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Time through customs and immigration at SJO

washington dc
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Time through customs and immigration at SJO

On average how much time is spent at SJO for immigration and customs?

We are arriving at 3:45 PM and are traveling with just carry on bags.

How much time generally spent to get the car rental?

Also, at departure, how much time to budget for car return and check in? Our flight departs at 3:15 PM

St. Petersburg...
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1. Re: Time through customs and immigration at SJO

I've never spent more than 10-15 minutes going thru immigration. Of course if several flights arrive at the same time this can be longer. Customs is so quick, a minute or two.

On departing, it never hurts to arrive at the airport 2.5 - 3 hours ahead. Lines for check in often are long and move slowly. Security doesn't take too long, maybe 10 minutes or so if a lot of people.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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2. Re: Time through customs and immigration at SJO

Take-in and drop-off of the rental car in Costa Rica is usually a bit longer then in the States or in Europe. For take-in be aware that most of the rental companies are not situated inside the airport but will shuttle you to their office, might be in Alajuela (10 - 15 min) or San Jose (cca. 30 min) away. Also the procedures are longer, you should inspect the car thoroughly upon receiving it as they will as you are returning it. The paperwork is slower, and if not prepared there might be lenghty discussions about what type of insurance is obligatory and "obligatory".

As you will arrive at 3:45 pm there will be no time left for you to drive anywhere so plan to overnight in Alajuela. Majority of the rental companies will bring the car to your hotel.

On your departure you will have time to drive to SJo from MA or Arenal, but allow yourself the 3 hours just to be relaxed and have time if any disputes on the condition of your car might arise so you will not be in a hurry.

washington dc
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3. Re: Time through customs and immigration at SJO

Thanks

We are staying in Atenas overnight when we arrive (supposed to be 30 min from the airport)

We have contacted the car rental to pick us up at airport

On the day of return, we are staying near Braulio carlio and will drive to airport..

Massachussets
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4. Re: Time through customs and immigration at SJO

We just got back. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to go through customs, immigration, and pick up our rental car at Dollar. We landed on a weekday at 11:30 am. Coming back we had a 4:10pm flight. We got to the airport around 1:50, paid the tax, checked in & then went upstairs and had lunch at Spoons (very good sandwiches). The security line had about 5 people in it. Breezed through there & had time to shop for some last minute souvenirs before boarding the plane. I was really surprised by how nice & organized SJO was. It's also very small compared to US airports so it's never very far to your gate.

washington dc
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801 posts
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5. Re: Time through customs and immigration at SJO

Thanks for the responses

WOW 1 1/2 hrs for immigration and car pick up :( maybe most time at car pick up.

We need to drive about 30-40 min from the airport and were hoping that we would be able to get going by at least 5 PM.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Costa Rica
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6. Re: Time through customs and immigration at SJO

On last trip we took 40 minutes from arriving at the gate to walking out of the terminal. It took another hour to get the rental car.

7. Re: Time through customs and immigration at SJO

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