Can I Enter Costa Rica With a One Way Ticket?

Want to Visit Costa Rica with a One Way Ticket?

Costa Rica is an astounding tourist spot in Central America, attracting thousands of visitors annually. It shares a border with the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea coast making it an expansive beach area with a palpable climate. Because of this many visitors wonder, can I enter Costa Rica with a one way ticket?


Foreign tourists who show up in Costa Rica with a vacation visa and a ticket to get there and back don’t need to stress over this issue. In any case, voyagers who wish to expand their outings, travel throughout Central America and the Caribbean, become never-ending sightseers.

Often returning to Costa Rica under any circumstance, ought to know about one-way tickets.

According to (Entry Requirements, 2021), foreign tourists


‘Group One’ countries passports enjoy automatic, 90-day tourist visas at the country’s port of entry with few requirements set forth by the General Law on Immigration.

Among the Group One nations, they discover Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and some countries of the European Union. 

For residents of Group One countries, there are numerous benefits. One of the main benefits is not having to leave the country every 90 days for 72 hours.


Buying One-way tickets to Costa Rica – Can you do this?

In Spanish, one-way tickets are “boletos de continuidad.” The idea is straightforward: All guests showing up in Costa Rica should introduce verification of ahead or outbound travel. A ticket out of Costa Rica can be of an airplane, transport, or other vehicles.

In light of the above mentioned, voyagers from Group One countries could buy single-direction passes to Costa Rica alongside onward tickets. This is something that clever hikers (known as ‘backpackers or mochileros’ in Costa Rica) and spending travelers know about. Booking single-direction tickets can bring about reserve funds for explorers who intend to visit Costa Rica.

However, they ought to know that migration officials will promptly request evidence of a forward ticket after entering the country. A bus ticket to Nicaragua or Panama could be proof but has its issues as mentioned below.

Potential savings of funds are not by any means the only comfort of one-way tickets. Both Nicaragua and Panama have migration rules like Costa Rica’s in such a manner, even though Panama is scandalously draconian with regards to rulemaking and implementation.

They are important

Because of this, one-way tickets are fundamental for hikers who need to make Costa Rica their usual hangout spot as they investigate different nations in the district. The equivalent goes for ceaseless sightseers.

Javier told the Costa Rica Star


he is

an organizer of the Central American Bus Ticket Network, a man who is completely acquainted


migration rules in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. There are several foreign visitors whose tickets end in Costa Rica, a fact that contravenes immigration laws.

Oftentimes, the travelers contacting Javier and his staff at (Costa Rica Star, 2014) are exasperated because they cannot make online reservations with major bus lines such as Ticabus, Tracopa, or TransNica (Costa Rica Star, 2014). As with anything else related to the international traveler, tourists seeking one-way tickets should plan. Immigration officers in Costa Rica are already familiar with, and thus they know what the onward bust tickets look like and the payment confirmations. Should the border officers call Javier or his staff, they may inquire about an element of the traveler’s passport, which the bus carrier must have a copy of.

Javier also admits that travelers from Group One nations won’t be asked for one way tickets if they already have a few stamps on their passports  But not having one is a risky proposition and seems to be a thing of the past as airlines are stricter as they don’t want to bear the burden of flying the customer back.

In the end, a one-way bus ticket

makes a

difference between getting stuck at SJO waiting for the Copa Airlines ticket counter to open so you can buy a $500 ticket to Panama just to enter Costa Rica.


Travel Requirements to Visit Costa Rica

So one can book a one-way ticket to Costa Rica in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? No. (but recently a digital nomad law passed in Costa Rica that applies to remote workers) According to (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, 2021) all non-resident travelers must possess a return ticket or a ticket as proof of when they intend to exit the country. 

An onward ticket is required of non-residents who are: Traveling on a one-way ticket, flying into Costa Rica, and flying out of another country. When flying into Costa Rica and Panama, the airline enforces the Onward Travel requirement. When you check-in for the flight, they prefer a flight out, not a bus or boat ticket.

Through land

If you are entering Costa Rica and Panama via a land border, you just need a bus ticket out for the country you are about to enter, as mentioned in (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, 2021).

Costa Rican Immigration officials have sole authority to determine the length of stay for tourists entering Costa Rica.  Immigration officials are currently limiting the duration of stay to correspond with coverage dates provided by the COVID-19 medical insurance.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (COVID-19 in Costa Rica – COVID-19 Very High – Level 4: COVID-19 Very High – Travel Health Notices | Travelers’ Health | CDC, 2021) says that, in addition to the coronavirus-related measures, U.S. tourists must also have a valid passport and proof of intent to exit Costa Rica within 90 days. (To prove intent to exit, U.S. citizens must possess a return ticket or a ticket as proof of when they intend to exit the country, commonly referred to as an outbound exit or onward ticket).

U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency may also enter Costa Rica via air or through authorized land border crossings and must present the following documentation as sourced in (COVID-19 in Costa Rica – COVID-19 Very High – Level 4: COVID-19 Very High – Travel Health Notices | Travelers’ Health | CDC, 2021):

  1. Passport
  2. Valid DIMEX
  3. Evidence Caja payments are up to date for each person entering
  4. A complete Health Pass (Pase de Salud). 

U.S. citizens with residency in Costa Rica who are not up to date with Caja payments will still be allowed to enter but will be required to become up to date with all payments within 22 days as informed in the US Embassy in Costa Rica (Jose, 2021). People in this category must also purchase health insurance to cover the cost of any COVID-19 treatment or lodging for the 22-day grace period.

People wishing to travel to Nicaragua from one of Costa Rica’s designated land border crossing sites must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the border crossing.


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