1. CANADIAN CITIZENS
Canadian Passport holders can travel to Costa Rica as tourists for up to a maximum 180 days, no visa is required but all the following requirements for entry must be met:
1) a valid passport (which must have a validity of at least 1 day left);
2) proof of economic solvency of at least US$100 per month of legal permanence in the country;
3) a ticket to exit Costa Rica within the maximum authorized period of 180 days and;
4) not having an impediment of entry into the country.
According to Article 61.3 of the Immigration law of Costa Rica, you would have an impediment to enter Costa Rica if you have a criminal conviction for a malicious crime (not a wrongful act) in the last 10 years, as long as the offense is both illegal in Canada and Costa Rica. Also, are not allowed people with precautionary measures (injunctions), pending criminal processes for sex crimes against under age people or that have been convicted of sex crimes against minors in the last 50 years.
The maximum authorized period for tourism is 180 days. There is no procedure for a visa/permanence extension beyond 180 days.
To be considered a tourist, Costa Rica uses the definition of tourism set by the World Tourism Organization that indicates that tourism comprises any activity done during the trip for leisure, business or professional reasons as long as they are not being remunerated or lucrative in Costa Rica.
2. CANADIAN PERMANENT RESIDENTS AND HOLDERS OF CANADIAN WORK OR STUDENT VISAS
Permanent residents in Canada or bearers of a student or work visa duly stamped in their passport that allows multiple entries, are exempt from a Costa Rica tourist visa. As long as both the passport of their nationality and the permanent resident card or student/work visa has at least 6 months left of validity at the moment of entry into Costa Rica.
The following requirements for entry must be met:
1) a valid passport (which must have a validity of at least 6 months left at the moment of entry into Costa Rica);
2) Canadian permanent resident card or Canadian multiple entry work/student visa stamped in the passport (which must have a validity of at least 6 months left at the moment of entry into Costa Rica) to be presented at the point of entry in Costa Rica.
3) proof of economic solvency of at least US$100 per person per month (or fraction of it) of stay in Costa Rica;
4) a ticket to exit Costa Rica within the maximum authorized period of 30 days and;
5) not having an impediment of entry into the country.
If you have a permanent resident card or a work/study visa in Canada, but it has less than 6 months of validity from the moment you will enter Costa Rica, then you will need to apply for a consular Costa Rica visa.
This exception does not apply if the residency is granted under refugee status (and the person has a travel document instead of a passport), in which case, the person needs to apply for a Costa Rican consulted visa to the Immigration Authority of Costa Rica.
Note: All documents of legal stay shall contain the security measures established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Hand written documents, single papers, documents that indicate that the residency is being processed or altered documents, will not be accepted. For the specific case of Canada, as proof of legal permanence it shall be presented the permanent resident card or the Canadian multiple entry visa, duly stamped in the valid passport that will be used to enter Costa Rica, where it is indicated the type of legal permanence granted. It will not be considered to this effect, just the work permit or study permit slips stapled in the passport.
3. CANADIAN TRAVEL DOCUMENT HOLDER (REFUGEE)
Canadian Permanent Resident card holders that have Canadian travel document (instead of a passport) because they have refugee status in Canada, would need to apply for a consulted visa with the Immigration Authority of Costa Rica.
Costa Rican Tourism Board