As the cold sets in across North America, that little voice inside your head returns like clockwork – softly tugging on your subconscious migratory instincts begging you to head south for winter. You might find yourself aimlessly Googling things like “cheap Costa Rica vacation” or “tropical family getaway,” only to find yourself lost in the computer screen scrolling through dreamy images of tranquil turquoise waters, white-sand beaches and lush tropical jungles… Once you rip yourself away from the paradise photo gallery, the list of prices (not including airfare) usually knocks you back to reality. Planning your vacation too often becomes a game of addition as you tack on extras – rental cars, adventure tours, hotel fees – and before you know it, there’s no room in your budget left for the most important extra – airfare to actually arrive at your tropical vacation destination.
This year, getting to Costa Rica’s north Pacific region doesn’t have to induce any extra stress. As tourism continues to grow in Guanacaste, so does the number of non-stop flights servicing the region’s newly improved Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia. The airport in Liberia is the second largest in Costa Rica and lucky for us, is located just under an hour’s drive from Tamarindo and Las Mareas.
To make your vacation planning process a bit easier, we did some research to come up with a list of airlines that offer direct flights to Liberia from popular hubs across the United States and Canada.
Here’s what we found:
Direct Flights to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR):
- New York, NY (United, JetBlue) – 5 hours
- Houston, TX (United) – 3.5 hours
- Atlanta, GA (Delta) – 4 hours
- Charlotte, NC (US Airways) – 4 hours
- Dallas, TX (American) – 3 hours 45 minutes
- Houston, TX (United) – 3.5 hours
- Miami, FL (American) – 2 hours 45 minutes
- Denver, CO (Frontier Airlines) – 5 hours
- Toronto, Canada (Westjet, Air Canada) – 5 hours 25 minutes
One of the most exciting flights on this list is WestJet’s new non-stop flight from Toronto to Liberia, the first to directly connect a major Canadian city to Guanacaste, Costa Rica. WestJet launched its new non-stop service to Liberia with its inaugural flight departing on October 29 at 9:10 a.m. The 5 hour 25 minute flight will depart Toronto twice weekly (Saturday and Monday)… We spoke to a woman today who actually flew on the inaugural flight and she had nothing but positive things to say about the experience. Our verdict… WestJet is the perfect option for Canadians looking to trade in their snowboard for a surfboard this winter.
A personal favorite is the JetBlue non-stop service from JFK to Liberia, which despite being listed as a 5 to 5.5 hour flight, has never extended the 5 hour mark anytime I’ve made the trip. In fact, JetBlue’s efficiency usually means you’re only in the air around 4 hours and 45 minutes – a chunk of time that passes surprisingly quickly with their free in-flight entertainment system (yes you can still watch movies for free and complimentary snacks just add to the perks of this airline).
Wherever you may be this winter, chances are you can hop a quick domestic flight to one of these international hubs connecting to Liberia. And flying directly to Liberia is well worth the extra effort when you’re closer to home as opposed to flying into San Jose and then figuring out how to make the 5-hour drive to Guanacaste.
Be sure to set up your shuttle from the Liberia Airport to Tamarindo before you take off. We recommend using Tamarindo Shuttle, a trusty service that will pick you up from the gate and deliver you straight to your Tamarindo accommodation (Las Mareas of course) for only $20. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS. Summer is here in Guanacaste – clear blue skies and sun, sun, sun!
Some other helpful links: