Costa Rica Travel Vaccines

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Last reviewed
December 2, 2023
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Costa Rica travel disease outbreaks include malaria, dengue, Zika, and chikungunya in 2023

Costa Rica Travel Vaccines 2023

International visitors may be exposed to infectious diseases in the Republic of Costa Rica in 2023. The health risk of becoming infected with chikunguna, dengue, Malaria, or Zika varies by location and vaccination status as of Week #44 in November 2023. When visiting Costa Rica, health organizations suggest discussing vaccine options with a healthcare provider. Medical care in the capital city of San Jose is adequate. However, medical care is more limited in areas outside of San Jose.

Costa Rica recently conducted a simulation exercise package designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with the Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats Initiative Module on planning for respiratory pathogen pandemics. Life expectancy in 2023 was 80.3 years, higher than the average for the Region of the Americas and 2.7 years higher than in 2000.

As of December 2023, Canada and the United Kingdom have issued travel advisories. 

Costa Rica Chikungunya

There have been 62 chikungunya cases confirmed in Costa Rica in 2023.

Costa Rica Dengue

Costa Rica is battling an outbreak of dengue fever, both classic and hemorrhagic. In 2023, there were 21,696 reported dengue cases, about 20% higher than in 2022. The Ministry of Health reported that the Huetar Caribe region, Central North, and the Central Pacific confirmed the most dengue cases. As of November 2023, the QDENGA® dengue vaccine is not offered in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Hepatitis 

According to data the Health Surveillance Directorate reported on July 28, 2023, the total number of hepatitis cases during epidemiological week #27 increased by 212%, with 1,009 cases registered in 2023 and 323 in 2022. Of the cases reported in 2023, 838 correspond to hepatitis A, and 101 patients were registered for hepatitis B.

Costa Rica HIV

In Costa Rica, preliminary data from the Health Surveillance Directorate report a total of 816 cases of HIV-AIDS as of November 10, 2023, of which 685 are men and 130 women, with the majority of these cases concentrated in the age group 25 to 29. The provinces with the most reported cases are San José, with 259, and Alajuela, with 119. During the year 2022, a total of 857 cases of HIV-AIDS were registered.

Costa Rica Influenza

As of November 2023, levels of influenza positivity have been increasing in Costa Rica. The country has developed a national pandemic plan for influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Costa Rica Leprosy 

As of week #40, Costa Rica had reported 677 cases of leprosy in 2023.

Costa Rica Malaria 2023

Since 2015, Costa Rica has been advancing toward the elimination of Malaria by the year 2025. The containment actions began in the canton of Limón Central and Pococí. As of November 2023, there have been 517 malaria cases, compared with 273 in 2022. Costa Rica is deploying 75,000 chloroquine tablets, and malaria vaccines are unavailable in Costa Rica in 2023. Costa Rica's Ministry of Health has implemented a treatment strategy for Malaria, which is a risk anywhere in Costa Rica, especially in low-lying zones. Additionally, the CDC says the Plasmodium falciparum parasite is the most likely to be fatal compared to other common malaria parasites if left untreated. 

Costa Rica Yellow Fever

A yellow fever vaccination (YF-VAX or Stamaril) is required when visiting Costa Rica from South America and/or sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, an official certificate (ICVP) must be presented at the airport when entering Costa Rica. Geographical zones at risk of yellow fever transmission were updated in June 2023.

Costa Rica Zika

As of week #43, there have been 27 confirmed cases of Zika virus in Costa Rica this year.

Costa Rica Travel Alerts

Reuters reported on September 26, 2023, that Costa Rica's President Rodrigo Chaves had ordered officials to declare a state of emergency due to a sharp rise in the number of migrants passing through the nation. The National Emergency Commission President Alejandro Picado stated that Costa Rica had received around 386,000 migrants in 2023, with the vast majority crossing through the Panama-Costa Rica border town of Paso Canoas. 

As of September 2023, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC issued travel alerts for Costa Rica, including Malaria and Dengue. In 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica and the U.K. NHS issued malaria alerts. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution for the Republic of Costa Rica, highlighting petty crime as the predominant threat to tourists in Costa Rica. The U.S. Embassy in San Jose advises U.S. citizens of increasing crime levels in San Jose. It suggests enrolling in the Smart Traveler Program to receive emergency alerts, as do Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation in August 2023 to formally initiate negotiations to include Costa Rica among the Global Entry foreign partner countries. Global Entry is one of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Trusted Traveler programs, and successful applicants also receive the benefit of the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck®  program.

On July 14, 2023, the U.S. State Department partnered with the Government of Costa Rica to explore opportunities to diversify and grow the global semiconductor ecosystem.

Costa Rica Government

Costa Rica's government launched "Operation Sovereignty" in July 2023, which will increase security at ports, airports, and land crossings, and the Chamber of Exporters has welcomed Operation Sovereignty. And the Tico Times reported on July 9, 2023, the Tourism Movement for Costa Rica says interest and exchange rates are negatively impacting the industry.... resulting in a 22% reduction in income for the tourism industry," said Bary Roberts, spokesperson for Tourism for Costa Rica. Costa Rica increased its value-added tax rate on the tourism industry from 8% to 13% beginning on July 1, 2023. According to the World Bank, Costa Rica's inflation and consumer prices are favorable in 2023.

The president of Costa Rica is both the head of state and the head of government. The Costa Rican government provides additional security resources in tourist areas. On May 13, 2023, local media reported Costa Rican authorities might create an integrated security plan to prevent violence through public policies. AFP reported on May 5, 2023, that Costa Rica President Rodrigo Chaves stated the country is no longer free of organized crime. Costa Rica posts health alerts and entry requirements at this link.

Costa Rica Pan American Health Organization

The Health in the Americas country profiles are based on interagency indicators. The latest news is posted at this link, and the PAHO vaccination data is posted at this link.

Costa Rica World Health Organization

The WHO lists general precautions to prevent infections in its publication PAHO/WHO International Travel, Vaccination, and Health. 

Costa Rica Tourist Information 2023

Costa Rica is in Central America, bordered by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Nicaragua, and Panama. It is politically divided into three levels: 7 provinces, 81 cantons, and 463 districts. And San José is the capital city. Costa Rica's Juan Santamaría International Airport welcomed over 2.8 million passengers during the first half of 2023. This represents a 4.3% increase compared to 2019. As the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo reported, this total includes 792,944 visitors from the United States and 148,973 from Canada.

In September 2023, Air France-KLM Group confirmed a service expansion to Costa Rica. Various organizations, such as, offer travel advice when planning a visit to Costa Rica. In addition, the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) provides an exclusive collection of hotels that have fulfilled a verification process and related documents. The ICT invites people to learn in detail about the area of activity of Costa Rica's leading tourism institution.

Villa Punto De Vista and Villa la Isla are luxurious getaways and award-winning exclusive luxury resorts located in the heart of Costa Rica. This Costa Rican jungle retreat was recently named one of the Best Resorts in Costa Rica. Costa Rican natives Christien Johnson and architect brother David Konwiser designed and founded Villa Punto De Vista. See leading Costa Rica travel experiences.

While fuel prices in Costa Rica are regulated, price increases are expected in October 2023.