Flights to Costa Rica
Flying internationally can be stressful, overwhelming and even scary. Fortunately, flying to Costa Rica has never been easier and My Costa Rica is here to provide all the information you need about flights to Costa Rica, as well as the Costa Rica airport that will best serve your needs.
Costa Rica has two international airports, the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Libera. There are benefits to flying into both airports but you should choose according to the Costa Rica destinations you plan on visiting.
You’ll also find a variety of domestic airports throughout the country. Domestic flights are a fast, convenient way to see as much of Costa Rica as possible during your vacation.
Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
The Juan Santamaría International Airport is the largest and most popular Costa Rica airport. It is located only 20 minutes from the country’s capital, San Jose, in Alajuela. As the most visited airport in Costa Rica there are several different airlines that fly to it directly. Generally you can also find cheaper Costa Rica flights to SJO, compared to LIR in Liberia.
Benefits of Flying to SJO
- Visit Costa Rica’s Capital, San Jose: Although many tourists tend to skip a visit to San Jose, the many museums, shopping centers and unique day trips make it a worthwhile stop on your vacation.
- Easier Access to various regions in Costa Rica: Central Valley, Caribbean Side, Central Pacific, Southern Zone and Osa Peninsula.
- More Direct Flights: Due to its size and history you’ll find many more nonstops flights from the US, Canada and Europe.
- Slightly Cheaper Flights: Although it is not always the case, the plane tickets to San Jose tend to be cheaper because so many flights arrive daily.
Airlines That Fly to Juan Santamaría (SJO)
There are a large variety of carriers that fly directly into SJO. From Canada, you will want to choose Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat or WestJet, and you will fly through Montréal or Toronto regularly.
All the major airlines from The United States offer flights to Costa Rica. You can find flights from all the key hubs for the major airline. Popular airlines include Delta, Spirit, United and America Airlines.
For those who are traveling from Europe, there are a growing number of choices. Well-reputed airlines, such as Lufthansa, Air France and KLM, have started to offer direct flights from their main hubs. Moreover, there are vacation airlines like Condor or TUI Airways which all have flights to San Jose.
Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR)
The Daniel Oduber International Airport is located in Liberia, the capital of the Guanacaste Province. Daniel Oduber is quite a bit smaller than SJO, but there are still many benefits to flying there for you Costa Rica vacation. Be aware that it is a more popular destination for flights from the United States and Canada. Currently there are not as many options coming from Europe.
Benefits of Flying to LIR
- Land only 30 minutes from the beach: Many choose to fly to Liberia because you practically land on the beach. Located right in the heart of Guanacaste, it is fast and easy to get to local hotels and resorts.
- Easy access to: Guanacaste, the Northern Zone and the Nicoya Peninsula.
- Smaller Airport: Because LIR is so much smaller than most international airports, it is much easier to navigate and getting through security and customs tends to be faster.
Airlines That Fly to Daniel Oduber (LIR)
From Canada, you are served by four airlines, mostly focused on the East Coast hubs, Toronto and Montréal. However there are a few options on the West Coast as well. Airlines include Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat.
The United States currently has eight different airlines that fly to Liberia. They are Delta, American, United, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and Volaris.
Finally, for those traveling to Costa Rica from Europe, you will be best served by TUI Airways which have direct flights to Liberia from London.
Before You Fly
Once you’ve booked your flight to Costa Rica the hardest part is over! Just take these few tips into account as you are getting ready for your Costa Rica vacation.
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least 3 months after your return flight back home. Always make sure your passport is up-to-date before traveling internationally!
- Print your return ticket. It is common for customs officials to ask for confirmation of a return flight (or any ticket that confirms you are leaving the country within 3 months).
- Talk to your doctor about necessary vaccinations. When you travel abroad, it is important to check with your doctor about what vaccinations might be necessary. See our page about Costa Rica vaccinations for more info!
- Check your luggage restrictions: Some airlines are offering cheaper airline fares, but charging extra for a carry on suitcase. Make sure you check the restrictions when you buy your ticket so you aren’t surprised at the airport when you have to pay to check your carry on.
Talk with one of our Expert Travel Agents to plan your dream Costa Rica vacation! Let us help you find the best adventure tours, dazzling beaches, nature experiences and world-class hotels that Costa Rica has to offer.