Cheap flights to Costa Rica are available from Gatwick and Heathrow airports near London. British citizens do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica. Most international flights to Costa Rica arrive at either Juan Santamaria International Airport or Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (also known as Liber International Airport). Buses to San Jose and Alajuela are available from outside the terminal building of Juan Santamaria Airport. Licensed taxis are also available from outside the airport, and accept payment in both colones and US dollars.
Buses to Liberia town centre depart from the front of the Liberia International Airport terminal buses. However, bus services are not frequent, so visitors might have to hire a taxi instead. Taxis are available from outside the terminal building.
Many destinations are served by local buses, and fares are usually inexpensive. However, most bus routes tend to pass through San Jose, which can add a considerable amount of time to the journey. Mini-vans and taxis can be booked through a hotel’s front desk. Taxis can sometimes be flagged down in the street. Check that the meter is on as soon as you get in the car. Licensed taxis can be recognised by their distinctive livery – red with a yellow triangle. Make sure that the number in the triangle matches that on the license plate. NatureAir and Sansa offer internal flights around Costa Rica. Check their websites for more information about routes and prices.
Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise, filled with lush green rainforests and inviting beaches. Some of these can be seen at the Manuel Antonio National Park. Follow the trails through the rainforest to emerge on golden beaches, or come face to face with squirrel monkeys, iguanas, capuchins and other native animals. Playa Dominical is a popular surfing destination. Discover Costa Rica’s past at the Monumento Nacional Arquelogico Guayabo. The ancient finds unearthed here include an extensive aqueduct system, tombs, petroglyphs, and other features.
Visit the Galeria Namu in San Jose to pick up handmade arts and crafts by local and regional artisans. The gallery operates on a fair trade basis and sells a selection of tribal art, jade jewellery, masks and reproductions of pre-Columbian pieces. Multiplaza Escazu is one of Costa Rica’s largest shopping malls, and boasts plenty of trendy local and international chains. San Jose’s Mercado Central is crammed with stalls selling local fruits, meat and seafood. There are also a number of cafes offering regional dishes such as ceviche, fish soup and homemade ice-cream. The El Pueblo district in San Jose is jampacked with clubs, pubs and plenty of people out to enjoy themselves.