Many international airlines travel to Costa Rica, but there are just two domestic Costa Rica airlines.
International Costa Rica airlines
Flying into the country, you’ll be arriving at either Juan Santamaría International Airport just outside of San José or Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport which is in the city of Liberia.
The Liberia airport is serviced by US and Canadian airlines only. The major airlines that land in Liberia include Air Canada, American Airlines, Continental, Delta, United, and US Air.
The San José Airport is the largest international airport in Costa Rica and the one most travelers fly into. As such it services the US- and Canada-based airlines, in addition to some European airlines and Costa Rica’s own Lacsa airline.
Domestic Costa Rica airlines
Once you’ve arrived, if you’ll be making any flights in the country there are two domestic airlines: Sansa Regional and NatureAir. They use small prop planes that seat between 9-25 people. Both airlines tout themselves as being carbon-neutral.
Sansa is based out of San José Airport. All flights either depart or arrive in San José. So if you’ll be flying from Tortuguero to Quepos, you’ll fly first from Tortuguero to San José, then from San José to Quepos.
Sansa flies to Drake Bay, Golfito, Liberia, Nosara, Palmar Sur, Puerto Jiménez, Punta Islita, Quepos, Tamarindo, Tambor, and Tortuguero.
NatureAir gives you a few more options when hopping around the country. However, its hub is not San José International Airport, but a domestic airport about 10 miles away at Tobias Bolanos International Airport of San José.
NatureAir flies to Arenal in addition to the same destinations as Sansa, but you won’t have the convenience of boarding at San Jose International. NatureAir also flies to Managua, Nicaragua and Bocos del Toro, Panama.
If you’re flying NatureAir, there’s an $8 shuttle from San Jose International to Tobias Bolanos Airport. It’s a 45 minute trip, so keep that in mind when arranging a ride to make your flight.
Keep in mind that domestic flights have a lower maximum baggage allowance — 25 lbs or 12 kg. Baggage above this weight amount is subject to additional charges.