Taking a Pet to Costa Rica

Taking a pet to Costa Rica has it’s upside and downside depending on how you go about doing it.  It you want to travel with your pet on the same plane it is a relatively simple process.  But during the summer months and going back into the United States this gets a little more difficult.

The TSA has made it impossible for an individual to book one’s own pet on a flight entering the US as manifest cargo which is the only way pets that are over 70 lbs (crate and pet’s weight combined) can travel.  They must use a licensed broker or a registered and licensed IPATA agent to book the flight for them.

If you have a smaller pet and the temperature is not over 85 degrees at any point of your travel or in the winter months below 40 degrees you can take your pet as checked baggage.  Provided of course it does not exceed the weight limit.

If you take a pet into Costa Rica as manifest cargo and you are NOT on the same plane, you have a whole other mess if you have not taken efforts to get an import permit well in advance of your pets arrival.  It is guaranteed that your pet will spend at least one night in the customs warehouse (off-site of the airport) in wait of an import permit.

Then there is the paperwork that is required to enter and exit Costa Rica.  Government approved and state USDA/MAG stamped and sealed paperwork.

Taking a pet into or out of Costa Rica is not as simple as taking a child.  Do not take this lightly or your pet will be the one to suffer and you will be unduly stressed with the process.

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