5 fun facts about the San José airport in Costa Rica

Sofía Merino L.

Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría

To retrieve the essence of “Ticos” – as Costa Ricans are known – and their “Pura Vida” lifestyle, is the objective of Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. The airport, located some 11 miles [18 km] west of the city of San José, is filled with elements that represent this culture with Caribbean roots.


The essential market

Several cane baskets containing colorful fruits decorate the ceiling, while wood is used on the floor and shelves, which highlight the classic masks, carts, and the famous Costa Rican coffee. Everything like in any traditional market that can be found all over the country. To immerse yourself in this charming atmosphere, head to Casa Tica, between gates 7 and 8. With any luck, you’ll also see the staff wearing traditional clothes.


VIP culture

The VIP lounge is located on the ground floor, in front of Gate 5. Every six months, it holds exhibits of work by national artists, like photographer Luisana Velasco and her exhibition Rostros del Mundo. Containing 20 pictures of people from all the continents, the series intends to portray different ethnic groups, cultural trends, religious beliefs, and ways of being.



Friendly forest

Before going to the airport, you need to be prepared for an adventure, since iguanas, frogs, and other examples of the biodiversity typical of Costa Rica are present in giant sculptures and photographs. One example is the frog on the stained glass windows at Gate 3, created by Costa Rican artists Francesco Bracci and Zoltan Durán using old microchips and plastic and glass bottles. In the waiting rooms, arrivals and departures areas, and the lobby, you can find other impressive pieces by national talents. Paraíso Infinito de Posibilidades is the name of this intervention.


Killing your thirst like a Tico

The new bar of the brewing company Imperial, installed in front of Gate 9, was inspired by the country’s natural beauty and friendly people. It has comfortable chairs and a bar made of teak wood, which is abundant on the island. A great tip for people who need to wait for their flight.


New areas

With the new Domestic Terminal, the airport will be able to serve over 200,000 passengers. The departures area, also renovated, will have more check-in counters, ready for new LATAM direct flights to such destinations as Lima, Peru.