We visited Costa Rica between 24th January and 10th February 2012. Costa Rica requires Indian citizens to be in possession of a valid visa when they arrive.
However, people of ANY nationality holding valid US, Canada, Japan, South Korea or Schengen visas do not need a prior visa. The only conditions being that the visa must be valid for 3 months and should be stamped in your passport.
Since I have a tourist visa to the US that is valid until 2018, I was able to use the above provision and entered Costa Rica without needing a visa.
Thus, if you hold an Indian passport and have a valid visa to any of the above regions that is valid for 3 months from your date of arrival – you do NOT need a prior visa for Costa Rica. (Source)
We arrived at San Jose International Airport and the immigration official simply checked my passport for the US visa, and stamped me in for 30 days. Zara however was given a 90 day stamp on her Portuguese passport. We did not have to pay for the stamp.
- Before we boarded the flight from Cuba to Costa Rica, the airlines (TACA, in our case) INSISTED that we show proof of our flight out of Costa Rica. (we were flying from there to Brazil and luckily had already booked tickets). They said that this was necessary for us to be granted visas on arrival in Costa Rica. The immigration official in San Jose never asked us for anything.
- When you leave Costa Rica you need to pay a departure tax of USD 26 per person, there are ATMs all over this area so it shouldn’t be a problem. You can also use a credit/debit card to pay the tax.