Flights to Costa Rica tend to be packed with nature lovers; the kind of people who want to visit a country which is packed with unspoiled wonders of the natural world. Located in Central America, with coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, it is a paradise of flora, fauna and biodiversity. Whether you’re looking for mountains, jungles, rivers or wildlife, the fact that a huge 23.4% of the land mass of the country is either a national park or a protected space means that you’re bound to find a stunning backdrop, natural adventure or ecotourism opportunity.
The natural wonders of the country persuade tourists to fly to Costa Rica throughout the year. The climate is tropical, which means that temperatures overall tend to remain steady through the year, with little seasonal variation. The average temperature hovers around the 82F mark, although it can be hotter along the coast, and the different regions of the country have microclimates of their own.
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Juan Santamaría Airport is located 11 miles from the capital city of San Jose. It handles 4.6 million passengers per year and serves as a hub for flights on to cities in South America and the Caribbean. It should be noted that Juan Santamaría International Airport charges an ‘exit fee’ of $32 to people flying out from it. In many cases, this will have been included in the price of your ticket, but it pays to be certain and, if not, it must be paid by cash or credit card. Downtown San Jose is just a 35-minute bus trip from the airport.
Also known as Liberian International Airport, Daniel Oduber Quirós International is located in the city of Liberia and is the ideal airport to fly into if you’d like to sample the delights of the Pacific Coast. Daniel Oduber Quirós International is the second busiest airport in Costa Rica, handling just over a million passengers in 2017. Airport shuttles run throughout the day to a variety of destinations in nearby Guanacaste.
Airlines which fly directly to Costa Rica from the US include:
If you want to explore Costa Rica in depth than take advantage of the internal flights offered by airlines NatureAir and Sansa, which fly to and from the major tourist hubs in the country. If you’re exploring on a smaller scale, the public bus service runs several buses per day to most of the major towns and cities. The tickets are cheap, but all buses travel via San Jose, which can add to the journey time. Hire cars are available, but check carefully for any damage and report it before you drive away, and driving at night on some of the more remote mountain roads is only for the most experienced.
San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and the major transport hub for traveling to the rest of the country. It’s equally appealing to culture vultures who wish to visit the architecturally spectacular National Theater of Costa Rica, and lovers of nature who use it as a hub to explore the Central Valley region, including Turrialba and the Valley of the Saints.
Usually referred to simply as ‘Limon’, Puerto Limon is the capital of the Limon province, and is famed for the carnival which takes place every year during the week of the 12th October. This involves a week (and two weekends) of music, dancing, parades and traditional Costa Rican food.
If you want to sample the best of the beaches in Costa Rica then the city of Puntarenas is a good place to start. Located 51 miles from the capital of San Jose, on the Pacific coast, it offers a hotter climate than the Central Valley, rising to 95F in April, and attracts surfers from around the world.
If you’re a smoker, be aware that Costa Rica has some of the most restrictive anti-smoking regulations in the world. Smoking is banned in buses, taxis trains and public buildings to name just a few places, and no ‘smoking areas’ are provided.
Travelers from the US need only a valid passport for stays of up to 90 days, and all travellers must have return or onward tickets and enough funds to cover their stay.