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Cheap Airfare to Costa Rica

Cheap airfare to Costa Rica can be found if you’re persistent and plan ahead. Check your dates in my kayak.com box below (kayak is the best travel website price aggregator out there). Anyhow, most international flights arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (code: SJO), which is 17km northwest of San Jose in the town of Alajuela. Catch a taxi and you’ll be in San Jose in about 30min. The cost should be about $15, but ask someone before leaving the airport so you don’t get ripped off.


While you’re using this link to check cheap airfare to Costa Rica, you might want to think about flying directly to Daniel Oduber Airport (code: LIR) in Liberia, which is receiving an increasing amount of international flights. This airport is especially convenient if you’re going to spend most of your time on the Nicoya Peninsula (gorgeous beaches) or in Guanacaste (Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Santa Rosa National Park), because it eliminates a 5 hr shuttle/bus ride or a commuter flight from San Jose.


Due to new rules, you must have a return flight booked before entering Costa Rica. I found this out last minute at the airport in Seattle and had to buy a hugely expensive one way return fare, so don’t get caught unaware!

Airlines offering Airfare to Costa Rica

From the U.S….
  • American Airlines – Tel. 800-433-7300 in U.S. and Canada (in Costa Rica call 257-1266). Flights originate in Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Los Angeles serving San Jose and Liberia. www.aa.com
  • Continental – Tel. 800-241-4141 in U.S. and Canada (in Costa Rica call 0-800-044-0005). Flights originate in Houston and Newark daily for San Jose. One daily flight from Houston to Liberia. www.continental.com
  • Delta – Tel. 800-241-4141 in U.S. and Canada (in Costa Rica call 0-800-056-2002). Two daily flights originate in Atlanta for San Jose. One daily flight from Atlanta to Liberia. www.delta.com
  • Frontier – Tel. 800-432-1359 in U.S. offers service to San Jose from Denver. www.frontierairlines.com
  • Grupo Taca – Tel. 800-400-8222 in U.S. and Canada (in Costa Rica call 299-8222). With its hub in San Jose, this group of Central American airlines offers direct or connection service to and from Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. www.grupotaca.com
  • Mexicana – Tel. 800-531-7921 in U.S. and Canada (in Costa Rica call 441-9377). Offers flights from various U.S. cities to San Jose, the majority connect through their Mexico City hub. www.mexicana.com
  • Spirit Air – Tel. 800-772-7117 in U.S. offers direct service from Ft. Lauderdale to San Jose three times a week. www.spiritair.com
  • U.S. Airways – Tel. 800-622-1015 in the U.S. and Canada (in Costa Rica call 800-011-0793). Offers direct flights to San Jose and Liberia from Charlotte. www.usairways.com


From Europe…

By taking any airline to a hub city like Miami, New York or Atlanta you can then find a connection on to San Jose or Liberia.view of costa rica from plane

Air Canada, Martin Air (from Holland), and Iberia Airlines (from Spain) all offer direct or connecting flights to San Jose.


From Australia and New Zealand…

Flights from these countries are generally routed through the U.S. or Mexico, with rates highest in June and July, ironically at the start of the rainy season. Check out Flight Centre, STA Travel, and Trailfinders for the best rates.

My tips for finding cheap airfare to Costa Rica:

  • Book well ahead of time, preferably 21+ days ahead, and even earlier during holidays like Christmas and New Year’s and during the dry season from December to April. December and January are most expensive.
  • Try traveling in the shoulder season, or off-season months.
  • Use a price comparison website like kayak.com.
  • Check with airlines directly, especially if you can’t find something at an online travel site…they don’t normally sell all their tickets to these brokers and you can often get reasonable prices at more last minute times.
  • Choose flights during the middle of the week instead of on Fridays and weekends.

Last Note
There is a departure tax of $26 before leaving Costa Rica, so leave your self enough cash to pay it off before leaving. Here is a list of the airports in Costa Rica.



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