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What to know about flights to Costa Rica

International travel in a world impacted by the Coronavirus has left most of us with more questions than answers. That’s why we at Adobe Rent a Car want to help you make informed decisions. We’ll help you choose the best dates, itinerary, and vehicle for your visit to Costa Rica.


Flying to Costa Rica and the Coronavirus

On March 18, the Government of Costa Rica implemented a full border closure. All of the international airports and maritime ports were closed. And land travel between the country and its neighbors, Panama and Nicaragua was completely prohibited. 

These restrictions were not only for the safety of Costa Ricans but also for international travelers.

The Government reopened its borders on August 1, 2020. However, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas stated that only foreigners from countries that have “controlled the spread of the coronavirus” would be allowed to enter Costa Rica. 


In addition, strict entry requirements were enforced. Individuals must follow the health and security protocols established by the Ministry of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).At this time, this includes medical personnel monitoring passenger lines for people with COVID 19 symptoms and asking travelers with symptoms to self-identify.

Learn more about the Juan Santamaría International Airport Protocol:


For a list of countries permitted entry to Costa Rica, as well as entry requirements, check with your country’s Embassy or an Adobe Rent a Car representative. 

Rest assured that traveling to Costa Rica will be much easier once the number of Coronavirus infections begins to drop around the world. 

It’s just a matter of time and patience.


Costa Rica flights 

Most people enter Costa Rica by air. Plane tickets will become more available in the future as the pandemic passes. Costa Rica is a very popular destination for vacationers.

In order to enter the country travelers will need to complete an “Epidemiological Form.” It is also possible that a 14-day quarantine period will be required by everyone once they arrive.

We believe  Costa Rica will become an even more popular place to visit once the pandemic ends. This is because ecotourism is the biggest draw. Spending time outdoors in nature is one of the healthiest activities these days.  

Over 30 percent of the country’s landmass is a national park or protected area. And there are over 1,290 km (800 mi) of coastline and beaches to explore. Manuel Antonio National Park, for example, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful parks. It is home to stunning beaches, tropical forests, and thousands of birds and wildlife. 


Flights to San Jose, Costa Rica

The Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) is located in Alajuela just a few minutes from downtown San José, the capital city. SJO is the country’s primary hub and receives the majority of international flights throughout the year.

Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) is Costa Rica’s second-largest airport. It is located in the northern province of Guanacaste. It was recently renovated to receive more airlines and passengers. Today, the airport’s popularity is growing and several flights from all over the world arrive weekly.

People wanting to explore the Northwest Pacific Coast beaches and national parks usually like to fly into the Liberia Airport.  


How expensive are flights to Costa Rica? 

The cost of flights to Costa Rica vary significantly based on different factors. The time of year (season) and country of origin (distance traveled) are the determining price factors. 

The best time to find cheap flights to Costa Rica is during the Pacific Coast Green Season. It runs from May to late November and coincides with the rainy season.  Cheap tickets are mostly available during the rainiest months of September and October. Luckily for people traveling during these months, the Caribbean Coast is dry and sunny.

Ticket prices tend to be highest during the holiday season, December through February. This is also true for the northern hemisphere’s summer months, June through August.

Regular round trip flights from the United States run anywhere between $250 and $850 from gateway cities. For example, the average price of a round trip ticket from Miami, FL, is $448, according to Kayak. While a good deal may cost as low as $185 to the same destination.

For the best rates on airfare to Costa Rica, it’s best to start shopping a few months in advance and set alerts to notify you when the fares drop. Other tips include checking with the airlines as well as travel sites like Kayak and Expedia. 


How long are flights to Costa Rica?

Flight times from the United States to Costa Rica depend on the flight’s origin. For example, flights from Texas average 4:30 hours and flights from California average 6:15 hours. Similarly, Washington State takes 7:20 hours and Miami only 2:45. 

Direct flights from Costa Rica to Europe run around 10 hours. Flights from Madrid, Spain average 10:45 hours. And to Zurich, Switzerland it takes an average 11:25. 

Rest assured the travel time it takes to get to Costa Rica is definitely worth it!


Which airlines fly to Costa Rica?

U.S. Airlines: Alaska Air, American, U.S. Airways, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, United Airlines, and U.S. Airways.

International Airlines: Air Canada, Air France, Air Transat, Avianca, Condor, Copa, Edelweiss Air, Iberia, Interjet, KLM, Lufthansa, TUI


What airlines fly direct to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica’s popularity has been growing steadily. The country is listed as one of the top ten travel destinations in the world by Travel & Leisure, Lonely Planet, and other recognized travel magazines. 

The Costa Rican Board of Tourism (ICT) and the Ministry of Tourism have worked hard to attract interest from international airlines. As a result, several companies now offer direct flights from several world destinations. 


What Cities have direct flights to Costa Rica? 

Cities offering regular or seasonal direct flight service to Costa Rica include:  


From Canada: 

Toronto – San José and Liberia (Air Canada)

Montreal – San José and Liberia (Air Canada)

Vancouver – San José and Liberia (Air Transat)

Toronto – Liberia (Westjet)


From the United States:

Charlotte, NC – San José (American)

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX – San José (American)

Miami, FL – San José (American)

Philadelphia, PA, San José (American)

Phoenix, AZ – San José (American)

Los Angeles, CA – San José and Liberia (Delta)

Atlanta, GA – San José and Liberia (Delta)

New York City, NY – San José and Liberia (Delta & United)

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MI – Liberia (Delta)

Orlando, FL – San José (Jetblue)

Fort Lauderdale, FL – San José (Jetblue & Spirit)

Baltimore/Washington, MD – San José and Liberia (Southwest)

Houston, TX – San José and Liberia (Southwest, Spirit & United)


From the Americas: 

Mexico City, Mex – San José (Avianca & Interjet)

Bogotá, COL – San José (Avianca)

Lima, Per – San José (Avianca)

Managua, Nic – San José (Avianca)

Tegucigalpa, Hon – San José (Avianca)

San Salvador, ELS – San José (Avianca)

Guatemala City, Gua – San José (Avianca & Copa)

Panama City, Pan – San José (Copa)

Guadalajara, Mex – San José (Volaris)


From Europe:

London, Eng – San José (British Airways)

Madrid, SPA – San José (Iberia)

Amsterdam, Hol – San José and Liberia (KLM)

Zurich, Swi – San José and Liberia (Edelweiss)

París, Fra – San José and Liberia (Air France)

*Fight availability is subject to change. Check with the airline provider for confirmation.

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