Costa Rica is near malaria elimination. This achievement has followed shifts in malaria health policy. Here, we evaluate the impacts that different health policies have had on malaria transmission in Costa Rica from 1913 to 2018. We identified regime shifts and used regression models to measure the impact of different health policies on malaria transmission in Costa Rica using annual case records. We found that vector control and prophylactic treatments were associated with a 50% malaria case reduction in 1929–1931 compared with 1913–1928. DDT introduction in 1946 was associated with an increase in annual malaria case reduction from 7.6% (1942–1946) to 26.4% (1947–1952). The 2006 introduction of 7-day supervised chloroquine and primaquine treatments was the most effective health policy between 1957 and 2018, reducing annual malaria cases by 98% (2009–2018) when compared with 1957–1968. We also found that effective malaria reduction policies have been sensitive to natural catastrophes and extreme climatic events, both of which have increased malaria transmission in Costa Rica. Currently, outbreaks follow malaria importation into vulnerable areas of Costa Rica. This highlights the need to timely diagnose and treat malaria, while improving living standards, in the affected areas.