If you are planning some incredible vacations, we are sure you will be wondering a lot of things regarding the airline tickets you need and the Costa Rica airports that you will have to use.
As your best travel partner, Travel Excellence has prepared this useful information about airports in Costa Rica.
Besides the two international airports that receive flights to Costa Rica from all over the world, there are different airstrips along the country where local airlines operate daily domestic flights to and from the most popular destinations.
Domestic flights reduce the travel time to some tourist destinations and gives you the opportunity of spending more time enjoying the attractions of the country.
From San José, driving to Quepos to experience the wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park will take 3 hours approximately, while flying takes 25 minutes; driving to Fortuna to relax in the Arenal Volcano hot springs will take 4 hours approximately, while flying will take 30 minutes; and driving to Tamarindo to spend a sunny weekend at the beach will take 5 hours approximately, while flying takes 45 minutes.
As you can see, internal flights are very helpful if you have a short itinerary in Costa Rica and you want to optimize timings or if you don't like road trips. All airstrips along the country have basic services like bathrooms and some of them have offices of the local airlines with air conditioned and mini shops. Also, in some airstrips you will have to pay a fee arriving or departing the destination of not more than $7 per person.
Here you can find a list of the Top Costa Rica destinations and the details of their respective airstrips:
|Destination||Airstrip Code||Driving Time||Flying Time||Airstrip Fee|
|San José - Quepos||XQP||3 hrs||25 minutes||$3 per person|
|San José - Tamarindo||TNO||3 hrs||45 minutes||$2 per person|
|San José - Drake Bay||DRK||8 hrs||45 minutes|
|San José - Arenal||FON||3:30 hrs||25 minutes||$7 per person|
|San José - Puerto Jiménez||PJM||8 hrs||50 minutes|
|San José - Golfito||GLF||7 hrs||50 minutes|
|San José - Punta Islita||PBP||6 hrs||35 minutes|
|San José - Nosara||NOB||5 hrs||35 minutes|
|San José - Palmar Sur||PMZ||5 hrs||40 minutes|
|San José - Tortuguero||TTQ||5 hrs||25 minutes|
|San José - Tambor||TMU||5 hrs||25 minutes||$2 per person|
The two major airports in Costa Rica are Juan Santamaría and Daniel Oduber airports. Both receive international flights from most airlines, besides the local flights that also operate to and from both of them.
Most of the Costa Rica vacation packages begins and ends in San José because usually the people buy airline tickets to and from Juan Santamaría airport, but it is also possible to prepare beautiful packages from Liberia. If you can find cheapest flights or flights that fits better with you travel dates arriving or departing from Daniel Oduber airport, you can start or finish your Costa Rica travel there.
A departure tax of USD$29 per person must be paid in both international airports when you are leaving the country. If you are doing just a connection here and you don't pass the international arrival area you don't have to pay this fee.
Located in the city of Alajuela, in the Central Valley region, this is the oldest and largest airport in Costa Rica. Although its code is SJO, it is not located in San José but it is between 30-45 minutes from the principal San José hotels.
According to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, in 2013 Juan Santamaría airport had 1.282.694 international arrivals, being the main port of arrivals of the country.
As it is also de busiest airport, it offers some services like restaurants, ATMs, mini shops to buy Costa Rican coffee and handicrafts, a duty-free shop and a VIP lounge with Wi-Fi and some other business facilities.
Located in Liberia, in the Northern Pacific region, this is the newest international airport in Costa Rica.
The airport is just 30 minutes away from Papagayo Gulf where are located some important Guanacaste hotels like Four Seasons Resort and El Mangroove; and 45 minutes approximately from other all-inclusive resorts like Westin Playa Cochal and RIU Guanacaste.
The list of airlines with flights to Daniel Oduber International airport is increasing and according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, in 2013 this airport had 330.309 international arrivals and everyday more and more people are using this airport.