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
photo credit: Ivanmartinez / Wikimedia
To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at San Jose Airport.
What to Expect
- The San Jose airport has two terminals: the Main Terminal and the Domestic Terminal.
- There are 24 hour concessions at this airport, both landside and airside.
- Free WiFi is available. See WiFi in the airport guide below.
Where to Sleep
- Good sleeping spots are hard to come by at this airport, as most of the benches have armrests. Several reviewers recommended sleeping on the floor by the escalators, where the AC is less cold.
- Speaking of the cold, we recommend bringing warm layers if you plan to sleep here.
- Announcements on the PA are reportedly quite loud, so consider earplugs as well.
- For uninterrupted sleep, there are hotels near the airport. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.
Good to Know
- There are a few airport lounges that you can access by paying a fee. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.
For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our San Jose Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.
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 lounge 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, Lower Level, Gate 5. Hours: 4:30AM - last flight (approx. 8:00PM). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 30 includes a panini and 2 drinks) • Book Online (£25.00 - minimum 24 hour advance purchase is required)
- VIP Santamaria - Location: Airside, Gate 5, Upper Level. Hours: 4:30AM - 8:00PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door ($28.00).
Free WiFi is available at San Jose Airport. Connect to the “CR_Airport_Free” or “CR-Airport-Free” networks.
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 km from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs 24 hours a day. Head to Carousel #5 where you will see the Gray Line Tours/Waiting Area (staffed from 6 am to 10 pm). They can assist with the shuttle. If you are early you can also enjoy the Gray Line Waiting Area which offers free internet and international calling.
- Courtyard San Jose Airport Alajuela- (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle available 24-hr per day.
To see more options there is a list of hotels near San Jose Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.
- 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.
- Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
- Currency Exchange – Global Exchange has five locations: Airport Lobby, Baggage Claim (near carousel 2, carousel 5 and Customs), airside (Gate 9). Hours: 24 hours a day with the exception of the Gate 9 location which is open 4:00AM - 9:00AM.
- Duty Free & Shopping - There are 6 Duty Free shops available at the airport, of which the two located in the Baggage Claim area (Carousels 2 and 5) are open 24 hours. There are additionally other airside shops selling jewelry and beauty products. The Morpho Store Britt (books, package coffee, souvenirs) in the Commercial Center is also open 24 hours.
- Food & Drink - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
- Landside (Lobby Mezzanine): Cafe Lavazza
- Airside (Gate 9): Bar Imperial ▪ Brioche Dorée
- Luggage Porter – Sky Cap provides a porter service.
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - not available
- Luggage Wrapping – Sky Cap operates a baggage wrapping service in the check in hall.
- Massage – Massage booths are available
- Medical Services - Medical services are provided at the Red Cross Station near gate 5. Hours: 24 hours a day.
- Pharmacy - Sky Pharmacy - Airside, at Gate 4 and Gate 10. Hours: 5:00AM - 10:00PM.
- Showers - not available
- Smoking - Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the airport.
- Spa - Yes. Spa Mioderma. Location: Airside, at Gate 5 and Gate 10. Hours: 5:00AM - 7:00PM
The airport is open 24 hours.
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: Holiday Inn Express San Jose Airport • Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton San Jose Airport • Courtyard San Jose Airport Alajuela • Airport Hotel Berlor.
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: 24 March 2017
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports 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 mentioned in the guide, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.