Questions and Concerns About Traveling to Costa Rica Amidst Coronavirus (COVID19)

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / Questions and Concerns About Traveling to Costa Rica Amidst Coronavirus (COVID19)

We at Bodhi Surf + Yoga recognize these extraordinary circumstances, and have implemented a flexible cancelation policy: if any of our guests (either those who have booked or who will book) need to cancel due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we will honor a 100% credit, valid through 1 year from the time of your reservation.


July 30, 2020 Update: There have been 16,800 cumulative cases of Covid-19 (with 133 deaths and 4050 recoveries). At present, there are 12,617 active cases in the country. On March 16, 2020, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency, which to date remains in effect. Costa Rican citizens, residents, and visitors have been strongly encouraged to “stay home.”

Border closures remain in effect until August 1st, 2020 and are only reopening to the UK, EU, and Canada at present. Here is another great blog on Two Weeks in Costa Rica with constantly updated information.

Costa Rica and the Covid-19 Crisis

This post is designed to describe how Costa Rica has been handling this crisis, and to provide information as we learn it. In our opinion, the Costa Rican government has displayed strong leadership and competency by acting so swiftly and effectively to mitigate the spread of the virus, and this has been reported internationally. Precautionary measures were put in place early to promote social distancing, reduce transmission, and “flatten the curve”.

Like everyone else on the planet, we at Bodhi Surf + Yoga are concerned about the implications of this pandemic, and we are mindful of how this is affecting real people, all over the world, in a variety of different ways. We are monitoring the situation, and taking it very seriously. We closed in mid-March and will not reopen until it is both safe and recommended to do so.

To address any potential concerns, we have consolidated what we have learned through research, as well as a few updates with regards to the situation here in Costa Rica, our area, and at Bodhi Surf + Yoga specifically.

Concerned about traveling because of the coronavirus?

If you’re thinking about traveling in the future, we know that the coronavirus is on your mind. You may be wondering, when will it be a good time to travel again? This is a very personal decision, and one that you should make based on what you’re comfortable with. This is an evolving situation, and the hope is that this imposed period of slowness and stillness does the trick in slowing and managing the transmission rate.

We recommend following the situation as it evolves, and  always choosing sources wisely — government agencies, trusted news outlets, etc.

What is the risk of contracting the coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, “Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover.” The mortality rate of COVID-19 is still not 100% known, and ranges country-by-country. It is much more fatal to the elderly and those with preexisting conditions (cardiovascular, diabetes, or respiratory disease). For the rest of the population, contracting the illness may not be unlike the common cold. However, it is notable that even those who only receive mild symptoms can still be carriers and can spread it to more vulnerable members of the population.

The pristine Marino Ballena National Park

Thinking about visiting Costa Rica?

Following the example of other countries, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency on March 16, 2020. The government here has taken the situation very seriously, acting swiftly and sweepingly to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in Costa Rica. After this is over, we can only hope the global situation will have improved and that we will all be able to resume our normal lives (perhaps a cleaner and more relaxed version of our normal lives) and doing the things we all love to do, including going out, gathering together, and seeing new places in the world. At the moment, we are following recommendations to socially distance and “stay at home,”and encouraging others to do the same! When the time comes to travel again, we do sincerely believe that Costa Rica will have positioned itself to be an optimal place to travel (based on how it has handled this situation).

If you are considering travel in the future, will Costa Rica be a good option?

Costa Rican authorities are by no means taking the situation lightly, and are acting swiftly and competently to mitigate the spread of the virus and not be a strain on the medical system. We sincerely hope that if all countries act accordingly (and citizens follow their instructions), this situation will improve and we will all be able to resume our lives at some point — and hopefully all making meaningful change for a better world and future for all! In the meantime, we hope everyone stays safe and sane, and we will be putting out some useful and fun content to pass the time. When it comes time that people can travel again, we very much hope that they will feel safe and comfortable to come and join us.

Costa Rica will remain an amazing place to visit for so many reasons. For those concerned about the quality of health care in this country, as International Living reports, “By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best healthcare in Latin America.” At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, our collective experience has been the same. Costa Rica is a very clean country at the best of times, and with these extra precautions in place, it’s safe to assume it’s never been cleaner! For example, in much of the country (including our area!), there is potable water which drastically cuts down on the amount of people who get sick.

Here is the video with the new protocols for entering Costa Rica via the Juan Santamaria International Airport, which is reopening to visitors from the UK, EU, and Canada on August 1, 2020.

Increased travel flexibility and drop in airline prices

Airlines have responded to this situation by offering increased flexibility and price drops. Here are updates from the most commonly used airlines by Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, should they want to start looking into flights down for later in the year.

United Airlines

Increased flexibility: United has displayed great flexibility. To stay up to date on their policy, go here.

American Airlines

Increased flexibility: American Airlines has displayed great flexibility. To stay up to date on their policy, go here.

Delta Airlines

Increased flexibility: Delta has displayed great flexibility. To stay up to date on their policy, go here.

Air Canada

Increased flexibility: Air Canada has displayed great flexibility. To stay up to date on their policy, go here.

Visiting the Costa Ballena area (Ojochal, Bahia Ballena, Uvita, Dominical)

Our area remains beautiful and tranquil through this scary situation, and we feel very fortunate to have it as our home. Once the situation resolves, we are excited to resume our normal routines. But this situation has highlighted some questions or concerns that people may have in general about visiting. One nice thing about where we are located is that, while it’s still quite remote, we do have access to good quality healthcare. We are located a mere 25-minute drive away from the Hospital Thomas Casas Casajús of Ciudad Cortés that serves a large portion of the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica. We are also approximately 3 hours away from several major hospitals in the country’s capital, San Jose, where: “Private healthcare is also available, which is affordable and high quality,” according to International Living.

As reported by Business Matters magazine: “The authorities of the Central American country have allocated significant resources to the construction of hospitals and health centers, equipped with high-tech equipment, and training medical personnel, which have achieved worldwide recognition. ‘An index developed by Fetscherin & Stephano in 2019 placed Costa Rica in the 6th position among the top 30 medical tourism destinations worldwide. In the region were Panama (20), Brazil (16), Jamaica (17) and Colombia (19). The Dominican Republic (22) and Mexico (28) were located behind.’”

Visiting Bodhi Surf + Yoga

On March 16, 2020, the Costa Rican government declared a state of emergency. So at this time, we will not be holding any of our camps or vacations until that state of emergency is lifted and/or the global situation improves. We are committed to following the Costa Rican government’s recommendations, as well as being transparent. We will continue to update this page as the situation develops. Thank you to everyone who has reached out during this time, knowing that we are a socially and environmentally responsible company which depends on tourism, yet is also committed to keeping our staff employed during this time. You can also find ways you can help Bodhi Surf + Yoga maintain our mission and vision, here.

In the meantime, we will be putting out content with the aim of giving tools to help people in this time of great global stress, or to entertain them! We are a group of very passionate individuals who are committed to working through this to make the world a better place. We will do everything in our power to do so, so follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube to stay up to date.

Bodhi Surf + Yoga is a small lodge located within a small community that can only host small groups (of 10 people max). We are extremely lucky to be here in our beautiful home in an awesome community. We are happy and relaxed here in our beautiful little corner of the planet, and it feels like the best place in the world to ride this out.

Our recommendations

Until further notice, stay home, stay safe. Follow the indications from the World Health Organization and your own government. This is a global crisis, and it is a time more than ever to practice love, compassion, and solidarity. To lend a helping hand to those in need — friends, family members, neighbors. To slow down, breathe, rest, and  take time to practice self-care. To take this time to reflect on how to do and be better, so that when we come out the other side we are ready to work together to create a better, more equitable, and more sustainable world.

Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s updated cancellation policy in the face of the coronavirus

Following the request of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), we are updating our cancellation policy while this situation is ongoing. Bodhi Surf + Yoga recognizes these extraordinary circumstances by implementing a flexible cancelation policy: if any of our guests (those who have booked or will book) need to cancel due to the COVID-19 situation, we will honor a 100% credit, valid through 1 year from the time of your reservation.

You can see our full payment and cancellation policy here.

We will continue to update this blog post as more information becomes available

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About the author


Adrianne is the fun-and-food-loving socialite of Bodhi Surf + Yoga. If she's not whipping up a feast for Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, she's probably busy writing for the Bodhi blog or keeping people up-to-date on the goings on via social media!