costa rica medical care

Visiting Costa Rica for medical care

Let’s spend a few minutes talking about Costa Rica. For those of you who have had the pleasure of visiting this fantastic country, you’re probably anticipating what the next few paragraphs are talking about. For those who haven’t been there yet, this is your introduction to a hidden gem in the middle of the Americas.  You may be thinking, “another article talking about the natural wonders this small country 8 degrees north of the equator has to offer.  Waterfalls, volcanos, 800 miles of coastline with 300 spectacular beaches in between its Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, lush biodiversity, and the welcoming nature of its people”.  But you’d be wrong because even though all those things are true, this is an article sharing the multiple reasons why Costa Rica is an incredible Medical Tourism destination.  A well-known fact to a few people, but not to the masses.

Let’s look at some of the many reasons why you should consider Costa Rica for your medical (corrective surgeries like orthopedic, bariatric, oncology and so much more…the type of surgeries you go to a major hospital for), plastic surgery of any kind, dental (all procedures like veneers, full mouth reconstruction, crowns, etc.), and fertility:

    • Doctors, nurses, and support staff who have studied and trained at the best universities and hospitals in the US and throughout the world.
    • Multilingual doctors and support staff.  You’ll feel right at home because all your communication needs will be met.
    • 1:2 nurse to patient ratio vs 1:10 at best in many other countries.
    • Has been ranked as high as 2nd best healthcare system in the world by Global Health Intelligence.
    • Has also been recognized as the healthiest country in Latin America by Bloomberg.
    • PROMED:  The health chamber created by the Costa Rican government to circumvent the challenges or concerns of medical tourists.  PROMED exists to ensure that international patients visiting Costa Rica receive consistent, high-quality medical and dental services from all its affiliated members (no other country in the world has a “PROMED”).
  • Ideal geographic location with short non-stop flight from many US cities.  The same applies to medical tourists coming from any Latin American country and even Europe. For US and Canadians, it is nice to be on a similar time zone as your home residence.
  • Medical facilities that meet the highest medical standards in the world.  Some of these facilities raise the bar even more with their JCI accreditation (Joint Commission International accreditation and certification is recognized as a global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety).
  • Access to proven medical procedures and treatments that may not be accessible where you live due to local, regional, or national laws/regulation.
  • State of the art facilities and technology.
  • Significant savings, in most cases the savings are between 50-70% vs US prices.
  • Your local health insurance policy (regardless of where you live in the world) may be fully applicable for your care in Costa Rica.  All you have to do is ask your insurance policy provider or ask us and we’ll find out for you.
      • Why is this significant? Your percent of a deductible for surgery costing $50,000 in the US vs the same surgery that costs $15,000 in Costa Rica could be far less, not to mention co-insurance. For example, a knee replacement.
  • You will save a significant amount of money and your insurance company will love you (even though they won’t say it).  And if you work for a self-insured company, your employer may waive your deductible completely and even pay for your airfare, lodging, and local transportation
  • A video is worth a million words….click here
  • Costa Rica impressive history facts:
      •  A democratic country that became an independent republic on September 15th, 1921.
      • Slavery was abolished in 1824 (the US did it in 1865).
      • The army was abolished in 1948.

The list can go on and on, but for more information you can click on to learn more.  We have done all the leg work for you to ensure you have access to top quality healthcare, a safe destination, accessibility, and significant savings.  Yes, there are other medical facilitators out there, but they offer you an endless number of countries, cities within those countries, healthcare providers within those cities, and so on.  By choosing a preferred destination, like Costa Rica, you can limit your research to an area that can meet your needs without the confusion of trying to pick a country and a provider. Better yet, you will be able to speak directly with the medical specialist who will address your need(s), not a medical assistant or intermediary.

It is important to also think about protection against the inherent risks associated with any medical procedure.  Notice we are saying the risks of any medical procedure, not the risks of medical tourism.  Why is this differentiation important?  Because these risks exist regardless of where your desired medical procedure is performed, even in your own neighborhood.  We all hear the stories of the things that went wrong locally or whilst travelling for care. This is why at Patient Journey we are proud to have teamed up with Global Protective Solutions (GPS) to offer every medical tourist access to a Complications Coverage policy. This option is not available for you within your home country. So, for self-insured or elective self-pay procedures, you cannot get this Peace of Mind locally.

Now that you know a bit more about Costa Rica, an ideal medical tourism destination, we invite you to do your own research.  And of course, we invite you to visit our website which contains an extensive amount of information should you want to benefit from all the amazing things Costa Rica offers the world.


You might also be interested in: Top Medical Tourism Destinations in South and Central America

Medical tourism from the United States to Mexico

Medical tourism from the United States to Mexico

Medical tourism from the United States to Mexico

When we discuss Medical Tourism from the United States to Mexico, we must highlight that over one million Americans travel to Mexico in order to receive medical treatments of multiple categories. These categories include cosmetic surgeries ranging from bariatric to breast augmentation, liposuction to body contouring, and more recently an influx dental surgeries.

One of the main reasons Americans invest in medical tourism is undoubtedly the economic aspect, since the price difference is considerable, and in terms of medical services provided, without any detriment to quality.

The services provided by specialized doctors in Mexico are really affordable for Americans, in addition to the fact that this type of medical tourism package can include the cost of tickets, medical care depending on the specialty, interventions, hospitalization, and treatment. Post-operative lodging for the patient and travel companion may also be included.


What are the requirements for medical tourism from the United States to Mexico?

People interested in undergoing any type of medical treatment in Mexico, from the United States or any other part of the world, must meet a series of requirements in order to carry out their plans to combine tourism with medical care by the best Mexican doctors.

Americans will always be well received in Mexico, however, it is necessary that they meet a minimum of requirements, which are essential for any foreigner who wishes to cross the Mexican borders.

The main requirements:

  • Present valid passport;
  • Have on hand the Multiple Migration Form, known as FMM. This form is given to foreign passengers on board the plane, or you can previously request it online, at the following URL: https://www.inm.gob .mx/fmme/public/request.html;
  • Present your ticket.


What other requirements are necessary to start your tourism and medical assistance plan?

Americans who come to Mexico for surgical interventions or medical treatments must bring certain additional documents, including, but not limited to:

  • Previous evaluation from your current doctor to present to the specialist doctor in the clinic or hospital;
  • Proof of corresponding payments being up to date with the insurance company. This will guarantee your initial appointment to be evaluated and referred to the specialist surgeon, and this same company may also guarantee coverage of hospitalization expenses, professional fees, and medications.


What benefits can American patients obtain within Mexican territories with a Medical Tourist Insurance policy?

Traveling to Mexico as an American insured can offer 40% to 70% savings when having cosmetic procedures as well as surgical interventions.

In the case of bariatric and dental surgeries, it is possible to obtain up to a 75% discount on the cost of these same items if they are performed in America. Up to a 70 % discount can be applied to the cost orthopedic surgeries or treatments.

Medication and prescriptions for Americans who undergo surgery, or any other type of medical treatment, can receive up to 30% discount.

Why do Americans seek Medical Tourism in Mexico?

Americans are committed to seeking excellent medical tourism assistance wherever they travel. Mexico offers globally recognized specialists who are considered among the best in all medical specialties. In addition to their interest of receiving successful bariatric, cosmetic, dental, and orthopedic surgery, Americans also want to see the beauty that Mexico has to offer. Regarding the value of medicines, citizens who undergo surgery or any other type of medical treatment can get up to a 30% discount on the value of medicines.


What tourist attraction does Mexico offer to patients who carry out Medical Health Tourism?

Some of the main tourist attractions for patients who want to combine health with recreation are the following:

  • Rosarito,
  • Reynosa,
  • Tecate,
  • Tijuana,
  • Nuevo Laredo,
  • Mexico City,
  • Mexicali,
  • Cancun,
  • Guadalajara,
  • Ensenada,
  • Ciudad Juarez,
  • Querétaro,
  • San Luis de Potosí,
  • Puebla,
  • Monterrey,
  • Matamoros,
  • Navojoa,
  • Hermosillo,
  • etc.

Mexico is quickly gaining rankings and fame for the improvements of its medical facilities and have been classified as “World Class” and, since 2018, can celebrate being recognized with the Gold Standard distinction.



Mexico stands out for its immediate attention to its patients, even during the pandemic that is plaguing the entire world.

Almost 300,000 Americans traveled to various cities in Mexico to be treated for different pathologies, even with all the restrictions due to COVID 19.

In previous years, American visitors in the millions were noted to have traveled for Medical Tourist programs.

Mexico is now training first-class professionals in the field of dentistry, providing students with financial support to complete their career in exchange for them offering free dental care in their communities for the course of, at least, a year. You cannot overlook the enormous effort that Mexico has made to optimize its care in each and every medical field which helps to provide physical and mental care to all of their tourists.

Please check your travel insurance policy if travelling for medical care. Most have an exclusion for this type of travel so a specific policy may be needed to cover travel related injuries or illnesses and can include complications coverage whilst you are away and up to 6 months after you return home.


You might also be interested in: Is Medical Travel Safe? 

Top Medical Tourism Destinations in South and Central America

Top Medical Tourism Destinations in South and Central America


As South America’s largest and wealthiest country, Brazil is an extremely popular medical tourism destination. Brazillian culture values aesthetics and personal appearance, and they have been at the forefront of cosmetic procedures for their own residents. It is the world’s second-highest plastic surgery market, second only to the U.S., with more than 4,000 licensed plastic surgeons. For comparison, the U.S. has about one thousand more. Popular aesthetic procedures here include breast augmentation and reduction, liposuction, dental implants, rhinoplasty, and buttock implants. 


Chile is the wealthiest country in South America per capita, although it is smaller in size and population than Brazil. It is politically stable and a founding member of the United Nations. There are two JCI-accredited hospitals in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, in addition to numerous private healthcare providers. Private practices are operated to the highest of standards, yet the care is still less expensive than when using insurance in the U.S. or Europe. Chile’s natural beauty and ecologically diverse landscape make it a stunning place to be as you recover from any procedure. Plastic and reconstructive surgeries are the most common medical tourism procedures including breast augmentation, face and body lift and tummy tuck. However, Chilean hospitals also offer medical tourists with top quality internal medicine, oncology, and neurology services among others.  


This small country links the Latin and South American regions and is another popular medical tourist destination. With the creation of the Panama Canal, this country became increasingly important as it linked eastern and western trade routes especially for the U.S. The U.S. still maintains strong diplomatic relations with Panama today. English is widely spoken, and the national currency is the U.S. dollar. Many doctors trained abroad in the U.S. or U.K., so you can expect high-quality standards of care at a price that is lower than in North America or Europe. Punta Pacifica Hospital is also the only South American medical facility to maintain a partnership with the prestigious John’s Hopkins University. The most popular procedures here are specialized surgeries, orthopedics, and in-vitro fertilization. Medical aesthetics and cosmetic surgeries are also popular. 

Costa Rica

Much like its neighbor Panama to the south, Costa Rica is a country brimming with opportunities for medical tourists. With cost savings between 40 to 60% for U.S. citizens and hundreds of miles of beautiful beachfront, it is easy to see why this land of sun and sand is so popular. Because Costa Rica also has a thriving leisure tourism market, you will find plenty of beautiful sights and entertainment as you recover. In fact, some hotels are set up as special outpatient recovery suites with around-the-clock access to medical professionals, should you need them during your recovery. Most medical tourism in Costa Rica is centered on cosmetic surgery, with dental implants, breast augmentation, and facelifts topping the list.

Medical Tourism Insurance 

If you are planning a medical tourism trip to South America or another region of the globe, medical tourism insurance can help reduce your risk. Reach out today to learn more.

You might also be interested in: Medical Tourism Complication Insurance

Tropical Medical Tourism Destinations

Tropical Medical Tourism Destinations 

Most medical tourists engage in the practice to save thousands of dollars on medical procedures, but the tourism aspect of medical tourism should not be overlooked! Medical tourists should think hard about what kind of atmosphere they’d like to rest and recover in. If that atmosphere involves tropical beaches and sunshine, here are three countries to check out for your medical tourism trip. 


With beautiful beaches and beautiful people, Brazil is a popular tourism destination on its own. It also has a strong medical tourism market, boasting 6,011 licensed cosmetic surgeons! This puts sunny Brazil second in the global cosmetic surgery market – narrowly topped by the US with 6,900 licensed plastic surgeons. Popular procedures for medical tourists are predominately cosmetic: breast augmentation, dental implants, facelifts, liposuction, and more – all at around half the cost the procedure would be in the US or UK. With 2,095 beaches along a 4,650-mile coastline, Brazil certainly has a lot to offer a medical tourist looking for a tropical recovery spot. 


As an incredibly popular medical tourism destination for decades, Thailand had to make this list! The “Land of Smiles” has the highest number of JCI accredited hospitals in Southeast Asia and is number four worldwide, after Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE. If that isn’t impressive enough, the country’s tropical beaches are also renowned worldwide for their beauty. If the beach is not your scene, Thailand’s ancient ruins and many beautiful temples are another beautiful sight to behold. However, you may not ever have to leave the hospital to experience a relaxing recovery in Thailand. The high standard of care in Thai hospitals and medical facilities means that many host recovery services onsite, such as relaxation therapies, recovery gardens, and massages. Popular procedures for medical tourists include cosmetic surgery, dental work, and dermatology. 

Costa Rica 

With a healthcare system that’s often ranked above the US and Canada in quality, Costa Rica is a medical tourism destination to watch. The majority of medical tourism procedures occur in San Jose, where all the best hospitals are, but the country has much more to offer in the way of tourism. The rainforested country is well known for its beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes, and native biodiversity. Medical tourists who like adventure would do well to choose Costa Rica for their procedures. Like the other destinations on this list, Costa Rica is best known for cosmetic and dental procedures, although it also welcomes patients for weight loss procedures, cancer treatments, and more.

Medical Tourism Insurance 

Whether you’re a medical tourist, a facilitator, employer, or hospital, we have insurance products that can help reduce your risk. Reach out today to learn more.

If  you are looking for tropical medical tourism destinations, you might also be interested in: Medical Tourism in the Caribbean