I'm leaving for Costa Rica on Tuesday but I have only purchased a one way ticket. My plan was to then travel around central America by bus for as long as time/money permits. Does anyone know if the airline will even let me in Costa Rica without an outbound ticket OR can I purchase an outbound bus ticket as proof I'm planning on leaving the country?
Also, I heard you can stay in Costa Rica for 90 days and then have to leave for 72 hours before coming back. Is that true?
Thanks for any help you can offer
If the airline lets you board with a one-way ticket, than nobody will stop you entering Costa Rica. Depending upon nationality, most visitors are allowed a stay of up to 90 days as a tourist. For longer stays the tourist must leave the country for at least 72 hours, for example by visiting Panama or Nicaragua, and can receive another 90 days' visa upon reentering.
The answer is, technically, yes....You need an outbound ticket to fly to Costa Rica. Airlines WILL let you on without one, even if there is a chance that they may get stuck with returning you...because the chance is exceedingly remote.
That said: If you show up with dirty military garb and a mohawk and a bad attitude, even if everything else checks out, but you don't have an onward ticket, the Costa Rican border guards CAN send you packing.
In practice, this almost (ALMOST, Mark It!) never happens. CA is a small place and people go overland and to and fro all the time. It is standard practice for some pack schlepper to buy a ticket on the fly wherever he ends up. So you are 99% safe....
But there can be that officious little turd with the stamp who just broke up with her boyfriend and just got hosed out of some money somewhere along the line who is tired of looking at relaxed travellers who CAN fuck you up....So keep it in mind. You need to know that there is a real risk, even if it is tiny.
I have done THIS in the past to try and protect myself....I have gone to a travel agent and gotten myself a prospective itinerary from another neighbouring country with a flight home. I have carried this as proof that I intend to return...I have never had to use this, so it's worth is speculative, but the idea seems sound.
And, yes, I have seen a smug and smarmy traveller who was a little too lippy get turned around because of no onward ticket. And I applauded the woman who turned him around....The guy was an ass.
So, I might have scared you....But I have flown into five of seven capitols in CA without an onward ticket and have never been asked. So you are MOSTLY okay...
(But if you aren't, it ain't my fault.)
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 21, 2008, at 6:06 PM by Piecar ]