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Frequently Asked Questions

The services provided by the doctors and dentists listed in Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica are similar or better than the services provided in the patient’s home country. We prefer to list healthcare providers who own or work in a US or Canadian accredited facility. This means their operations meet or exceed the standards of an equivalent facility in the US or Canada.

Most of the healthcare professionals listed have undergone international training outside of Costa Rica and all speak english fluently and are accustomed to dealing with medical tourists coming to Costa Rica. Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica has personally visited each listed provider to insure they are appropriate for medical tourists.

Check with your health insurance provider or employer before booking your treatment as it may be covered by your health insurance. Many insurance groups are now including medical tourism in their coverage.

Then check with your chosen provider in Costa Rica whether they require you to pay for treatment and then reclaim from insurance or whether the hospital or clinic in Costa Rica can process a treatment pre-authorisation from your insurance company.

The treatment provider will provide a full quotation covering your treatment plan, once they have reviewed your x-rays and medical records. This quotation may be subject to change following unforeseen eventualities or findings in pre-operative checks . When a treatment provider provides a quotation, always ask if there are any exclusions or foreseen additional costs.

Normally treatment providers will require a deposit up front before you arrive in Costa Rica. Other service providers will ask for a credit card to guarantee your booking.

Generally no. A specific medical travel insurance must be purchased – see Medical Travel Insurance on Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica.

Yes. Your companion may stay in your accommodation, attend your appointments if you wish and wait for you whilst you have your surgery. Your companion may nurse you in your recovery period or you may chose to contract nursing care or stay in a recovery center which has nursing care included.

However it is not vital to have a traveling companion. Many medical travellers come to Costa Rica alone, relying on the post-surgery services of the health provider, recovery center and contract nursing care should they require it.

This very much depends on your health and on the treatment you are having. Always ask your chosen provider before booking your trip, how long you need to remain in Costa Rica after your treatment as your treatment provider will need to confirm you are fit to fly and to leave Costa Rica.

If your treatment is covered by insurance then you will need to check with the insurance company if they will cover an extended stay in Costa Rica. If you are paying privately for your treatment, then the additional accommodation, appointment costs and any flight changes will be paid by you.

It is best to check with your treatment provider before coming to Costa Rica what is the required time to stay in Costa Rica following your treatment as the treatment provider will need to confirm you are fit to travel before you fly from Costa Rica.

Always ask the treatment provider beforehand if there is any guarantee for the procedure they will perform, as this will vary depending on procedure and provider.

Malpractice insurance in Costa Rica does not operate the same as it does in the US and other countries. If you are less than pleased with the result of your treatment, monetary compensation, will not be the necessary consequence. There are no punitive damages in the Costa Rican legal system. The treatment provider will likely prefer to correct your treatment as their first alternative. Judicial claim procedures for malpractice, will require significant amounts of time because of the way the legal system is structured.

In order to insure that you have a continuum of care on your return home from Costa Rica, it is important that you inform your Primary Care Practitioner in your home country that you are going to Costa Rica for healthcare. Where possible, establish contact between your Primary Healthcare Provider and your chosen provider in Costa Rica before your trip to Costa Rica. Your provider in Costa Rica can provide your home doctor with details of your procedure and necessary follow up if you ask them to do so.

Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949, preferring to invest in education, resulting in a democracy with political and economic stability. Costa Rica is considered the Little Switzerland of Central America with large international corporates having Head Offices in Costa Rica. As with travel to any country, the traveller needs to take precautions by keeping valuables close to hand, using registered taxis and not walking alone in quiet areas. All public areas have security guards and police are always nearby.

Visitors from the United States, Canada and the majority of European countries normally do not require a Visa and can stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a Visa, but current information can be found on the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) website.

No vaccines are needed to enter Costa Rica, unless you are visiting from South America when you need to have the Yellow Fever vaccine. For current health travel information on Costa Rica, please visit CDC Travelers’ Health.

When booking any treatment or accommodation on Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica, ask if the provider offers an airport pickup service. Arrange a meeting location (just beyond customs as you go outside the main building to meet the representative (ask their name) and request they carry a sign with your name on. The exit from any airport can be bustling and confusing to unfamiliar travellers, so it is best to ensure you leave the airport with a representative from the clinic or hotel.

On Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica, there are Car Rental companies through whom you can either rent a car or arrange a Private Driver service. This way you pay a daily rate for an english speaking driver to chauffeur you to your accommodation, appointments and sightseeing.

Finally you may choose to take an airport taxi. Look for taxi attendants in brown pants, white shirts and brown ties who will escort you to an orange licensed airport taxi with the following logo:

Airport taxi logo
If you use a medical tour agent to book your trip, they will organise your airport pickup and all transfers to appointments.

When booking any treatment or accommodation on Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica, ask if the provider offers transportation to and from appointments.
Alternatively organise a Private Driver or Car Rental or ask your accommodation to book a licensed red taxi (Licence plate will always commence with TSJ in San Jose) to your appointment.
If you use a medical tour agent to book your trip, they will organise transfers to appointments within your treatment package.

This depends on the procedure you are undergoing, always consult with your chosen provider regarding when its best to travel. Often when having dental treatment, there are also a few days between starting and completing treatment, when you may also have the opportunity to travel.

You may choose to hire a car or contract an english speaking Private Driver during your stay in Costa Rica.  The licensed red taxis are reliable – ask for a quote up front or check the meter before paying. Public bus services are regular and very reasonable but tend to be very overcrowded.  Coach services operate though out the country to main towns and tourist destinations, either as part of a tour or a town to town service.

Costa Rica also has local airlines which fly daily throughout the country as well as charter flights on demand.

There are so many wonderful places to visit in Costa Rica, it is difficult to pinpoint just one area. It also depends where you will receive your treatment in Costa Rica – San Jose, Guanacaste or any of the other provinces. Local airlines are an efficient way to travel all over the country as well as Coach services, making any area of Costa Rica easily accessible. A recent report of top 10 places to visit in Costa Rica included (in random order):

  • San Jose City & Surroundings
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Monteverde
  • Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach
  • Jaco Beach
  • Tamarindo Beach
  • Puerto Viejo & Cahuita
  • Drake Bay-Corcovado National Park – Osa Peninsula
  • Tortuguero
  • Montezuma

If your problem is medical, you can call your chosen provider directly. In Costa Rica, most providers will give you their cellphone number, should you have any problems or questions.  Always carry the telephone number of your accommodation, should you get lost whilst away from your accommodation.

If you need to contact the police, their number is 911.

The contact numbers of the US, Canadian and British Embassies in Costa Rica are as follows:

  • US Embassy +506 2519 2000 – 24 hours emergency +506 2220 3127
  • Canadian Embassy +506 2242 4400 – 24 hours emergency – Collect calls (613) 996-8885
  • British Embassy +506 2258 2025

The main Embassies in Costa Rica are in the San José area:

US Embassy – 104, San José, Costa Rica
+506 2519 2000

Canadian Embassy – The Canadian Embassy is located in Sabana Sur:
Behind the “Contraloría” in the
Oficentro Ejecutivo La Sabana
Building 5, Third floor
+506 2242 4400

British Embassy – Paseo Colón, San José, Costa Rica
+506 2258 2025

When traveling, it is advisable to drink bottled water only and avoid ice cubes in drinks.

If your cellphone has a roaming contract, it will generally work in Costa Rica.

Yes, many locations offer WiFi and there is 3G and 4G coverage throughout most of Costa Rica, although this is expectedly patchy in some remote areas.

Yes you must either carry your original passport or a legally certified copy of your passport with you at all times in Costa Rica as a form of identification.

The local currency is Costa Rican Colones CRC, though US dollars are also acceptable in most tourist areas.  1000 CR Colones roughly equals 2 US Dollars.

Yes, most tourist locations and medical tourism places in Costa Rica accept US dollars.

Yes, all main locations accept credit cards in Costa Rica.

You may exchange money in the arrivals area of the 2 international airports in Costa Rica – Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José (SJO) or Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste (LIR).

Your accommodation will usually exchange currency and any bank will exchange currency.

There are many commercial centers and strip malls all over Costa Rica. The largest commercial centers are Multiplaza Escazu, Escazu, San Jose and Multiplaza del Este, Curridabat, San José.

Yes, the departure tax for short-term visitors is currently $29. From 3 December 2014, you may no longer need to line up and pay this at the airport, it may be included in your airfare – please check with your agent. Tourists who stay over ninety days without receiving a formal extension can expect to pay a higher departure tax at the airport or land border.

Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949, preferring to invest in education, resulting in a democracy with political and economic stability. Costa Rica is considered the Little Switzerland of Central America with large international corporates having Head Offices in Costa Rica. As with travel to any country, the traveller needs to take precautions by keeping valuables close to hand, using registered taxis and not walking alone in quiet areas. All public areas have security guards and police are always nearby.

Visitors from the United States, Canada and the majority of European countries normally do not require a Visa and can stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a Visa, but current information can be found on the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) website.

No vaccines are needed to enter Costa Rica, unless you are visiting from South America when you need to have the Yellow Fever vaccine. For current health travel information on Costa Rica, please visit CDC Travelers’ Health.

This depends on the procedure you are undergoing, always consult with your chosen provider regarding when its best to travel. Often when having dental treatment, there are also a few days between starting and completing treatment, when you may also have the opportunity to travel.

You may choose to hire a car or contract an english speaking Private Driver during your stay in Costa Rica.  The licensed red taxis are reliable – ask for a quote up front or check the meter before paying. Public bus services are regular and very reasonable but tend to be very overcrowded.  Coach services operate though out the country to main towns and tourist destinations, either as part of a tour or a town to town service.

Costa Rica also has local airlines which fly daily throughout the country as well as charter flights on demand.

There are so many wonderful places to visit in Costa Rica, it is difficult to pinpoint just one area. It also depends where you will receive your treatment in Costa Rica – San Jose, Guanacaste or any of the other provinces. Local airlines are an efficient way to travel all over the country as well as Coach services, making any area of Costa Rica easily accessible. A recent report of top 10 places to visit in Costa Rica included (in random order):

  • San Jose City & Surroundings
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Monteverde
  • Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach
  • Jaco Beach
  • Tamarindo Beach
  • Puerto Viejo & Cahuita
  • Drake Bay-Corcovado National Park – Osa Peninsula
  • Tortuguero
  • Montezuma

When traveling, it is advisable to drink bottled water only and avoid ice cubes in drinks.

If your cellphone has a roaming contract, it will generally work in Costa Rica.

Yes, many locations offer WiFi and there is 3G and 4G coverage throughout most of Costa Rica, although this is expectedly patchy in some remote areas.

Yes you must either carry your original passport or a legally certified copy of your passport with you at all times in Costa Rica as a form of identification.

The local currency is Costa Rican Colones CRC, though US dollars are also acceptable in most tourist areas.  1000 CR Colones roughly equals 2 US Dollars.

Yes, most tourist locations and medical tourism places in Costa Rica accept US dollars.

Yes, all main locations accept credit cards in Costa Rica.

You may exchange money in the arrivals area of the 2 international airports in Costa Rica – Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José (SJO) or Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste (LIR).

Your accommodation will usually exchange currency and any bank will exchange currency.

There are many commercial centers and strip malls all over Costa Rica. The largest commercial centers are Multiplaza Escazu, Escazu, San Jose and Multiplaza del Este, Curridabat, San José.

Yes, the departure tax for short-term visitors is currently $29. From 3 December 2014, you may no longer need to line up and pay this at the airport, it may be included in your airfare – please check with your agent. Tourists who stay over ninety days without receiving a formal extension can expect to pay a higher departure tax at the airport or land border.

The services provided by the doctors and dentists listed in Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica are similar or better than the services provided in the patient’s home country. We prefer to list healthcare providers who own or work in a US or Canadian accredited facility. This means their operations meet or exceed the standards of an equivalent facility in the US or Canada.

Most of the healthcare professionals listed have undergone international training outside of Costa Rica and all speak english fluently and are accustomed to dealing with medical tourists coming to Costa Rica. Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica has personally visited each listed provider to insure they are appropriate for medical tourists.

Check with your health insurance provider or employer before booking your treatment as it may be covered by your health insurance. Many insurance groups are now including medical tourism in their coverage.

Then check with your chosen provider in Costa Rica whether they require you to pay for treatment and then reclaim from insurance or whether the hospital or clinic in Costa Rica can process a treatment pre-authorisation from your insurance company.

The treatment provider will provide a full quotation covering your treatment plan, once they have reviewed your x-rays and medical records. This quotation may be subject to change following unforeseen eventualities or findings in pre-operative checks . When a treatment provider provides a quotation, always ask if there are any exclusions or foreseen additional costs.

Normally treatment providers will require a deposit up front before you arrive in Costa Rica. Other service providers will ask for a credit card to guarantee your booking.

Generally no. A specific medical travel insurance must be purchased – see Medical Travel Insurance on Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica.

Yes. Your companion may stay in your accommodation, attend your appointments if you wish and wait for you whilst you have your surgery. Your companion may nurse you in your recovery period or you may chose to contract nursing care or stay in a recovery center which has nursing care included.

However it is not vital to have a traveling companion. Many medical travellers come to Costa Rica alone, relying on the post-surgery services of the health provider, recovery center and contract nursing care should they require it.

This very much depends on your health and on the treatment you are having. Always ask your chosen provider before booking your trip, how long you need to remain in Costa Rica after your treatment as your treatment provider will need to confirm you are fit to fly and to leave Costa Rica.

If your treatment is covered by insurance then you will need to check with the insurance company if they will cover an extended stay in Costa Rica. If you are paying privately for your treatment, then the additional accommodation, appointment costs and any flight changes will be paid by you.

It is best to check with your treatment provider before coming to Costa Rica what is the required time to stay in Costa Rica following your treatment as the treatment provider will need to confirm you are fit to travel before you fly from Costa Rica.

Always ask the treatment provider beforehand if there is any guarantee for the procedure they will perform, as this will vary depending on procedure and provider.

Malpractice insurance in Costa Rica does not operate the same as it does in the US and other countries. If you are less than pleased with the result of your treatment, monetary compensation, will not be the necessary consequence. There are no punitive damages in the Costa Rican legal system. The treatment provider will likely prefer to correct your treatment as their first alternative. Judicial claim procedures for malpractice, will require significant amounts of time because of the way the legal system is structured.

In order to insure that you have a continuum of care on your return home from Costa Rica, it is important that you inform your Primary Care Practitioner in your home country that you are going to Costa Rica for healthcare. Where possible, establish contact between your Primary Healthcare Provider and your chosen provider in Costa Rica before your trip to Costa Rica. Your provider in Costa Rica can provide your home doctor with details of your procedure and necessary follow up if you ask them to do so.

If your problem is medical, you can call your chosen provider directly. In Costa Rica, most providers will give you their cellphone number, should you have any problems or questions.  Always carry the telephone number of your accommodation, should you get lost whilst away from your accommodation.

If you need to contact the police, their number is 911.

The contact numbers of the US, Canadian and British Embassies in Costa Rica are as follows:

  • US Embassy +506 2519 2000 – 24 hours emergency +506 2220 3127
  • Canadian Embassy +506 2242 4400 – 24 hours emergency – Collect calls (613) 996-8885
  • British Embassy +506 2258 2025

The main Embassies in Costa Rica are in the San José area:

US Embassy – 104, San José, Costa Rica
+506 2519 2000

Canadian Embassy – The Canadian Embassy is located in Sabana Sur:
Behind the “Contraloría” in the
Oficentro Ejecutivo La Sabana
Building 5, Third floor
+506 2242 4400

British Embassy – Paseo Colón, San José, Costa Rica
+506 2258 2025

The services provided by the doctors and dentists listed in Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica are similar or better than the services provided in the patient’s home country. We prefer to list healthcare providers who own or work in a US or Canadian accredited facility. This means their operations meet or exceed the standards of an equivalent facility in the US or Canada.

Most of the healthcare professionals listed have undergone international training outside of Costa Rica and all speak english fluently and are accustomed to dealing with medical tourists coming to Costa Rica. Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica has personally visited each listed provider to insure they are appropriate for medical tourists.

When booking any treatment or accommodation on Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica, ask if the provider offers an airport pickup service. Arrange a meeting location (just beyond customs as you go outside the main building to meet the representative (ask their name) and request they carry a sign with your name on. The exit from any airport can be bustling and confusing to unfamiliar travellers, so it is best to ensure you leave the airport with a representative from the clinic or hotel.

On Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica, there are Car Rental companies through whom you can either rent a car or arrange a Private Driver service. This way you pay a daily rate for an english speaking driver to chauffeur you to your accommodation, appointments and sightseeing.

Finally you may choose to take an airport taxi. Look for taxi attendants in brown pants, white shirts and brown ties who will escort you to an orange licensed airport taxi with the following logo:

Airport taxi logo
If you use a medical tour agent to book your trip, they will organise your airport pickup and all transfers to appointments.

When booking any treatment or accommodation on Medical Tourism Directory Costa Rica, ask if the provider offers transportation to and from appointments.
Alternatively organise a Private Driver or Car Rental or ask your accommodation to book a licensed red taxi (Licence plate will always commence with TSJ in San Jose) to your appointment.
If you use a medical tour agent to book your trip, they will organise transfers to appointments within your treatment package.

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