Being the country’s top authority when it comes to vacations to Costa Rica, CRV felt it might be best to detail out our most commonly asked question when planning a trip to paradise…

What is the price to pay for the Costa Rica exit tax?

What is the price of the Costa Rica departure tax?

ANSWER: $29 US or equivalent in Costa Rican colones

Although this sort of tax might be something you’re not use to, here’s a little explanation as to what’s going on.

departure taxThroughout the world there are a majority of international airports that charge a departure tax (aka exit tax) however as a traveler you may not be aware of it. This is because many airlines are permitted to include it in the purchase of the airline ticket. However in Costa Rica this is not the case — here you are required to pay the exit tax in person.

It gets weirder…

Not only do you have to pay this tax in person but if you don’t happen to have the $29 US dollars in cash (or equivalent in Costa Rican colones) and have to use a credit card, official collection counters will charge you an additional $10. When asked why this is like this, the response we got was that they treat the transaction like a cash advance when using a credit card. For your convenience there is a couple onsite ATM bank machines for quick access to cash.

While paying the tax you will also be required to present a valid passport upon which you will then receive the official voucher verifying that you’ve paid your departure tax.

Where do you pay the exit tax?

Once you enter the international airport in San Jose (SJO), you will head to the right where you will find a queue to line up in front of counters clearly marked “Departure Tax”. Depending on the time of year you are traveling you may want to plan ahead a little given during peak season (December through April) you can find yourself waiting over 30 mins. And don’t forget that this is mandatory before you head to your airline counter because they will give you a form you’ll have to present when checking in with your chosen airline. And a friendly tip: have a pen handy as there not readily available in the airport and it’s common to see travelers running around frantic to find a pen. 😉

However their is a positive to this…

One of the finer benefits to booking your Costa Rica vacations with CRV is that, for a minimal fee of $5, our travel experts can include payment of your departure tax in to your vacation package both saving you time and money. Your departure voucher will be waiting for you in your welcome package at the airport upon arrival.

So there you have it, sure it might sound like a bit of hassle to remember all that but you know what? That’s why we’d love to take care of it for you. Ask your travel expert about the departure tax next time you book your next Costa Rica vacation with CRV.