Yellow Fever Vaccine needed to enter Costa Rica from Panama?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: May 29, 2013 10:10 AM Last Post By: maliante
Dec 11, 2012 10:14 AM
I just realized that Costa Rica requires a yellow fever vaccine if travelers are entering from an infected area. The travel clinic I visited did not give me the yellow fever vaccine. I will be in Panama (Bocas) for a month, and then heading up through Costa Rica to Guatemala... Will I be denied entry without this vaccine?
Dec 11, 2012 10:39 AM
1That is not correct. There is no requirements for any vaccines entering Costa Rica, unless you are flying in from a YF Risk Area ( Parts of South America/Africa).
The same holds true for Panama, and all of Central America, no vaccines required if entering from a NON YF Risk Area.
Not sure where you read this, unless you live (Passport) is a YF risk area.
Dec 11, 2012 11:48 AM
2I read that CR needed proof of vaccine if you enter from a yellow fever infected region on the Canada travel advisory site (I'm from Canada). But I found a lot of conflicting information on whether or not Panama was considered a yellow fever infected region. So I wasnt sure if CR would treat it as one or not.
Thanks for your reply though. That makes me feel better.
On a different note.. I have ticket into Panama and out of Guatemala. Will I have trouble entering countries (panama, CR, Nicaragua, etc) if my flight does not leave from them? I can only buy my bus ticket up through Central America when I get to Panama... Will they refuse me entry to Panama if I dont have my bus ticket out, and only have a flight out of Guatemala?
Dec 11, 2012 11:55 AM
3It is not Panama Immigration that is the issue, it is the airline, they enforce the Onward Travel requirements upon check in to for the flight to Panama. If you have a Open Jaw round trip on the same airline, they may not have an issue, as they know you are returning, if two different airlines, not purchased together at the same time, then you need to provide this as proof of
Onward Travel, and hope the airline check in clerk applies the rules in your favor, if not, you are screwed, and will be required to buy a return flight in order to get boarding pass to fly to Panama, as they get fined if they deliver a passenger not meeting the rules. That said, some airlines/countries are more lax than others. It is best to call your outbound airline and confirm, and if possible, get an Email from then stating you clear to fly based on this info, so the gate agent cant argue until you are blue in the face.
Dec 11, 2012 12:29 PM
4If you have a confirmed flight from a different country it is fine to fly in, but.... You need some proof of leaving from Costa Rica when you cross the boarder from Panama....which means probably buying a bus ticket at the boarder going back to Panama for 14 dollars. Or you can fake a flight conformation out of Costa Rica.
Dec 11, 2012 12:34 PM
5I have a "round trip" from american airlines entering Panama and leaving Guatemala... so if it is the same airline, booked altogether, it should be fine?
also, by the time i enter Costa Rica, I should have the entire bus ticket through to Guatemala. So I am not worried about that. I am mainly concerned about entering Panama without an onward ticket from Panama.
thanks for the replies so far!
Dec 11, 2012 1:18 PM
6No problem with the airline ticket. And if you have the tico bus ticket leaving Costa Rica no problem as well.
Dec 11, 2012 9:23 PM
7Panama IS considered to be an YF Risk affected area, however it is given an exemption to the Yellow Fever vaccine rule:
"Costa Rica Requirements: Required for travelers ≥9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of YFV transmission (with the exception of Argentina, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago) and for travelers who have been in transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission." from the CDC (USA).
Have a great trip!
May 28, 2013 7:58 PM
8Um, Hey. yes. Here I am stuck in David, Panama- waiting the requisite 5 days to cross into Costa Rica. Apparently, since I just arrived from Colombia to Panama, the Ticos either want documentation of my Yellow Fever vaccination or a 5 day wait before allowing me to enter. I was stopped at the border this morning while driving across. No stamp for me. I guess they figure, if I'm gonna get Yellow Fever, I'd get it within 5 days.
Don't get stuck in David
that is all
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