Vaccines for Costa Rica

Nestled in Central America, this enchanting country is renowned for its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of tropical flora, feel the warm sand beneath your feet as you stroll along stunning coastlines, and marvel at the mesmerizing sight of cascading waterfalls. Costa Rica offers a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike, with its abundant national parks, thrilling outdoor activities, and serene eco-lodges. The key to having a memorable trip to Costa Rica is preparing ahead of time and being well-informed about Costa Rica vaccine requirements.

What vaccines do Canadians need for Costa Rica?

Vaccination recommendations for Costa Rica apply to the following illnesses and diseases: yellow fever, rabies, hepatitis A and B, polio, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), chickenpox, shingles, influenza, and Tdap also known as tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. 

Read the charts below for additional details about vaccinations for travel to Costa Rica1

Recommended Travel Vaccinations for the Costa Rica

Vaccine ForHow the Disease is TransmittedRecommended For: 
Hepatitis AFood & WaterUnvaccinated travellers older than 12 months
Hepatitis BBlood & Body FluidsAll travellers
TyphoidFood & WaterRecommended for all travelers starting from 2 years of age
Yellow FeverMosquitoesFor travellers older than 9 months old coming from a country with Yellow Fever transmission risks, including layovers and ports, from  at-risk countries. This requirement applies to travellers arriving from Tanzania and Zambia, as well as specific areas in Colombia (excluding Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín, San Andrés, and Providencia), Ecuador (excluding the rest of the country and including the provinces of Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbíos, and Zamora-Chinchipe), Paraguay (excluding the city of Asunción), Peru (excluding Cusco, Lima, Cajamarca, Lambayeque, Piura, Tumbes, and the highland tourist areas of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail), and Trinidad & Tobago (excluding Port of Spain, travelers with itineraries limited to Tobago, and those with airport transits or layovers). Travelers coming from Argentina and Panama are exempt from this vaccination requirement2.
RabiesSaliva of Infected AnimalsCosta Rica is a high-risk country for rabies and the vaccine is advisable for everyone, including children
Traveler’s Diarrhea (Dukoral)Food & waterRecommended for all travelers starting from 2 years of age
MalariaMosquitoTravellers visiting certain areas of Costa Rica should take antimalarial medications and may need to take it multiple days before their trip. Talk to a travel health advisor for more information.

Routine Vaccinations for the Costa Rica

Vaccine TypeHow the Disease is TransmittedRecommended For
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR)Saliva, respiratory droplets, direct contact of bodily fluidsAvailable for anyone unvaccinated and from 12 months of age as part of the routine vaccine covered by OHIP
TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis)Wounds & AirborneAll travellers without previous allergic reactions 
ShinglesDirect ContactTravellers 50 years or older and travellers who have a history of chicken pox illness
PolioFood & WaterAll travellers are advised to be up to date with their immunization. 
InfluenzaAirborneTravellers from 6 months to 65+ years old. Vaccines change each year, check with your medical professional for the latest information.
Chickenpox (Varicella)Direct Contact & AirborneAll unvaccinated travellers or for travellers who never experienced chicken pox

Is it safe to travel to Costa Rica?

Generally, Costa Rica is a safe country. Petty crime is common and tourists are often targeted as they are perceived as being wealthy. However, violent crime, murders, and armed robberies occur. Drug trafficking is also common. Take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

Does Costa Rica still have COVID restrictions?

There are currently no COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Costa Rica, and a COVID test is not required for entry. However, we recommend that travellers to Costa Rica be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.

Do I need to take Dukoral for Costa Rica?

It is advisable to take Dukoral when visiting Costa Rica. Due to the high risk of contracting illness through food and water, it is important to know the vaccines needed for Cuba. Some food and water-borne illness can cause serious diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if not treated. 

Do I need a yellow fever vaccine for Costa Rica?

When entering Costa Rica, it may be necessary to provide evidence of yellow fever vaccination. To obtain accurate information pertaining to your specific circumstances, we recommend consulting your healthcare provider. The certificate approved by the World Health Organization is valid for a lifetime if the traveller received a full dose of the yellow fever vaccine. Speak with your healthcare provider prior to your trip. If you do get the vaccine, ensure to receive it at least 10 days before your departing flight to Costa Rica. 

Is it safe to drink water in Costa Rica?

The safety standards for food and water in Costa Rica are similar to those in the United States. In general, most travelers do not need to take any special precautions regarding their food and water beyond what they would normally do at home. However, if you are planning to visit rural or remote areas in Costa Rica that rely on unregulated water sources like private wells, it is important to take specific measures to ensure the safety of the drinking water.

Contact Us to Learn More About Costa Rica Vaccine Requirements

By following our travel health tips, including staying up to date with necessary vaccines, you can protect yourself from potential health risks and have peace of mind during your time in Costa Rica. Our clinic offers a range of recommended vaccines tailored specifically for this destination, taking into account the prevalent diseases and local conditions.

Remember, proactive measures such as proper vaccination, practicing good hygiene, and taking precautions specific to Costa Rica will significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering any health-related issues during your travels. At ABC Travel Clinic, we strive to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions about your health while exploring the wonders of Costa Rica.

Trust us as your reliable partner in ensuring a healthy and memorable trip to Costa Rica. Contact ABC Travel Clinic today to schedule your travel health consultation and start your vacation with confidence!

1CDC. “Costa Rica: Traveler’s Health.” CDC Travelers’ Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023,

2CDC. “Costa Rica: Traveler’s Health.” CDC Travelers’ Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023,

Schedule Your In-Clinic Consultation in 3 Easy Steps

Book In-Clinic Consultation online and get up to $120 off, if booked online

  • waiting icon Choose your time Online
  • Email Icon Get the Email Confirmation
  • appointment 
 Icon See doctor Today
Book Online