International & Regional Airports Map

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There are two International Airports in Costa Rica. One is serving Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose—Juan Santamaria International Airport and the other one is located in the sunny Guananacaste—Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia.

Two regional air carriers serve country’s most popular destinations: Skyway and Sansa Regional. Both offer excellent rates on regional trips across the country, and both are renowned for the quality of their service. To see more details about the airports click on the airplane icons.

View International and Regional Airports in Costa Rica in a larger map

For a relatively small country, Costa Rica can be tricky to navigate. Reaching remote regions like the Osa Peninsula by car can take many hours, and while the scenery along Costa Rica’s rural roads can be spectacular, sometimes such long journeys just aren’t practical. Fortunately, domestic flights in Costa Rica are both convenient and affordable, making them the ideal alternative to ground transportation.

Domestic airlines

Costa Rica prides itself on the diversity of its natural resources, and conservation is one of the government’s top priorities. This commitment to the environment is shared by Sansa, as the carrier is carbon-neutral. Sansa has also won the award for best airline in Central America and the Caribbean in two occasions, as per the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Sansa’s rates are highly competitive, and the carrier also provides special pricing for children, and can also accommodate pets, cargo and other unique travel needs. Sansa also operates a frequent flier program with a points system shared by major carriers like United and Lufthansa.

Skyway offers daily flights to at least 10 destinations across the country, including Drake Bay, Manuel Antonio, and Tamarindo. It’s the only company in the country that ploys two-engine planes, which can mean slightly faster trips in the air. Skyway also provides chartered flights, making it an excellent choice for larger parties who want the freedom and flexibility to set their own departure schedule.  Similarly to Sansa, Skyway can also accomodate pets, and in addition, it can provide services to people with disabilities or reduced mobility.

Flying high

Both Sansa and Skyway operate primarily out of the San Jose region, so travelers arriving in San Jose from overseas can easily catch a connecting domestic flight to reach their destination. They are both based at Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, but have multiple connections to other airports in the country.

As the aircraft used by both carriers are much smaller than the typical 767s many passengers will be used to, Sansa and Skyway have strict regulations regarding their booking and cancellation policies, so if you suspect your plans might change, be sure to check with the carrier ahead of time to avoid fees. It’s also worth looking into the baggage policies for each airline before making a reservation, particularly if you have several bags. Excess baggage fees can mount up quickly, so do your homework before arranging your flight.

Convenient and affordable

A journey that can take many hours by road, such as San Jose to Manuel Antonio, can take as little as half an hour by air, making domestic flights an attractive proposition for tourists with a limited amount of time to spend traveling. Another advantage of regional flights in Costa Rica are the rates, as some trips can cost as little as $100 one way.

Charter flights are also a very popular option, especially for large groups. Chartering an aircraft costs a little more than a scheduled domestic flight, but the ease and convenience it offers can make a trip to Costa Rica all the more enjoyable. Prices vary depending on the time of year, number of passengers and destination, so if you’re thinking of chartering a plane during your visit, be sure to leave plenty of time, as some flights may not be available during peak tourist season, between December and April.

Many charters are also subject to fees such as fuel and airport charges, and there may be restrictions on the number of passengers per flight between certain routes, so contact the carrier to check whether a charter is right for your party before traveling.