Flying Into the Costa Rica Airports: San Jose and Liberia


For many of the nations in Central America, there’s one airport that each worldwide traveler flies into, fanning out from there to numerous locations throughout the vacation spot. That’s not true for the preferred nation although. You’ll be able to fly into two Costa Rica Airports: one within the capital of San Jose and one up north in Liberia.

Costa Rica beach near Florblanca


This may make a giant distinction in your trip plans for those who’re headed to one of many many luxurious Costa Rica resorts which can be dotted across the Guanacaste area and the Nicoya Peninsula. Positive, you will get to these spots from San Jose since Costa Rica isn’t an enormous nation, nevertheless it’s going to means hours extra in a automobile or van after you’ve already flown a number of hours in a airplane.

There are good causes to fly into San Jose for different components of the nation although, both as a result of they’re nearer to the capital or since you’re going to want one other flight to get to the place you’re going, equivalent to to the Osa Peninsula within the south.

Here’s a rundown on the Costa Rica airports with which airways fly into them and the place you may go after touchdown.

Flying into Liberia Airport, North Costa Rica

I’ve flown out and in of Liberia a number of instances now and it has all the time been a simple, hassle-free expertise. The precise identify is Daniel Oduber Quiros Worldwide Airport, in honor of a former president who pushed for it an supported growth of the area for vacationers. Keep in mind, there’s a nation named Liberia so be sure you don’t e book a flight to Africa by mistake! (The value will most likely give it away anyway.) The image is LIR.

Liberia is the capital of Guanacaste province and is round 200 kilometers (124 miles) from San Jose. From this airport you solely should journey round 30-40 minutes to get to the 4 Seasons Costa Rica, for instance, on good roads. It’s a shade much less to the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo. For those who flew into San Jose although, you’d have a three-hour drive in entrance of you earlier than you bought your welcome drink at check-in.

You’re additionally solely about an hour and a half from Cala Luna Resort, W Costa Rica, and Tamarindo Seashore. You’d fly into right here to go to surf seashores within the Nicoya Peninsula or to remain on the low-key Florblanca Resort.

It’s price noting that Liberia Airport has one different redeeming high quality you may wish to try earlier than returning out of your trip: a close-by brewpub. As we highlighted in our article about craft beer in Central America, Numu Brewing is simply throughout the highway from the runways. There’s just one restaurant on the airport, plus among the terminal isn’t air-conditioned, so it’s not a spot the place you wish to present up too early to your flight and simply hold round except you may have Precedence Cross or one other strategy to get into the one lounge there.

Who Flies to Liberia Airport?

As this text was going up, there have been 18 direct flights to Liberia Airport, plus a pair extra from Canada which can be seasonal. That features three from Europe: from Amsterdam on KLM, from Zurich on Edelweiss, and a constitution flight run by TUI from London.

A complete of 4 Canadian airways fly from Calgary, Montreal, and completely different Toronto area airports.

All the large U.S. carriers fly to Liberia from not less than one in every of their hubs, so you will get there on United, Delta, American, and Southwest. It doesn’t cease there although. Not less than one or two days per week from completely different cities you may have choices on JetBlue, Alaska Air, and Frontier.  Simply perceive that a few of these solely run within the excessive season, so that you may need fewer choices throughout the wet season when most North American households have college break holidays. Verify out of your airport right here.

San Jose Airport, Costa Rica

San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica, however in fact there’s a couple of “Saint Joseph” metropolis on the market, so be sure you’re looking for this one while you go to Kayak or Skyscanner. The official identify is Juan Santamaría Worldwide Airport and the airport image is SJO.

San Jose Worldwide Airport isn’t actually in San Jose itself. It’s nearer to the city of Alajuela, within the province of the identical identify. So you probably have an early flight, you’re really higher off staying at an airport resort or taking a giant step as much as Xandari Resort, an inventive resort with a view. The airport is properly above the center level of Costa Rica, a lot nearer to Nicaragua than Panama.

Xandari resort to be near Costa Rica flights out

By highway, it’s pretty simple to get to among the best hits of Costa Rica. On the southern coast it’s a straight shot out on highways to achieve Jaco, Quepos, Manuel Antonia Nationwide Park, and finally Uvita. That final one is the house of some wonderful small accommodations perched on the hillside: Rancho Pacifico and Kura Boutique Resort. Heading north, you may attain the Monteverde Cloudforest and the journey playground of Fortuna/Arenal Volcano. Within the latter you’ll discover among the nation’s finest inland luxurious resorts, equivalent to Nayara Springs.

To succeed in extra far-flung areas, you’ll have to take a home prop airplane flight and this presents a complete host of issues. To start with, these are small planes that may get crammed up simply, so e book properly forward for those who’re not on a Costa Rica tour the place another person is dealing with these particulars. Second, they’ve baggage and weight restrictions, so that you’ll have to pack lighter than you will have wished. Final, these Costa Rican home airways have a tendency to come back and go together with alarming frequency, so that you’ll should dig round to see who’s serving which locations.

The biggest and longest-established home provider is Sansa, which covers probably the most far-flung areas you’d wish to get to. You’ll be able to even go worldwide with them, flying to Bocas del Toro in Panama. I can’t promise that this map is appropriate (particularly contemplating the place they positioned Managua), nevertheless it’s straight off their web site:

Costa Rica domestic flights

One large trouble of home flights is gone now although: the necessity to journey to a unique airport. The home terminal for Costa Rica is now subsequent to the worldwide terminal, so that you don’t should make a journey out of it after touchdown.

The San Jose Worldwide terminal, in the meantime, is a contemporary facility that’s much-improved from after I first visited the nation and it took an hour and a half simply to get by means of immigration, in a sizzling hall with no amenities. I’ve had hit-and-miss expertise with the WiFi, however there are a number of locations to eat and drink and you’ve got three VIP lounge choices by the departure gates. Not one of the three are affiliated with any specific airline, however you will get into each VIP Lounge Costa Rica and VIP Santamaria with a Precedence Cross membership.

Costa Rica SJO airport lounge

Flying into Costa Rica: San Jose Worldwide Airport

In peak instances there are 38 locations served by the most important of the Costa Rica airports, not counting all the various others you will get to with a cease or two.

The official airport web site lists 23 worldwide and three home airways flying into Juan Santamaría Worldwide Airport (SJO). The worldwide ones embody main carriers from the USA and Canada plus Spirit, JetBlue, Alaska, and Frontier. Aeromexico and Volaris fly from Mexico, then there are a number of giant and small from South America. European carriers flying to Costa Rica embody Air France, Arajet, British Airways, Condor, Edelweiss, and Iberia, and Lufthansa.

As with Liberia, many of those flights are direct from the provider’s hub metropolis or cities, however perceive that they don’t all run all yr. Those that do preserve flying throughout the low season will usually cut back the variety of days per week (or month) that they fly the route as a way to alter to decrease demand. So it could generally be cheaper to fly to Costa Rica within the excessive season of December by means of April than will probably be when it’s pouring rain each day in some areas.

Search flights right here to see costs out of your airport to both of the Costa Rica airports:


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