24 hours.

          1. Hi Jenn and Matt, thanks so much for this compilation! Just wanted to inform you that Clínica Bíblica in San José has 24 hour COVID testing now. That being said, my husband and I took a rapid test there. He received the results on time but with a wrong birth date and name. I didn’t even get mine and when I contacted them to see what the issue was, they said their system was down, they didn’t know when it would be back up and they couldn’t help. Needless to say, it caused lots of problems. Best to avoid.

        1. Hello Matt and Jenn-great info you offer. We will be in Monteverde and need to get tested there as we won’t be in San Jose until the night before we leave. What is the closest place to Monteverde where there is Covid testing? Puntarenas? San Carlos? San Ramon? It’s hard to tell with the map we’re using. Or what lab in San Jose is located closest to Monteverde if were to drive there and back during our stay?

          Many thanks.

          1. Hi Barbara, A clinic in Santa Elena/Monteverde just started testing. We added them as an option to our article today so you can go take another look for the info.

      4. Just wondering if the insurance we have to buy to cover Covid in Costa Rica will cover the cost of the test.

      5. Hi,
        Thank you for keeping us updated on everything this site a goldmine! Would you have any update on the antigenic test? It is required to go back to The Netherlands (in addition to the PCR one). Would be much appreciated? Thank you!

        1. Hi Cynthia, We read in one news article the other day that they expect to start antigen testing in about 3 weeks, but that they were working on securing a different type of antigen test that would be available sooner. We don´t have any concrete information, though. The Ministry of Health did just give the formal approval for 10 labs to start testing. So it is just a matter of them getting the equipment and supplies they need into Costa Rica.

          1. Hi, is there already an update regarding the introduction of the 4 hours rapid test option? Is news available regarding the timelines of test results in Santa Teresa area?

          2. Hi Jochem, No update on rapid testing. It is still not available.

            We just contacted Lifeguard in Santa Teresa and they told us it is currently taking around 48 hours. They have updated/refined their process. We revised our post to include additional information about when you should get tested – the time of day affects the timing of your results. So please go take another look at our post for information. Last week, we also added another good testing option, SAAT.

          3. I would like to add that I got tested in Labin the beginning of January. It is very easy to make an appointment, they ask your travel time and requirements which gave me the feeling they were really thinking with me. I got tested on Saterday afternoon and got the results by email at 2AM on Sunday. My sister did the test one week later and she got the same experience. So that would be a recommodation!

            Now I am planning to come back the first two weeks of March, but since I am also coming from Holland, I also need the antigen test max 4 hours before departure. I see that you posted 1 week ago that they are expected in 3 weeks? So the 1`4th of March I should be fine?? Thanks for this page.. It is really helpfull for travellers!

          4. Thanks for the helpful feedback on Labin. Glad you had a good experience.

            Rapid test is now available! Starting tomorrow Lab Echandi can do it at any of their locations in the San Jose area. We updated our article with the specifics. Other labs should start offering it soon as well. So yes, you will be all set by March.

    2. Hey Glenn

      Let me know what you find out. My NYC daughter is have the same issue. We pick up the Costa Rica travel insurance but have not receive an answer if they will cover.

        1. Hi Dee, We aren’t sure about what Nicaragua requires for entry for kids. We looked at the US Embassy in Nicaragua’s website and it doesn’t specify. Maybe try reaching out to your local embassy to see if they can help. We wouldn’t think a test would be required for an infant, though.

      1. hello! Your responses have been very insightful so i wanted to ask more about the antigen test. I am being told by a resort on the Papagyo Peninsula that they are not able to perform it yet. However the lab they send the PCR test too is the one that has the antigen test. Any recommendations on how to get the antigen test, perhaps on our own? Thanks so much!

        1. The antigen test is basically only available in San Jose right now. Even though some of the affiliated labs in the rest of the country work with labs in San Jose that can do antigen testing, they themselves may not have the necessary supplies yet to do the test. They should soon, though.

          The only place we know of near the Papagayo that has it is Hospital Metropolitano in Liberia. So you could try that. The information is in our article.

    3. It is unclear whether or not NY requires a COVID test to re enter from Costa . You need a negative test to test out of the mandatory quarantine of 10 days. A second test is required on day 4 of your return and if they are both negative you may leave quarantine

    4. Hello
      Apparently i need a test to get back in France the 8th of February
      I would be at Bahia Drake bay between the 4th and 7th of February
      Where i could fine a PCR test checking before living Costa Rica apparently i need at least around 72 h to make sure i ve got the result before taking off
      Thanks for giving me an adresse nearby Bahia Drake in order to take an appointment
      Kind regards
      I ll use buses ir taxi transportation

      1. Hi Nathalie, There are no testing options right in Drake Bay since it is a very small town. The closest that we know of would be in Rio Claro. There is a lab there – go back to our post and search Rio Claro for the details. You would have to take the boat taxi from Drake to Sierpe, then maybe you could have the lab meet you to do the test in Sierpe. They offer a mobile service. All their contact information is in our post.

        1. Hi
          Thanks but i found Quepos/Manuel Antonio at $160 the Covid PCR test just send them what i need as appointment by facebook/messenger it was easy

        2. Hello Jen and Matt, My wife and I will be in Drake Bay as well and I was looking for the contact for the Rio Claro lab but I was unable to find it. I would love to contact them to see if the lab will meet us in Sierpe to do the tests.

          Thanks!

          1. Hi William, The contact info for each facility was farther down in the post. We just updated our article, though, so that everything is in one place to make it easier. So just go back to the Rio Claro section and you will find it.

    5. This post is really helpful. We recently travelled home from CR late January and received nasal swab tests at the Clinician Biblica San Jose. They were super organized and sanitary, like everything else in Costa Rica! I am
      Hoping another option shows up for kids. My daughter had a hard time with the deep nasal probing. Any updates on this regard would also be helpful, as we plan to return this year. Pura Vida

    6. This is a question that arises often. We’ve researched it for people coming to Hospital CIMA, and the basic answer is that US health insurance policies will cover testing as a diagnostic tool for someone who may have or is diagnosed with Covid. However, there is no coverage for testing as part of a travel requirement.

  1. We are arriving in San Jose for an 11 day visit to Costa Rica which includes (we hope) a border crossing by land/foot into Panama to Bocas area for a few days, then back into Costa Rica at the same crossing for our return to San Jose airport and home to California. I cannot find specific info about this itinerary during Covid. Any help whether we can even go into Panama and if they require a Covid test, etc. thank you so much.

    1. Hi Kathleen, Unfortunately, the land borders on the Costa Rica side are currently closed to tourists. So you could exit into Panama for your visit to the Bocas, but wouldn’t be able to reenter Costa Rica that way. One good option, though, is that you could fly on a small plane since the Bocas has an airport. Flights should be available right from Bocas Town into San Jose. We did that trip before Covid and it was a really nice flight with great views.

      The other consideration is that Costa Rica could reopen the land borders between now and your trip. If they do, we will announce it in our post, Traveling to Costa Rica During Covid-19.

      Yes, Panama requires a negative Covid test (PCR or antigen) within 48 hours of travel. Here is a link to the US Embassy website with more information on their entry requirements.

  2. Hi, thanks for a great post. It helped me a lot when I travelled back and forth to Costa Rica now in Nov. I did my test with Labin, they have a drive through testing center in

    Central Zapote Building, Barrio Pinto, in front of the National Archive.

    Arrived in the morning at 06.30, they opened the test center @ 07.00 and I was done @ 08.00 and my results arrived in my email 15.30 the same day. They told me to to it before 12.00 to be able to get the results within 24h otherwise they could only promise within 36h. The results were only written in Spanish. Thanks for a great website, keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Daniel, Thank you for the very helpful information! That’s great to know that Labin is doing drive-through testing.

      We’re glad that our site has been helpful to you. Thanks again for commenting.

        1. We are trying to fly home to Canada from Costa Rica and it seems a lot of the testing labs can’t get results back in the 72 hour window. We have missed two flights, have a flight today at 2pm and still no results. We are in Liberia now but can drive to San Jose or to other cities if necessary. Does anyone have suggestions for us?
          Thanks so much!

          1. Hi Aleta, Go to San Jose. That is where almost all the labs are that process test results so you will be skipping the step where your sample gets sent to San Jose. Many labs there guarantee results in 24 hours. We have heard good things lately about Lab San Jose. Contact information is in our article. Sorry you are dealing with this!

      1. Thank you very much for this website! I found a lot of useful info here.

        Has anyone actually did the covid test in Quepos? How long did results take? Did you make an appointment? I’m going back to NY on Dec 30th and need to get tested. Thanks

        1. Hi Julia, We need to update this post again. I actually had a Covid test done at Hospital Metropolitano last week because of some symptoms I was having. Thankfully it was negative and I had something else. Anyway, I went in in the late morning and got the results the next morning, about 24 hours later. They emailed the results to me.

          To make an appointment, they have a main number, but for the Quepos location, it’s better to call them directly. Their number is 2519-9733. They will email you an appointment confirmation and also a link to a medical form you have to fill out online before you get there.

          You check in at their office and then they do the test at a separate office around the corner. The experience was very professional. They swabbed both nostrils and the throat. Results are in Spanish.

  3. I will be arriving in Costa Rica/San Jose on Nov 21 for 8 days. I know have to have a covid test 48 hours prior to returning to the state of Pennsylvania. Any ideas on where I can get the test a few days prior and what will be required? I will have travelers insurance to cover the cost.

    1. Hi Lisa, Your questions should covered by this post so maybe give it another good read. We just updated it to add more details on how to make an appointment, and a little more on the different location options. Which option is best for you really depends on if you want to go to a larger hospital or just a lab, and where you are traveling from. For example, the labs west of San Jose like in Santa Ana and Escazu would work well if you are traveling from Guanacaste or the Central or Southern Pacific Coast. But if you’re coming from east of San Jose like the Caribbean coast, Turrialba, San Gerardo de Dota, etc. you may want something on the other side of San Jose. Feel free to ask a follow up if you still need help.

        1. Hi Sebastian, We don’t know of any testing options in Monteverde/Santa Elena. There are a couple of private medical clinics in Santa Elena. But the one that we can see that does lab testing uses a different lab in Tilaran to do their lab work. We reached out to the lab itself to see if they can do the PCR test. They can definitely do the antibody test but we’re not sure about testing for an active infection. We will let you know if we hear back from them. Otherwise, your best option is probably San Jose or Liberia.

          1. Hi Sebastian, We just wanted to close the loop on this. The lab we reached out to in Tilaran (Laboratorio Clinico Santorini) cannot do the RT-PCR test, unfortunately. If we hear of any options near Monteverde, we will post another update.

  4. Is testing available on a holiday or a weekend? For example, if I wanted to get tested on Dec 25th or even the 26th of December would that be possible? Would I get the results by the 29th?

    1. Hi Esmi, We aren’t sure about the hospitals, but Labin (a lab) has locations that are open on Saturdays and Sundays (see list of locations with hours here), so that even if they were closed on December 25th, you could do the test on the 26th and get the results by the 27th or 28th at the latest. They should be open these dates around the holiday but we would double check with them to confirm. WhatsApp would be an easy way to connect with them; it is commonly used here and easier if you don’t speak Spanish because you can use Google Translate – (506) 8933-0707.

  5. Can tourists exit the Costa Rican land borders to enter Nicaragua? I know the Costa Rican borders are closed to tourists entering but I can’t find anything about exiting.

    1. Hi Tara, Yes, the land borders are open to exit. We are not sure if the process is different now, but as you may know, Nicaragua is requiring a negative Covid test to enter.

      1. May I ask where it is published that tourists can still exit Costa Rican land borders? or, how is it that you know for certain? I am travelling with an infant so I need to be 100% sure we can exit at the land border. Also… do you have to bring a car seat with me for my baby to ride in a taxi or a shuttle to the border? It would be very cumbersome to have to carry a car seat as well.

        1. Hi Tara, The only official information we can find about the land borders is this page on the Migration site: https://www.migracion.go.cr/Paginas/Cierre-de-Fronteras.aspx. But it only covers entry and not exit.

          We’ve heard several people say that the land borders are open for tourists exiting, though. Someone said on Oct. 30 that they walked from CR to Nicaragua and everything went fine. It was in the Facebook group Costa Rica Resources for Expats and Tourists (https://www.facebook.com/groups/CRLiving/). You could join it and search old threads to find it.

          Taxis will not have a car seat for you. Shuttles will so we would recommend that.

          1. Hi again Tara, We just accidentally found this page on Migration’s website. It talks about the requirements for Costa Rican and foreign people exiting Costa Rica towards Nicaragua, so seems to be what you’re looking for.

      2. Hello, i am visiting Santa Teresa in january, and it is required to show a negative covid test when i have to fly home again. Do you know if there are any clinics where i can get tested?
        Sincerely,
        Sara

        1. Hi Sara, We recently answered this for someone else. Please see our reply to Leonardo on December 22, 2020. To add to that, the clinic in Cobano that we mentioned (Clinica y Emergencias de la Península) told us they cannot do the test, unfortunately. So you may need to head to Liberia or San Jose the day before you fly out to get tested. We will update this thread if we hear of any closer options.

  6. Hi Jenn and Matt, Laboratorios San Jose does the PCR test guaranteed in 48 hours for 55000 Colones or about $92. They have 14 locations in the greater San Jose metropolitan area. I went into their location in Rohmoser two weeks ago and asked them to verify the information. I had friends that were flying to Nicaragua and they had to get a Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours before arriving in Nicaragua. My sources have told me that Costa Rica is opening the border to tourists who have a flight out of San Jose or Liberia. I heard a date of December 1, but last week they seemed to have changed that to December 15.

  7. Hi Jenn and Matt, I’m thinking on travelling to Costa Rica and book a rental car, but i have seen that there are plate number restrictions in all Costa Rica. Do you know if this also affects rental cars? Many thanks!!!

  8. Do you know by any chance where on the Nicola Peninsula near Santa Teresa Mal Pais there might be a Covid test site? Our kiddo was throwing up last night. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Tania, There is probably a private clinic in Santa Teresa or Montezuma that could help. Even if they can’t perform a Covid test, they can help diagnose the problem and guide you of the nearest place that could do a test if needed. Your hotel/vacation rental host should be able to tell you where the nearest clinic is. Most tourist destinations have a clinic or English-speaking doctor available. Hope your son/daughter feels better soon!

      1. Hello,
        We are looking for PCR test and finally looks like Metropolitan is our best option. Others are closed on January 1, when we need this.

        2 questions:
        1. We will need results within 30 hours. How risky is this?
        2. How easy/safe is walk-in service as they don’t allow reservation for some reason…

        Highly appreciated

  9. Hi, thanks for the post, it was very helpful! Do you happen to know if any locations will provide English test results (as required by some countries for entry)? Also, is it customary in Costa Rica to book an appointment in advance? I just contacted Hospital CIMA and they said to just show up at their emergency department for a test.

    1. Hi Zoe, Some of them may be able to accommodate walk ins but we would contact them in advance to make sure due to Covid protocols. That’s great that you can just show up at Cima.

      I have not seen any that will provide the results in English but some may. If not, maybe you could use a translator to get an official translation? Tiger House (http://www.thetigerhouse.com/en/) in San Jose will do everything through email.

    1. Hi Becky, There aren’t any in the immediate Jaco area as far as we know. Hospital Metropolitano in Quepos is about 1/1.25 hours. Or the labs on the western side of San Jose like in Escazu or Santa Ana would be about 1.5 hours. There are Labins in that area and other labs too.

    1. Hola Renee, The closest place would be the public hospital in Nicoya, we think. There could be a public clinic closer that could do the test too. But you have to meet testing criteria by showing symptoms or close contact with someone who tested positive to use the public system. If you just need the test for onward travel, I think you will have to go to Liberia or San Jose.

  10. Hello!

    We are planning a trip to Costa Rica from Spain at the end of December, and I am just wondering if althought PCR is not requested, if at the Airport they may ask you to take a test and wait for the results? I mean, it is 100% sure they will not request you to present a negative PCR from origin? Otherwise I will be cautious and take one here before flying. Thanks so much for your help in advance and congrats for such a great post concerning Covid!

    1. Hi Lidia, Costa Rica is definitely not requiring a test to enter. But we’ve heard that some airlines may be requiring it. So check on that. Getting a test before flying is never a bad thing anyway. Hope that helps and that you have a great trip!

  11. Great idea with this blog post! Is there a way to contact Laboratorios Paez in Liberia to schedule an appointment? I don’t think the link to their website has a number for that location and I want to contact them before going.

  12. Hi! We did a PCR test this Tuesday at Labin drive-through office. Arrived at 06.45, opened the drive-through on time at 07.00, around 7.30 the register, payment and test were done, and same day around 16.00 we received results via e-mail. Highly recommendable.

    1. Thanks for a lot of detailed info. I’ll need to do a covid test before returning to the US. I contacted one of the labs that you mentioned via WhatsApp. I texted them in English and they replied in Spanish. Via google translate I understood that they ask to make an appointment. They provided a phone number to call. My problem is that I do not speak Spanish. Do I absolutely need to make an appointment? Thanks

      1. Hi Julia, If you call, there should be someone available at the lab who speaks English. Usually if you say “habla inglés?” they will find someone in the office to help. You probably could just show up without an appointment if you had to, but you may have to wait a while. Our understanding is that they want you to fill out the health questionnaire before you get there.

  13. Hi. Are there any locations on the Caribbean side of the country. I live in Puerto Viejo and have been very sick and believe I need a test. Thanks.

    1. Hi Nic, This post only covers private testing options. If you are experiencing symptoms, call 1322. This is the Covid hotline. They will be able to help you find a public hospital or clinic nearby that can do the test. There are definitely places closer to you on the Caribbean coast, but maybe just not private options. Hope you feel better soon!

  14. Hi,
    We have planned a trip to Costa Rica at the end of December. We arrive from Ukraine via Amsterdam and Panama. We will have a negative test Covid-19. We’ll be in Costa Rica for 16 days.
    Could you advice what about returning back?
    Will we need to take the test again when returning through Panama and then to Europe?
    Only two hours in Panama between a flight to Amsterdam.
    Thank you very much for your avice!

    1. Hi Vadym, Our website focuses on Costa Rica so we’re not exactly sure. That said, Panama normally requires a negative Covid test within 48 hours of travel but one may not be required if you are only stopping over en route to another country. The Copa Airlines website (https://help.copaair.com/hc/en-us/articles/360055715954-Do-I-need-to-present-a-negative-COVID-19-test-result-if-I-am-in-transit-in-Panama-), which has its hub in Panama, says that if your layover is 12 hours or less and you don’t leave the international area, you don’t need to show a test for Panama. So it seems you may only have to meet the requirements of Amsterdam for testing. They will probably check that you have the test before boarding in Costa Rica. Like we said, though, we’re not totally sure so you should do some more research. You could call your airline for help.

  15. Hi,

    Could you please advise local insurance company for reasonable money that will take out insurance (COVID and isolation expences) for entering Costa Rica? Thank you!

      1. Do the labs and hospitals offer the antigen test yet. I need to be tested this Sunday to go back to the US. I don’t want to get the other test and the airport not accept it

        1. Hi Patti, No, antigen testing is not available yet. It will likely take another couple of weeks. We will update this post when we hear it is available. They airlines will definitely accept the RT-PCR, which is readily available in Costa Rica. This is one of the tests allowed under the CDC guidelines. Here is a link to our post on the CDC guidelines, which breaks down the requirements.

  16. first, i would like to thank you for so much information. Would you be able to tell me the nearest place to santa teresa to take the pcr test for covid?

    1. Hi Leonardo, We have tried to contact clinics in that area but have been unable to locate one that can do a Covid test. There should be a place to do it in Cobano, though, at least. If you are here visiting, you could ask your hotel or vacation rental host. Or, you could ask a clinic in Santa Teresa. There is one called Clinica y Emergencias de la Península. Even if they can’t do the test, they should be able to tell you where to go.

  17. Hi! Love the post!

    I’m curious, do you know if those results trackable/shared in a system?

    I’m asking because you mentioned about having to present a passport and was wondering if the place need to add those results in a system with our personal information.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Mara, Yes, we think they do add each person’s information to a government database for tracking Covid testing. That seems to be why you have to fill out the form online. They wouldn’t share the specifics of this information, but would use it internally.

  18. Hi – very interesting post. Thanks for this
    Would you (or anyone of your readers) happen to know if the INS health insurance will cover a PCR test for onward travel?

    Europe is imposing stricter rules again and it seems we may need one for our return flight on January 3rd. We’re flying via Amsterdam, and latest news suggests anyone flying into The Netherlands -even transit- will need to show a negative test no less than 72 hours old upon arrival.

    Which basically means getting tested on 1 or 2 January and need results within 24 hours.

    I’ve found a lot of helpful info on where to go and Labin seems a safe bet; however I couldn’t find specifics on where exactly the drive-through lab is?
    Also would be helpful to understand if the mandatory health insurance will cover the test. We took INS

    Thanks in advance!

  19. Are there any COVID testing sites near Drake Bay, Osa peninsula? I assume that since it’s not included in this amazing list, none exists. Nonetheless, thank you so much for this comprehensive review!

    1. Hi TK, Drake Bay is so small, we don’t think anywhere could do it. The nearest large town where it may be possible is Palmar Norte, but that is pretty far. See our response to Oleg, above, for more info. Glad our information has been helpful!

  20. Hello,
    We are looking for PCR test near Puerto Jimenez, where we will be staying. Any suggestion?

    Another question if this “fails”. Any lab at San Jose area which can promise results within 24 hours? Thank you.

    1. Hi Oleg, There is a public clinic in Puerto Jimenez (an EBAIS), but we don’t know of any private clinics that could do the test for onward travel. You could check with your hotel. The nearest large town that may have it is Palmar Norte, but that is about 1.5 hours away. Palmar has a private clinic called Centro Medico de Osa that may do the test. We just contacted them to see if they can. If they can, we’ll let you know and will also update this post.

      If you can’t find it locally, you could get it at Hospital Metropolitano in Quepos on the way to San Jose. They gave us our results within 24 hours so should be able to do yours within that time frame we would think. Just try to get there in the morning. Usually there is a time cut off for processing lab tests. Otherwise, for San Jose, we would try Labin.

      1. Thank you a lot for information. Looks like clinic phone number is wrong. Saying out of service as far as I understood 🙁

        Could you tell us may be what is best option in San Jose (will drive there and shorten our vacation by 1 day) with fastest turnaround service (need it within 24 hours preferably).

        We are willing to pay premium if needed. Just need to do it on 1st of January specifically.

        Highly appreciated
        Oleg

        1. For Hospital Metropolitano, try 2519-9754. That is the one we used. If you’re calling from outside Costa Rica, you’ll need to include the area code (506) and country code (varies depending on where you’re calling from).

          If you decide on San Jose, we would do Labin as our first choice. Just confirm with them they can give results in 24 hours when you call.

  21. Thanks so much for this very helpful article. Do you know how it works with Labin for scheduling? When I add the PCR test to my cart and go to check out it’s only asking me for my (patient) info and then payment info. Do you (or does anyone on here who has used a Labin facility) know how appointments are made?

      1. Jenn and Matt,
        Thank you for all help.

        We couldn’t get hold of Labin still trying.

        We’re able to get hold of CIMA and Biblica.
        Which one you would recommend?

        Biblica making appointment which is always better but CIMA based on you website is faster (we have 28 hours or so for test to be ready).

        What would be you recommendation?

        Thank you

        1. We heard recently that Clinica Biblica (San Jose location) is doing drive-through testing in their parking garage. So maybe try that after confirming that they can do results in 24 hours.

        2. I am sharing our experience with testing in Labin.
          We contact them first by WhatsApp in English. We have got some answers in Spanish (automated?) about price and drive trough tests.
          Later (on 28.12.2020 we call their number, on the second try we have been connected to the English speaking employee who has been very helpful. He has made an appointment for us on the same day at Labin Guacima. We have signed some forms by email. We needed the result in 24 hours and we did get the result by email the same day evening.

  22. I don’t want to travel around San Jose (or Liberia if that’s the route I end up taking) to get tested; I discovered that Labin Lab can do home (hotel) testing for an additional fee, and wonder whether you know of any others.
    Also, know of anywhere in Liberia that can do a test after 4pm on a Saturday?

    1. Hi Alex, Many of them can do at home/office/hotel testing. Lab Echandi can Monday through Saturday (more info here). So can Labin according to their website. Laboratorios Paez says they can do it at home and they have a location in Liberia. Hospital Metropolitano has a Liberia location and is a hospital so they may be able to do a test after 4 pm, but we’re not sure. The lab may close around that time.

      1. Hey Jen and Matt,

        We’re visiting Costa Rica from Canada and they’ve recently our changed travel restrictions for returning home,

        We must return with a negative test and it must be taken within 72 hours of departure ( we fly out Thursday January 7th )

        We’re in Santa Teresa from the 2nd to the 7th, taking a quick flight on the 7th from Tambor to San Jose than flying home to Canada

        We’re would you suggest getting a test done

        1. Hi Mike, We reached out to some private clinics and labs in the Santa Teresa area and it seems you can’t get the test done there. One of the larger clinics in Santa Teresa confirmed this – that it is not available in that area at all. So you may have to change your flight to make it one day earlier and get the test done in San José. The Clinica Biblica drive through option guarantees results in 24 hours. Sorry we don’t have a better option.

        2. Flying into SJO driving March 18 to Jaco/Playa Hermosa for 3 days, then to Santa Teresa and then back to SJO to depart on March 28. 5 in our party. Are we looking at ~500.00 for a COVID test to be done in Santa Teresa prior to departing, or is free testing available?

          1. Hi Matt, Costa Rica has socialized medical care. No free testing here unless you are showing symptoms or have been exposed. The free testing is done through the public health care system. Visitors use the private health care system. Prices should come down some by March, though. The government has said they are working with clinics and labs, and aiming for around $100/test. All testing currently done is the RT-PCR, which is more expensive than rapid tests.

  23. Hi everyone,
    I have got a question. KLM changed the requirements on 25th of December and starting from today (29th of December) you need test before boarding any KLM aircraft. This requirement is valid also for transit passengers in Amsterdam. We have a group of 16 people in Cahuita, Tortugero, Puerto Limon area. Do you know about any place close to Puerto Limon they can undertake test? Or they have to travel to San Jose area? Or any place suitable on the way between Puerto Limon and San Jose? Is there any chance to make test early in the morning in San Jose and be 100% sure to get results before 16.00 the very same day? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Darja, We don’t know of a private lab or medical center in that area that could do the test. The places where you could possibly find an option are Limon and Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t any facilities for it in those towns. You will probably need to go back to San José. I’d start by asking Labin if they can guarantee results by 4 pm if you get tested early that morning. Someone commented a while back that they did the drive through testing at Labin’s location in downtown San José and got the results the same day. That location will be convenient coming from the Caribbean coast as well.

  24. Hello Canada now requires a Covid test being done 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada. Where can u get a test near playa del coco?

    1. Hi Andrew, Paradise Medical in Nosara was doing Covid testing but only for a limited period of time. They were working with another lab and we think the service ended just a couple of days ago. But you could reach out to them to double check – follow the link to their Facebook page that we gave. We’ve been following some local Facebook groups in that area and it doesn’t seem there are other facilities in Nosara that can do it. If that’s the case, Liberia would be your closest option. If we hear of other options nearby, we will update this thread.

      1. Hi – we’re in Nosara and we spoke with Paradise Medical today. They are still doing covid tests and say they provide results in 24-48 hours. They do testing only in the mornings and then send samples in San Jose same-day.

        Their timing doesn’t quite work for us, so we’re going to Tamarindo a few days before we fly to Canada and plan to get tested at the Beachside Clinic in Huacas. When we spoke to Beachside Clinic today, the receptionist told us that before making an appointment, we had to fill out a form at: mipruebacovid.com. The form is only in Spanish, but we figured it out with Google translate. You need to enter the date and time of your flight as well as your passport info.

        Once you submit the form, the site will provide a confirmation number. Then you call the clinic and provide the confirmation number in order to make an appointment.

        Thanks for all the helpful info, Jenn and Matt!! Pura vida!

        1. Hi Carlie, Thanks for the info. We had heard from some people who live in Nosara that Paradise Medical wasn’t doing them anywhere. We will check with them now for the details so we can add it to this article as an option.

          Yes, that’s the online form we had to fill out too when we were tested. Hospital Metropolitano sent us the link after we made our appointment with them so the process probably varies somewhat by medical facility. Glad you were able to figure out the form. Hope the process goes smoothly for you. Thanks again for sharing the info for Nosara!

  25. That’s the absolutely the most useful and most comprehensive test regarding PCR test for Covid in Costa Rica! No other place describes it in such details manner! Thanks a lot for this post and all the comments with the explanation.

    We also discovered that we need to get tested, before boarding KLM flight due to new regulations and we were wondering what is the closest location to Montezuma where we can get tested. If anyone have any clues, I’d be more than grateful!

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Jacek, Glad our article has been helpful!

      I wish we had somewhere to suggest near Montezuma. But I don’t think Montezuma has anything and we just reached out to 2 more clinics in neighboring towns. Both said they cannot do the test – Clinica y Emergencias de la Península in Santa Teresa and Laboratorios Jackson in Cobano. Laboratorios Jackson can do the antibody test but not one to check for an active infection, like the RT-PCR. The clinic in Santa Teresa said that you can’t get the RT-PCR in this area of the country at all and need to go to San Jose or Liberia.

  26. Thanks a lot. Seems like I will have to shorten my stay in Montezuma by one day, to get to San Jose earlier.

    I think I will go to Hospital Clinica Biblica then. Do you know how long in advance I have to contact them in order to appoint the visit?

    1. We don’t think Clinica Biblica has any specific requirement for how long in advance to contact them. We would just do it a few days beforehand so that everything is all set when you get there. They will need to collect information from you in advance and you have to fill out a form online. If you’re doing the drive through testing, they will also send you a link to make the payment in advance.

      This is the information they are going to ask you for when you make the appointment – we translated it:

      Nombre completo del paciente (Full name)
      Número de cédula (Cedula or passport number)
      Fecha de nacimiento (Date of birth)
      País de nacimiento (Country of birth)
      Profesión (Profession)
      Teléfono (Phone number)
      Nombre y número de cédula de responsables en caso de ser menor de edad (In the case of minors, the name and cedula/passport of parent/guardian)
      Si utiliza seguro médico privado por favor indicar el nombre (Name of private medical insurance, if using)
      Dirección exacta de domicilio (Exact home address)
      Correo de paciente (Email)

      1. Hi there, thank you for putting this post together, it’s very helpful. Do you know of any locations testing near Samara? Thanks for your help!

  27. Thank you both for keeping this updated. My son is travelling on his own in CR and is out of communication for a few days because of a broken phone, so I’m hoping Canada’s rule won’t take effect before the date he is supposed to fly out late next week. Knowing you are updating this and responding to people is giving me a lot of peace of mind.

  28. Hi there! Thank you so much for all of this information – is there any free testing at all? I have travel insurance if that helps. Thank you!

    1. Hi Amrutha, The government provides free testing if you are showing symptoms or have been exposed. Not for purposes of onward travel. Costa Rica has a socialized medical system. You could look into whether your private insurance would cover it, though.

    1. as mentioned by Jenn, Clinico MMI in Jaco Doctors center (also known as “los cubanos” in the area). Be aware they take the test but samples are sent to San Jose for analysis so you should call in advance to ask about timing. I was tested on 30/dec with NYE holiday coming in so they offered an “express courier” to send the sample and get results urgently (all in all took 18hs). Test C$ 78.000+Courier C$ 72.000 (U$D 250 total).

      1. Thanks for chiming in, Jose. Very helpful.

        We heard back from MMI and results are available within 36-48 hours. That’s for the standard test, not paying the extra to have the results expedited via a courier. We’ll be sure to update our post with this info soon. Thanks!

  29. Hello.

    We are travelling as a family from Canada in February 2021. We just found out in order to fly back to Canada, we will need a negative covid test within 72 hours of the flight. We fly back to Canada on a Tuesday at 2PM. So we will need a covid test on the Saturday afternoon or Sunday… We could get the covid test Monday, but if the results aren’t guaranteed to be the same day, that will be stressful. We will be staying in Tamarindo. This is very stressful with all these changing rules 🙁 Do you have any advice on where we should get tested or what we should do? Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Emma, BeachSide Clinic and Hospital Metropolitano’s Huacas location near Tamarindo are closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. But Hospital Metropolitano has a location in Liberia that is open until 7 pm on weekends. So you should be able to make an appointment with them. It’s about 1.25 hours from Tamarindo, so not a terribly long drive. Here is a link to the location. They can do results in 24-48 hours. Their contact info is in the section of our post called Making an Appointment and Getting Results.

  30. Just wanted to express my gratitude for this incredibly detailed explanation of COVID testing here. We are returning to Europe, which as of yesterday is requiring a PCR test and were frantically trying to find something near us. Thank you thank yoj thank you! You saved us a real headache.

  31. Hello and Happy New Year! Thank you for the super helpful info. I’m planning on visiting Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and I am wondering where the nearest COVID testing centre would be as I will need to get tested and have results within 72 hours of my return flight to Canada.

    1. Hi Julie, Unfortunately, we don’t think there are any private testing options in the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca area. We just heard back from a lab in town and they said you have to go to San Jose. There is an EBAIS (public clinic) nearby in Hone Creek, but you have to be showing symptoms or have had contact with someone who tested positive to get a test there. Not for purposes of onward travel.

  32. Is there PCR testing near Tambor ?

    Trying to find the closet place to get tested Tuesday and we’re in Santa Teresa ?

    What a nightmare 🙁

    1. Hi Mike, I don’t think there are any options nearby Tambor. This is some work but if you want to avoid going back to San José or Liberia early, you could take the boat taxi from Montezuma to Jaco. Jaco has testing options. The boat leaves around 8:30 and comes back to Montezuma at 10:00 so you wouldn’t have much time in Jaco, but it would be doable. Just an idea. The boat taxi is through Zuma Tours- Zumatours.net

    1. Hi Claire, A clinic called Unimed Urgent Care in downtown La Fortuna has told us that they can do the test. They are a little more expensive – around $250. That may be because they send the sample to San Jose or Liberia for testing. Results are provided within 48 hours.

      We just reached out to one more clinic in that area to see if they can do the test. We will let you know if they say they can.

  33. Hello I am planning to visit Puerto Viejo for March.2021
    The Canadian Gov’t has made it mandatory now to have a Covid Test 72hrs before departure for home.
    Is there anywhere close to Puerto Viejo to get a PVR covid test.
    I dont want to have to travel to San Jose 3days before our flight home just for the test.
    Thank You

      1. Hello. I am currently planning a trip near San Isidro. Any idea how the testing has been there and how long the results would take? I would need to get one done and get the results within 72 hours of flying back to the US.

  34. Do you know where in San Jose one can get a less invasive (non deep nasal) covid test? I’m looking for the mouth swab or a blood test (apparently you can get those in the US at private labs). Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen, They only do the RT-PCR test in Costa Rica as far as we know. When we were tested, they took samples from both the nose and throat. Not sure it is possible but you could check with one of the labs to see if they could do the test based only on a throat sample.

  35. Hi Jenn and Matt,

    Very helpful post! Do you know a place to get the covid test around La Fortuna?

    Thank you so much!

  36. Thanks so much for all the info you have provided. We fly out of Liberia on a Wed afternoon(beginning of March)and I’m wondering where we should get a test before then. We were planning on being in Nosara for the last few days but can change that if need be. Where would you recommend that we maybe stay the last couple days so that we could get a test (maybe Monday if that provides enough time) I’m guessing we can’t get one on a Sunday. We were hoping somewhere quieter…..don’t like the idea of Tamarindo(too busy) unless thats our only option. Thanks for your time.

    1. Hi Debbie, You could get tested on Monday morning at the BeachSide Clinic in Huacas. They do testing Monday-Friday starting at 8:00 a.m. and can provide results in 24-48 hours. That’s near Tamarindo but there are other quieter beaches nearby where you could stay. Take a look at the Potrero área (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/potrero-home-base-beaches-guanacaste/). Or even Flamingo (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/playa-flamingo-luxury-destination-guanacaste/), which is fairly popular, is less busy and a nice white sand beach. Both are just a short drive from the clinic. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi Jenn and Matt!

        I’m curious if the BeachSide Clinic in Huacas processes tests over the weekend even if they aren’t open to receive tests. I fly out on a Sunday afternoon and was hoping to get tested Friday morning.

        Thanks a million!
        Mike

        1. Hi Mike, It is very likely that they send the sample out for testing in San José or Liberia. So they may be able to give you your results in time. You could check with them for the details.

  37. Hello!

    We will finish our trip in Costa Rica in Drake Bay but as having a PCR test is not possible in Drake Bay area we decided to return back to Manuel Antonio or to San Jose 1 day earlier.
    We would like to leave Drake Bay on Saturday early morning and make a PCR test on the same day. We have to get the results until Monday 10 am (for our 2 pm departure) so we have a little bit less than 48h.

    Which location is better? San Jose or Manuel Antonio?
    San Jose from Drake Bay seems to be a very very long drive but there are more test options in San Jose than in Manuel Antonio.
    I am a little worried that a test taken on Saturday in Manuel Antonio (after arriving from Drake Bay) will not be ready on Monday morning. 🙁 For example Quepos Metropolitano is even closed on Sunday so I assume that they do not provide any results on Sundays.
    I have also checked Quepos Urgent Care but I cannot find any information about how long does it take to get the results back if we are tested on Saturday.

    Which location would you choose in our case?

    Thanks, Audrey

    1. Hi Audrey, I don’t think Quepos Urgent Care does testing on Saturdays at all. The lab at Hospital Metropolitano is only open until noon on Saturday and yes, is closed on Sunday, so I’m not sure you’d get results by Monday at 10 am. Jaco has testing options on the weekends. You could see if MMI could get the results to you in time – they typically take 36-48 hours so that should work in theory. A lab in San José processes the samples and is more likely to be open on Sunday. Otherwise San José would be the safest bet. It is a long drive from Drake but doable, assuming you’d only be driving from the boat docks in Sierpe. It’s about 4-5 hours but there are a lot of good places to stop on the way.

      1. Thank you very much! I will choose San Jose. You assumed that we will drive from Sierpe boat dock however our hotel said that the whole drive is doable with our rented intermediate 4×4. Do you disagree with this? I have heard that the new bridge is ready and it is easier to get to and from Drake Bay now than before.

        1. We never recommend driving to Drake Bay. You really don’t need a car there unless you’re staying at one of the remote lodges north of town (there are only a few). Most locals don’t have cars. You won’t need one for activities. It’s such a pristine area, and the boat taxi option is a really nice way to arrive (very scenic). I think they did build a new bridge in 2019, but I still thought there were river crossings. It’s super remote. We’ve never done the drive ourselves. Here’s a link to our Drake Bay post with more information on the boat taxi option from Sierpe.

  38. Thank you Jenn and Matt for your response to the nasal test. Do you know if it is a “deep” nose test or if you can just do the first inch or two of the nasal cavity? Thank you

  39. The wife and I will be in Povones end of January do you know of any place near buy you could get tested for Covid-19 before we leave

    1. Hi Ian, Pavones is really remote. We don’t know of any private testing options down there in the Southern Zone. The closest that we know of is Quepos, but that’s several hours away so you would need to go on your way back to San Jose. Some people have been adding a stop in their trip to get tested. Manuel Antonio is right next to Quepos, and is a popular destination.

  40. Hi, I am travelling to Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, Playa Flamingo in February. Are there any clinics or Hospitals that do the covid tests. We need to be tested 72hrs before travelling home.

    1. Hi Louise, The closest options to Playa Flamingo are BeachSide Clinic in Huacas and Hospital Metropolitano also in Huacas. Contact information and other details are in our article.

  41. Jenn & Matt- how awesome are you for doing this. we will be coming from monteverde for a sunday departure from liberia. it appears that the metroplitano and lab paez are next door to each other. my idea is to book a hotel near these on the friday. Q1-whats my best bet of the 2 if i secure a friday noon appt to get results before our flight? given its a weekend. Q2- do the airlines just need an email result or a hard copy like air cda asked for when we went to Turks in november? again, since the canadian govt hasnt a clue, thank goodness for U2!!!

    1. Hi Jeffrey, Recently, Hospital Metropolitano has been saying on their Facebook page that results in rural area (we assume this is outside San Jose) can take 48-72 hours. So we would go with Lab Paez. For some reason, their website doesn’t list hours for the Liberia location, but all their other offices close at 11 am on Saturdays. They do results in 24-48 hours so it should be ok, we would think, but we’d confirm with them. We would send them a message through WhatsApp to make the appointment and confirm the timing of results. Their number is 506 6337 5860. If you don’t speak Spanish, run the English through Google Translate.

      I’m not exactly sure what the airlines are requiring for proof. But a hard copy would probably be best. Hope that helps!

  42. Returning to Canada does the Covid 72 hour clock count to my departure airport in Costa Rica or to the arrival airport Vancouver?

  43. Are there testing locations in the Puerto Jimenez area and cost? It looks like the United States is now requiring a negative COVID-19 test 3 days prior to returning. Thanks for any information you might have.

    1. Hi Lisa, We don’t know of any testing options near Puerto Jimenez, unfortunately. As of right now, the closest that we know of is in Uvita, which is about 2 hours away. We will update this post if we hear of anything closer.

  44. Hello! We are staying at the Dreams Las Mareas near La Cruz, what would be our best bet for testing? Now the US is requiring a negative test within 3 days of flying back.

  45. I am going to be staying in Papagayo area- Looking for a place to get covid test 3-4 days before return home- I am not super familiar with the zones or areas you have listed above in thread- Is the Beachside Medical Clinic the Closest Testing center to the Papagayo area? This Blog is the BEST!!!!! Thank You so much for helping everyone-

    1. Hi Stacey, I think Liberia would be the closest location. It’s only about 45 minutes away. There are 2 hospitals there that can do the test. See the first part of our article for more details. Otherwise, yes, BeachSide clinic is close too – about 1 hour. It would be a good option if you wanted to see Tamarindo, Flamingo, or Playa Conchal as part of the trip. Gorgeous beaches!

      1. You are the greatest !
        One more thing and please be super honest –
        If we were to get Covid while we were there and got really sick and had to be treated at the hospital. How do you rate the facilities and care in Costa Rica? I know it’s not the US but do they have adequate equipment etc…
        I know that is worst case scenario but that is my only concern going now ???
        Stacey Q

        1. You would be treated at a private hospital, and San Jose has some excellent ones. We have used them for care many times for many different things. They have modern equipment and high quality English-speaking doctors, many of whom speak English. Costa Rica has had a very low death rate during Covid.

  46. Any recommendations on testing along the route from La Fortuna to La Pavona? We have 2 nights in Tortuguero before flying out in San Jose and would like to get tested and results before leaving.

    1. Hi Garrick, We just confirmed a testing site in Guapiles, which is on the way from La Fortuna to La Pavona. Go back to our article and search for Guapiles for the information. They can guarantee results in 3 business days. You may be able to talk to them to get it sooner. We don’t think it is a very busy testing site since it is far from a tourist area (most locals get tested through the public health care system). If you can arrive in the morning for the test, that will help. We searched for testing locations in all the other nearby towns and that’s the only one we could find. Otherwise, you could always go to Lab Echandi near La Fortuna. They give results in 1 day, except on weekends. It would add around 45 min. of drive time.

  47. Thanks for the update. Both United States and Canada now require a negative test result before returning to either country. It is my understanding that the results must be in English or French for Canada and English for the Unites States.

    Do you know if this is the case and if so where can I go here in Costa Rica to get tested and receive test results in English

    1. Hi Will, Everywhere we have seen says that they provide results in Spanish. Ours were in Spanish only when we had to get tested. But it is very easy to see that it says “negativo.” Hopefully the airlines are being flexible with this. If you think about it, they will be checking your results at the airport in Costa Rica when you check in, where everyone speaks Spanish. So we would think it would be ok. You could always try to ask the lab to give them in English as well as Spanish if you are worried about it.

      1. Hi Maria, If you are flying to the US, the CDC requirements don’t specify a language so Spanish is fine. Airport officials in Costa Rica will be able to read them. Here is a link to our article on Preflight Testing with more information on the CDC requirements.

  48. FYI I spoke with Laboratorios Páez this morning and they stated they do not have an office in Liberia and to use Hospital Metropolitano, which may be an issue if they really take 72 hrs as thats about the limit for re-entry testing.

    1. Hi Joe, Thanks so much for this info. It’s strange because we talked to Lab Paez back in early December and they confirmed their location in Liberia. But today they told us what they told you, that it’s through Hosp. Metropolitano. We updated our post.

      There is another testing location (Hospital San Rafael Arcangel) in Liberia that can provide results in 48 hours. But they are a little more expensive. We added them to our post.

      1. Great thanks for the other tip, we will be in the area for a week or so in mid feb so i’m trying to get my ducks in a row as they say 🙂

        1. You’re welcome!

          There could be even more testing options by then too. It seems that more and more labs are getting approval to do the test. So definitely check back later on.

  49. Hello-My husband and I are visiting Costa Rica (Manuel Antonio area) in early April. We would like to do the testing in Quepos. When you set up that appointment, was it easy to navigate in English? We do not speak Spanish.

    1. Hi Emily, yes they usually have someone working that speaks English so it shouldn’t be a problem. If you do run into any issue, you could have your hotel call for you.

  50. Thank you so much for this comprehensive post! We are set to visit mid-March. I am on the fence now though about visiting. I am worried about the off chance one of us may test positive and not be able to return home. If we do continue with our plans, we should be able to test in Nosara (we would be coming from Samara) and then head to Monteverde for two days before flying out of San Jose. I guess we will see what travel looks like in the upcoming weeks. 🙂

    1. Hi Virginia, There are two testing facilities in Nicoya now too so that would be another option coming from Samara. We updated our post the other day with those labs/clinics, which recently started offering testing. Hope you are able to make the trip.

  51. Hi Jenn and Matt, thank you very much for all the information. Do you happen to know if these covid tests are also accepted to entry Hawaii? I‘ve read that they only accept tests from trusted partners, but those are all in the US. We then thought that we could do the test durinh our layover at LAX, but this would mean that we would have to stay for long time at LAX to get tested and receive the results. It would be great if we could already get tested in Costa Rica.
    Thanks for your answer!
    Best, Ana

    1. Hi Ana, The new CDC guidelines should apply uniformly across all US states, including Hawaii. So we would think it would be fine. It would be a strange rule to require testing from a US company if someone was traveling from outside the US.

      1. Hi Matt,

        I am planning on arriving to the quepos/Manuel Antonio area on January 24th,2021 and returning to the states early morning on January 28th,2021. With the new CDC guidelines in place can you please recommend the best place nearby that will provide quick test results. I am worried that my results will not arrive on time before my departure. I was thinking of getting tested on Monday the 25th. Thank you in advance for your advice!

        1. Hi Carmen, I think either option we have listed under Quepos/Manuel Antonio would work. But Hospital Metropolitano just changed their hours and are also guaranteeing results now in 24-48 hours at their Quepos location, so we would probably do that. Their contact info to make an appointment is in our post under Making an Appointment and Getting Results.

  52. HI, we are planning to come feb 13 to 20, but the dates are flexible. Staying in Tango mar. Concerned about where to get the covid test within 72 hours of the flight. Can you help figure this out?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Cidney, The Lifeguard clinic in Santa Teresa, about one hour from Tango Mar, just started doing testing. That would be the closest option right now. They also have a clinic in Cobano, which would be closer, and may starting offering testing their soon so you could ask when you make an appointment. Their contact and other info is in our article.

  53. I am hoping for my annual trip to the Osa peninsula in early March. With the new US requirements for a N Covid test result to travel back into the states, I’m having a hard time finding a Covid test site near where I’ll be in Jimenez. I see you listed Uvita as closest, is this still true? If so we may make Uvita part of our adventure and just plan 3-4 days there to include our testing / result time before traveling home. Any other info on Covid test sites for the remote Osa Peninsula?

    1. Hi Julie, Yes, Uvita is still the closest option to Puerto Jimenez. We are talking to a lab in Rio Claro that may start doing testing next week, but that is still farther away. By early March, though, there will likely be more testing options closer to Puerto Jimenez so check back on this post again. The CR government is currently working with labs all across the country to increase testing.

  54. Hi,

    I am just wondering what happens if I decide to stay in Costa Rica a few weeks longer than my expected 2-week vacation plan. Do I have to notify the government about my flight change and my extended covid-19 insurance? How would I do this?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Emma, You should purchase insurance and have a plane ticket for the maximum amount of time you want to stay. They will base the number of days for your visa stamp on your insurance and flight, and this is difficult to change later on. To get more time on your visa, you have to make a formal request through Migration in San José. Our Entering Costa Rica During COVID post have more info: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/traveling-costa-rica-during-covid-19-entry-requirements-protocols/

      1. Hello,

        We’re facing a challenge with our upcoming travel dates of Thursday Jan 28-Monday Feb 1 out of Liberia. We’ll be staying in Nosara. All of the clinics I’ve contacted say they don’t test Friday through the weekend. If we get tested Thursday that’s more than 72 hours. If we cancel our trip, we’ll lose out on half of the Airbnb. I don’t think we’ll be able to extend our travel dates either. Wondering if we should just try our luck with the Thursday exam and boarding Monday?

        1. Hi Ceren, Did you try MedKlined Bioanalysis (https://m.facebook.com/MedklinedNosara/) in Nosara? They told us that they test on Fridays. Otherwise, we added 2 testing locations in Nicoya that may be able to do it – we may have added them after you commented.

          I think the airline will be strict about the timeframe of testing so I would make sure you are within the 72 hours.

          1. Hi again Ceren, We just spoke to Paradise Medical, and they told us that they are now testing on weekends (7 days a week). So they must have changed their testing schedule since you last talked to them. We’d reach out to them again and hopefully it will be a viable solution for you. They have a new email to use as well. We included it in the Making an Appointment and Getting Results section of our post.

  55. Thanks for the update. We will be in Zancudo in late Feb. I will be vaccinated by then. Do we still need a negative Covid test to go back to the states if you’ve been vaccinated?
    Also, I can’t imagine that everyone in the southern pacific must go up to Uvita for testing. Is there a way to find out if Neli, Golfito or even Pasa Canoas has testing?

    1. Hi Rick, Currently, yes, you still need to get a Covid test even if you have been vaccinated. See our article on Preflight Testing for more information: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/preflight-testing-departing-costa-rica-logistics-tips/

      Up until this week when the CR government finally came out with a list of testing facilities, we were basically the only resource for information on where you get a Covid test in Costa Rica. We had to reach out to labs and clinics individually to find places throughout the country that were doing testing. In some areas, especially rural locations where few tourists visit, no one was testing privately. This is because it is mostly locals getting tested in these areas and they would use the public health care system since they were testing due to symptoms or exposure and not for travel purposes.

      Now that more countries are requiring tests, it’s is easier to find private testing options. But there still are not many options in the very southern part of the country. We have only found options in Rio Claro and Uvita. There is a new option in Puerto Jimenez as well, which was in the governments’s list of labs. We are just confirming details with that lab and will add them once we hear back.

  56. This is such an informative site. Thank you so much! Do you have any preference as to whether going with Trawick would be better than Sagicor? The prices are pretty comparable for a 6 day trip. I’m also hoping there are more labs open by the time of our trip on March 1st. We are staying at Secrets Papagayo. Would you say that Hospital Metropolitano would be our closest spot for a COVID test. It seems like it won’t matter if you have the vaccine to re-enter the US. I will have mine by then. Getting all the ducks in a row! Mil gracias!

    1. Hi Roxie, Trawick probably offers more thorough overall trip coverage, like for flight delays and things like that. Sagicor will be automatically accepted in Costa Rica, though, which is nice.

      For testing, Liberia is the closest town so you can choose any of the options there. It’s only about a 30 min drive from Secrets. That’s great that you will have had the vaccine!!

  57. Hello! We are staying at puerto viejo for the end of our trip, where can we do an PCR test arround this area? Now France is requiring a negative test within 3 days of flying back.

  58. Since the test needs to be done 3 days in advance, we only have a 2 day window because our flight leaves at 8 am on February 22nd. I may have to change things around because we are not supposed to back into San Jose until the 21st. Do you have to pick up the results in person or can they email it to you?

  59. Hi Jenn/Matt,
    Lots of great information and active discussion. Will like your thoughts on the following. So I have tried calling beachside clinic (near Tamarindo) multiple time today to schedule testing for next week’s trip and got no response so far, no one picks the phone. I am sure they are busy.
    Here is my question. According to Ticotime, 40k US visited CR in Dec 20 and about 4K Canadians. If clinics are already getting overwhelmed with Canadian requiring test to get back home, how would they handle 10X more in coming weeks?
    I tried to look at CR testing capacity or positivity rate to gauge capicity. The article in Tico Time from Nov 11 shows testing at 2-3k test per day, so about 90k max for a month. How is CR gonna handle overall load increase by 50%.
    Just wanted to see if you have more recent data source that shows testing capacity can absorb additional 50k test/month. I think folks need to be aware of it before making the trip once CDC requirement come into play

    1. Hi Zee, The data you found on testing is primarily through the public health care system only, for when people are showing symptoms. Most people in Costa Rica get tested only when they think they may have Covid, and go to their local EBAIS or hospital. So that is the data you are seeing. Only recently has private testing become a somewhat meaningful part of the data.

      The Costa Rican government said last week (https://ticotimes.net/2021/01/13/costa-rica-responds-to-u-s-travel-policy-hopes-to-increase-private-testing) that they are forming a working group to get more testing sites and to get the cost down. Since we have been following this issue, we have seen the number of private clinics and labs offering testing to increase significantly. This will continue in the coming weeks.

      As for Beachside, I’m not sure. You could also try messaging them on WhatsApp. Or Hospital Metropolitano is also in Huacas and another good option for testing in that area. We haven’t heard of any problems with people getting their results in time, and we follow this issue closely.

      Hope that gives you some insight.

  60. Puerto Viejo Satellite has an article that states they are offering the test in Puerto Viejo. That is all I can tell you and sorry If this was already posted. I didn’t read all the comments

  61. Good Morning,

    Since CR now is requiring the travel insurance to cover you if you should get sick with covid, does this cover a covid test?

    1. Hi Venetta, You would have to check the specific coverage of your policy. For the Costa Rica insurance companies, we think they cover Covid testing if you are showing symptoms.

    2. I checked with Trawick insurance and they will not cover the cost of the COVID test to travel home if it’s just a routine test.

    3. We are currently in costa rica in the liberia region and both beachside and hospital m have run out of antigen tests. It is somewhat incredible that there are not more testing sites…and that they are charging 115 to 180 per test

      1. Hi Alie, Sorry to hear that those facilities ran out of the antigen test. We hadn’t heard that yet. There are tons of testing facilities in the San José area but fewer elsewhere. Locals mostly use the public health care system for testing so these private labs and hospitals are helping mostly visitors. If they ran out of the antigen test, then yes, only the PCR would be available, which is more expensive. Hopefully they can get more antigen testing supplies soon.

  62. Thanks for all the helpful info
    If I get a COVID test before leaving Costa Rica and it returns positive can I still fly out or do I need to isolate for 14 days and then get tested again before leaving ?

    1. Hi Cristina, You will be required to quarantine for 14 days in Costa Rica. They haven’t been retesting citizens and residents who test positive. They just assume they are recovered after 14 days as long as they’re still not sick.

  63. Hi Jenn and Matt!
    This website has been an incredible resource for us. Currently staying in PV, and looking at moving to Montezuma for our last month here. Just wondering if you could do a new post/thread about the new (Jan 26th) US requirements to get tested before boarding our flight back home. We’re trying to figure out if we need to book a couple of days IN San Jose before our flight leaves so we can be there to get our results back, if our traveler’s insurance (trawick) will cover the cost of testing, etc. Just feel like it would be valuable to get your take on all of this. Thanks in advance!

  64. Do you have any feel for how reliable the clinics that say 24hrs are for really having a 24hr turn around time? I was planning to fly out on a Wednesday but it looks like this will be nearly impossible since 72 hrs before will be a Sunday and Monday testing will only work if I get results by end of day Tuesday. Testing on Sunday will not likely help if it has to be sent to a lab that is not also open Sunday. I want to visit my daughter that lives in Pelada but willing to drive 3+ hours if I can get a rapid turn around. I think these new requirements are going to screw things up for a lot of travelers.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, The labs/clinics are pretty reliable with meeting the turnaround time promised.

      We talked to Paradise Medical yesterday and they are now testing seven days a week, with results in 72 hours. That should work since you could test on Sunday for your Wednesday flight. We updated the Paradise Medical info in our post so be sure to check back there.

  65. Have you heard of any labs in Costa Rica doing the saliva PCR? I would prefer this option vs the nasal swab. Thanks!

  66. Our airline says the negative test result needs to be from a NAAT or antigen test in order to board our flight in the 31st. Where can we find a place around SJO, La Fortuna, or Quepos that offers these specific tests?

    1. Hi Melissa, The RT-PCR Covid test that is done in Costa Rica is a type of NAAT test. So it meets those requirements. You can go back to our article and look up testing sites in those areas – there are clinics/labs in each place.

        1. Hi Trenton, Yes, big news! They announced it during the Covid press conference. The list of 130 labs in the network that will offer tests has been released. But antigen testing isn’t available just yet. We will update our post once we have more information.

          1. When do you think rapid test will be available? I have flight on Friday and don’t even know to which date should I change it to. Thanks for all the info, such a great website.

        2. I had the NT-PCR test at CIMA hospital on Sunday and had the results emailed the next day, less than 24 hours. Someone on TripAdvisor said they went to Clinica Biblia and did not get their results back in time. I had no appointment either. They have people that speak English and they are so nice!! The San Jose airport gave me no problem. I have not reached the US yet.

  67. Myself and a group of nine others are planning on traveling from the United States from Feb. 9-16. We are staying at the Fiesta Resort. This far the resort has been less than helpful on providing us with any information on COVID testing. Where is the best place to get tested? I looks like Monsignor Sanabria Hospital is within walking distance but I cannot find anything on the availability of testing. Any help you could provide would be very helpful. We are really not wanting to waste a half a day or more traveling into San Jose. Thanks

    1. Hi Trenton, That hospital in Puntarenas is a public hospital, so you would not be able to test there as a tourist needing it for travel purposes. As far as we know, there are no private testing facilities in that area. The closest would be Jaco (about 1 hour away) or Grecia (about 1 hr. 15 min.). Jaco wouldn’t be bad since you could make a day trip out of it to see the town (see our post about it here), assuming you have a rental car. You could also see if the Fiesta is offering in-hotel testing where they bring someone there. Some hotels are doing this, but we know you said they aren’t being helpful.

  68. Thanks for the fast reply. That is unfortunate. We are not willing to do any invasive tests. Our trip is not until April. Hopefully they include saliva PCR by that time.

  69. Hi Jenn and Matt! Your blog is awesome, and so informative, THANK YOU!

    We are booked for a visit mid Feb, but are trying to weigh out if we should still come with the new testing requirements in place by the CDC for the return home…. One of our big questions is: If the test comes back positive, what are the quarantine requirements? Do we stay anywhere we choose- I assume the $2000 travel insurance is kicking in at this point to help cover costs- So now we would have moved our return flight to two weeks away- the negative one of us would have to retest to meet the 72 hour negative requirement before the rescheduled flight- and the positive person would NOT retest for the flight? Very confusing and not enough detail has been put out in regards to “what if it’s positive”! Thanks for any knowledge you can share!

    1. Hi Shayla, The Costa Rica government has not said much about this issue but here are our thoughts. Yes, if one person in your group tests positive, you will all have to quarantine for 14 days. The $2K per person in accommodation coverage will cover your additional time. We think you will get to choose where.

      The positive person should be deemed recovered by the CR government in 14 days as long as they’re not still sick. They won’t have to retest to meet CDC requirements either but will need to have documentation showing proof of recovery from Covid in the last 3 months. We are coming out with a post this week with more detail about the CDC requirements. You can subscribe to our site (https://bit.ly/2RhKFf7 – it’s free) or just check back on our Covid travel page(https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/covid-travel/). The people who were exposed but didn’t test positive before will have to retest to get back into the US. Hope that helps with your questions!

  70. Thank you SO much for this. We have a trip planned to Santa Teresa in April so this is so convenient for us to keep checking. Thank you!!!!

  71. Thank you for all this awesome information! A group of 8 of us are traveling in on January 31st and flying back to US on February 7th. We are staying in Playa Flamingo area. Do you know what date we should make our appointments? Would it be February 4th?
    Also, how far in advance should we call for appointments? You guys are amazing!

    1. Hi Christy, Hospital Metropolitano in Huacas will probably be the fastest for a PCR test. They guarantee results in 24-72 hours but people have been getting them in under 48 from what we’ve heard. Yes, you should get tested on Feb. 4 to maximize the amount of time you have to get the results. We’d recommend making the appointment now so that you have your choice of times and since you have a large group. They have a little kiosk outside the main clinic where they do testing. Hope you have a great time in Flamingo!

  72. Hi Jenn/Matt,

    My wife and I will be traveling to Samara Feb 4-18. I see and understand the requirement for a negative PCR test before flying back to the US, but I’m having trouble getting a definite reponse from the lab that I plan to go to (Medklined BioAnálisis in Nosara) that their test results will be accepted at the airline – words like “IgG and IgM Serology test” which mean nothing to me since I have no medical background.

    Can you verify that this lab does indeed offer a test which will be accepted by the US-CDC for travel to the US? I’d hate to take a test/get results only to be stuck and rejected at the airport, and I see from discussions above that you have been in contact with them concerning their office hours.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ed, Currently, the only test offered in Costa Rica to check for an active infection is the RT-PCT, which is an NAAT test. These meet the CDC requirements. So you should be all set. You could just double check with them that the results will have one of the phrases for acceptable language according to the CDC: “NEGATIVE,” “SARS-CoV-2 RNA NOT DETECTED,” “SARS-CoV-2 ANTIGEN NOT DETECTED,” or “COVID-19 NOT DETECTED.”

      The CDC order doesn’t specify a language so we think it can be in Spanish.

      If you’re still nervous about it, you could use Paradise Medical instead. They are now testing 7 days a week and speak English.

      1. So, as long as I ask specifically for a “RT-PCR” test I will be OK, correct? Then just double-check with the phrasing of the results, as you mention above.

        Side note: I will probably have to try a different lab – either Paradise Medical in Nosara or Clínica Monte de la Cruz in Nicoya because I’m having trouble getting a suitable appointment time from Medklined BioAnálisis on Feb 15/16.

        Thanks again!

      2. Hi Jenn and Matt,

        I’m due to travel with my companion into Liberia, CR airport Feb 18, 2021 – Feb 22, 2021. Will it be ideal for us to have our COVID-19/PCR testing completed upon arrival?

        If so, do you know of any medical facilities/clinics near the airport? Also, will we be able to schedule appointments to have the testing completed? Or is testing walk-in only?

        Any idea on the price of the tests? When should we expect our testing results? Will the results detail verbiage that follows CDC guidelines for entry back into the United States?

        Thank you,
        Si

        1. Hi Si, You don’t need a test to enter Costa Rica, only exit (if you are traveling to one of the countries that requires it, like the US).

          Most, but not all, testing facilities require an appointment. It’s best to contact the facility directly to find out what’s best.

          Prices and timing for results is covered in our article already.

          The results should comply with CDC verbiage requirements, yes. The labs are aware of what is required.

  73. Any news on the locations that will be offering the antigen test? We are supposed to arrive on the 27th and are now considering cancelling our trip 🙁

    1. Hi Rose, The 130 labs in the network we talked about in our article will have it, as well as any labs that partner with them (they take the samples then send them to the in-network lab for results). We will update our post with more specifics once we hear that antigen testing is actually available. We expect it to happen in the next couple of weeks. Until then, the PCR test is available.

  74. Hi Jenn and Matt, thank you so much for all the information! It‘s very helpful!

    Do know whether the covid-19 tests in Costa Rica are also accepted to enter Hawaii? They require tests from trusted partners, but those are all in the US and I don‘t know if we will have enough time to get tested again during our layover at LAX.

    Thanks!

  75. Dutch government is now requiring a negative rapid test result not older than 4 hours prior to boarding in addition to the PCR test (not older than 72 hours). We are flying from SJO (San Jose). Does anybody know a place that offers rapid testing within an hours drive?

    1. Hi Maria, Rapid testing was just approved in CR two days ago so is not available yet. It should be soon, though. We will update this post once we hear of specific testing options. It will be easy to get around San Jose.

      1. Hi Maria, we have the same issue. Flying out on 31.01.2021 to Austria via Amsterdam with KLM airlines. Did you manage to get on flight without the rapid test, or how did you figured it out.
        Reply much appreciated. Regards, Marketa

        1. Hi Marketa, I just posted an update! Oh and if anybody tells you all KLM flights are cancelled just be pushy and tell them the flights are operated by Copa and Air France.

    2. A small update from my end… KLM rebooked me to SJO to Panama to Paris to Amsterdam. At Panama I had a 2 hr en 15 minute layover where I did the rapid test. It took a bit of discussion here and there but luckily I had an email from the Dutch consult in Panama stating the rapid test could be done there so they gave in. It was rushing at every layover, I sat in the front at every flight to exit plane first and had to squeeze to the front of the line here and there. But I managed. My test results (both PCR and rapid test) were really required and checked on several occasions. I would not be allowed on the flight from Paris to Amsterdam without it. Oh and my layover in Paris was 1 hour and 25 minutes. I hope this information is usefull for other dutchies looking to go back to the Netherlands. Happy traveling!

  76. Thank you soo much for this blog it is very informative! Can you tell me the hospital or clinic in liberia where we can go get tested at?

    thank you

    1. Hi Marcus, We cover this in our article already so please go back and reread it. For Liberia, the information is in the Hospitals section. If you still have a question after, just let us know.

  77. You have spent a lot of time putting all of this together, thanks for all your hard work! We were planning to travel with our 5 kids to Costa Rica Feb 2021, but with the new CDC re-entry neg. test requirement we are questioning our sanitiy in taking this trip.

    Many have asked about where to get testing (which you have covered well above). Our main question is what will happen if we do get a positive test. You mentioned your thoughts above: “if one person in your group tests positive, you will all have to quarantine for 14 days.” but we’re wondering if you have a source for this requirement? It seems that the airlines just needs to see a neg test result, so if 5 out of our 7 family members test neg. then it seems 5 would be able to board the plane as planned. We have 2 separate reservations with the airlines so our worst-case scenario hope is that if 1 or more test positive then Mike could return home with kids & return to work etc. & Rebekah could stay & quarantine with pos. kids.

    Our next question is what happens with the 2 that are positive? Are you allowed to book another airbnb if you have a pos. test? How heavily do they enforce quarantine? Are you escorted to a “sick ward” for boarding during quarantine with 24 hr surveillance? How do you obtain food during that time…can you go shopping so long as you’re symptom free/wear a mask?

    Our youngest is 2 yrs old and you mentioned above that many labs aren’t testing under 5 yrs old. Are there labs that will be testing this young and are there less invasive tests available?

    We appreciate all of your help with our vacation dreams!

    1. Hi Mike and Rebekah, The government hasn’t said clearly what happens if someone in a family/group traveling together tests positive, but others test negative. The way it works with testing is that the results are sent to the Ministry of Health. So they will get notice of the positive result and contact that person. Normally, the way it has worked so far with residents and citizens, anyone exposed to the person who tested positive is required to quarantine as well – usually this is people in the same household. So this would be the rest of the family, we would think. But again, we’re not sure how it will all play out since nothing has been said. The CR government is really trying to encourage tourism so maybe it will be less strict.

      This is all we’ve seen so far for specifics (link here): “Passengers who test positive will have to comply with the 14-day quarantine period, which must be supported by a travel insurance policy covering lodging, and which was acquired as a requirement for entering Costa Rica.”

      The Ministry of Health calls to check up on the person who tested positive (we think it is done daily). So they would want to make sure you are quarantining. I’m not sure if this is done for the rest of the family/group that was exposed.

      You would use the $2K per person accommodation insurance coverage to book the Airbnb/hotel of your choice. There is no sick ward. You would stay there unless you needed medical attention, of course. No surveillance, just the phone check ins from the government. Since you’re in quarantine, I don’t think you are supposed to go out to get food. We do have food delivery here.

      We think they can do testing for kids starting at age 2 – the throat swab but you would need to confirm with them. Two labs that have said they offer this are Paradise Medical and Hospital Metropolitano but the others likely do too. Antigen/rapid testing was just approved in Costa Rica and will be available soon as well.

    1. Hello Carly, the Tico Times simply lists all of the locations for each lab. For example they list Labin 43 times. In our article, we reference Labin and say that they have many locations around the greater metropolitan area. We then give the details of their drive through locations, which are appealing options for travelers. While we could list out each lab individually, most travelers are overwhelmed by the options already.

  78. Hello to you!
    I am from the Netherlands. Nest week I fly back to Amsterdam. Yesterday I learned that besides a negative PCR-test, I now also need a negative rapid Covid test, taken no more than 4 hours before departure from SJO. I need to provide both (negative) results before being allowed on board.

    It was quite hard (for me) to find a clinic/ hospital that provides a PCR, but I found it at the Clinica Biblica (in the end through this very helpful website!!). This clinic doesn’t provide a rapid test.
    I can’t find any institute/ clinic/ hospital that provides the rapid Covid test. But that can well be, because I don’t speak and can’t read any Spanish. So Google for instance is not much of a help to me in this case.
    I hope any one reading this can give me some advice on this. Or perhaps you know who to contact for a rapid Covid test.

    I leave Costa Rica on Jan 31st, and I will spent the afternoon (before the flight) in Santa Ana. So if I could take a rapid test there that would be most comfortable but if not possible, obviously I can come to San José.
    I hope for responses, thanks in advance

    1. Hi Robert, The Costa Rica government only approved the use of the rapid test (antigen) 2 days ago. So right now, labs are working hard to get the equipment and testing supplies they need to start administering the test. The places we expect to have it first are Labin, Hospital Metropolitano, Lab Echendi, and maybe CIMA and Clinica Biblica. Possibly some of the other labs in San José too. So you could reach out to them about the timeframe for when they think they will start testing. The only specific thing we have heard is Hospital Metropolitano saying that they are currently working on purchasing what they need to start testing – see their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/metropolitanocr/) for a recent post about this.

      What a hassle for you to be dealing with this. It seems that the airline can’t require a rapid test to board if they are not available where you are? Maybe you should also contact the airline to see what they say. Best of luck!

      1. Dear both, thank you so much for your very useful information!
        It truly is a hassle to need a rapid test (besides PCR) before boarding a plane to the Netherlands.
        To answer your question if a rapid test is not available you are not allowed on board and you have to wait until one IS available…completely ridiculous!
        I am gonna call Metropolitana in SJ. Thanks a lot once again!!!

          1. Hi Anna, Al and Kyra, No I haven’t got any (positive) news. I contacted the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs as I am (as may be you are too) a Dutch citizen (did not got a real answer) and now I also contacted the ministerio de salud here in Costa Rica. They haven’t responded yet.
            When I look on the website of KLM, especially: https://klm.traveldoc.aero/ you can read that the rapid test will be done at the airport, however I called KLM directly about it and they say they don’t know if this is the case here in Costa Rica so you can say that the information is misleading.
            I called the Metropolitano hospital among 5 others, all say they don’t perform a antigen test. All say it is still not available over here.
            Did you guys find out anything in the mean time? Please let’s keep each other posted as it is all confusing and stressful. Hope to hear from you.

          2. Hi Anna, My friends have same issue with the Rapid test and going on 31st January to Vienna in Austria via Amsterdam. Do you have any news?

        1. Dear Robert,

          I have exactly the same problem, with my klm flight on the 29th jan. Would you have more informations for the antigen test?

          Thanks in advance

          1. Same here. We were only supposed to transfer in Amsterdam. The only way to get to our final destination -Czech Republic – is now to buy a diferent flight ticket without Amsterdam transit. Klm, netherland embassy, local hospitals- they can’t help.

        2. Dear all,

          We guess that the klm flight on 29th jan will be cancelled. Klm suggested to pay more if we want to be dropped in a airfrance flight but we called them (a bit angry).. We have been abble to make the change freely then, destination Paris. I think they take advantage of the stressful situation to get more re money.. Anyway, It is better to have a flight than nothing because even Airfrance wont stay long with the returns to Europe, as european countries are closing land ans air borders. Good luck
          Al

  79. my first visit to your site-we plan to visit Quepos in early April.I recently had nose surgery and am reluctant to have a deep nasal swab for the RT-PCR test– do you know of an alternative( oral/throat swabs ) that can be done at Hospital Metropolitano or Quepos Urgent
    Care and satisfies the requirements that allows us to board the aircraft ? Thanks for your info.
    Joe

    1. Hi Joe, Costa Rica just approved antigen testing but usually this is still a nasal swab. Part of the RT-PCR is a throat swab, though, so maybe they could do only that portion since you have a medical reason for avoiding the deep nasal swab. You could ask the facilities if that would work if you had a note from your doctor about the surgery. Hope that helps. It’s easy to communicate with Quepos Urgent Care through Facebook messenger so you could try that.

  80. Thank you so much for all of the info! I am curious about how the tests are administered. I have two kids who I don’t think could handle the “brain” swab, ie. the nasal swab that goes really deep. I also don’t think they could handle the deep, back of the throat swab. They have had the more shallow nasal swab (which was a PCR test) and were fine. Do you know if we could get an acceptable PCR test that is just the shallow nasal swab? Also – we are suppose to fly hoe from Liberia on the Wednesday morning after Easter Sunday. Do you think we would have problems getting test results back in time due to the holiday? Easter Sunday would be the 72 hours before we depart. I know Easter is a big holiday in CR, so I”m a little worried about the timing.

    1. Hi Carrie, By the time you arrive, testing sites will be doing antigen/rapid testing (this was just approved in CR). That’s a nasal swab but not as deep we think. So that should work for your kids.

      Labs should still be processing tests around Easter. The government just created a network of labs that will guarantee results for the RT-PCR in 48 hours, and of course, the rapid test will be even faster. This is all subject to change as well given the changes that are happening right now in US policy. The new administration is currently evaluating which tests to accept for international arrivals.

  81. I feel it is worth it to mention after reading all the comments, that our hotel we will be staying at in February has told us they do testing on site as an option. The hotel is in Mal Pais and my other option they sent was for the lifeguard station in Santa Teresa. The cost is slightly less at lifeguard station vs Casa Chameleon. It might be worth it to see if maybe other hotels are offering this for those staying?

  82. Timing of test – 72 hours is the criteria and not three days, right ? Example: flight departs at 1pm, that means your test cannot be taken 73 hours before that time, i.e 12 noon ?

      1. So, to be clear: We are flying back to the US on February 18 at 2:06 PM. Paradise Medical in Nosara has proposed a time for testing on February 15 at 10:30AM and 10:35AM.

        Even though this is outside of 72 hours it is still within 3 calendar days, which meets the US requirement. Am I interpreting that correctly?

  83. Sorry if this has been covered. We are travelling with a 5 year old and a 2 year old. Will the locations in San Jose test children too?

    1. Hi Eddie, Yes, two year olds can get the RT-PCR test. They just only do the throat swab portion. Soon they will be able to get the antigen test too – it will be offered in the next couple of weeks.

  84. Hello Jenn and Matt. You are so helpful and have become our go to for information regarding our trip Feb 2 -Feb 17. You mentioned getting tested at Hospital Metroplitano Quepos. Is it easy to set up appointment for testing if you do not speak Spanish?

  85. Thank you for all these informations ; Netherlands is now asking in addition to PCR test a rapid antigenic test 4h before the flight leave. Do you know where to perform this in San Jose ?
    Thanks in advance,

  86. Thank you for all of this information, it has been a great help. I will continue to check back for updates before our trip in April.

  87. Hi Jenn and Matt,
    I have a solo trip planned mid April and I want to give you both a HUGE shout out for the incredibly valuable information you provide. I was ready to cancel my trip due to the perceived hassle but thanks to your articles, I think I can swing it. I planning on extending my trip by three days and am shooting for Hospital CIMI in SJ as it sounds like they speak English and may provide a rapid turn around time. Thanks again! Pam

  88. Thanks for putting together this great blog!! I have a silly question, is it possible to walk through the drive through clinics in San Jose? They seem to have the best turn around times and weekend access, but alas I don’t have a car.

  89. Your recent information on rapid testing is very helpful. Your post has given us hope we can still make our trip in March 2021 to the Quepos area. Keep the posts of information going, they are very helpful!

  90. This is very helpful information regarding the antigen rapid test. I am a travel advisor in the US and this information is not readily available. I have scoured the internet. Luckily another agent read your site. I have clients traveling at the end of March and a PCR test for onward travel will cost them $900 (family of 6 at $150 each). I’m hoping that the less expensive antigen testing will be available soon enough! Please keep us updated!

      1. Hello, by any chance. Do you know if the antigen will be available within days or within weeks? We have a problem traveling back to Europe via Netherlands.

          1. Hi thank you for reply. Sorry to bother you, just can’t find the Cynthia post. We tried to contact some labs and hospitals but no clear answer when the test might be available. It is getting a bit stressful as KLM is not offering rebooking to other flight. So now we have options to wait for the test or buy a new very expensive ticket.

  91. CIMA Hospital in San Jose communicate very efficiently by email. They indicated I should just go to the emergency room for the test. It would be $89 and the results ready in 1-2 days. Just to be clear; I plan on going sometime Tuesday April 27. Would the three day requirement be met if I left SJO sometime on April 30 ?
    Thanks

    !

    1. Thanks, we will add email as a good way to contact CIMA.

      Yes, that’s correct. You should test on April 27 for a flight on April 30 to meet the 3 day requirement in the USA.

  92. Just a note on clínica OSALUD in Puerto Jimenez (just went yesterday for a test myself) – Dr. Dorothy Skotak speaks perfect English, and is available by text via WhatsApp if you don’t have the reception for a call. I can’t imagine the 5 days in advance scheduling is a hard and fast rule, it’s just that she’s there by appt only, or if you happen to catch her while you’re in town (ie we were there 2 hours early and sent her a text to see if she was around – she was). Very nice and clean facility!

  93. So far, not so good! We have gone through the testing process at the Quepos Urgent Care. Very professional doctors and the process was easy and efficient, but. .. while we did the testing at the required time before our flight we have not gotten the test back in time for our flight. (Tested on Wednesday morning for a Saturday morning flight) We are in communication with the clinic but have not been given any idea of when or if we will get the results back. It appears all tests are sent to Hospital Metopolatis in San Jose for results so not necessarily the clinics fault but the systems failure. Now sitting at SJO changing flights to the next scheduled flight in hopes the tests will come through. It appears the testing process with a short turnaround time period is going to overwhelm the system. We are not alone as there are multiple groups of other travels at the airport that have also not received their test results back. When word gets out of a possibility that you might not get test results back in time (even though the word guaranteed is used) travelers will be hesitant to come to CR and risk the unknown. I have a been coming to CR for 15 years and have a home here so am used to the “nuances” of the country but this one could hurt the country big time.

    1. Hi Dean, Thanks for letting us know about this. We have heard of this happening from a few people in the last couple of days. The labs are ramping up since the US requirement came on somewhat suddenly so hopefully they will adjust their personnel needs and this will not continue to be an issue. Each lab/clinic that does not directly process test results, like Quepos Urgent Care, works with one of the larger authorized labs. The Quepos clinic works with Hospital Metropolitano, while other labs/clinics work with Clinica Biblica, Lan San José, Labin etc. Those larger labs are the ones that email the results. So in this case, hopefully Metropolitano is getting caught up on testing now and will be more cautious about not taking on too many tests in the future.

      We’ve added a cautionary note to our post about this and encouraged people to get tested as early as they can to give the lab as much time as possible (e.g. getting tested the full three days before their flight instead of 48 hours before, even if the lab says they can deliver in 48 hours). It does seem that most of the labs are meeting their promised turnaround times so that is good news.

  94. I’ve never had a PCR done and am currently debating how to go about this.
    Obviously I need a negative PCR result to return to Europe, do they ALL e-mail the results or do some of them hand out print-outs only? I’ll be constantly on the move and change locations in Costa Rica. I won’t be back to San José until one day prior to departure.

  95. We did the test in metropolitano huacas and didn’t get results on time. Be careful, they promise 36-48 but never got it after 48, rang san jose metropolitano 3 times, after hours on the phone got the results at 4 pm, my husband got them in the airport at 18, the flight was at 21. Go somewhere else if you can! It was a nightmare, we thought we won’t be able to get back home. So all in all it took over 55 hours but I think if I didn’t ring them all day they wouldn’t get it on time for our flight.

    1. Hi Arima, Thank you for letting us know and sorry you had to deal with this! We have added a note to the beginning of our article telling people that some have not received their results in time and recommending that they get tested as early as possible. So if the lab says they can guarantee results in 48 hours, to go ahead and get tested the full 72 hours in advance so that the lab has extra time. Normally labs in Costa Rica are very professional and provide results when promised. I think they are overwhelmed by the new testing requirements that the US just imposed for entry. They started on January 26. Hopefully the labs are ramping up their staffing now so that this doesn´t continue to be a problem. We have only heard about it being a problem with a couple of testing facilities so far.

  96. Hi everyone,
    I would like to thank you ,Matt & Jenn, very much for all your information about Covid and traveling in this time.
    I have some information from KLM how we can get from Costa Rica to Amsterdam. They say that antigen tests would be ready at the airport in San Jose during 3 weeks. Now there are two options how to fly with KLM to Amsterdam, the first one: we can buy rapid PCR test (it costs about 150-200 $ and it takes 1,5 hour), and the second one: we can rebook our tickets to Panama and then to Amsterdam. There are antigen tests at the airport in Panama. Another option: we can fly to USA, however, we need to be outside Europe for at least two weeks.
    We have tickets from Prague to Costa Rica via Amsterdam from 5.2. to 21.2.. The company which arranged our flight is in touch with KLM and KLM recommended us not to rebook our return flight to Panama. They advised us to wait and if antigen tests will not be available about 5-3 days before our return, rebook it.
    Please, this is not official report from KLM, but I hope it could help others how to get from Costa Rica to Amsterdam :).

  97. Has anyone had a problem completing the form on mipruebacovid.com? I can’t get it to accept my US phone number no matter how many different ways I try to input it. Keeps telling me “wrong format”, even when I follow their example. Run into same issue on both phone and tablet. I need confirmation number once form is completed, but can’t get there. Anyone?

    1. Hi Brian, We just tried it. The form wants you to use the + sign at the beginning like in the example (I think you were doing that), and use a Costa Rica number. Costa Rica numbers are 8 digits plus the 3 digit country code, so for example, 506-1457-5478. I really don’t know why they won’t allow a non-US number but that seems to be the problem. Maybe you could use your hotel’s or Airbnb host’s number? When we used a CR number, we were able to get the NUMERO DE SOLICITUD successfully.

        1. Tried a Costa Rica ph number and it worked right away. I guess US phone numbers are just a non-starter on that form right now. They might want to iron out that kink from a tourism point of you as US tourists need to navigate the form in order to get tested and go home. Thanks again for your quick reply and suggestion.

  98. Thank you for your helpful info! We used your advice and went with Lab San Jose in Belen (they have lots of other locations) for PCR tests. We got our tests done on January 29 and got the results in 24 hours emailed to us. It cost $180 total for my husband and I – couldn’t have been easier 🙂

    1. Hi Lauren! Could you please tell me how to make an appointment with Lab San Jose in Belen? Did you contact them via Whatsapp..?? Thank you so much! Greetings from Austria 🙂

      1. Hi Johanna!! You’ll call the main number via WhatsApp for Lab San Jose and then you’ll specify which location you want (Belen etc). The guy we talked to spoke very little English and thankfully my husband is pretty good at Spanish so we got by, but just a heads up on that 🙂 we flew out on a Sunday and made our appointment for the previous Friday morning and had our results by Saturday pm. They were really quick about it and it was reasonable cost-wise. Hope that helps!

  99. Hi
    Traveling to Tamarindo in May. I wonder if you can order an at home Covid Test, bring it with you, then mail it from tamarindo and get your results? Hate to waste a day trying to get a test – or is it easy to get a test ? I have a family of 6 and we are only there 6 days

    1. Hi Laura, I don’t think that would work since at-home testing has not been approved in Costa Rica. You will need to go through one of the local clinics. There are several choices in the Tamarindo area – see our section on Tamarindo. Facilities are less than 20 minutes away. By the time you are here, rapid testing should be available as well.

  100. The only place that lists the Lab in Rio Claro is this site. Not even on tico times or Costa Rica web sites. Can you please confirm that the Lab in Rio Claro does indeed conduct tests for covid 19

    1. Hi Bill,
      Yes, before we add any options to this post, we reach out to the individual labs to confirm. We have spoken with all of the options we provide here, including the Rio Claro one. Most other sites are just recycling the list shared by the ICT, however, there are many more options that are affiliated with those. Funny enough, we heard back from one of the labs on that “official list” that they do not even offer covid tests. So you really do have to confirm first!

  101. Hello Jenn & Matt. First thank you for all informations above, it is very usefull. My question – our government newly requires for returning home the PCR test no more than 48 hours. If I go on test in Costa Rica (for example) 10th February – which date will be on my result? Do you know? Date of testing 10th Feb or date of receiving result 11/12/13 Feb? Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Ifka, The result will have both dates – when the sample was taken and when the test result was ready. The one that matters is the first date (when the sample was taken).

  102. Below is the response I got today (2/2) regarding testing at Clinica Biblica in Santa Ana. It seems to say the results are not going to be completed before 72 hours, so I wanted to confirm that that is not the case is reality. Also, if we have a flight arriving at 12:30 PM and need to get a rental car, what time do you recommend making a Covid testing appointmnt for? We will be heading to a hotel in Manuel Antonio from the Covid testing. Thanks and the information is very helpful!

    Good afternoon,

    The price of the Covid PCR test is ¢ 53,000 plus VAT

    Price for older adults applies a 30% discount

    (over 65 years old)

    It is carried out by appointment and we have availability at both headquarters, Central and Santa Ana. We also have the autocovid mode, in which the sample is taken without the patient having to get out of the car, for the same payment must be made by advance through the BAC Credomatic Click purchase application, which accepts any type of card.

    The result is delivered 72 hours after the test is done. (An exact time is not provided, it may be throughout the next day)

    It is done by means of a nasopharyngeal swab.

    If you wish to coordinate the appointment, you can do so by completing the following information as well as the day and time you wish to coordinate it

    • ID or passport number:

    • Full name:

    * Country of birth:

    • Date of birth:

    • Telephone numbers in Costa Rica:

    • Profession:

    * Name, identity card and relationship of the legal guardian in case the patient is a minor:

    • Exact address of domicile in Costa Rica: (must include, province, canton, district and some sign of the house)

    * Patient email:

    1. Hi Aron, We contacted Clinica Biblica last night because a few people have been saying that results are not being provided in the standard time. They told us 36 hours for results for the drive through or in hospital testing. I think that language after the 72 hours in parentheses doesn’t mean they aren’t doing results within 72 hours. It may be a carryover of old language from when they were guaranteeing results in 24 hours or a language barrier issue. They know you need the results in 72 hours of your flight (or 3 calendar days if for the USA).

      I’m unsure about your question on the timing of when to get tested. Costa Rica doesn’t require Covid testing upon entering. Are you only staying in Costa Rica for three days so need to get tested right when you get here?

      1. That all makes sense.

        We land on Monday at 1 PM and return flight is Thursday, so we would need to go from the airport to get tested.

        1. Hi Aron, Allow about an hour to get through the airport and then another hour to get the rental car and arrive at the testing location. All rental car companies have cars off site, so you have to take a quick shuttle ride down the road.

          Some testing locations on the way out of Alajuela where the airport is going towards Manuel Antonio would be: Clinica Biblica in Santa Ana (drive through option), CIMA (no appointment needed), Labin (Plaza Laureles in Escazu – drive through option), Lab Echandi in Escazu, and Lab Paez in Lindora/Santa Ana (drive-through option). With the exception of Clinica Biblica, which has been giving varying estimates for results lately, all of these can provide results in 24 or 48 hours. Our post has the specifics.

      2. An exact address is needed for the online epidemiological form. What do you do if where you are staying doesn’t have one?

        1. Hi Beth, Most places in Costa Rica don’t have addresses. Addresses are done using landmarks (more like directions). If you’re staying at a vacation rental, I would ask them for help figuring out what canton they are in and what to give for the address.

  103. Hi Jenn, I’m thinking to return from Costa Rica to the US via Cancun… You don’t need a covid test to fly from SJO to Cancun… so, you can spend 2 more days in Cancun to take a test and then fly to the US with the test. As far as I understand it’s easier to get a covid test in Cancun then in Costa Rica. Does it make sense? It’s a detour, but it looks more reliable. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Andrew, If you want to go to Cancun, yes, that would work. Testing isn’t that hard in Costa Rica, though, especially if you get tested in San Jose. Lots of options there with fairly fast turnaround.

  104. Thank you so much for providing this information – when the new guidelines came out we were concerned how we were going to figure it all out! Do you know how to make a reservation at the downtown San Jose drive through testing? We went to the hospital’s website and didn’t see anything on there. Also, do they email you the results?

    1. Hi Jessica, Glad our post has been helpful!

      All the information on making appointments is farther down the post in the section called Making an Appointment and Getting Results. Yes, results are always emailed.

  105. Do you know what happens if a test comes back positive? Are you required to quarantine in a government facility or are you able to find your own accommodations?

  106. Is there any way to put pressure on the Costa Rican Government to get the antigen test available ASAP? We are a family of five that needs to decide if we want to spend an extra $750 on COVID tests or cancel our upcoming trip which is scheduled in 10 days from now. We would much rather spend $750 supporting the locals with excursions, souvenirs etc. Having to worry about COVID testing puts a damper on the whole vacation.

    1. Hi Alexie, It isn’t the government – last week, they gave approval for 10 labs to start testing. The delay is actually getting the testing supplies into the country. The government is helping the labs get it quickly since they know it is a big deal for travelers, but I don’t know if it will happen before your trip.

  107. We got our Covid tests on January 31 and had the results on February 1 at Hospital Metropolitano in Liberia, they are open 7-7 daily and speak English, not well but they get by. The facility was nice and resembled any clinic or hospital in the USA. There’s an online form they have you fill out and it took a while, with help from them to fill it in. It asks questions about your location that we didn’t quite understand. Your telephone number (if American) is filled in just like it would be at home, for example…1-123-456-7890. We shared with the staff the parts we understood and they shared with us.
    We paid with an AMEX and it cost us $111.72 each or (although it didn’t convert the same with our currency app) 141,440 CRC.
    The email results come written in Spanish which was no problem at the airport. When we checked in in San Jose, the attendant checked our passports, and Covid tests then printed our boarding passes. It was very easy, we were worried for a week and it was really seamless. Easier than getting into CR with the insurance and health form.
    There was a man in line at the airport that did not have the test and he was not permitted to fly. Zero questions from the airport staff, the answer was no, the man pleaded, had excuses, got a vaccine, etc but he still was not permitted to fly. They offered him a later flight at no extra charge but I do not know what happened after that.

  108. You are such a gem providing all these informations.

    We need additionally a 4 hours prior departure test. Do you know where we can make this in San Jose before boarding the flight?! Thank you so much for your help!

    1. Hi Silvia, Do you need a rapid test 4 hours before? Rapid/antigen testing was recently approved in Costa Rica and isn’t being offered quite yet. If any type of test is fine, you could see if one of the labs that does results in 24 hours for the RT-PCR could get you yours in 4 hours. The fastest turnaround we have heard about recently is CIMA, Lab San Jose, and Labin.

      1. Yes, we need additionally to the PCR test an antigen test that must be taken within 4 hours before boarding. One of these tests is accepted: antigen test, RT-LAMP test, molecular test, NAAT test, TMA test, or ID NOW test. Where can I get one of these tests done?!

        1. So based on that, you can get another RT-PCR test since the antigen test is not available yet. The RT-PCR is a molecular/NAAT/LAMP test so meets those requirements (see this website: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/coronavirus-disease-2019-testing-basics).

          Someone recently commented on our Preflight Testing post (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/preflight-testing-departing-costa-rica-logistics-tips/#respond) saying that this is what they did – they did a second PCR test 4 hours before their flight. It was expensive, but KLM accepted it. Go to the comment from Ronald on Feb. 5.

  109. Hello ! We are scheduled to come on the 20th for 7 days and I was curious if there are any hotels or nice accomodations that are offering the test at the hotel or place in which we would be staying. Family of 4 and our girls are 8 & 15. We were about to book accommodations and just realized we can’t get back into US without Covid test. We are flying out of San Jose and our 72 hr window would put us in the Santa Teresa area and on up to SJO on our last night to be close to airport. Super helpful sight just super bummed that we may have to cancel our flights and hold off. Hoping for a simple and quick guarantee but seems from the posts above its “iffy ” and Costa is getting a heavier crowd and causing missed flights

    1. Hi Christin, The US requirement is actually 3 calendar days, not 72 hours, so you have a bit more time, which helps. Here’s a link to our article on the specifics of the CDC requirements for the USA.

      There are actually some hotels/resorts that offer Covid testing in house. One option that we know of in Santa Teresa is Hotel Nantipa. We just toured this property and it is gorgeous, right on the beach. They have the SAAT people come do the testing and have told us that they have been very reliable in getting results back on time. Just go up to the Santa Teresa section of our post for more information on SAAT for testing. Hope this helps and you don’t have to cancel your trip. The testing situation really isn’t that bad here. Often, we get comments from people having problems and don’t hear from those who it was easy for.

  110. Hi everyone: Our experience returning from CR with the new testing restrictions was seamless. At Jenn’s suggestion, we contacted the Quepos Hospital Metropolitano clinic to arrange an appointment on Sunday afternnon. The clinic is located in the Pez Vela Marina. Parking is easy and the clinic is located on the plaza level along with shops and restaurants. We timed our appointment to take advantage of scheduling lunch at The Runaway Grill overlooking the Marina,

    Allow 20-30 mins before your appointment to fill out an online form. The staff was very helpful and spoke flawless English. From the time we arrived, we were out the door with the completed tests in about 30 mins.

    Test notification is online via email and we received ours less than 24 hours later at 10 am Monday.

    At the airport, the airlines facilitate the completion of a US Federal form. Answer a few questions, show your negative test on your mobile, (or a printout of the email), and you are good to go. When we arrived in Los Angeles, immigration did not ask for the test.

    Jenn and Matt have done an excellent job of consolidating all the available information. My advice is to use that base of knowledge to determine what works best for your circumstances, allow 48 hours before your flight to receive your test and the rest is up to the outstanding CR healthcare workers that from our experience had their act together.

    One last note. We were tested Sunday afternoon and our flight was scheduled for Wednesday on Alaska. When we received our negative tests Monday, we rescheduled for Tuesday with no change fee.– Richard and Paula

  111. Hello does anyone know of a lab near Liberia Airport that will allow you to bring in a saliva test? I refuse to do the nasal test (if anyone wants to know why I can elaborate). Thank you!

    1. Hi Nicole, Only the RT-PCR and antigen tests have been approved in Costa Rica. The RT-PCR is a combo deep nasal and throat swab. They may be able to do only the throat swab part if you have a medical reason to not do the nasal swab. Antigen testing was just approved and not available yet, but as far as we know, that’s a nasal test as well. There has been some talk recently about bringing at-home tests to Costa Rica, but we haven’t heard anything concrete about these being accepted yet.

  112. I looked on your page for testing locations in Cartago, but I didn’t see any in your article or in the comments.
    US Embassy on their web site provided a link to this list of testing locations that included three locations (at the time of this posting on February 8, 2021) in Cartago:
    https://www.ict.go.cr/es/documentos-institucionales/material-de-apoyo-coronavirus/pruebas-covid-para-usa/1898-laboratories-authorized-in-costa-rica-for-test-sars-cov-2/file.html

    I’ll give the tree locations a call and post additional information when I get it.

    1. Hi John, Sounds good, thanks. In our article, we lumped all the San Jose options into one section, which included Cartago in our minds, though it is farther out, we know. Labin is one of the options in Cartago that we provide. Maybe we will add the other lab (Laboratorio Cenahce) as well in a separate Cartago section.

    1. I went to Laboratorio Canahce in person and contacted them by phone. They have two locations in Cartago. They require a prior appointment for the test. When I went in person, they did not seem at all busy. They charge 55,000 colones (just around $90 USD). They said results are guaranteed in between 24 and 36 hours. They said that if you have your test done early in the morning, they will usually have results by the same afternoon, but there is no guarantee on that timeline. The results are sent both via email and WhatsApp.

      At the time of writing this comment, they did not yet have the antigen test available, although they also said they have the antibody test available for 17,000 colones. Although the antibody test is not valid for travel, it is a useful test for informational purposes to see if you have been unknowingly exposed to COVID or if you want some proof that you have been exposed to and have recovered from COVID. They can run this test on the same day as they run the RT-PCR test.

  113. hi jenn and matt. we need a pcr test guaranteed in 48 not 72 hrs as we are flying to minneapolis, renting a one-way car from alamo and driving home to winnipeg. we have to do cross within 72 hrs, thus the 48 hr test in CR is critical. i dont think coco medical can guarantee 48, they want 72. i came across your list which says:In Monteverde, Dr. Hernandez’s office – Centro de Salud (affiliated lab) can do testing. They are located in Santa Elena in the Mega Super grocery store plaza (see map here). Results are provided in 24-36 hours. Cost: $160. this sounds too good to be true. can anybody back this up?? have any of your readers used this dude?

  114. Hello there, my family and I are right now in Mexico. We are flying to Costa Rica on the 19th of Feburary and than on 20th at 08:45 pm from San Jose back home to Germany.
    We need a test result not older than 48h when we land in Germany.
    Is there any laboratory which can guarantee a result in 24h or less on a Friday afternoon (preferably close to Alajuela)?

    Thank you! Saludos de Mexico!

  115. Just want to say THANK YOU! Such detailed post about the #1 question these days, prior to re-entering the US! Completely blown away by your kindness and the number of replies you are providing to hundreds of comments and so many questions! What a service you are giving to all of us. God bless!

  116. Hello we stayed longer in Costa Rica than originally planned and are wondering if they check travel insurance upon departure or just when leaving the us? Do we really need to purchase another Insurance for the remaining time? Thanks for all the great info!

    1. Hi Claire, You are supposed to purchase more insurance and request additional time on your visa through Migration. Technically you will be overstaying your visa. They can fine you if they notice when you leave but currently the fines are suspended due to Covid. FYI- you need a current visa for your foreign drivers license to be valid so we wouldn’t recommend driving.

  117. Hello,
    We are taking a flight back from San José on monday at 8pm.
    We were wondering if the «sunday » counts as a day for the time duration. Because if it is then we would need to best tested on friday 8pm and hope to have the answer in 48hours.
    Do you know if we can be tested this late in the hospital ? We are in Guanacaste near Liberia.

    1. Hi Sophie, Yes, Sunday counts. Where are you flying back to? For the US, the requirement is to be tested 3 calendar days before your flight, not 72 hours. So anytime on Friday would work. Hopefully that is the case and you can get tested Friday morning. If you do that, the options out of Liberia should be able to get you results in time for your Monday flight without a problem. If you’re not flying to the US and will need to get tested within 72 hours, you’ll probably have to do it Saturday morning. Clinica Biblica in Liberia should hopefully be able to meet your Monday night deadline but I would check with them in advance.

  118. hi jenn and matt. to update you from my february 9 post—i went ahead and made appts with dr fernandez in santa elena. his office very confidently told me if we had our tests before 1pm on march 17, they would be sent to san jose at 130. the test results would show MARCH 18!! as the test date. This buys us another 24 hrs!! i questioned them that its not the date the test results were done, its the date of when the test is performed but they maintain that nowhere on the form will march 17 be mentioned. they go by when the test results are RECEIVED as the test date. this sounds, again, too good to be true, but the bottom line is 1230 march 17 is better than anything else outside san jose that we could find so we are going to commit to Dr fernandez. it gives us more time to explore the cloud forest so thats a bonus as well!

    1. Hi Jeffrey, Thanks for following up. I don’t think that’s how they are supposed to be doing it. The time the sample is taken is when the clock starts. But I guess if they are sending it to an outside lab for processing, they can do it that way. When we were tested, our results had a time stamp for when we entered and when the results were taken. We used Hospital Metropolitano, which actually processes samples, so the date entered was when the sample was taken.

  119. Dear, thank you so much for all the very useful and valuable informations !
    Small question : we are traveling with our baby girl (she is 2y and 3 month old). We might have to transit via the US to get back home. Looking at the CDC website, she will have to take a PCR test as well unfortunately… Apart from the CIMA, do you know some others places where we can get tested with her ?
    Greetings from Monteverde

    1. Hi Pierre, I think Hospital Metropolitano can test young children too for the RT-PCR. But maybe she can just get the rapid (antigen) test since that is available now. It’s in two labs so far but others will start offering it soon. The antigen test is accepted by the US under CDC guidelines. Our post gives the details about the antigen testing options so you can refer back to that.

  120. I do not want the nasal swab test.
    I have tried and tried to find someplace that does either a blood test or the saliva spit test.
    I have contacted the hospital in Quepos. I ask them over and over, what kind of tests are available, and if there is an alternative to the nasal swab. They write me back with all kinds of info but will not answer my question. I can not find out what tests are avalable. Please can you help me.
    I will not come to cost rica if I have to have the nasal swab to get home.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Vicki, The RT-PCR and antigen test are both nasal swab tests. The PCR is the deep nasal swab. I’m not sure how deep the other one goes. If you search online, you will find more info. The PCR test also has a throat swab component- they usually do the nasal swab plus the throat swab. You could see if it would be possible to do the throat swab only. Those are the only tests available in Costa Rica to check for an active infection. Antibody testing is a blood test but those check for a past infection and are not accepted for travel.

  121. Hey there, I’ve been trying to reach Hospital Metropolitano in Quepos for over a week and cannot get anyone on the phone. I’ve been in contact with the San Jose location and have the 2 numbers for the Quepos location but no answer ever. I’m trying to setup an appointment for Sunday, March 7th. I’ve also tried emailing with no response. Any suggestion on how to get the Quepos location to communicate with you before getting there?

    1. Hi Frank, We just called the number we used when we made an appointment in December (2519-9754) and they picked right up. Are you calling from outside Costa Rica? Maybe make sure you are using the correct country code. I think it should be 011-506-2519-9754

      1. I’ve been calling that number and the 9754 number. It rings and rings with no answer. Calling from the US and have the correct codes. No response to emails either. I really appreciate the response, I’ll keep trying. Do you have any update regarding the process for same day testing in Quepos? Looking to take a test the day before I leave as early in the morning as I can. Not sure if they are taking appointments for the rapid test or if they are walk in only. I have a plane ticket showing my return flight if needed to make an appointment. San Jose said they cannot make appointments for any other locations.

  122. Hello,
    A bit confused on when I should take my test.
    Is it 3 days from flight? Because I leave costa rica on Tuesday at 11:12pm but arrive in NYC Wednesday 6:30am.

    1. Hi Zee, It’s based on your flight out of Costa Rica. And it’s 3 calendar days for the USA, not 72 hours. So for a Tuesday flight, you could be tested anytime on Saturday, even in the morning.

  123. We took our tests att Biblica in San Jose 10th feb.
    Got the result back in less then 12h.
    We didn’t have a car, but it was fine just take the stairs to the 6th floor.

    Booked and payed in advance.

  124. Hello, I would just like to ask if Nicaragua honors the Antigen Test? I’m planning on entering Nicaragua by land from Costa Rica. Thank you!

  125. Hello and thank you for all your info. We’re staying in Nosara, Feb 27 to March 6. Returning to the US on the 6th. I saw your update that the Paradise clinic in Nosara is not currently doing the Covid Rapid test. Where can we find a test nearby? – Thanks! Mary in Denver

  126. Hello – the what’s app numbers are not going through to several of the labs -is there an email for each one somewhere? (I need English if possible). We need to make appts to return to USA and our flight is Wednesday morning!

    1. Hi Lisa, Are the WhatsApp accounts not popping up? Sometimes it can be hard to add them if you have a US phone number. When you add them as a contact to your phone, you need to use the international prefix and country code for CR- for example, 011-506-1234-5678 We have WhatsApped with many of them and it has worked.

      As for emails, we provided them when the facility gives email as an option to make an appointment. In our experience working with locals here for our travel agency, you will get a much faster response by WhatsApp or phone than by email. Hope that helps. You could ask your hotel for help too.

  127. Hi,

    I am traveling to Costa Rica with my two daughters in mid-March. I have seen that there is now an Abbot BinaxNOW rapid antigen test that you can order online and take remotely (during a virtual tutorial session with a specialist). It gives you digital results in 15 min. which are delivered to you via their app. Do you know if this would be an acceptable test to re-enter the United States after our trip? Please let me know if you have any information on it, thanks!

    1. Hi Serene, Here is what the CDC website says about if home test kits meet the requirements:
      Does an at home test qualify?
      The Order requires a lab report to be presented to the airline or to public health officials upon request. A home specimen collection kit that is tested in a laboratory should meet the requirements, if such methods have been authorized by the country’s national health authorities. (See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html)
      It sounds like a lab is not involved with that test so it doesn’t seem to meet the requirements. Not 100% sure about this, however. You could ask your airline.

  128. Thank so much for providing all of this information. We just returned from our trip and found it very helpful. I wanted to add a couple of notes about getting Covid tested in Quepos prior to returning to US. I would recommend making an appointment with the Metropolitano clinic several days before you want to get tested. They were booking several days in advance and we could not get appointment for when we needed it. We did go the Urgent Care clinic in Quepos for our tests . Tourists should be aware they require $160 in CASH per person. Handing over $800 in cash for our family of 5 was the only bitter pill we swallowed in Costa Rica. (Test results received in about 30 hours)

  129. SAAT is unreliable. Scheduled an appointment weeks in advance, they showed up 5 hours late (of course we weren’t there) talked to many others who reported the same. Had to change my flight and spend an extra day in San Jose. Ended up getting the rapid antigen test at Clinica Biblica drive-through, $50, two hours for results. I would only recommend Life Guard for testing in the Santa Teresa area.

    1. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with SAAT. A few weeks back, we had heard about some people having not so great experiences with Lifeguard too so we wanted too give another option. SAAT was recommended to us by a reputable local hotel. We will add a note warning people next time we update our article.

  130. 1) eMed still have not shipped the DIY test kit after 4 days!
    Won’t ship internationally.

    2) Instead home / hotel visit test in Costa Rica.
    All require code from: mipruebacovid.com
    (only valid within 7 days of test).

    Then emailed: info@metropolitanocr.com
    To quickly make appointment for the quick COVID-19 Antigen (Ag) Test within 3 calendar days of flight.

    They sent a online credit card payment link, so cash not required.
    52,000.00 CRC per person (at home visit) inc TAX

    OR

    4) email for slower PCR test (all Anitgen appointments full) at:
    covidtest@beachsidecliniccr.com

    Who send a nice instructional email, simply translate it at: deepl.com

  131. Thank you s much for this information!… which location in San Jose is the closest to the airport? also, how much should a taxi cost from the site to airport (appx)? and last question is there Uber in CR? thank you so much! will be buying the travel insurance through your links

    1. Hi Catherine, For labs with locations near the airport, you have a lot of choices. Lab San Jose has a location in downtown Alajuela, which is about 10 minutes away (see map here). And Lab Echandi has a location in Coyol, Alajuela, which is about 20 minutes away (see map). Or their Belen office is open on Saturdays if you need to go then. Both labs can do the PCR and rapid test.

      A taxi should be around $15 depending on how much traffic there is. Yes, there is Uber in San Jose. Not so much in other places (it depends on exactly where you are going), but it’s readily available around San Jose.

      Thanks for getting your insurance through our links!

  132. Hi whyich of the 2 Covid tests is accepted by the US government? When I was in Mexico at end of January I had a rapid antigen test by blood that was to tell me if I ever had the virus as well as currently but when I got to the airport the refused to accept that test and made me take one that goes in your nose. I dont want to take the wrong test again. Please tell me the name of the one that goes in your nose which I think is the only one the US accepts. Also can I get this test at the Liberia airport or at the San Jose airport? In Mexico at the airport it was very cheap compared to at the hotel.

  133. Hello! I need to be tested in a few days to go back to the US and really trying to avoid the deep nasal swab test (that penetrates the blood brain barrier). Do you know which if any places in Costa Rica (preferably one San Jose) offer a shallow nasal or saliva test instead? Thank you!

    1. Hi Samantha, For the RT-PCR and antigen test, we are fairly sure that all labs do the nasopharyngeal swab here, which is the deep nasal swab. No saliva test has been approved.

  134. PCR and Antigen tests are available at the Guilded Iguana in Playa Guiones. PCR $180, Antigen $100. We received antigen results in less than 24 hours.

    You don’t need to be a hotel guest to make an appointment

  135. FYI, the hospital metropolitano in Huacas, and the Beachside Clinic in Huacas DO NOT offer the antigen test. It is PCR only. We were told the reason is due to a shortage in supplies needed for the antigen test. We checked at both locations today in person.

  136. Laboratorio Cenahce Cartago is asking for my passport number and picture of plane tickets. They are adimant that they will not need the form number from pre-test mipruebacovid.com. Does this sound sketchy to anyone else?

    1. Hi Mason, They have to ask for your plane tickets and ID to give you the antigen test. This is because the antigen test is only approved for use in Costa Rica for purposes of onward travel. Costa Rica only uses the PCR test to check for an active infection in its citizens and residents because it thinks this test is more accurate. I’m not sure why they do not want the form from miprueba but there is likely a valid reason. They are a reputable lab. Maybe they will ask for it when you arrive.

        1. Mason, when you write they ask for plane tickets, is that just proof of your itinerary? We wouldn’t check-in or get tickets until the day we depart so wondering what proof they’ll need this is for travel onward to US. Thanks!

  137. Thanks for all the information! We are facing a bit of challenge. My fiancé’s flight to Argentina departs noon Tuesday March 16. He has to have a PCR test no more than 72 hours prior. I’m searching through all the great info you provided and we are sending WhatsApp messages, but if you are able to suggest a lab or two on the east side of San José that offers PCR tests on Saturday afternoon, that would be much appreciated! The Cenahce lab in Cartago told us the only offer tests Monday to Friday. We hope to keep our plans to raft the Pacaure Sunday morning through Monday…

  138. Hi you guys, thank you for all your info and help on this covid testing. I’m having trouble locating a place near Manzanilla, to get our tests before we leave. We have an itinerary that puts us back in San Jose only the night before we fly out (back to oregon)so we have to find a place on the south east coast area. Agh, help. Any help would be so appreciated. Shannon

    1. Hi Shannon, Manzanillo is considered part of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, which has a lab that can do testing. So just go back to our article and look for the section on Puerto Viejo.

  139. Any testing centers near Monteverde or La Fortuna? We are travelling to CR from May 13- 20th, and will need to get testing on March 17th.

  140. Hi Jenn and Matt,
    I just wanted to let you know that the rapid test is available in Pasa Canoas as well as Laurel. My friends had it done on the Panamanian side of the border (behind Jerusalem Mall) for $40 and I had mine done on the Costa Rican side for $55. I could get the names of the clinics if you’d like.
    Also, Trawick Insurance was the cheapest option for covid coverage. I’m 61 and I had 15 days of coverage for $57

    1. Hi Rick, If you could give us the name of the clinic you used on the CR side, that would be great. We have found 2 at the border but both are technically in Panama.

  141. Hi Guys, thanks a lot for this article. It helped me big time. So I thought I might share my experience as well. San Jose Lab guarantees results within 24 hours and it worked perfectly. We did the swab yesterday at 3 pm at the San José Lab Clinica Biblica branch and we got the (negative) result within 8 hours at 11 pm. I can really recommend them, quick and easy.
    Thanks again guys and stay healthy, Chris

  142. Has anybody had experience with check-in at the San Jose airport using United Airlines and showing documentation that you’ve had COVID and recovered to return to the US? The information on the US govt site is a bit sketchy about what they’ll accept. Most of my family has had COVID and we’ve recovered. Therefore, we’d rather not have the hassle/expense of testing. We’ve got documentation from either a COVID test or a blood test anti-bodies showing a positive COVID test result. We also have “return to work” statements from a health care professional which the US govt travel site says is acceptable. All that sounds great, but we don’t know what the check-in agent is really looking for. I’m curious if they looked at your documentation causally and said “Have a nice day!” or if they questioned your documentation deeply. Not sure how they’d really know if something was legit or not.

    1. Hi Jef, According to the CDC website, you need to show (1) Your positive test result from the last 3 months, and (2) a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that says you have been cleared for travel. So we would show the positive test result you received initially and not the antibody test result. The return to work statement seems like it would work but you could call United to confirm. Our article on Preflight Testing (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/preflight-testing-departing-costa-rica-logistics-tips/) links to the CDC order and gives the relevant page number of the order if you want to see exactly what the applicable language is. It goes into a lot of detail so you could make sure that your letter meets those requirements. I would print out the CDC order or have it downloaded on your phone to show the airline in case they question if what you have meets the requirements. In general, though, we have been hearing from people that the airline review process is pretty lax. Though Costa Rica has caught several people trying to use a fake test result!

  143. Hi. We are leaving Santa Teresa on 3/25 and driving to Arenal that day & arriving late afternoon. We fly out on 3/28. Which clinics do you suggest we test at on the 25th? In ST (clinics sound unpredictable in getting tests back in time) or Arenal- but we arrive later in the day? Are there rapid tests offered in either of these areas? Is this too risky with supplies running out?

    1. Hi SB, I think I would test in La Fortuna. Unimed in LF is giving results in 24-36 hours so that should work. As far as we know, the rapid test is not available in either Santa Teresa or La Fortuna yet.

  144. Hello! I have heard that Costa Rica is working on developing a rapid saliva test that can be used for travel. Will you be updating this website with info about the saliva test once you hear that it becomes available?

  145. Hi! Thank you for all of the information. Do all of the clinics mentioned above also test kids? If not, is there a place to find a list of clinics that do?

  146. Hello. Do you know if the CIMA Hospital or Clinica Bibilica are currently offering the Antigen rapid test? This pages says they are but their websites do not mention it. CIMA’s website states they will update their website once the test becomes available. I’d like to be sure as I’d be in San Jose less than 24 hours before my flight to the US.

    1. Hi Omar, Sometimes they can be slow to update their websites. But yes, both Clinica Biblica and CIMA are offering antigen testing. CIMA only started offering it recently. You can confirm this by visiting their Facebook pages, which they keep much more current.

  147. Concerned about getting COVID test in Puerto Jimenez (for return to US). We really cannot pay $160 pp…. I have heard of US tourists in other parts of CR using self-tests they bring themselves. In some cases, people have a code for internet/FaceTime type connection with someone from the testing company during which they self-administer the test, read the results with the online medical person, then get results emailed right away. Have you any experience with or heard of others using this option?

    1. Hi Sarah, You should contact your airline. Some seem to be accepting home tests but you would want to make sure in advance. If not, testing is much cheaper in San José if you can get back there a half day before your flight for the antigen test. Some labs can do results in a couple of hours.

      1. Thank you! I know of US travelers in CR using instant self-tests (w/ online medical personnel) successfully with America Airlines and it looks pretty clear to me they would be accepted by United. The trick is getting a test (plus a spare probably, just in case) and then having reliable technology to do the online consultation. I think this is going to become a lot more common if the US continues to require testing for re-/entry. Thank you!

        1. We recently did a pcr test at Labin lab in San Jose – Los Yoses area where we got the results within 10 hours (tested at 8.30am) and a antigen pcr rapid test at Labin Lab in Alajuela 4 hours before our flight home, location 10 minutes from the San Jose Juan Santamaria airport where we got the results back within 40 minutes. We were very happy with the good service and the quick results from Labin Lab.

  148. The drive up part of Lab Echandi Mediplaza location was closed 3/18/21 and also 3 weeks prior. I think it just isn’t actually being serviced. Even though they print it in their What’s app info. Please update this in the list. They are taking folks inside, one group at a time. No wait yesterday, and maybe a 45 min wait to be seen 3 weeks ago. Rapid test cost 33,000 colones. Results e-mailed both times in under an hour! They tell you less than 3 hours. Oh, and the Google search as well as map links they send are off a little. They are a block further south, on the other side of the street. Clear signage, once you get to the right location.

  149. Hello,
    Thanks for all the great info! We’re staying in Tamarindo the week of 3/29. I saw on another forum that the Clinica Medica Dental in Villareal offers covid antigen testing, but I haven’t been able to contact them. Do you know if this is correct? I saw from an earlier post that a few places have run out of the antigen test supplies. Are there any other closer than Hospital Metropolitano? We won’t have a car.

      1. Hi again Michelle, Clínica Medica Dental has only the PCR test. It’s $120 and they give results in 72 hours. We will add them to our post next time we do an update. They are the closest option that we know of to Tamarindo.

  150. jenn & matt, here is my 3rd and final post. again, thank you for being the FIRST and most knowledgeable source of this information–not sure i could have made it home properly and legally without this blog. i am not sure if you want to publish this as it mostly pertains to Canadians and since there are very few canadians that risked travel, your american readers may not find this as helpful.. but here is our experience of our journey home…. safe and sound. since we were flying from liberia to usa (minneapolis) and not canada all we needed was an antigen test which of course was much cheaper. for our 2pm flight march 17 we booked a 2pm appt at hospital metropolitano liberia for march 16. hospital is an overstatement. it was a tiny clinic in a tiny strip mall! with free secure parking right at the front door. our results were emailed to us by 7pm. the cost was $55usd/pp. our Delta direct flight arrived in minneapolis 45 mins early at 8pm, got our one-way rental car and spent the night at a marriott 30 mins away and closer to our destination. in the morning we drove another 30 mins closer to winnipeg and got our molecular test required for canada at a testing site called Total Compliance Solutions (they also do drug testing etc). i had googled covid tests minnesota and sent off about 10 emails to places enroute for rapid results while you wait) and prices ranged from $110 to $340 usd/pp. TCS being the cheapest. we had a 0930 appt and received our paper copy at 10am. we stopped for lunch in fargo and got to the border at 5pm. there were no cars so we drove right on up. 10 mins later we were in a testing booth indoor garage and the Red Cross staff walked us through testing ourselves right there with a nasal swab just like at TCS. again, no waiting time. in ‘normal times’ a border crossing takes an hour. we drove home and my wife followed me to the airport to drop off the rental and we were home by 9pm. so our tests cost us $330 usd, our car rental cost us $200usd, our hotel was free as we used points, and our food and gas (and wine) totalled $200 usd. we saved $500 after the westjet refund on delta flights, and saved over $1000 on not having to be herded like cattle into a toronto institution for 3 days plus then another $600 to fly to winnipeg from toronto. apparently a lawsuit is being filed today by the Canadian Constitution Foundation to the Ontario Superior Court seeking an injunction to stop federal quarantine hotels citing constitutional rights and freedoms of canadians. should be interesting!!
    cheers, jeff

  151. Hi team Jenn & Matt,
    Thank you for all of this. Do you know if rapid tests are currently available in Santa Teresa?
    We will be using your car rental reco. as well.
    Best,
    Chantal

  152. Thanks for the work you do ! It’s very helpfull for travelers that comes to Costa Rica 🇨🇷. We are offer this service and we located in Guanacaste in Coco beach area and offer services on this matter , we do house calls if someone needs a team of Doctors to help on fast COVID-19 test we can happy help and go to your location in the areas of service we offer in our website http://www.costadoc.com our mobile is (506)8382-1815,?thanks again for the article and effort to do this research. Pura vida !

  153. Hi, I love all your information. Question, we are coming to Costa Rica over spring break…Easter Week. I am a bit concerned about getting our covid tests. We are staying in Santa Teresa. Flying from Liberia. Leaving Monday, after Easter. I am wondering if the country has national holidays where business is shut down. I assume this could affect our testing and timimg if we want to get a test in that area in time for our flight. Do you think testing labs will be closed? Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Jill, Yes, the week before Easter is a big deal here and many labs will be closed. From what we have seen, labs in rural areas are generally closing Thursday-Easter Sunday. But some will be open. You could reach out to Lifeguard and SAAT in Santa Teresa to see if they can help you. Otherwise you may have to head back to Liberia or San José a little early.

  154. Spectacularly useful info. My son had a short visit to pick up a new cédula and we used this article as the go-to guide for getting a PCR test for the return journey.

    Used Hospital CIMA in the Escazu mall. Just had to walk in to emergency and after a short wait received the test with results emailed in less than 24 hours.

  155. I’m getting a little frustrated. I need to get an antigen test in San José, but none of the labs would provide the result in English, but I’ll be denied boarding my flight back home if the result doesn’t come in Englisb/French/German. Any recommendations? Mailed a couple of them, but no one has gotten back to me so far.

    1. Hi Kat, I just received confirmation from Hospital Clinica Biblica that they do provide the result in English.
      However, if you are travelling back to Germany (?) they do not provide information on the test manufacturer on the certificate. This information is required by the German Authorities as per the latest order.

  156. We are contemplating a trip this summer to Costa Rica, and does anyone have any idea what percentage of tests are coming back positive (both false positive and true positive) for Americans who need to get back to the US?

    Also, does anyone have a copy of the quarantine rules, if someone does test positive? My understanding is that someone who tests positive has to stay in their current residence. How does this work if one is in a VRBO for example, with someone else scheduled to rent it after our scheduled departure?

    1. Hi Jeffrey, I don’t think we have that kind of data available about the percentage of visitors from the US who test positive. The government sometimes talks about the data for tourists testing positive and that number is very low, though I don’t think they have released the actual data. You don’t hear too often of tourists testing positive, though. It’s worth noting that in general, the labs here do an excellent and thorough job testing. For example, for the PCR, they do both nostrils plus the throat to broaden the sample size. You probably know this but if you are worried about false positives, we’d recommend getting a PCR test over an antigen test since antigen testing has a higher rate of false positives.

      There are no written quarantine rules that have been released as far as we know. All we have seen is this PDF from the government (https://www.ict.go.cr/es/documentos-institucionales/material-de-apoyo-coronavirus/pruebas-covid-para-usa/1886-faq-requirements-for-travel-to-eeuu/file.html), which is very broad. We have heard that the way it is working is that if you test positive and are issued an isolation order, you have to stay in your current accommodation until the time expires. This is even if someone else is booked to stay in the vacation rental or hotel. Not 100% sure about this, though. If you were to test positive, the Ministry of Health would walk you through what you needed to do.

  157. For the new Liberia airport testing site, I see the 1 hour test is $65 pp which seems like a good deal. Is it available if I am not traveling on the day I take the test?

    I would prefer to take the test 3 days prior to my departure rather than the day of departure in case the test comes back positive or in case the test results don’t come back in time.

    1. Hi Stephan, I think the Liberia Airport testing site is outside so I don’t think you have to be traveling that day. Just keep in mind that if you test positive, I don’t think they will let you retest right away. You would have to fill out the form at miprueba.com again and they would see that you were just tested. As far as we know, government guidelines won’t let you retest after testing positive. The PCR has a lower false positive rate so that may be a better option for you if you are worried about it. We wouldn’t be concerned about getting your results on time through this lab.

  158. Jenn & Matt,

    Thanks for the information, and the following article, with data through early February, is supportive of your response:

    Costa Rica now reports 231 tourists with Covid since August (February 12, 2021)
    https://ticotimes.net/2021/02/12/costa-rica-now-reports-231-tourists-with-covid-since-august

    Excerpt:

    “For context, since the [full] reopening of air borders on Nov. 1, 2020 … we have registered nearly 170,000 foreign arrivals. Of these, 231 have resulted positive for Covid-19. This represents 0.13% of the people who have entered,” said Sandra Delgado, interim director of health vigilance for the Health Ministry.

    The figures include 20 French tourists who tested positive in late January. Seven of them remain hospitalized in Costa Rica, Delgado said. The Health Ministry declined to provide more information about their age or condition, citing privacy concerns.

  159. Hi Jenn and Matt,

    We are traveling to Costa Rica in late June-early July with our two kids. We are currently planning to end our trip in Punta Islita. The hotel only offers tests for $280, which we don’t want to pay. When I asked, they said we could drive 1.5 hours to Nosara (and pay $160/person) or 2.5 hours to Liberia and pay $70/person. We will have a rental car, but hoping not to end vacation with 5 hours in the car to get covid tests. Any advice? Do you know anywhere closer to Punta Islita? We have spent a lot of time reading through your post and trying to map where everything is located. Both adults will be fully vaccinated before the trip, hoping this isn’t required…
    Thank you!!!
    Pamela

    1. Hi Pamela, You could just go to Nicoya; it’s only about 1 hr 20 minutes. There are cheaper options there. One of the clinics in Nicoya comes down to Samara to do testing on a set schedule so that may be a good option too. Samara is a cute beach town that would be worth checking out. It’s not far from Punta Islita. Here’s a link to our blog post about it with more info: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/samara/

      Yes, hopefully the US will change the requirement as more and more people get vaccinated.

      1. Thank you! I had missed the Samara option. Leaning towards taking a cheaper test in Nosara, but will check out your info on Samara as well.

  160. hello! thank you for all of this helpful information. A large group of us (8+) will be traveling to Puerto Viejo for a short trip (4 days) and I am trying to figure out the easiest option for us to get tested before our departure flight back to the US. We will most likely rent private transport from PV to San Jose early morning the day of departure, is there a lab close by SJO that you recommend our driver could take us to that offers rapid tests results in 1-2 hours?

    thank you in advance!!!!
    Jess

    1. Hi Jessica, We recently answered the question of where to get tested near the airport. Please see our response to Catherine on February 26, 2021. Both of the labs we give can give results fast – one is within 2 hours and the other is within 3 hours. Let us know if you need any help arranging a shuttle for your group! We can help you through our shuttle booking page.

  161. Hi! Thanks so much for the info! Do you know if we can pay for the test with a Visa or Mastercard? Or do we have to have cash in costa rican currency? Thank you!

    1. Hi Deanna, Yes, just about all the labs and hospitals accept credit cards. Only one that we know of is cash only (it’s in Uvita) and we specified it in our article.

  162. Have you heard of anyone not having their test results accepted? Who checks it and how is it checked? (Is there a barcode that is scanned, a reference number they confirm etc?) Thanks!

    1. Hi Deanna, The airline will look at your results when you check in. There is no barcode or anything but they know how to read them. The labs give the results in the same format. The results do have to contain certain information = you can see our post on Preflight Testing for more details.

  163. If we are fully vaccinated, do we need to take a COVID test to re-enter the US. Sorry if this has been answered in the comments. There are lots of comments. I wonder if there is updated information as of April, 23, 2021. Thank you.

  164. PLEASE HELP – MY FLIGHT LEAVES FROM SAN JOSE AIRPORT 12:50 TODAY! WHERE CAN I FIND A RAPID TEST NEAR THE AIRPORT OR IN JACO?
    THANKS

  165. Thank you Jenn & Matt. We just returned from Playa Flamingo and were confused, before we left, about what we needed to do with regard to COVID testing. We’d seen signs in the Liberia airport that we would need a COVID test for re-entry, even though we are both fully vaccinated, but didn’t necessarily want to wait until we got to the airport. Your website was a lifesaver. We followed your two-step directions for taking the test at the Beachside Clinic (filling out the online form and then making the appointment) and took our test in Huacas. The technician was fantastic! So professional and personable. We made our appointment on Monday, took the antigen test on Friday, late morning, and had our results early Friday afternoon. We flew out Saturday. Great website!

    1. Hi Tina and Brian, We’re so glad to hear that testing was easy for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We appreciate it. Pura vida!

  166. I will be traveling at the end of June and noticed I can get a test at the Liberia airport. Will testing the day of the flight home be enough time for approval or do we have it have the test taken 3 days prior to departure? Just trying to save travel time back and forth to the destination we leave from.

    1. Hi Celeste, Testing the day of your flight is fine. The requirement is just that the test be done no more than three days before your flight. Less time is fine; they just want to be sure it’s taken soon before you travel.

  167. Hi Jenn and Matt, thank you so much for all the helpful info. I am having trouble getting hold of some of the providers. Any idea why? I have not tried before today, and we need a test upon our return on May 15. I can keep trying, but tomorrow is our last day before we fly down and I’d like to have it all arranged. Two of the 3 that would be most useful to us do not answer today despite numerous tries during their business hours. Is this common? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary Ann, That is very strange. It sounds like you are calling correctly from abroad if you are getting through to one of them. Maybe try close to when they open or later in the afternoon (Costa Rica time) when they are less busy. The large labs should always be answering but some of the smaller ones have fewer employees.

  168. Hi, we are traveling to Tamarindo in June and wondering if you know where the nearest place would be for doing a PCR test for return travel? Many thanks

    1. Hi Aine, Go to the Tamarindo section of our article for several options. You can scroll or use “control find.” They are also doing the PCR at Liberia Airport.

  169. Hi Jenn and Matt!
    We are planning to travel to CR in November with our 8 year old. We are concerned about the “deep nasal” test and are wondering if you have children or know anyone who has young ones who have had the “shallow nasal” antigen test or the saliva test? And if so where? We will be visiting Playas Del Cocoa but we don’t mind traveling for a less invasive experience for our daughter.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi LT, The PCR and antigen tests we describe are the only two tests performed in Costa Rica. We’ve heard from people who have done the antigen test, though, that it wasn’t as deep. One of our clients had their younger kids get the antigen test and they said it wasn’t that bad. So your daughter should be ok. They do perform a throat swab but I think it’s only for kids under 5.

  170. Is there any place to be covid tested in Parrita? Or other location between Jaco and Quepos? We will be there the week of May 23rd

    1. Hi Melanie, No, there isn’t anywhere to be tested right in Parrita. The closest would be Quepos. It’s only about a 25 minute drive. If you used Hospital Metropolitano, you could have lunch at the Marina. It’s a nice spot.

  171. Hello – thanks for the information! We scheduled with Enchendi at Liberia airport 4 hours before our flight, as directed. I came across some posts about the issue with false positives. Have you heard anything about this? If someone does get a positive result, do they have the chance to retake the test to rule out a false positive? Would we be able to leave and manage our own accommodations if needing to quarantine?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Brittany, Officially, if you test positive, you are not supposed to retest and should quarantine. We have been hearing from travelers, though, that visitors who test positive are not always issued quarantine orders from the Ministry of Health and are allowed to retest. It may be because in Costa Rica, they don’t use antigen testing as a basis for determining a positive official result – you can only take an antigen test for travel purposes. They only use the PCR test to test suspected cases here. Yes, if you had to quarantine, you would be able to manage your accommodations independently.

  172. Does anyone know if there are testing facilities in Costa Rica that do a mouth swab for the specimen collection or is everything deep nasal swab to get back into the US? I would really like to avoid that torture so any resources for this would be great.

        1. You can use the control find function to find it quickly, or if you’re on mobile, it’s a recent comment so just start from the bottom of the comments and look for the date. Sorry if our reply sounded snarky, it’s just that we get asked the same thing many times and often the information is right in the post (not in this case, though 🙂

  173. Hi, im planning to go there by July. Either at Liberia Airport or SJO.. At first it was Liberia, since the covid test is just at the airport. If il choose SJO, is there a covid testing at the airport? if Yes, where specifically?

    1. Hi Philip, Yes, testing is now available at SJO Airport too. Please go to our article, the section called “Covid Testing Options in Costa Rica – Airports,” towards the top.

      Testing is done outside in large tents near the international flight terminal. They bus you there (service available 24/7). Here is a link with a picture of the tent set up to give you an idea.

      1. Thank you. Im now incline to enter Costa Rica at SJO. Im sorry, im just a bit nervous travelling outside USA especially during covid but its really necessary.

        Hopefully you will indulge me, by the time I arrive at SJO airport, how can I book a car or a shuttle going to the hotel?

        Unlike liberia airport where its website is clear. Im having a hard time looking at a shuttke booking at SJO.

        Further there is uber in SJO costa rica area right?

        1. Hi Philip, If you’d like, we could could arrange a shuttle from the airport for you. Just contact us through our Private Shuttle page: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/costa-rica-shuttle-transfers/

          Yes, Uber works in San José and in a few other larger towns outside the city. Technically Ubers are not supposed to do airport pickups but they just have you wait a little farther from the airport. You could also take an official airport taxi. These can be arranged through the airport reps right before you exit the airport.

  174. Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone has had the rapid test done at SJO and the results didn’t come through in the one hour time frame? We are planning to make an appointment there the day before our flight.

    1. Hi Tresa, Others can chime in but we haven’t heard about anyone having problems getting their results on time at any testing facilities. The lab that runs the airport testing (Lab Eschandi) is very reputable too.

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response! That’s good to hear. We went ahead and booked for the day before we fly out.

  175. Do you have any idea if the SJO airport one is before or after security? We are staying in Dominical but our flight leaves at 9am so we will be headed to an airport hotel the evening before. We’d love to get the test done that night vs 5am that morning but wasn’t sure if that’s possible dependent on if you need to get thru security or not?

    1. Hi Mandi, You don’t have to go through security. It’s actually outside the airport so you would be fine going the day before. They have a shuttle to get to the tent where testing is done.

      1. Thank you!! This is helpful for the timing piece too- I wasn’t thinking of adding the shuttle/travel time in there!!

  176. Thank you so much for all the detailed information! Your website is a lifesaver!! We are staying in Costa Rica for only 3 days so we can actually take the test as soon as our flight lands from the US. We are planning to schedule antigen tests with Echandi at Liberia Airport.

    Would you or anyone be able to confirm that they will email the result so we don’t have to wait at the airport for it? Also, will it be in PDF with all the required information? Thank you!

      1. Thank you! One more question–your blog says we have to fill out the required epidemiological form on mipruebacovid.com. I emailed Echandi about this and was told there’s no required form to fill out. Wondering if anyone who’s tested with Echandi can confirm?

  177. For Lab Echandi, your link to book an appt. on their website goes to a google form that does