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SJO arrival and connecting flight

Carmel, California
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3,874 posts
11 reviews
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SJO arrival and connecting flight

With an intl arrival at 9:00am, flying business class, carry on only, normal traffic conditions for that time of day, is it possible to catch a 11:00am flight from Pavas assuming on time arrival? If the flight's delayed, obviously things go out the window.

If you miss your flight on Nature Air or Sansa, do they allow you to take the next available flight (provided there's space) or do you forfeit your ticket and buy another one?

Thanks!

St. Petersburg...
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1. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

Personally, I wouldn't. Even with carry-on, it will be about 30 minutes til you get out of the airport and another 30 minutes to Pavas (barring any type of traffic delay). NA has a 45 minute check-in, so that only gives you a window of 15 minutes to spare. I would look into Sansa flights, at least on them you'd only have a 2-3 minute walk to their terminal from the Int'l airport.

If you miss your flight, you would need to hope the next flight has seats and buy them again.

Carmel, California
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3,874 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

45 min is their recommended check-in time right? I believe check-in actually closes 15 min before departure. The next flights aren't until much later.

Dominical, Costa...
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3. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

What time of year are you trying to make this tight connection? That could make a big difference.

If you are doing this is at slower travel time, you MIGHT be able to make it assuming everything goes perfectly. During the busy season, when flights are full, every step takes a little longer and rules are enforced more stringently. I would ask myself if the risk of possibly ruining the first day of my trip is worth it. And would I be happy to pay for a second ticket if I miss my first flight.

If you have a few extra hours to kill between airports, you can always hire a cab to drive you around San Jose to see the sights.

St. Petersburg...
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4. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

Flights close 20 minutes prior. On full flights I've been hustled out on the tarmac and boarded 15 minutes prior. After flying many NA and Sansa flights, I would take a later flight myself. Plus it's taken me 20 minutes just to get thru immigration and it's taken me 1.5 hours, it varies widely all day long.

St. Petersburg...
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5. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

also, Sansa is right next door, if your flight is delayed or you're delayed in the airport, you'd have a better chance catching their flight then fighting traffic to get to Pavas.

Carmel, California
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6. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

What do you recommend seeing or what's possible to see with 6 hours between flights? Thanks to you both!

Dominical, Costa...
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7. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

What to see would depend on your interests and how ready you are to hit the ground after your international flight.

I love the flora and fauna of Costa Rica more than the city, so after a red-eye I'd probably head for Zoo Ave - the big zoo about 20 minutes to the west of the international airport where I could just walk and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the zoo. Or, you could head straight to Poas Volcano and hope for a clear view (often covered in clouds by mid-morning). You would have time for a full exploration of either of these places in your six hour window.

Or I'd head to Escazu - what some call the Beverly Hills of Costa Rica. Maybe some window shopping at Multiplaza mall or if feeling more daring, on the streets of Escazu. I'd shop a little then find a table and order a fruit drink or some coffee and people watch.

San Jose is not the prettiest city and many recommend that tourists avoid it altogether, but there are some interesting things to see there if you like cities in general. The National Theater building is quite impressive. You can tour it and then hang out in a nearby cafe and do some people watching. The Gold Museum and National Museum are also interesting. There are some pedestrian malls downtown that are relatively safe and very vibrant slices of city life. The Central Market is a little sketchy, but also a great cultural experience. If you just want to drive and look, you can ask you cabbie to just drive into and around San Jose, showing you the various parks, cathedrals, and other sites. Search for past posts on San Jose to get more information.

You said you will just have your carry-ons and so dealing with your luggage during the day should not be too much of a problem. But if you hire a driver you can have him watch your luggage when you are doing your thing.

So, how to get a driver for the day? If you are very cautious, you can prearrange a driver for the day or you can wing it and hire a cabbie at the airport. To do this, you could use one of the official airport taxis, but you would be on the meter the whole time and it would get expensive. For this type of adventure I would suggest hiring one of the gypsies who hang out looking for work. I've always had good luck doing this and met some really amazing people with interesting stories. You can talk to a few, find one who has the amount of English you need, and negotiate a rate for your 6 hours. When you exit the customs area to exit the terminal, turn to the left for the official airport taxis, to the right for the independents.

Carmel, California
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3,874 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

Thanks! How long does it take to get to Poas from the airport and how much should I expect to pay one of the independent drivers for 6 hours?

Dominical, Costa...
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9. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

Hi - Poas is just about an hour from the international airport. I'd figure 1.5 hours to return to Pavas if you leave via Nature Air. Remember to leave time for your check in, too.

Regarding negotiating with a driver on the spot - well, with the economy the way it is, everyone is hungry for business. $10 to $15 per hour for a guaranteed 6 hours of work would probably do it, but I be ready to pay up to $100 for an English speaking driver who would watch my bag and be mindful of my timetable.

Antigua, Guatemala
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10. Re: SJO arrival and connecting flight

I agree about the Poas day trip. It's a fantastic way to see Costa Rica's countryside, plus an active volcano.

You can easily get away with $60-75 for the whole trip. However, since you're flying in to the Airport they have their own cabbies and will charge you A LOT more. You can just walk out towards the bus station and find a bunch of cabbies there. Don't use a pirate, they might be great and innocent. However, it's best to use a cab with a meter. Even if you don't use the meter, they are registered and makes them more legit.

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

http://travelexperta.com