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Entering Costa Rica - Customs requirements

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Entering Costa Rica - Customs requirements

1. Posted by ofavre (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Apparently Costa Rica customs require a proof of departure before letting you in... And I know this subject has already been posted on this website but I did not find exactly the answer I'm looking for... I'm entering Costa Rica in October, and leaving from Mexico. Therefore I don't have any onwards ticket from Costa Rica. My travel agent can't help me and advised me to book an online bus ticket to Nicaragua. I searched on the web if I could buy that but did not really find the websites offering international online bus tickets. Do you have any web address to recommend? Has any of you done the same? I'd like to buy a cheap bus ticket that I may not use in the end as I don't know exactly what date I'll get into Nicaragua. Any other advice? Many thanks, Olivia.

2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 980 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Well, I have never flown to Costa Rica....But I have crossed her land border half a dozen times. I have NEVER been asked for an onward ticket...>This holds true in every other country as well. I have flown into Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras...I have crossed all seven borders numerous times.

My guess is that you are getting this information from your travel agent. That person is probably giving you static about not buying a return flight. If that is the case, tell them to cough up the ticket, or forgo the agent and get on line (where you will find a cheaper ticket anyway)

The first time I flew into a CA country I was really worried about this issue....It was Belize...I phoned the Belizean consulate in Canada and asked about it. The (ambassador?) there laughingly told me he would send me a lletter if I was really worried about it, but it wasn't necessary.

I never did get that letter...But I did do this....
I figured that the real point of the whole exercise was to prove that I had the INTENT to leave. So I went to a flight centre and got a prospective itinerary for flying out of Belize a month down the road. I took that with me as proof that I was out of there. It seemed a good plan...Now remember, I have never been asked for proof, so I don't know if it'll work, but it seems plausible. Especially since the world now lives and dies by the e-ticket, meaning you have nothing to show the dude anyway.


3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Similar to Piecar's experience, despite these things being said by the country in question, they very rarely check on it.

I am almost positive that the reason this is a requirement is to ensure that people they think may be coming to try and live illegally in the country need to show proof that they are going to move on. For first-world travellers coming in on airlines from overseas, I don't think that the customs and immigration people really feel that you are likely to be a threat to try and settle in the country.

If they do ask, I would just tell them the truth - you are planning on heading north, flying eventually out of Mexico, but don't have firm dates and thus are waiting to book the bus tickets until closer to your leaving, but that you will leave before your visa expires, and that you have a bank card and credit card with you to ensure that you can support yourself and buy your tickets out when the time comes.