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 Km’s from San José.  Liberia Airport is located 217 Km to the northeast of the capital via the Interamerican highway. It is the second largest airport that receives international flights, with tourists that are heading towards Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula without passing though San José.



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 Ph (506) 2223-8776/ Ph (506) 2221-0006 Telefax (506) 2223-8680. E-mail: San José. Costa Rica. Paseo Colón. 200 meters North & 100 meters West from Torre Mercedes, Paseo Colón, Acros front Funeraria del Magisterio Nacional. Travels to Panamá, Central American and México.


TRANSNICA Office Tel (506) 223-4242/ 223-4123. E-mail: Contiguous to the Sede of the Conferencia Episcopal. 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.


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 Carribean 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.



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; Ph (506) 2221-9414 and Nature Air Ph (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 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.


International Airport Juan Santamaría Ph (506) 2437-2626.

Tobías Bolaños Airport Ph (506) 290-0664 Information Office

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

Aero Bell Ph (506) 2290-0000, fax (506) 2296-0460. E-mail:

Pitz Aviation Ph (506) 2296-3600, fax (506) 2296-1429.Email:

Tacsa Taxi Aéreo Centroamericano Ph (506) 2232-1317, 2232-1438, fax (506) 2232-1469. Email:

Alfa Romeo Aero Taxi  Ph (506) 2775-1515 en Golfito, Tel (506) 2735-5178/ 2735-5353/ 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



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 Ph (506) 2283-5573, fax (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 Ph (506) 2283-5573, fax (506) 2283-7655.  Email:  E-mail:


Transportes Marvi Ph (506) 2214-2828, fax (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 Ph (506) 2233-3300, fax (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 6.00 a.m arriving at 10:00 a.m, returning at 3:00 p.m, arriving at 7:30 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.



It is better to rent a car to continue on the rest of your journey.


Rent a Car

Adobe Ph (506) 2258-4242 San José/ Ph (506) 2777-4242 Quepos/ Ph (506) 2442-2422 Airport/ Ph (506) 2667-0608 Guanacaste.  E-mail:

Álamo Ph (506) 2242-7733 San José, Airport, Hotel Best Western Irazú, Liberia, Playa Tamarindo, Marina Los Sueños Herradura, Quepos, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajuela, E-mail:

Hola Ph (506) 2231-5666 San José. E-mail:

Avanti Ph (506) 2430-4647 Airport.  E-mail:

Avis Ph (506) 2232-9922 San José/ Ph (506) 2293-2222 San Antonio de Belén.

Budget Ph (506) 2223-3284 San José/ Ph (506) 2441-4444 Alajuela/ Ph (506) 2440-4412 Airport/ Ph (506) 2668-1024 Liberia/ Ph (506) 2653-0756 Playa Tamarindo/ Ph (506) 2643-2665 Playa Jaco. E-mail:

Dollar Ph (506) 2257-0671 San José/ Ph (506) 2443-2950 La Ribera de Belén/ Ph   (506) 2668-1061 Liberia. E-mail:

Economy Ph (506) 2231-5410/ Ph (506) 2442-8100 Airport/ Ph (506) 2666-2816 Liberia/ Ph (506) 2654-4543 Playa Flamingo/ Ph (506) 2653-0752 Playa Tamarindo/ Ph (506) 2643-1098 Playa Jaco/ Ph (506) 2777-5353 Manuel Antonio-Quepos. E-mail:

Europcar Ph (506) 2257-1158 San José/ Ph (506) 2443-2336 Airport/ Ph (506) 2668-1023 Liberia. E-mail:

Hertz Ph (506) 2221-1818 /

Limosinas de Costa Rica Ph (506) 2282-5803 Santa Ana/ Celular (506) 8391-1196. E-mail:

National Ph (506) 2242-7878 San José, Airport, Liberia, Playa Jaco

Mapache Ph (506) 2286-0404 San José/ Ph (506) 2443-8584 Airport. E-mail:

Payless Ph (506) 2257-0026 San José/ Ph (506) 2443-5286 Airport/ Ph (506) 2653-0017 Playa Tamarindo/ Ph (506) 2667-0511 Liberia/ Ph (506) 2777-0117 Quepos/ Ph (506) 2643-3224. Playa Jaco. E-mail:

Sol Ph (506) 2666-2222 Liberia. E-mail:

Solid Ph (506) 2442-6000, fax (506) 2442-9000, diagonal to the Hotel Hampton inn 1 Km east of the international airport.

Thrifty Ph (506) 2257-3434 San José/ Ph (506) 2442-8585 Airport.

Toyota Ph (506) 2258-5797 San José/ Ph (506) 2441-1411 Airport/ Ph (506) 2666-8190 Liberia.

Tricolor Ph (506) 2440-3333 Rió Segundo de Alajuela/ Ph (506) 2257-4455 San José/ Ph (506) 2666-5412 Liberia. E-mail:

Zuma Ph (506) 2643-3207 Playa Jaco. E-mail:



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.


Telephones of Emergency 

Province     Emergencies      Cruz Roja       Police             Traffic Police

San José          911                   911                  2222-9330      2223-4194

Alajuela           911                   2441-3939      2441-7411      2440-8889

Cartago           911                   2551-0421      2591-9205      2551-0455

Heredia           911                   2262-8898      2238-1966      2262-9232

Guanacaste      911                   2666-0994      2665-0690      2665-5193 (Liberia)

2679-9097 (La Cruz)

Limón              911                   2758-0125      2798-2469      2758-0365

Puntarenas       911                   2661-1945      2663-1599      2661-0640