Costa Rica Airports

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Flights to Costa Rica

Approaching to Juan Santamaría International Airport, San José, Costa Rica

If you are planning some incredible Costa Rica 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, including areas near Costa Rica all inclusive resorts.

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 Costa Rica, 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 Costa Rica 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 stay while vacationing 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.

Top destination airstrips in Costa Rica

Here you can find a list of the Top Costa Rica destinations and the details of their respective airstrips:

DestinationAirstrip CodeDriving TimeFlying TimeAirstrip Fee
San José – QueposXQP3 hrs25 minutes$3 per person
San José – TamarindoTNO3 hrs45 minutes$2 per person
San José – Drake BayDRK8 hrs45 minutes
San José – ArenalFON3:30 hrs25 minutes$7 per person
San José – Puerto JiménezPJM8 hrs50 minutes
San José – GolfitoGLF7 hrs50 minutes
San José – Punta IslitaPBP6 hrs35 minutes
San José – NosaraNOB5 hrs35 minutes
San José – Palmar SurPMZ5 hrs40 minutes
San José – TortugueroTTQ5 hrs25 minutes
San José – TamborTMU5 hrs25 minutes$2 per person

International Airport in Costa Rica

The two major airports in Costa Rica are Juan Santamaría airport and Guanacaste Aeropuerto. 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 the Juan Santamaría airport, but it is also possible to prepare beautiful packages from Liberia Costa Rica too. If you can find cheapest flights in Costa Rica or flights that fit better with your travel dates arriving or departing from Guancaste Aeropuerto, then you can start or finish your Costa Rica travel there. This is a great option if you want to save time of your Costa Rica family vacation and spend it better with your loved ones without the stress of not having enough time in each one of your holiday destinations.

Costa Rica travel tip: 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.

Juan Santamaría International Airport

Juan Santamaría International Airport, San José, Costa Rica

Airport code: SJO

Located in the city of Alajuela, in the Central Valley region, this is the oldest and largest Costa Rica Airport. Although its code is SJO, it is not specifically located in San José downtown, but it is between 30-45 minutes from the main San José Costa Rica hotels.

According to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, in 2017 Juan Santamaría airport had 4.364.000 international arrivals, being the main port of arrivals of foreigners in 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.

Guanacaste Aeropuerto

Daniel Oduber International Airport,Liberia, Costa Rica

Airport code: LIR

Located in Liberia, in the Northern Pacific region of country, this is the newest international Costa Rica Airport.

The airport is just 30 minutes away from Papagayo Gulf where there are located some of the most important Guanacaste hotels, and Costa Rica resorts in general terms, like the Four Seasons Resort and El Mangroove. It is also located at 45 minutes approximately from other all-inclusive Costa Rica resorts like the Westin Playa Cochal and RIU Guanacaste.

The list of airlines with flights to Guanacaste Aeropuerto is increasing and according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, as everyday more and more people are using this airport in Costa Rica

You can contact us if you want more information regarding our Costa Rica international airports or if you need any assistance.

We are active members of the most important tourist associations, both national and international.

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