Everything you need to know about San Jose International Airport, Costa Rica

Everything you need to know about San Jose International Airport, Costa Rica




Juan Santamaria (SJO) is the main airport of and the port of entry through which most tourists and locals begin their passage. The airport is on the small scale but it is inspiringly clean, well run and greatly organised. It does have many connections to and from the United States and all over the Americas. 


One arriving internationally will have to fill out a residence card for the process, so have your address within the country handy. Just inside the baggage claim area one can find a whole series of helpful tourism booths and stores which allow one to make some duty free purchases for good prices before crossing customs.


The airport is well lit and airy. It offers parking for good rates, substantial space for pick up and drop off and a variety of information points for reference. There are several buses that depart from the airport to San Jose and the closer town of Alajuela. Taxis are abundant and prices are standard to what they would be in the USA. Nearby there are many and restaurants which can be a good option for a first or last night stay and many have shuttles. The same is true of the car rental agencies which are mostly off site.

Upon departure be aware  there is a departure tax to be paid. (many airlines are adding it now to the ticket price)  The cost is $29USD per person and is payable in cash or by mastercard. The receipt is important to keep with you until check in is complete. Security moves effortlessly and despite the large numbers the airport never seems overcrowded.

Finally Be sure as well to keep your eyes peeled especially when taking off. The early morning skies are bright and clear and the initial climb out of the central valley offers panoramic views of a breathtaking range of mountains, volcanoes, jungles and rivers. It is a photo finish for a country and an airport which is spectacularly presented.


Everything you need to know about San Jose International Airport, Costa Rica

1 comment

1 ping

    • John Smith on 12 August, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    • Reply

    Just be aware of the pocket tyrants controlling security checks on the way out of the country. Passengers entitled to fast track security checks are waved dismissively to the back of the general queue if they have children in the family (even if the kids have fast track stamped on their tickets). Leaves a very unpleasant final taste from the chubby mustachioed dictators policing the lines.

  1. […] departure from an International Airport such as San Jose or Guanacaste . It sits all the way on the right hand side of the departures terminal and moves […]

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