U.S. Passport Requirements for Travel to Costa Rica

The Costa Rica passport requirements are the same no matter where you enter into the country. U.S. citizens are obligated to show their federal identification documents in order to step foot on the nation’s land. Furthermore, these Costa Rica entry requirements are rigid. Without a proper ID card, a visitor risks being denied the ability to travel to this destination.

A federal US passport is a powerful tool that enables you to travel internationally. In fact, the passport book generally is the only item that allows you to board international flights. Make sure you have this document in your possession before you make upcoming Costa Rica travel plans. Furthermore, preparing for your travels in advance can help you avoid potential pitfalls abroad.

Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

You are required to possess a valid US passport in order to travel to Costa Rica. This is true for all U.S. citizens. Since Costa Rica and the United States are separate countries, you need a passport to go from one to another. You need a passport whether you travel by:

  • Air.
  • Land.
  • Sea.

Do I need a passport to return from Costa Rica to the United States?

According to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), you do not always need a government-issued US passport to return to the United States. For example, there are certain documents you can bring if you return from a closed-loop cruise, which is a cruise that departs from and returns to the same U.S. port. If you take a Costa Rica cruise like this, you may be able return home with the following documents:

  • A state or federally-issued driver’s license and a birth certificate
  • A nationally-recognized U.S. passport card
  • An enhanced driver’s license (EDL)

On the other hand, remember that you must apply for a passport if you plan on flying abroad. This is nonnegotiable, and there are no alternative documents you can use to board an international flight.