“I want to visit Costa Rica! Where should I go? What should I do?”
I tend to get asked this question quite frequently, especially from my friends on Facebook and Instagram that see all of my enticing sunset photos. So let’s start with the basics, because first you have to get here before you can explore. Let’s chat about how to get to Costa Rica!
How to Get to Costa Rica
Costa Rica has two international airports, one in San Jose, the capital city, (SJO) and one in Liberia (LIR). Airfares vary a couple-to-several hundred dollars depending on where you are flying from and what airport in Costa Rica you are flying to. For example, a direct flight from Miami (MIA) to LIR usually runs about $800, vs. the $300 airfare from MIA to SJO [as of the publish date of this blog post]. Crazy, right?! The flight time is pretty much the same from MIA to LIR or SJO, but depending on where you are traveling in Costa Rica, it may be worth your time and money to spend more on the airfare. (i.e. if you fly into SJO and plan on visiting Tamarindo, plan on a minimum $50 per person shuttle one way plus a minimum 4-5 hour drive.)
With the surge in tourism numbers, the major North American airlines are running daily direct flights from numerous cities (New York, Toronto, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angles, etc.) to Liberia and San Jose, and many European and South American airlines are flying into San Jose. Check out the Liberia airport arrival and San Jose arrival info for what airlines are serving Costa Rica.
How to get the best airfare to Costa Rica
I also use Kayak.com to search for the cheapest and best airfare options. The site has a cool flexible day search option. Weekdays tend to be the cheaper days to travel and booking a month or two in advance is best.
Get this: A connecting flight airfare on American or Delta from New York City routing through Miami or Atlanta to Liberia is cheaper than the just purchasing the direct flight option from the airlines’ hub cities. Yes, the further you fly the cheaper it is! Even if you fly direct from NYC, it is still cheaper!
So here is my sneaky airfare tip: If you are flying from a more expensive city, sometimes it pays to shop around and to try to route through a cheaper city. For example, I have booked flights from LIR to NYC, spent a night or two with a friend in the City, then travelled to my final destination, Savannah. Yes, it helps that I have friends and family in New York, but worse-comes-to-worse is you book a hotel room (or Air BnB) and explore the Big Apple!
Once you book your flights, now all you have to do is decide what you are going to do! Check out my FREE guides to Costa Rica (click on the image for the corresponding guide):
- If you only have a couple of days, check out Jen and Colin’s 72 hour whirlwind Costa Rica trip.
- Experience the Costa Rican jungle at La Carolina Lodge.
- Deep sea fishing on Quatro Mori
- Surf Tamarindo, Playa Avellanas, or Ollie’s Point
Do you have any travel tips on traveling to Costa Rica? Leave a comment below and share the knowledge!
P.S. Are you traveling to Costa Rica? Check out more of my Costa Rica tips!