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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

United Airlines expanding routes to Costa Rica as travel rebounds

United Airlines is preparing a significant expansion into Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean during the upcoming U.S. winter.

The Chicago-based airline is “planning ahead by increasing service to cities in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America,” it announced. This includes 30% more flights to “Latin beach and leisure markets” compared to 2019.

Per The Points Guy, United is adding or increasing flights on the following routes to Costa Rica, with options to both Liberia, Guanacaste (LIR) and the San José area (SJO):

  • Denver to SJO.
  • Los Angeles to SJO.
  • San Francisco to LIR (begins December 5).
  • Los Angeles to LIR.

“We know our customers are already eager to plan winter vacations and gatherings in person this year to make up for time that they lost,” said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning at United.

“As pandemic restrictions ease, people are becoming more confident in planning travel further in advance, so we want to make sure to offer our customers as much choice as possible.”

Costa Rica fully reopened its air borders to tourists last November. It currently requires that visitors purchase travel health insurance, but that requirement will be dropped for minors and vaccinated travelers as of August 1, 2021.

Tourists do not need to quarantine on arrival or bring proof of a negative coronavirus test.

Costa Rica coronavirus entry requirements

Here are are the requirements to fly into Costa Rica on a commercial flight as a tourist during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Fill out the electronic epidemiological HEALTH PASS form, available at https://salud.go.cr. This should be completed in the 72 hours before boarding for Costa Rica. It generates a QR code that you must show upon arrival; most airlines ask for it at check-in.
  • Purchase Traveler’s Medical Insurance: This can be either from an international company, or purchased through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.
    • NOTE: As of August 1, 2021, fully vaccinated adults and minors will no longer need insurance, as we detailed here.

In addition to the coronavirus-related measures, tourists must also meet Costa Rica’s general visa requirements; visitors must have a valid passport and proof of intent to exit the country (an outbound ticket) within 90 days.

The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) lists all the current entry requirements for tourists on its website. Click here for the official page.

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