What to learn about touring to Costa Rica from the US

A haven of rainforest and volcanic Central America, Costa Rica is known for its lush biodiversity and stunning scenery. Nearly a quarter of the country is protected forest, not to mention a variety of world-class beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

So it should come as no surprise that Costa Rica is the most visited country in the region More than three million tourists in 2019. With a variety of airline options and nonstop routes for American travelers, this is a relatively easy place to get to. From the contiguous United States, the longest flight time is about six hours; The shortest is about three.

Here’s what you need to know about traveling to Costa Ricaincluding airlines and routes that take you to this tropical oasis.

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Major airports in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has two major airports with nonstop flights from the United States: the more central Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (SJO) and Liberia’s Guanacaste Airport (LIR), located in northern Liberia. While San Jose is the capital city and home to the country’s largest airport, Liberia may actually be more convenient for some travelers. However, if you are traveling anywhere domestically within Costa Rica, note that San Jose is your only option.

Depending on where you are going within the country, one airport may be better than another. General tip: If you’re traveling to the Caribbean, Central Pacific, or all of southern Costa Rica, San Jose is your best bet.

Meanwhile, if you’re on your way to Guanacaste or the stunning beaches Papagayo Peninsula, you will want to travel to Liberia. The airport is only a 45-minute drive from upscale resorts like Papagayo Four seasons.

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Airlines and routes to Costa Rica

All major US airlines – including American, Alaska, Delta, JetBlue and United – fly nonstop to Costa Rica’s two airports. In addition, low-cost airlines Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, and Sun Country serve at least one city in Costa Rica. The vast majority of American travelers should be able to reach the Central American country with just one connection to the United States.

Below is the complete list of nonstop US routes to Costa Rica for the 2023 winter season.

Nonstop US routes to Liberia (LIR)

American: Austin (Australia), Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA)

Alaska: Los Angeles (LAX)

Delta: Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis (MSP)

JetBlue: Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK)

united: Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO)

border: Atlanta (ATL)

Southwest: Houston (HOU)

Country of the Sun: Minneapolis (MSP)

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Nonstop US routes to San Jose (SJO)

American: Dallas (DFW), Miami (MIA)

Alaska: Los Angeles (LAX)

Delta: Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX)

JetBlue: Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO)

united: Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Newark (EWR)

border: Atlanta (ATL)

Southwest: Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH)

spirit: Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO)

how much does it cost

With such a wealth of route options and airlines serving Costa Rica, airfares are relatively affordable compared to other international destinations. A look at a round-trip ticket in January 2024 shows prices ranging from $200 to $500. Note that the summer dry season usually runs from December to April and is the most expensive time to visit. Winter, or the wet or green season, falls from May to November, and is usually reasonably priced.

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