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You can arrive at Costa Rica by air, land or sea; few use the latter as it is less practical.



Airports and Airlines

The majority of international flights to Costa Rica arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport, located in the Province of Alajuela, 17 Kms from San José. Liberia Airport is located 217 Km to the northeast of the capital via the Interamericana highway. It is the second largest airport that receives international flights, with tourists that are heading towards Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula without passing through San José.


By Land 

Buses direct from San José to the Central American capitals are more expensive than a local bus to the border. These kinds of trips also include food and a hotel, although it is more economic, it is actually more expensive than an airline ticket. The Inter American Highway goes all the way to Panamá and ends in the Gulf of Darién, an area of rainforest without roads.


Tica Bus Office + 506  2223-8776 + 506  2221-0006 + 506  2223-8680. Travels to Panamá, Central American and México.


Transnica Office + 506  223-4242 + 506 223-4123. Travels to Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador.


                                                                From Nicaragua

The main route between Nicaragua and Costa Rica is in Peñas Blancas, on the Interamerican Highway.


                                                                From Panama

There are three border crossings between Costa Rica and Panamá. There is also an hour’s difference between Costa Rica and Panama.


                                                                    By Sea

Cruises dock at the Costa Rican ports, and allow their passengers to pay short visits to the country. The cruise ships dock at the Pacific port of Puntarenas or in the Moín Caribbean close to Puerto Limón. Those that stop in Puntarenas have the opportunity to visit San José, Sarchí, Monteverde and the Central Plateau during the day, or to go the Carara National Park. The passengers that disembark at Moín can go through the canals to Tortuguero National Park, or go white water rafting.


                                                                  How to Get Around

There is a wide network of roads in the country and a large fleet of buses that travel all over. When they leave central areas, you will notice that the roads get smaller, leaving the tarmac road with them. They begin their route in San José, the main center of departure with destinations to the large majority of the country. From whatever area of the country you are in, it is easier to go to the capital first and then you can begin your journey to your final destination. In Costa Rica there are approximately some 600 to 700 thousand people that have a car, but public transport is well developed, and guarantees communication with smaller and remote villages.



There are two airlines that fly within the country. 


Sansa Servicio Nacional SA; + 506 2221-9414 and Nature Air + 506 2299-6000. E-mail: E-mail: – Free Call (USA/Canadá): 800 235 9272.


Sansa is linked with the Taca Group, which means that you can buy tickets at any travel agency. They use Cessna Grand Caravan 208B planes with a capacity for a maximum of 14 passengers and take off from the national international airport Juan Santamaría, at 17 Km from the center of San José. The planes are small, and you can only take up to 12 Kg of luggage.


Nature Air + 506 2299-6000 or 1-800-235-9272 E mail: departs from the Tobías Bolaños (Pavas) airport, which is smaller and located 5 Km, from the center of San José, and has several Britten Islanders for 5 passengers, and Twin Otter for 18 passengers, there are also similar aircraft, luggage is restricted to 12 Kg.


                                                                      Charter Flights

International Airport Juan Santamaría + 506 2437-2626.


Tobías Bolaños Airport + 506  290-0664 Information Office


Aviones Taxi Aéreo S.A + 506 2441-1626 + 506 2441-2062 + 506 2441-2713. E-mail:, departures from Juan Santamaría. There are more economical charter flights that depart from the Tobías Bolaños airport.


Aero Bell + 506 2290-0000 + 506 2296-0460. E-mail:


Pitz Aviation + 506 2296-3600 + 506 2296-1429.Email:


Tacsa Taxi Aéreo Centroamericano + 506 2232-1317 + 506 2232-1438 + 506 2232-1469. Email:


Alfa Romeo Aero Taxi + 506 2775-1515 en Golfito + 506 2735-5178 + 506 2735-5353 + 506 2735-5112 at Puerto Jiménez. E-mail: Flights to any part of the country and international flights. It is the only airline with a twenty four hour, daily, authorized ambulance service. 


Tourist Buses

Buses with air-conditioning that take you to the main tourist attractions, offering several trips without having to make a transfer in San José. They are efficient, punctual, practical and also carry out hotel transfers to your destination city.


Gray Line Tours + 506 2283-5573 + 506 2220-2393, E-mail: safe, economic and comfortable in the units, each one has air conditioned, permanent communication with the central offices and is handled by an expert uniformed driver. All important tourist destination of the country. To pass pick up you at your hotel and will take you to your destination, without complications, minimums of passengers and in a daily operation.


Interbus + 506 2283-5573 + 506 2283-7655. Email: E-mail:


Transportes Marvi + 506 2214-2828 + 506 2214-2929. E-mail: Travel to any part of the Country in buses with capacity from 10 up to 50 people, it has conditioned air, Radio of Communication to the office the 24 hours, microphone, total Insurance, Full Extras, bathroom, luggage racks ,seats reclinables, coolers, TVs and VCRs.



American Travel The Tico Train Tours + 506 2233-3300 + 506 2233-3311. E-mail: Tours from San José to Caldera Beach in Puntarenas, at a price of 12.50 US$ for nationals and 30 US$ for foreigners, return, children younger that 3 years of age. Departs at 06.00 a.m arriving at 10:00 a.m, returning at 03:00 p.m, arriving at 07:30 p.m, Saturdays and Sundays. Services: refreshments, Insurance Policy from INS. They also carry out educational tours, departing from San José or San Antonio de Belén and travel to Río Grande de Atenas.



Can be hired for hours, half a day or a whole day. Prices for longer journeys can be negotiated before the trip and for short trips a meter is used which is called the “Maria,”, and can be identified by its red digital numbers.


Taxis Alfaro

San José, Costa Rica, Piscinas de Plaza Gonzáles Víquez 200 Este y 25 Norte
+ 506 2221-8466


Taxis Coopeirazú

San José, San Sebastián del la Iglesia Catolica 700 metros Oeste, Edificio blanco y azul
+ 506 2254-3211


Taxis Coopetico

San José, Curridabat, 50 metros norte del Banco Nacional
+ 506 2224-7979


Taxis La Guaria

San Francisco, Dos Ríos, del Servicio Civil , 150 metros al Norte
+ 506 2227-9300


Taxis San Jorge

Costado Noroeste del ICE Florida de Tibás, San José
+ 506 2221-3434


Taxis Aeropuerto

Contiguo al área de aduanas, Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría
+ 506 2221-6865  + 506 2443-7544


Taxis Unidos

San Miguel, Rubén Odio 50 mts Oeste y 15 mts Norte, Desamparados
+ 506 2250-5094


                                                                      Telephones of Emergency 9-1-1


Province Emergencies Cruz Roja Police Traffic Police


San José 9-1-1 + 506 2222-9330 + 506 2223-4194


Alajuela 9-1-1 + 506 2441-3939 + 506 2441-7411 + 506 2440-8889


Cartago 9-1-1 + 506 2551-0421+ 506 2591-9205 + 506 2551-0455


Heredia 9-1-1 + 506 2262-8898 + 506 2238-1966 + 506 2262-9232


Guanacaste 9-1-1 + 506 2666-0994 + 506 2665-0690 + 506 2665-5193 (Liberia) + 506 2679-9097 (La Cruz)


Limón 9-1-1 + 506 2758-0125 + 506 2798-2469 + 506 2758-0365


Puntarenas 9-1-1 + 506 2661-1945 + 506 2663-1599 + 506 2661-0640

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