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San Jose International Airport, Alajuela

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San Jose (Juan Santamaria) International Airport

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The most convenient way to travel into Costa Rica is by air. You have either two options, one is to land at the Juan Santamaria International Airport just outside of the capital San Jose in the Central Valley, or you could land at the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste province. Both these airports are of the highest international standards and cater to thousands of tourists a day.

Great Place to Relax or Shop!

The San Jose International Airport or as it is known, the Juan Santamaria International Airport is the first and oldest airport in Costa Rica but it has had some recent upgrades and it is very nice with free wi-fi and many shops and restaurants inside including a Café Britt store that has some great souvenirs and of course coffee with free samples of coffee as well as their chocolate.

Why the name Juan Santamaria International Airport?

The airport was named after the brave drummer boy Juan Santamaria, who died in the Battle of Rivas in 1856 defending his country against the invading forces of American invader William Walker. The primary airport in Costa Rica, the San Jose International Airport sits just outside of Downtown San Jose, about a 10 to 30 minute drive away from most major hotels and accommodations in the San Jose area.

Convenient Place to Fly To / From

The San Jose International Airport is also close to some beach cities including: Doubletree Puntarenas at El Roble (1 hr), Los Suenos Marriott at Playa Herradura (1 hr 15 min), Jaco (1.5 hrs) and Puntarenas (1.5 hrs) just to name a few.

With most United States and international carriers landing here, this airport also serves as a domestic flight terminal for those wishing to travel within the country itself. Some of the major international airlines that land here include American, Jet Blue, KLM, Delta, Taca / Avianca, British Airways, Continental, Cubana, Mexicana, Iberia and American West just to name a few.

The airport is also very close to Alajuela, the hometown of Juan Santamaria, the San Jose International Airport sits at a distance of about 3 kilometers (1 mile) from the city. Inaugurated in July 1955, this airport was the first in the country to have an asphalt runway, as before this most of the airplanes used to land on runways made from grass.

Run by a private company Alterra Partners, who won a 20-year contract to run the maintenance and administration of the airport, the Juan Santamaria International Airport is quite large and has a great range of souvenir shops, cafés, and duty free stores. There is also a food court in the airport with 3 fast food restaurants and a host of other eateries. There is even a massage shop where you can get a back massage while you wait for your flight!

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