San Jose Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our San Jose Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
We asked several employees where the chapel was and they looked at us like we were crazy to think there was a chapel in the airport. - Suzanne & Brian
By a traveler
February 2015 - Arrived around 9PM for a 7AM flight. Chose the cheap way of staying in the airport overnight. When I arrived, the departure hall was empty. There were only a couple fellow sleepers hanging about. I couldn't check my bags yet, so I headed up to the Lavazza caf. It's open 24 hours and that translates well into the price. I did get a coffee and a donut there for about 3000 colones, the coffee is really good though. After the caffeine rush, I took the escalator down and took a sharp left immediately. Behind the escalators, where there is an infrequently used elevator, I found some abandoned chairs. Don't get your hopes up, they have armrests. But they were in a corner and kind of out of the cold A/C draft. I hooked my bags together and used my small backpack as a pillow, had a small blanket with me and slept on my side. This way I could slide one leg under the armrest and another above it. Another armrest was sitting in an uncomfortable position for a man (you know what I mean) but luckily, I don't move too much while I sleep. So I put my earbuds in and faced towards the seats. This was as comfy as it gets. The part of my back which was not touching the seats felt sore afterwards. Probably because I never changed position, but some stretching before/after could help. Slept from 11PM until about 4:30AM with about three minor wake ups from people talking or laughing who came out of the elevator. No one bothered me. Had another coffee at Lavazza and checked in. Safe travels!
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In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at San Jose airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- VIP Lounge Costa Rica - Location: Airside, 1st Floor, Gate 12. Hours: 500am - 800pm. Lounge Access: Book Online (£25.00) • Priority Pass.
Free WiFi is available at San Jose Airport. Connect to the “CR_Airport_Free” Network.
If sleeping in San Jose Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:
- Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton San Jose Airport - (2 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle available 24-hr per day
- Holiday Inn Express San Jose Costa Rica Airport - (1 mile from the airport) Free airport shuttle available 4:30AM - 11:30PM.
- Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela- (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle available 24-hr per day.
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near San Jose Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- ATMs - ATMs are located in the main lobby, in baggage claim and beside gates 2 and 6. In the lobby, there is also a BAC branch where withdrawals can be made in colones, US Dollars and Euros.
- Currency Exchange – Global Exchange has an office landside in the main hall, Arrivals Area, Ground Floor and airside between Gates 5 and 6.
- Duty Free & Shopping - Duty Free shops are located airside, near gates 3, 5 and 9. There are additionally other airside shops selling jewelry and beauty products. The only landside shop is Britt Shop, which sells small souvenirs.
- Food & Drink - At the time of writing, no 24-hour options are available. The only landside options are a café (Lavazza) and Malinche. All other options are located airside, either near the gates or in the central food court.
- Family Services – unknown.
- Information desk – unknown.
- Luggage Carts – unknown.
- Luggage Porter – Sky Cap provides a porter service.
- Luggage Storage & Lockers – unknown.
- Luggage Wrapping – Sky Cap operates a baggage wrapping service in the check in hall.
- Mobile Charging – unknown.
- Pharmacy – unknown.
- Prayer Rooms – unknown
- Rest Zones – unknown
- Massage – Massage booths are available
- Showers – unknown
- Smoking Area – unknown.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - available before and after security.
- Car Rentals - Alamo • Budget • Dollar • Economy • Hertz . Location: Arrivals.
- Currency Exchange - Information not available
- Food & Drinks - There is a 24-hour food concessions available: Lavazza (mezzanine, landside)
- Information Desk - Information not available
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - not available
- Showers - not available
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
Buses drop off and pick up passengers at the airport bus stand, located less than a block from the airport terminal exit. Departures are very frequent, about every 5 minutes, to Downtown Alajuela (15 min travel time, ₡535); Downtown San José (35 min travel time; ₡535); and Downtown Heredia (40 min travel time: ₡515). If traveling by bus from the airport to one of the beaches, take a bus to Downtown Alajuela or Downtown San José and transfer to a bus going to your beach destination. Bus stands in San José are located on 2nd Avenue, north side of the Nuestra Señora de La Merced church. Station Wagon bus company provides 24-hour service between the airport and San José, while TUASA buses provide a San José - airport bus service from 4:30AM - 11:00PM.
Passengers who need to rent a car, or have a prebooked rental, will find car rental agencies onsite in the main passenger terminal, just past Customs. Once a rental is booked or reservation is checked in, a representative from the agency will escort the renter to the rental car court, located just outside of the airport. Onsite agencies include: Alamo/National, Budget, Dollar, Economy and Hertz.
Several area hotels provide airport transportation service as a courtesy to their guests. Here are a few hotels offering airport shuttle service:
Taxis Unidos is the only taxi company authorized to serve the airport. Their orange-colored taxis offer 24-hour service both to and from the airport. The customer service desk can be found next to the rental car counters in the International Terminal, just past Customs.
Last Updated: 11 May 2015
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.