Some people love road trips, and some people don't! One of the main reasons why people visit Costa Rica, is the opportunity to explore volcanoes, rainforests, beaches and rivers, from one day to another. So, a good option to travel in Costa Rica is the regular scheduled internal flights or the charter flights, which represent a considerable saving of travel time.
The country has two domestic airlines offering regular scheduled flights: SANSA and Nature Air. Both have regular flights to the most important Costa Rica tourist destinations and to Bocas del Toro in Panama and Managua in Nicaragua. The hubs of both airlines are located at the Juan Santamaría International Airport.
Regarding the aircrafts, most internal airlines for regular and private flights use aircrafts such Cessna Grand Caravans and Twin Otters; depending the route and the size of the group who is traveling. Some airlines also have helicopters, for families or couples; and for destinations where there are no airstrips.
From San Jose there are flights to important destinations like Arenal, Liberia, Tortuguero, Limon, Quepos, Tamarindo, Punta Islita, Puerto Jimenez and Bocas del Toro y Managua, among others. Also, inter-destinations are available (subject to availability and depending on the season); this means that you can include flights between destinations in your Costa Rica vacation packages and fly from Tortuguero to Arenal or from Liberia to Quepos, instead of taking long road trips.
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|