• clear sky
  • 27℃
  • 12:07 pm
Services at the Airport

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Departure Procedures


    How long before your flight should you arrive at the airport?

    It is recommended that you arrive at the airport three hours prior to your flight’s departure.


    How much is the departure tax from Costa Rica?

    The departure tax charge to exit the Costa Rican territory applies to all passengers, citizens of Costa Rica and foreigners, minors and adults. Currently this tax is US $ 29.00.


    Where you can pay the departure tax?

    It is important for the passenger to find out if the airline with which they are traveling has the departure tax included in the ticket price, if not the tax may be paid at the Bancrédito counter located in the lobby of the airport.

    In this link you can see a list of airlines that already include the departure tax on the ticket.


    What are the requirements for traveling with a minor?

    Costa Rican minors who wish to leave the country must have a travel permit issued by the General Directorate of Immigration. The Minor Exit Permit must be requested by the minor’s parents and may be obtained either at the General Directorate of Immigration’s central offices in San José or on the day of travel at Immigration’s airport office. Both parent’s signatures and official identification documents are required.


    What are the requirements for a minor traveling unaccompanied?

    These requirements are regulated by the General Directorate of Immigration, which issues a travel permit on the prior authorization of both the minor’s father and mother. Once the travel permit has been issued, a parent or responsible adult must escort the minor to the airline counter. Airline personnel will take custody of the minor, until meeting with the adult designated with picking up the minor at the country of destination.


    Who should take the yellow fever vaccine, and when?

    People traveling from countries considered “high risk” must take the vaccine at least 10 days prior to entering Costa Rica. Anyone living in Costa Rica who is traveling to any of the countries labeled as “high risk” must take the vaccine 10 days prior to exiting Costa Rica.

    The areas labeled as “high risk” for yellow fever are:

    Sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.

    South America: Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.

    The Caribbean: French Guiana.


    What should be the weight and size of my luggage?

    Maximum luggage weight depends on the policies of each airline. Fees for excess or overweight baggage are also determined by the airline. If you have any questions, please check your airline’s baggage policies.


    I need to change the departure date of my flight, where do I need to go?

    You can make the change over the phone, by contacting the airline directly. For an airline directory.


    Arrival procedures


    Where can I ask for assistance for people with disabilities or for unaccompanied minors?

    You must contact and notify the airline operating the flight of the person needing assistance. The air carrier will take care of the required services. For the airline directory.


    Who needs a visa to enter Costa Rica?

    This information is available at the Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services’ website, under the title “Entry, transit and departure of aircraft”

    If I land at the SJO airport as “transit”, can I leave the airport without losing my status, or should I pay the departure tax in order to re check-in?

    You can exit the airport, provided there is a minimum of 5 hours between your flights. If your citizenship requires a visa to enter the country, you will be asked to provide it.

    The maximum period of time you can stay as “transit” is twelve hours. During this period, you are exempt from paying the departure tax, unless you are returning to the same country of origin. For example, if your flight is coming from Panama, and you stay in Costa Rica for eight hours, and then return to Panama, you will have to pay the departure tax.