Are there a lot of airports in Costa Rica?


Being a small country, there is not a real need to have a lot of airports in Costa Rica; however being also a touristic destination the need of having at least one International Airport has been covered; however the the answer is Yes and No.

The main Costa Rica International Airport is Juan Santamaria (SJO), it is located in the heart of the country, just in the middle of everywhere, in Central Valley , to me is a ‘downtown’ airport because if you land at SJO (well, the plane) you are really close to the commercial areas of the country.

The nearest provinces are Alajuela, San Jose, Heredia and Cartago, did you noticed it? Yes four out of seven provinces can be reached in an hour or less each. The other three are Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limon but these ones are far from Juan Santamaria Airport, so ?

You can either take a bus, take a taxi, take a shuttle, or land in the other International Airport…wait a minute…almost forget it, yes we have a second one and also is the newest.

Second is good too

Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) is the second airport in importance in our country and I if I called the SJO the ‘downtown’ airport, the LIR is definitely is the ‘beach’ airport. What makes LIR so special is the location, it is located in the Province of Guanacaste specifically in Liberia.

Guanacaste has evolved as the fastest tourism area and I would say that after landing there you should start to unpack your luggage to get ready to enjoy the beaches because they are really close to it, how close? Less than two hours...some just thirty minutes if you have a car rental awaiting you.

Three, Four…Then…more.

No, no more International Airport for big aircraft. That’s it. But that does not mean that you cannot land somewhere else. Costa Rica has more than 15 small airports for domestic usage, which means that small planes can land there, but will need permission in advance because most of them are private. I mean small planes such a jet or a King Air E-90.

So, if you are Rock Star, a millionaire or inherit an airplane and plan to come to Costa Rica using your private plane, keep in mind to use your small luxury jet in case you do not want to land neither in SJO nor LIR. So the best option will always be the Tobias Bolanos International Airport where most of domestic flights go when arriving at San Jose downtown.

about airports in Costa Rica

  • SJO, best option.
  • LIR, beach option.
  • Tobias Bolanos, best for internal flights.
  • Limon Airport, special for Caribbean lovers.
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