Last Updated: May 23, 2012
The Red Cross
The Red Cross, locally known as the Cruz Roja, has branches in every city and town throughout Costa Rica. They provide ambulance services and are equipped to stabilize patients en route to the nearest hospital or medical center. Simply dial 911 and ask for an ambulance to be dispatched to your address. Be prepared to speak Spanish, as there is no guarantee the answering personnel will understand English. As a matter of course, Red Cross ambulance drivers will take you to the closest public hospital. If you prefer to be taken to a private hospital, such as CIMA or Clinica Biblica, be sure that you specify this right away. Those with private insurance through INS will have access to treatment at a wide range of private facilities all over the country.
Private Ambulance Services
Several private ambulance companies offer services to visitors and residents for an annual fee.
- Emergencias Medicas provides service to Curridabat, Escazu, Guadalupe, Heredia, Pavas, Peace Park in San Jose, Belen, Alajuela, Jaco, Cobano, Mal Pais and Santa Teresa and Sardinal. Tel. 2290-4444
- Lifeguard services Jaco, Cobano and Mal Pais Tel. 2220-0911
- Costa Rica Medical Response has ground ambulance service to the Central Valley and Liberia, Monteverde, Papagayo, Tortuguero and Jaco. Tel. 2286-1818
- ProVida supplies paramedic and ambulance service to the Central Valley region. Tel. 2224-4525
For more serious emergencies, helicopter or jet ambulance services are also available.
- Air Charter Central America has ambulance charters from the San Jose international airport as well as the Tobias Bolanos airport in Pavas.
- Lifeguard offers jet air ambulances and accepts major credit cards.
- Costa Rica Medical Response provides air ambulance service both regionally and internationally.
- Horizon Jets Air Ambulance Assist supplies air ambulance and aircraft charters for any airport in the world.
Tourist Police: 2286-1473
Fire: 911 or 118
OIJ (Organization of Judicial Investigation): 911 or 2221-5337
Poison Control: 2223-1028