Home » Central America » Costa Rica » San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport | Code: SJO

San Jose Airport Guide

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

Airport Overview

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.

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San Jose Airport Information

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.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge 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) • Buy a lounge pass (£25.00 - 24 hour advance purchase is required)  •  Priority Pass.
  • VIP Santamaria - Location: Airside, Gate 5, Upper Level. Hours: 5:00AM - 8:00PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door ($28.00).

» Buy a Lounge Pass

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at San Jose Airport. Connect to the “CR_Airport_Free” or “CR-Airport-Free” networks.

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in San Jose Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

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.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • 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: 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.
  • Medical Services - Medical services are provided at the Red Cross Station near gate 5. Hours: 24 hours a day.
  • Mobile Charging - At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, write a review or email us at guides@sleepinginairports.com.
  • Pharmacy - Sky Pharmacy - Airside, at Gate 4 and Gate 10. Hours: 5:00AM - 10:00PM.
  • Rest Zones - Not available.
  • Showers - Not available.
  • Smoking - Smoking is prohibited anywhere inside the airport.
  • Spa Services - Spa Mioderma offers sap services including massages, facials, pedicures and more. Locations: Airside at Gate 5 • Airside at Gate 10. Hours: 5:00AM - 7:00PM.

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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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.

Car Rentals

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.

Hotel Shuttles

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.

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Last Updated: 14 November 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us .