Worried about Testing Requirements? We have you covered!

Questions About Covid Testing in Costa Rica and Panama?

We’re Here to Help and Make Sure that this does not get in the way of your Travel Plans.

When the U.S. CDC announced new Covid-19 testing or proof of recovery requirements beginning January 26th for travelers entering the United States by aircraft, it understandably caused concern among our guests.  Was testing readily available in Costa Rica or Panama? Would the results come back on time? Would they need to alter their trip? How expensive would the tests be?

We see this as a good thing – mandating more testing enables safe, responsible travel – and really just business as usual; since borders reopened to international travelers our hotels have already been assisting international guests with “prior to departure” testing for months.  Fortunately, Covid testing in both Costa Rica and Panama is fairly easy to arrange, affordable & readily available and both countries are allocating more resources towards improving the process.

Following is current information on testing availability, approximate costs and turn around times at each of the Cayuga Collection Hotels + San Jose, Costa Rica and Panama City, Panama. 

While this is accurate at the time of writing, we all know that especially right now, the only constant is change. Check in with your ground partners (DMCs) or directly with our hotels prior to your trip and make sure to schedule your testing appointment in advance.

Costa Rica

PCR and Antigen tests are being offered in Costa Rica.

Arenas Del Mar, Quepos, Manuel Antonio:  A doctor from the Metropolitan Hotel in Quepos can come to the hotel and perform the tests in-room for approximately $125 per person. Turnaround time is within 48 hours and results are frequently returned in 24 hours. Must be scheduled in advance. (Testing is also available at the hospital for $115 + transfer costs.)  

Hotel Aguas Claras, Puerto Viejo: Testing is available at the Laboratory Bioclinic in Puerto Viejo. (Due to the small size of the clinic, in-room testing at the hotel cannot be guaranteed). The cost is approximately $140 per person with a turnaround time of 48 hours.

Kura, Uvita: PCR tests with a 72-hour turnaround time can be arranged in Uvita for $200 per person.  If guests are going on excursions near Manuel Antonio, we can also arrange testing at the hospital in Quepos for $125 per person with 48 hour turnaround time.  

Kurà will have the option to test at a nearby hotel’s parking lot: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Cost is about $165. Appointment required. From 7 am till 8:30 am. 24 to 48 hour turnaround. Kurà will provide the transfer from the hotel to get tested.

Senda Monteverde, Santa Elena: Testing is now available in Monteverde with a 48-hour turnaround. There is also a lab is in Liberia with a 72 hour turnaround time. As most guests of Senda Monteverde are only staying for 2-3 nights early on as part of a longer itinerary, we recommend that guests arrange testing at another point in their trip or when passing through Liberia or San Jose and can assist with arranging appointments in these locations.

There are a number of private hospitals, clinics and labs in and around San Jose with 24 hour return times on results and testing costs starting at $85 per person. Two Weeks in Costa Rica offers a good summary of options in This Blog Post.    

As of right now, Antigen Tests are offered at Private Labs. Estimated cost is about $60. We can help make arrangements for testing in San Jose a day prior to your departure.

  • Results will be delivered the same day.
  • It is available by appointment only.
  • Requirements: Present identification and a flight ticket/itinerary for an international flight within 72 hours. The test will only be carried out on people who present an air ticket for travel outside of Costa Rica.
  • The sample for the test is a nasopharyngeal swab.


Panama offers both PCR and antigen testing, including rapid testing at PTY (Tocumen International Airport) for approximately $50. This is now available for both inbound and outbound international travelers. While appointments are not available, in our experience it only takes around 45 minutes to arrive to the testing line, get tested and receive your results.

Testing is also widely available in Panama City; your ground operator should be able to arrange a private doctor for in-room testing at your hotel or you can opt to go a lab, private hospital or the drive-through testing center at Hospital Punta Pacifica.

Isla Palenque:

We are working with a lab in David to offer testing in-room, on-island. Testing must be scheduled in advance through the hotel. There is a $150 “testing service fee” charged by the lab for each trip to the island which is shared by anyone booking testing on a given day.  Guests may pay the lab directly in cash or add the charge to their room account to process through the hotel.

Testing Options Available on Isla Palenque: Antigen Test: Same day if a sample is taken AM, next day if taken PM. Costs $45 per person. PCR: 48 hours turnaround: Cost: $95 per person 

More useful blogs:

Cayuga Collection Safety and Sanitary Measures: https://www.cayugacollection.com/cayuga-collection-hotels-lodges-covid-19-protocols-measures/

Cayuga Collection’s Zero Risk Zero Hassle Reservations and Cancelation Policies: https://www.cayugacollection.com/zero-risk-zero-hassle/

2 Responses

  1. I am flying to Guatemala City on March 1st and returning the same day. My departure from SJO is 1:30 PM. I think, but am not sure yet if Guatemala requires the Covid test before they allow you to board the airplane. Do you know for sure?

    Can I get tested at or near the SJO airport that morning and get the results before my flight? If so, where and how much does it cost? Thank you for your quick reply and help. I am staying at the Hampton Courts Hotel. Do they have testing there perhaps?

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Andrea Bonilla

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