Flights to Costa Rica

Here’s what you need to know when booking your flights to Costa Rica.

Surprisingly affordable

The first thing I did when researching our honeymoon was check on flights to Costa Rica. At the same time I was pricing other destinations. I was surprised to discover how relatively inexpensive it was to book Costa Rica air travel!

That said, your mileage may vary. (We were coming from New York state in the United States.)

Be flexible

Yes, cheap flights to Costa Rica can be found! I used the big booking sites to figure out my airfare budget, and then I researched travel packages. Once I had the travel package nailed down, it was time to book our flights CHEAPLY.

I take my “Google-fu” very seriously and I went to work on the various booking and airline sites. I was booking 4 months out so I had the luxury of time. That really helps! Plus I could be flexible (somewhat) with our travel dates.

If you want to find the absolutely cheapest flights to Costa Rica, be flexible. Flexible with the time of year, month, week, day, and even the time of day!

A couple of choices

When you look into flights to Costa Rica, you’ll discover you have two international Costa Rica airports available to you — one in San José and one in Liberia.

Touching down in San José to begin our honeymoon.

Just outside of San José, Juan Santamaría International Airport is centrally located (it’s in the Central Valley) and makes the entire country accessible within 6 hours. It’s an ideal starting point for most Costa Rica vacations.

If you’re going to be flying domestically once you arrive, all in-country destinations are within a short 1 hour (or less) plane ride.

Commonly known as the San José Airport, it receives the most traffic and is the biggest airport in Costa Rica. There’s a food court (brace yourself for outrageously-priced fast food), souvenir shops, cafes, and duty-free stores.

There’s also a currency exchange, but try and hold off on that if you can.

The airport in Liberia, Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, is quite a bit smaller. It’s located in the northwest quadrant of the country, in the province of Guanacaste. It’s receiving some much-needed expansion.

If you’re going directly into beach-bum mode, Liberia is a good city to fly into. Many popular beaches, such as Playa Flamingo and the Nicoya Peninsula, are just an hour or two away.

Take your pick

There is a slew of US-based airlines flying into Costa Rica. But there are only a couple of domestic Costa Rica airlines should you decide to fly around the country instead of riding the buses or driving a rental 4×4.

These local Costa Rica flights are in small prop planes and afford a unique perspective on the country. You’ll get breathtaking views no matter where you’re flying in the country.

Sansa Regional and NatureAir are the two Costa Rica airlines. They have similar destinations but their main hubs in San José are different.

Sansa flies out of San José International Airport, but if you choose NatureAir you’ll have to catch a 20-minute shuttle from San José International to Tobías Bolaños International Airport. NatureAir gives you a few more destination options than Sansa.