Juan Santamaria International Airport is the main airport serveing San Jose. The airport is located outside of Alajuela, 16 km (10 miles) northwest of San Jose. Handling about 3.1 million passengers in 2010, it is Costa Rica's primary international airport, and the second busiest airport in Central America after that in Panama City. It is a hub for TACA/Lacsa's international flights, for TACA/Sansa's domestic flights; and a focus city for Copa Airlines.  Airlines offering direct flights to/from Canada and the United States include Air Canada (Toronto), American (Dallas, LA, Miami, New York (JFK)),  Newark), Delta (Atlanta), Frontier (Denver), JetBlue (Orlando), Spirit (Houston), United (Houston, U.S. Airways (Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix). TACA also flies to/from Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, and Toronto, while Condor flies to/from Frankfurt and Iberia to/from Madrid.  Numerous airlines provide connections around Latin America, from Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic; to Argentina and Chile.

There is a $29 departure tax, payable in U.S. dollars, colones, or by credit card. Make sure to pay the departure tax first before lining up at the check-in. Paying by U.S. dollars or colones is recommended because your credit card will be charged as though it is a cash advance, resulting in interest charges if you don't pay your credit card balance right away. NOTE as of July 2016 most airlines have incorporated this $29 fee into the price of your ticket with the exception of British Airways! 

 After going through airport security, note that you will not be able to take it on board the airplane so buy only what you can consume prior to boarding.

The easiest way to get to San Jose from the airport is to take a taxi. You will find plenty of cabs to choose from curbside outside the terminal. You can discern licensed airport cabs by their orange color. Drivers wear brown pants. white shirt and black tie.The cost of a ride from the airport to the city should cost about $20-35. dependes where in the city your hotel is located. However, be sure to negotiate a fare before starting travel. Most taxi drivers will use the meter, ask them to restart it once the cab is moving and lots take credit cards ( Visa best ).

If arriving by bus from a different Central American country, you will find yourself at the Ticabus station on Avenida 4. If arriving from a different city within Costa Rica, you will arrive at La Coca-Cola, the domestic bus station, located at Avenida 1/3.


Just walk outside the terminal to the main street. There is a designated bus stop. As the buses stop ask the driver San Jose, if he says si then jump on and the cost is cheap around one $ dollar. You should change about 10 $ in the airport for the bus and taxi on to your hotel once you arrive in San Jose. Buses run from very early in the morning (4:30am to 11PM) to late at night, just use common sense about your bags, keep an eye on them. The taxi meter in Spanish is called maria, ask the driver to reset it once you have entered the taxi.