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Costa Rica Transportation by Air

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Flying into Costa Rica. Many airlines from many countries have daily or weekly sevice to Costa Rica. From the United States, carriers include US Airways, Delta, Continental, United, Taca and American.

While some international flights land in Liberia, most list their destination as the capital city, San Jose. That said, Costa Rica's Juan Santamaria International Airport (airport designator: SJO) is not actually in downtown San Jose but in the nearby suburb of Alajuela.

There are many excellent options for lodging, from grand hotels to decent hostels in the San Jose metropolitan area and even travelers heading to other parts of the country usually enjoy at least a day or two in this cultural center.


A short (usually scenic) flight. Domestic flights are available to many Costa Rican cities, including Quepos, Arenal, Liberia, Drake Bay, Tamarindo, Punta Islita, Puerto Jiménez, Nosara, Golfito, Palma Sur, Tortuguero and Tambor. Flight schedules can seasonally vary.

There are two domestic airlines in Costa Rica, Sansa and Nature Air. Both are both based in the San Jose area but they fly out of different airports about 30 minutes apart. So hotel location and taxi time may be critical, especially if you have an early morning flight.

Costa Rica's national flag airline is Sansa Regional. Sansa's hub is the international airport in Alajuela, but this airline's entrance is separate and found at the right end of the airport as you approach.

Nature Air departs out of Pavas International Airport closer to the heart of San Jose. It is readily recognized by the colorful depictions of jungle life on its planes. The images not only reveal a good marketing team but an eco-minded philosophy. Nature Air was the first airline to go carbon-neutral. Since 2004 it has compensated 100% for flight emissions through tropical forest conservation.

Nature Air offers additional routes across the borders to Bocas del Toro, Panama and Managua, Nicaragua.

Be on time and travel light. All domestic flights are on small aircraft so space is limited and oversized baggage may cause extra fees. Be sure to research the airlines' restrictions. Also, it's important to be at least 45 minutes early for your flight. Flights may be delayed or even sent out a few minutes early due to weather conditions.

How to catch a cab. Flights are often preceded or followed by a necessary cab ride. Official RED taxis are available just outside the airport doors and drivers are managed by curbside coordinators. Nowadays, rates are mostly metered. It is not advised to take a non-official taxi in Costa Rica.


About Costa Rica
Costa Rican Currency
Health & Safety
Hotels & Eco-Lodges
Map of Costa Rica
Best Things to Do
Famous Attractions
National Parks
Nature and Wildlife
Costa Rica Fast Facts

If you would want explore the beauty of Costa Rica, catch a flight today!