Places in Costa Rica

Travel to Costa Rica

Flying to Costa Rica

The national carrier is Avianca Costa Rica, based at the country's main airport, Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, 17km (11mi) northwest of San José. Many international airlines also fly to Costa Rica; among them are Aeroméxico, Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Jet Blue, KLM, Lufthansa, and Southwest.

In the north-western corner of Costa Rica, Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) in Liberia receives specific flights for tourists visiting the region, namely Guanacaste, Monteverde and La Fortuna.

Flight times:

To Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, near San José: from London - 11 hours; New York - 5 hours.

Departure tax:

US$29. Many airlines include the departure tax in their fares, but if they don't, you pay at the Bancredito kiosk in the Departures area.

Other airports in Costa Rica

Liberia International Airport

Airport Code: LIR. Location: The airport is 8 km (5 miles) west of Liberia. Website: N/A. Public transport description: Regular buses serve the airport, connecting Liberia with Playas del Coco and other beach resorts. Rental cars are available.

Juan Santamaría International Airport

Airport Code: SJO. Location: Juan Santamaría Airport is located 17km (10.5 miles) northwest of the city centre just outside the... Website: N/A. Public transport description: The all-red Tuasa bus runs frequently from the airport to the city centre, journey time is less than 45 minutes. Taxis also serve the terminals.

Travel by rail

Driving to Costa Rica

Costa Rica borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. Accordingly, you can drive from these neighbouring countries to Costa Rica, especially via the Carretera Interamericana (Pan-American Highway), a network of routes that stretches from Laredo in northern Mexico to Buenos Aires in Argentina and conveniently runs through Costa Rica.

From Nicaragua, the primary land crossing is at Peñas Blancas, while from Panama, the main land crossing is at Paso Canoas.

If you plan to enter Costa Rica by using a long-distance coach service, check out Tica Bus ( and TransNica (

Getting to Costa Rica by boat

Cruise ships:

Costa Rica borders the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Hence, both Caribbean and South America cruises call at Costa Rica. Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean are just three major operators that include the country on their itineraries.

Puerto Limón is the main port on the Caribbean side, while Puntarenas is the main port on the Pacific side.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.