Liberia and San Jose both have an international Costa Rica airport, making the two large cities major entry points for anyone who enters Costa Rica. There are two additional, lesser-traveled international airports: a second in San Jose and another in Limon.
Liberia is the capital of the Guanacaste province and is home to the Daniel Oduber Quiros International airport. It’s as modern as any major airport, and probably looks nicer too! It is the second busiest Costa Rica airport, and it’s the newest, as well! Liberia’s airport had been quite rustic until its rebuilding in 2012. The airport receives flights from within Costa Rica, the US, Canada, and a small load from Europe and South America. Depending on final destinations, a jumper plane can be taken to small, domestic airports (as opposed to taking a shuttle/renting a car).
The largest Costa Rica airport is the San Jose International Airport, specifically known as the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Juan Santamaria was a drummer boy that died defending Costa Rica in 1856 and has since become a national symbol. Contrary to popular knowledge, the airport is in the nearby major city of Alajuela, rather than downtown San Jose. Since more airlines fly to Juan Santamaria, it serves as a hub to the rest of the country. Well over 4 million international passengers fly to Juan Santamaria annually, but less than 500,000 domestic travelers.
Despite increases in direct flights to Costa Rica over the past few years, many passengers have at least 1 layover during their airline travel. From the US, the most common layover destinations are Houston and Miami. Costa Rica is just 3 hours away from each of these cities. Generally, for a larger price cut (depending on initial point of travel), any daring soul can transfer in New York, which can add a hefty chunk of time to a day’s travel. In the near future, however, it’s likely that most international airports in America and many in Europe will have direct flights to a Costa Rica Airport.