Airports in Costa Rica

costa rica airports

Airports in Costa Rica

Besides all of Costa Rica’s natural amenities and it’s wonderful people there’s another reason Costa Rica is so popular with North Americans and Europeans alike, it’s easy to get to. Costa Rica is only a 3-4 hour flight from many major US cities and airports such as Atlanta, New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Phoenix. You will find Delta, American and United all have flights to airports in Costa Rica and from Europe you can hitch a ride with Virgin Atlantic, KLM, AirCanada and TACA to name a few.

The largest of Costa Rica’s airports is Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, located in the Central Valley region just north of San José. As far as Central American airports go, this one of the nicest and easiest, much of it just remodeled. SJO’s central location in the country makes reaching any area of the country in less than a 6 or 7-hour drive…most of the popular areas in less than half that time.

The other airport where growth and number of flights have increased in the past 4 or 5 years is Daniel Oduber Airport (LIR) in Liberia about 4 hours north of San José, giving you access to destinations in the northwestern Guanacaste region. Many call the Liberia Airport the “Oliver North Airport” as Colonel North used it as a military airstrip in the 80’s. It to has been remodeled in the past few years and is a very nice place to start your Costa Rican journey.

Below is a list of airlines servicing the Liberia Airport in Guanacaste with links to their websites:

Air Berlin |

Air Canada |

American Airlines |

Copa Airlines |

Delta Airlines |

Frontier Airlines |

Jetblue |

Taca |

United |

US Airways |

West Jet |

Airlines in Costa Rica

Additionally, almost all of the best and favorite destinations in Costa Rica can be reached with short domestic flights from either of two regional airlines; Sansa and Nature Air. Great way to see Costa Rica from 5,000 ft. instead of 40,000 ft. Here is a list of towns or regions they serve:

  • Arenal / Bocas del Toro / Palmar Sur / Drake Bay / Golfito / Liberia / Nosara
  • Puerto Jimenez / Punta Islita / Quepos / San José / Pavas / Tamarindo / Tambor / Tortuguero

Both Sansa and Nature Air have strict reservation, cancellation, and luggage restriction policies that are important to understand prior to booking.  You can review this information by clicking on Sansa ( or Nature Air(

One thing you need to remember when leaving Costa Rica is that there is a US$ 26 departure tax on all international flights exiting the country.