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Costa Rican Domestic Airlines
There are two choices for domestic air travel in Costa Rica, SANSA and Travelair. Their rates, routes, equipment, and schedules are similar, and we've had good reports and bad about each. The rates posted on the schedules are subject to change, and the current rates are available through each airlines online reservation system. SANSA is typically a little cheaper, and uses a satellite terminal at Juan Santamaría International Airport see map. Travelair operates from Tobías Bolaños Airport (Pavas - San José) see map.
See our tips on domestic air travel to minimize the possibility that you will have a bad experience.

SANSA schedule of flights- part of the TACA group.
Reservations & Ticketing online, Telephone: (506) 221-9414, Fax: (506) 255-2176, e-mail: reservations@flysansa.com
Most flights are in Cessna Grand Caravan 208-B 14 passenger aircraft, but SANSA operates flights in 10-36 seaters.
SANSA has lockers in their terminal at Juan Santamaría airport, something the main international terminal doesn't provide.

 

Travelair schedule of flights -or- Map of Destinations- AKA Nature Air.
Reservations & Ticketing online, Telephone: (506) 220 30 54, Fax: (506) 220 04 13, e-mail: info@natureair.com
Most flights are in Twin Otter Vistaliner 19 passenger aircraft.

Tips and recommendations for domestic air travel

Make reservations in advance. You might get on at the last minute, but you might end up wasting most of a couple of days trying to get on a flight.
All flights are to or from San José. Currently (March 2004) SANSA uses a satellite terminal at Juan Santamaría International Airport & Travelair operates from Tobías Bolaños Airport (Pavas - San José).
Baggage space and weight is limited to 25 lbs. per passenger. This is about half of what international flights allow. You must make advance arrangements for oversized items like surf boards, bicycles, and scuba and camping gear. It is also a good idea to arrive at the airport early if you have unusual baggage so you can get it on the plane before they decide it's too big.
Some of the displayed flights are not available all the time. Not all of the flights shown on either companies schedule or route map (see La fortuna on Travelair's site for example) are necessarily going to be available when you are traveling. Use the online reservation forms to make sure you can fly where you want to, when you want to before you plan your whole trip around the flight!
Keep your camera with you. Don't pack your camera away, the views are spectacular. In fact it would be easy to forget that you are flying for transportation and not on a sightseeing trip.
Leave some extra time. These are small airlines, they don't have the highest runway priority in San José where all their flights originate, and heavy weather can be a factor (especially in the rainy season). Most of the problems we've heard of could have been minor irritations rather than trip ruining disasters with better planning. Unless your karma is infallible it's not reasonable to plan a departure for Panama on TACA an hour after you are supposed to be delivered to San José by SANSA.

San José Airports

 

Regional & Central American international airlines

TACA/LACSA- Costa Rica's regional international airline, serving Central, North, and South America.

Aeorperlas- The regional airline for Panama.

La Costeña- The regional airline for Nicaragua.

Isleña- The regional airline for Honduras.

Inter- The regional airline for Guatemala.

 

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