Airports of Costa Rica

Airports of Costa Rica

Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría image:

Costa Rica has become a popular destination among travellers from all over the world. The country offers beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, volcanoes and friendly locals who welcome visitors with open arms. But if you’re planning on visiting Costa Rica, you might be wondering where exactly you should fly into. There are many airports in Costa Rica, each offering different amenities and services.

Flying to Costa Rica Airports – The Main Entry Points

There are two international airports located in Costa Rica: Juan Santamaria International Airport and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (also known as Liberia Guanacaste Airport). Both offer direct flights to major cities in North America and Europe and give access to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. However, the former is much larger and handles more passengers than the latter. It’s located just outside San José, the capital city, and is connected to the rest of the country via public transportation.

Juan Santamaria International Airport is home to several airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, United, Copa, Avianca, and LAN. It’s also the hub for NatureAir, which flies between San José and destinations like Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and Tortuguero National Park.

Daniel Oduber Quiròs International Airport is smaller than its counterpart and serves only domestic flights. It’s found near Liberia, a small town in Guanacaste Province. It’s connected to the rest of Costa Rica through a bus service called Alamo.

Other airports include Puntarenas International Airport, Quepos International Airport, Turrialba Airport, and Caldera Airport. Each of these airports serves specific purposes, and some have limited flight schedules. For example, Turrialba Airport primarily caters to private planes. And Puntarenas International is used mostly for charter flights.


Which Airport is Cheaper?



SJO is located in San José, the capital city of Costa Rica. It is the largest airport in Central America and serves as the primary hub for several airlines including Nature Air, Volaris, Sansa Airlines, and Copa Airlines. SJO is also home to the country's second-busiest commercial airline, TACA.

CRDQ is located in Liberia, Guanacaste, and is the smallest airport in Costa Rica. It primarily serves domestic flights. However, it is also used by international carriers including American Eagle, Avianca, Copa Airlines, and Interjet.

Both airports offer cheap airfare options. For example, Nature Air flies from SJO to San Jose for $99 round trip. From CRDQ, Nature Air charges $109 round trip. These prices include taxes and fees.

Are There Any NonStop Flights to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has become a popular destination for travellers from around the world. It's no wonder why—the country offers beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and plenty of adventure activities. But if you're planning a trip to Costa Rica, you might be wondering whether there are nonstop flights to the country. The answer is yes, but there are a few caveats.

First, most airlines offer nonstop flights to San Jose International Airport, which is located in the capital city of San José. However, many other airports in Costa Rica are smaller and less convenient. For example, Liberia International Airport is located in the small town of Liberia, while Juan Santamaría International Airport is located in Puntarenas, a coastal city. These two airports are much closer to popular tourist destinations, making them easier to reach than San José.

Second, nonstop flights to Costa Rica are typically seasonal. Most airlines offer nonstop flights between June and September, but these flights tend to fill up fast during peak travel times. So if you're planning a vacation in Costa Rica during these months, you may want to consider flying to another airport in Central America instead.

Third, nonstop flights to San José are usually quite expensive. In fact, tickets to Costa Rica can be more expensive than those to major cities in North America. And since nonstop flights are generally booked out months in advance, you'll have to pay extra for any changes made after booking.

Juan Santamaria International Airport


When is The Cheapest Time to Fly to Costa Rica?

However, while tourism is booming, airfare prices have increased dramatically since 2016. As a result, many travellers are now wondering if it's still worth visiting Costa Rica during peak season. Fortunately, we've got the answer.

According to Skyscanner, the cheapest time to fly to Costa Rica is between January and April. This is due to the fact that most flights are sold out during these months. However, if you're willing to travel outside of peak season, you'll save money.

In addition to saving money, travelling off-peak means that you'll avoid the crowds. While the beaches are less crowded, the weather is much nicer. Plus, you'll have plenty of space to enjoy nature and relax.

Getting the Best Airfare Prices

Plane ticket
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 


Booking early gives you more flexibility when choosing your dates and times. It also allows you to choose between different types of tickets, including economy class seats and business class seats.

To get the best prices, look for deals offered by discount sites like Priceline and Hotwire. These sites allow travellers to bid on discounted airfares. When you win the auction, you pay the lowest price possible.

It's also helpful to compare prices among multiple carriers. Doing so will give you a better idea of how much you can expect to save by flying with a particular airline.

San Jose International Airport SJO

San ose International Airport


San Jose International Airport (SJO) has two terminals. Terminal 1 serves domestic flights while Terminal 2 handles international flights. Both terminals are connected via a free shuttle bus service.

Terminal 1 is located near downtown San Jose and offers direct access to hotels, restaurants, and shops. It also features a large food court and several bars. The airport is home to many major airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Spirit Airlines.

Terminal 2 is located in the suburb of Milpitas and is accessible from Highway 101. It offers easy access to nearby hotels, shopping malls, and fast-food chains. There are no direct connections between Terminals 1 and 2, but both terminals offer complimentary shuttles that run every 15 minutes.

Both terminals feature ATMs, currency exchange booths, and car rental agencies. In addition, both terminals offer WiFi hotspots and charging stations for electronic devices.

Liberia International Airport

Liberia International Airport


In terms of airports, Liberia International Airport is located in Monrovia, Liberia. It has two runways, both of which are paved and each measuring 4,000 feet long. The airport was built in the 1970s and is owned by the Liberian government.

It serves as the primary international gateway to Liberia and is home to several airlines including Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic. In addition to these carriers, many other smaller airlines operate from the airport.

There are indirect routes via Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, and Toronto.

Juan Santamaria International Airport San Jose

Juan Santamaria International Airport


Juan Santamaria Airport has two runways and serves as the main airport for the city of San José. The airport was named after Juan Santamaría, who served as president from 1949 until his death in 1953. He was born in San José and died in Panama City.

In addition to being the largest airport in Costa Rica, it is also the country’s busiest. In fact, it is the second busiest airport in Central America after Mexico City. The airport is home to several airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

The airport is located just south of downtown San José. It is connected to the city via the T3 Highway. There are three terminals at the airport: Terminals 1, 2, and 3. Each terminal has its own security checkpoints and baggage claim areas.

Terminal 1 is used mostly by international flights. It is the most modern terminal and includes shops, restaurants, bars, and other amenities. It is also where passengers must pass through customs and immigration.

Terminal 2 is the oldest terminal and is used mainly by domestic flights. Passengers arriving here must clear customs and immigration before going to their gate.

Terminal 3 is used primarily for cargo flights. It does not include shops, restaurants, or bars. Instead, it is more focused on providing secure storage for luggage.

There are many hotels near the airport. These include the Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Ramada Plaza Hotel, and Sheraton Grand Hotel.

Daniel Oduber International Airport Liberia

Daniel Oduber International Airport


Liberia has two airports: Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) and Roberts International Airport (RIA). LIR is located in the capital city of Monrovia, while RIA is located in the second largest city, Buchanan. Both airports serve international flights, domestic flights, cargo flights, and private jets.

Both airports offer free Wi-Fi access for travellers. However, if you plan on staying overnight in Liberia, you might want to consider purchasing a Liberian SIM card from local providers. These cards allow you to connect to the internet without incurring roaming fees.

In addition to the two airports mentioned above, Liberia also has a third airport named Charles Taylor International Airport (CLT), which serves as the main hub for Air Peace Airlines. CLT was built in 2009 and is located near the capital city of Monrovians. It offers both commercial and military flights.

Roberts International Airport

Roberts International Airport is Costa Rica's main airport. It serves as the country's primary hub for international flights. The airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 and 2. Both terminals offer parking facilities, shops, restaurants, and other amenities.

Terminal 1 is located near the city center while Terminal 2 is located farther from the city center. Each terminal offers different services and amenities. For example, Terminal 1 provides free Wi-Fi access, while Terminal 2 does not.

To get to Roberts International Airport, you can either drive or take public transportation. Driving is recommended if you're staying within walking distance of the airport. Public transportation is available via bus, taxi, or shuttle service.

Charles Taylor International Airport

This airport is located in Costa Rica and has two runways. It was built in the 1970s and has a capacity of over 10 million passengers per year. The airport is named after Charles Taylor who was the president of Costa Rica from 1948–1949.

The airport is home to several airlines including Copa Airlines, Nature Air, Taca International, and Volaris. However, it does serve as a hub for other airports in Central America.

When you arrive in Costa Rica

There are many different types of accommodations available, including hotels, hostels, resorts, and private homes. Each type of accommodation has its own pros and cons, so it's important to consider each option before making a decision.

Hotels offer a wide range of amenities, including free Wi-Fi, swimming pools, and restaurants. However, they tend to be expensive, especially during peak travel times. Hotels are also usually located in busy areas, which means that noise levels can be high.

Hostels are another common choice for travellers. These places provide cheap lodging options, but they typically lack hotel-like amenities. Hostels are generally located in quieter neighborhoods, but they can be noisy at night.

Resorts are similar to hotels, except they focus primarily on providing luxury services. Resorts are usually found in upscale locations, and most include spa treatments, fitness centers, and other amenities.

Private homes are a unique option for travellers who prefer to live like a local. Private homes are more affordable than hotels, and they allow guests to interact with their hosts. However, they aren't always ideal for families, since they don't have room service or maids.

The best place to stay depends on what you're looking for. If you're travelling solo, a private home might be the perfect fit. If you're travelling with friends or family, however, a resort might be a better option.

Airplane taking off


Entry requirements

Airport security has become increasingly stringent over the years. In fact, many airports now require passengers to remove shoes, belts, and other items from their luggage. While these measures are designed to prevent terrorists from carrying weapons onto planes, they can also hinder travellers who rely on mobility aids.

To avoid having to remove your walking aid from your bag, consider checking it through TSA PreCheck. The program allows eligible members to pass through airport security without taking off their shoes or belts. It's currently available at select U.S. airports, including San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Miami International Airport, New York LaGuardia Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.

While TSA PreCheck does allow travellers to skip the line, it doesn't guarantee entry into the United States. Applicants must still meet the same standards as everyone else, meaning that they must provide valid identification and undergo a background check. However, if you qualify, you can expect to spend less time waiting in lines and more time enjoying your trip.

Car Rentals

Airport car rental services are available in Costa Rica, but they aren't cheap. The average price per day ranges from $30-$50 USD depending on the airport and the type of vehicle you rent. If you plan to visit Costa Rica frequently, consider renting a car through a company like Zipcar. It's much cheaper than traditional airport car rentals and allows you to drive offsite whenever you'd like.

Zipcar also offers discounts if you book online, so you can save money while still having access to a reliable car. You can also look into other companies that offer discounted rates for frequent travellers.

Travel to and from the airports

There are many ways to travel between Costa Rica airports, including taxis, buses, shuttles, and private cars. Each option has its pros and cons, so it's important to choose the best option for your needs.

For example, if you plan to visit both San Jose International Airport and Liberia International Airport, then a taxi might be the most convenient option. However, if you're visiting just one airport, then a shuttle service might be the best choice. Shuttles offer convenience, comfort, and affordability.

From the Costa Rica Airports shuttles usually run every 15 minutes and charge anywhere from $5-$10 per person depending on the route. The price includes pickup and dropoff services, so you won't have to worry about finding parking or paying extra fees.

In addition to being affordable, shuttles are also environmentally friendly. Many shuttles are powered by solar energy, reducing carbon emissions while saving money. In fact, Costa Rica's government encourages the use of these eco-friendly vehicles by offering tax breaks to companies that purchase them.

Airport Money Exchange

There are many ways to exchange money at airports, including ATMs, credit cards, and currency exchanges. However, if you're looking to save money, there are other options available. For example, you can exchange money at airport kiosks, where you can get cashback on purchases.

Some kiosks offer discounts for frequent travellers, while others give cash back on purchases. It's always best to compare prices between different vendors to determine who offers the best rates.

Costa Rican money



Passports are required for international travel, and most countries require travellers to carry one. However, if you plan on visiting Costa Rica, you might want to consider obtaining a passport from the country itself instead of going through a third party. The reason for this is that Costa Rican passports are much easier to obtain than other types of passports.

Costa Rican citizens can apply for a passport online, and the entire application process takes less than two weeks. In comparison, many countries require applicants to visit a consulate or embassy, wait several months, and pay hundreds of dollars in fees.

While you may not be able to avoid having to purchase a passport altogether, you can save money by applying directly from home. Additionally, you can expedite the process by submitting your application online. When you submit your application online, you can print your passport immediately after receiving it.


Visitors who hold passports from countries other than the United States must obtain a visa prior to entering Costa Rica. The easiest way to do this is through the eTRAC system. Once you enter your details into the online form, you'll receive an email confirmation within 24 hours.

There are two types of visas available for tourists: tourist visas and transit visas. Both are valid for 30 days, but the difference between the two lies in whether or not you intend to remain in Costa Rica after your trip. Tourist visas allow visitors to stay in the country for up to 90 days, whereas transit visas only give you permission to pass through the country.

If you plan on staying in Costa Rica for more than 30 days, you'll need to apply for a tourist visa. There are several different ways to apply for a tourist permit, including applying in person at a consulate or embassy. Alternatively, you can complete an online application via the eTRAC system, which takes approximately three business days to process.

The second type of visa is called a transit visa. Transit visas are granted to travellers who have no intention of remaining in Costa Rica beyond their allotted time period. These permits are issued for a maximum of 15 days and are free of charge.

To apply for a transit visa, you must submit an online request with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It usually takes less than 48 hours to process, although this varies depending on the day and time of year. When you receive your visa, you'll need to present it to immigration officials upon arrival.

In addition to these two types of visas, there are also special permits for those travelling to Costa Rica for medical treatment. If you require a visa for this purpose, you'll need to contact the Ministry of Health directly.


In conclusion, Costa Rica has a number of airports that serve its various regions. However, none of these airports is particularly large or expensive, which means that you shouldn't have trouble finding cheap flights to anywhere in the country.

Things to do in Costa Rica


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