Costa Rica’s special geographical position in Central America and the world has resulted in it becoming a huge tourist destination that welcomes millions of visitors each year by way of its different airports, whether they come in search of natural wonders and incredible adventures or only for business.
Among the country’s international airports, two stand out: Juan Santamaría International Aiport (SJO) and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR).
In addition to the two international airports, there are also runways. The local airlines make use of these and operate low-cost daily domestic flights to the most popular vacation spots, including La Fortuna, Quepos, Tamarindo and Tortuguero. These flights reduce traveling time so visitors have the chance to spend and enjoy more time at the destination than in the plane.
You may also be interested in: One day tour options in Costa Rica.
Below there is very useful information about the two largest international airports for you to note down before visiting the country with the “pura vida” lifestyle.
Juan Santamaría International Airport is the main airport in Costa Rica. It is located in the city of San José, 18 kilometers away from the center of the capital city. This airport terminal has modern infrastructure and sees an average of 4.4 million passengers pass through each year. It is considered to be the third best airport in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Since it has such a large amount of foot traffic, it offers essential services, such as restaurants, ATMs, and stores where you can buy famous Costa Rican coffee and some handicrafts. There are also duty-free stores and a VIP lounge with wireless Internet access and other business facilities.
Among the airlines that fly to this airport are: Avianca, AeroMéxico, Air Canada, Air Panama, American Airlines, Iberia, Jet Blue, Air France, and others.
Please note that Juan Santamaría International Airport applies the international regulations put in place by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). For this reason, it has adopted security measures that restrict the amount of liquids and other unauthorized substances allowed in suitcases and hand luggage, so it is important that you check these restrictions in detail before packing your bags.
Regarding departure taxes for Costa Rica, they apply to all passengers, whether they are Costa Rican citizens or foreigners and regardless of age. Currently, this tax is $29.00. It is important that passengers check whether the airline they are traveling on has the tax included in their ticket. Otherwise it must be paid at the Bancrédito desk in the airport’s departures lobby, which is open 24/7.
Also known as Liberia International Airport. It is located in the northeastern part of the country, in the sunny province of Guanacaste, 15 km away from the very beautiful natural tourist beaches. For this reason, it functions as a magnet for tourism development, receiving around 330,000 international arrivals each year. As a result, it is the country’s second busiest airport (after San José) and the ninth busiest in Central America.
It has 2,750 meters worth of runway. Its facilities include 14 double check-in counters, 4 passenger boarding bridges, 3 remote stands, and sterile corridors, which prevent arriving and departing passengers from crossing paths. In addition, Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport is equipped with refueling stations, paramedic services, technicians, a team of firefighters and baggage handling services. There is also a bank, a snack bar and medical assistance available.
Airlines operating at this airport are: Copa Airlines, Nature Air, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, LACSA, Southwest Airlines, among others.
When visiting these airports you must take into account that they are smoke-free areas. In other words, they do not have smoking lounges, nor is smoking permitted in the airports’ public areas.
You may be interested in reading: Frequently asked questions about Costa Rica.
Both airports create the best conditions possible so that your arrival and departure will be a memorable experience. Don’t forget to check the requirements before your trip, so you don’t have any last-minute issues.
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