Note: Updated May 1, 2018 – Nature Air has been grounded since a fatal crash on December 31, 2017. General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) reinstated their permission to operate in February of 2018 but the airline did not resume operations. As of May 1, 2018 the DGAC has suspended Nature Air’s operating permit indefinitely due to “abandonment of assigned routes.”
There have been rumors of repossession of airplanes due to non-payment of loans, accounting irregularities and preferential government treatment of the national airline (SANSA) over the foreign owned Nature Air but whatever the reason it looks unlikely that Nature Air will ever fly again.
Note: Updated May 1, 2018 – The Quepos (Manuel Antonio) airport construction that was scheduled for completion April 25, 2018 is far behind schedule and some locals have predicted that flights will not resume before 2019.
Costa Rica has two domestic airlines (see schedules and rates NatureAir and SANSA) that operate from two different airports near San José. The direct flights shown on the route map below last between 15 minutes and an hour, and cost between $40 and $160 each way (plus airport charges, taxes, and fuel surcharge totaling $8-18).
International flights in jet aircraft can land at SJO (Juan Santamaría International Airport outside San José) and LIR (Liberia International Airport in Guancaste). Occasionally private jets land in Limón but there is no scheduled international commercial jet service. The other airports range from literally grass landing strips in the jungle at Sirena near Carate on the Osa Peninsula to a couple of small buildings and a paved runway in places like Manuel Antonio, Tortuguero and Golfito.