Costa Rica Travel Vaccines

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Last reviewed
September 27, 2023
Content Overview
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 September 2023. The health risk of becoming infected with chikunguna, dengue, Malaria, or Zika varies by location and vaccination status as of Week #34 in 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. 

Costa Rica Travel Alerts

Reuters reported on September 26, 2023, Costa Rica's President Rodrigo Chaves announced that he has ordered officials to declare a state of emergency as the number of migrants passing through the nation has risen sharply. The National Emergency Commission President Alejandro Picado stated that Costa Rica has 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 Chikungunya

There have been 46 chikungunya cases confirmed in Costa Rica as of September 2023.

Costa Rica Dengue

Costa Rica is battling an outbreak of dengue fever, both classic and hemorrhagic. In 2023, up to EW 36, there were 10,286 reported dengue cases, about 20% higher than in 2022. The Ministry of Health reported on July 6, 2023, that more than 300,000 homes, more than 10,000 vacant lots, and 1,489,151 deposits had been fumigated/treated in the Huetar Caribbean Region, Pacific Region Central, and the Chorotega Region. As of September 2023, the QDENGA® dengue vaccine is not offered in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Hepatitis 

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

Costa Rica Influenza

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

Costa Rica Malaria Outbreak 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 September 2023, there have been 460 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

When visiting Costa Rica from South America and/or sub-Saharan Africa, a Yellow Fever vaccination (YF-VAX or Stamaril) is required. When you enter Costa Rica, an official certificate (ICVP) must be presented at the airport. Geographical Zones at Risk of Yellow Fever Transmission were updated in June 2023.

Costa Rica Zika

As of September 2023, week #36, there have been 14 confirmed cases of Zika virus in Costa Rica this year.

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 from 8% to 13% on the tourism industry 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 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 at this link and entry requirements.

Costa Rica Pan American Health Organization

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

Costa Rica World Health Organization

The WHO lists general precautions to prevent infections in publishing 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. This total includes 792,944 visitors from the United States and 148,973 from Canada, as the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo reported.

In September 2023, Air France-KLM Group confirmed an expansion of service to Costa Rica. Various organizations offer travel advice when planning a visit to Costa Rica, such as 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.