Air Transportation in Costa Rica

The quickest way to travel about the country is by SANSA, Travelair, or charter flights. Planes fly regularly, serving San Jose, Quepos, Golfito, Palmar Sur, Barra del Colorado, Nosara, Tamarindo, and Samara. Ticket prices used to be inexpensive, but in the past few years they have become costly, and service often leaves much to be desired. Charter flights cost only a few dollars more and are much more reliable. SANSA offers a 50 percent discount for residents with cedulas, but it's still five to ten times as expensive as bus travel. Flights to anywhere in the country take far less than an hour, including stopovers. Check with travel agents or Web sites for schedules. They can change overnight or be canceled entirely

Because rights are popular, and the planes tiny, they are frequently booked solid. Make reservations well in advance, and be sure to reconfirm your reservations even though you have tickets. Someone else could end up with your boarding pass if you show up at the airport without reconfirming twenty four hours in advance and arriving early.

Because regular service can be erratic or crowded, "air taxi" or charter Rights are popular. These five passenger planes will take you any place in the country with an airstrip. How nice is that you can have a driver waiting your arrival, who rushes directly to your charter right, and you don't need to overnight in San Jose. (Pause for cheers and whistles).

What if you are a pilot and would like to rent a plane and fly yourself, not so easy even if you are a certified pilot with a license from another country, you can't rent a Costa Rican plane until you've earned a Costa Rican license. You need to show proof of your total air hours logged in your country as well as log a certain amount of time in Costa Rica. If you own a plane, it can be kept in the country for up to six months without your having to pay taxes, after which time it must be removed, I however, there seems to be a question as to how many six-month permits an individual can obtain. You'll need to check this out with customs and with local pilots to see how the laws are currently being enforced.

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