When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to San Jose Costa Rica?
The peak time for tourism in Costa Rica is during its dry season from December to April, especially over Christmas, New Year’s and Easter. You can find cheap flights to San Jose, Costa Rica during the wet season, or pick up last-minute flights all year round. With Netflights, you can compare return flights from top airlines on a month-by-month basis to pick the best deals for your travel needs.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to San Jose Costa Rica?
Booking your flights to San Jose, Costa Rica at least eight weeks in advance is the best way to save on travel. That way, you’ll be able to choose from a large range of routes and rates on return flights. The shoulder season, November and May, is a good time to pick up budget San Jose flights, while last-minute flights are typically available at any time of the year.
Flying to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
The primary point of entry for Costa Rica, Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) is located around 20 kilometres west of central San Jose in the city of Alajuela. At one time, it was the busiest airport in South America; now it ranks second, just behind Panama Airport. There are no direct flights from the United Kingdom to the Costa Rican capital at present, but you can make the journey with just one stopover. Aeroméxico (stopover in Mexico City), Air France (stopover in Paris), American Airlines (stopover in Miami), Delta Air Lines, Swiss (stopover in Zurich) and United Airlines (stopover in Houston) all fly from London. Leave from either London Heathrow or London City. Lufthansa and KLM also offer two-stop indirect flights to San Jose, Costa Rica. Check-in for these San Jose flights from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
There is one main terminal building at Juan Santamaría International Airport. Banking services are available from 5am to 8pm, with currency exchange facilities open 24 hours a day. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport and there is a wide selection of bars, cafes and restaurants. At the arrivals area, there are also travel companies and information desks. A number of duty-free shops can be found at the departure lounge with Spa Mioderma located at Gate 10.
Getting to the City from Juan Santamaría International Airport SJO
Departing from outside the road access exit, buses run from SJO to the city centre of San Jose 24 hours a day. There is no exact schedule, but buses run approximately every five to ten minutes. The journey will take around 35 minutes. Airport taxis are orange in colour and can be hired from inside the terminal building. They run on a meter, prices are fixed by the Costa Rican Government and they accept both US dollars and Costa Rican colones. Local taxis are red with yellow triangles on the doors and are also available outside the airport. Car hire offices are on-site as well.
Why Visit San Jose Costa Rica?
The capital and largest city of Costa Rica, San Jose sits in the Central Valley surrounded by the Talamanca Mountains. Colourful Spanish colonial buildings characterise the Old Town with neighbourhoods, like Barrio Amón, full of historic mansions-turned-art galleries. The hip cafes, delis and bars of Barrio Escalante are the best places to find both traditional and fusion Costa Rican food, making it a hotspot for foodies.
Top experiences in San Jose include browsing farmers' markets on Saturdays, strolling through the lush gardens of Parque La Sabana and trying out Latino dance moves in one of the city’s late-night clubs. The pre-Colombian Gold Museum, Jade Museum and National Gallery are the top museums with cultural clout. The neoclassical National Theatre of Costa Rica stands watch over the bustling activity of la Plaza de la Cultura, the city’s main meeting point, which is also the perfect place to enjoy local coffee at a lively cafe.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
Travellers using a British passport don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica. British passport holders can stay for up to 90 days under a tourist visa waiver, but they may be asked to show evidence of their return or onward journey. A departure tax of approximately £21 is required when leaving by air; some airlines include this in the ticket price and others don’t. The Costa Rican colón is available at ATMs and currency exchange services can be found throughout Juan Santamaría International Airport.