As San Jose International Airport is the main international airport in Costa Rica, many visitors have to stay in an airport hotel the night they arrive or before they fly out for their flight. Luckily there are a ton of hotels near San Jose airport for all budgets and many of them offer free airport transfers.
So if you’re looking for a place to sleep after a long flight or rest up before an early flight, here are our top picks for hotels near SJO Airport. Nearly all of these include airport transfers, breakfast and are 20 minutes or less from the airport. They are separated by price because if you’re like me, you’re not too keen on spending a fortune for just one night!
Remember, SJO Airport is not actually in San Jose – it is in Alajuela. You can also stay in Heredia as all the cities in the Central Valley are very close but you do need to account for traffic which is very bad around the airport and through San Jose. SJO Airport to San Jose downtown takes around 30 minutes or more depending on traffic.
Budget/Cheap Hotels Near San Jose Airport
This hotel is in Alajuela, just 10 minutes from the airport. It’s good for a very basic place to stay as they have hot water but no ac. A room for 1 or 2 people with a shared bathroom is $40, a double standard is $55, and the larger rooms are $65 for two people.
They don’t have complimentary airport transfers but they can call one for you for $8 each way.
Hotel Santa Maria Inn
This is a super cozy family owned hotel just 5 minutes (4 kilometers) from SJO Airport located in a quiet residential area. It’s a small, clean and basic with 8 rooms: single, doubles, triples and family suites. All rooms have air conditioning, free wi-fi and hot water and they also have a communal kitchen. It’s one of the few hotels with airport transportation that isn’t too overpriced.
A double is $70 in high season, $59 single and a family room is $120 without taxes. The price includes free airport transportation to and from and continental breakfast.
Hotel La Guaria Inn
A simple but clean hotel in a local area close to restaurants and small grocery stores. Only a couple kilometers from SJO Airport and the hotel pays for the taxi to and from the airport. Continental breakfast included. A good budget hotel with airport transportation.
A double standard starts at $60. Check the latest rates.
A cute hotel with basic but comfortable rooms. Has 31 different rooms and is a good value for the money. Prices start at around $50. You can check the latest rates here.
Hostels Near San Jose Airport
This hostel is only 3 minutes from SJO Airport, includes a free airport shuttle, taxes in their price, dorms, private rooms and suites. All rooms have hot water, air conditioning and and the suites have a tv. This hostel is a great place to start your Costa Rica trip, especially if you’re a solo backpacker and want to meet other people.
They also have a fun party atmosphere for backpackers with a rooftop bar and restaurant.
Prices start at $14 for 10 bed dorm, $55 for private double. Check latest rates here.
This hostel is a Costa Rican run hostel that’s just 5 minutes from the airport in Alajuela with a bakery and pulperia across the street. Very basic but clean rooms. They have dorms and private rooms for a reasonable price (cheaper than the other hostel), a communal kitchen and includes breakfast.
It’s in kind of a noisy area as it’s on the street but close the windows and get a room away from the street for a quieter stay. A good choice for a cheap place for your last night in Costa Rica. A lot of backpackers use this hostel as a stopover to Panama.
They offer free transfer to the airport, $15 for dorm, $25 private single. To get to the hostel from the airport, you can get a taxi for about $5.
Mid – High Range Hotels Near SJO Airport
Hotel La Rosa de America
This hotel is 15 minutes from SJO Airport in Alajuela. They don’t offer transportation so it’s best if you have your own car or you can pay around $15-20 for a taxi. They have a very nice garden area, pool, spa and on-site restaurant so it’s a good choice if you want a hotel with more amenities. We stayed here for one night during our Central Valley trip so it’s also a good option for a home base near San Jose, not just as an airport hotel.
Rates start at $80 for single standard cabin with breakfast. You can get the latest rates here.
Pura Vida Hotel
This hotel has private standalone casitas set in a beautifully maintained extensive garden. They have standard rooms in the main house and separate suites that can perfectly accommodate families or large groups. Also a very nice place if you want to stay a few nights in the city to explore the Central Valley.
Rates start at $80 a night, check latest rates here.
Hotel Aeropuerto (Airport Hotel)
For hotels near SJO Airport, this is one of the most popular and best options. It’s only a 5 minute drive from SJO airport and they offer transfer to and from SJO airport. Take the orange airport taxi to the hotel and the hotel will pay for them and you can reserve a shuttle to the airport which runs every 30 minutes.
Rooms are spacious and comfortable and is a great option for business travelers as they have a conference room, on-site restaurant, large parking lot, pool, free wi-fi throughout the property and an Internet room. Yeison stayed there many times when he was working with volunteers as they used this hotel for their large school groups.
Standard rooms start at $90 and you can check for the latest rates here.
This quirky boutique hotel is a great option not only for their close proximity to the airport and free shuttle, but also for culture as they decorate all their rooms with a special Costa Rican characteristic. They have an on-site restaurant, gym and business room so it’s great for families and business travelers.
We stayed here the night before my parents flew out and they loved it. They especially enjoyed the many Costa Rican details and touches to soak up as much Costa Rican culture on their last night.
Rooms start at $120 for a standard. You can read our review and get 10% off your booking here: Adventure Inn San Jose.
Hampton Inn & Suites Airport Boulevard San Jose Airport
The Hampton is a great choice for a SJO Airport hotel since it’s super close, less than 2 kilometers. They have a 24 hour airport shuttle service or you can take a $2 taxi. They have a business center, pool, gym, handicap friendly rooms and free wi-fi. Their suites are great for families as they are very spacious. For a safe and modern hotel by the airport, this is an excellent choice.
Rooms starts at $120. Click here to check the rates.
Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Alajuela
With 7 business rooms, rooms and suites, an on-site restaurant and you can earn Marriott Reward points. More for business travelers, those who have Marriott Rewards or want a more upscale option.
Rooms start at $150 and there are a lot of promos and deals on the Marriott website.
Holiday Inn Express San Jose Airport Costa Rica
If you’re looking for comfort and convenience in a hotel near SJO Airport, this Holiday Inn is another excellent option as it’s less than 2 kilometers from the airport. It is also right next to Rostipollos (a Costa Rican chicken restaurant chain), Denny’s restaurant where Intebus and other shared shuttles pick up as well as a big casino so you have some entertainment.
Holiday Inns in Costa Rica are considered more upscale and this one is very clean and convenient with amenities such as a pool and a gym.
They include complimentary 24 hour shuttle service. Rooms start at $110, you can check their latest rates here.
How to Get to Your Hotel from San Jose Airport
If your hotel doesn’t offer complimentary airport transportation, here are our tips for getting to and from SJO Airport. Hotels that don’t offer complimentary airport transportation can also book the transfer or call a taxi for you.
If you are arriving at the airport and need to get to your hotel, you can:
- Take a taxi. There are a bunch of taxis right outside customs.but make sure to take an official taxi. Airport taxis are orange, regular taxis are red and they should all have a code/emblem on their doors. Orange taxis tend to charge a bit more so make sure they use the meter.
- Call an Uber. Although Uber isn’t technically legal in Costa Rica, it is everywhere in San Joso. When you call your Uber, they will have you go to the Malinche restaurant at arrivals. Because it’s not 100% legal, don’t ask any of the taxi drivers, airport staff or police about Uber. Read more of our Uber in Costa Rica tips and get $10 off your first ride.
- Book a private shuttle. This is a good option for big groups. A private shuttle for 1-6 people to downtown San Jose is around $45. They pick you up directly at the airport and drop you off wherever you need to go in San Jose.
- Interbus, a shared shuttle company has airport transfers in to the city every 15 minutes, you can find them at baggage carousel #5. We have a partnership with Interbus that if you book a shared shuttle with us, you get a FREE transfer in! Please contact us for more information.
How to Get to San Jose Airport from Your Hotel
If you need to get to San Jose Airport from your hotel, you can book transportation with your hotel as they can arrange it for you. If your flight is super early in the morning like 4 AM or something and you’re staying in a budget hotel, you will need to correspond with the front desk the day before to reserve it for you as not all budget hotels have 24 hour front desk service.
Uber: We have called Ubers at 4 AM from our Airbnb in Heredia to the airport before and there were several of them. From San Jose, there will definitely be many Ubers at all times of the day. It cost us around $15 from Heredia to SJO Airport.
Private shuttle: I recommend a private since they can pick you up at any time, anywhere whereas shared shuttles are on a schedule and can only pick up at hotels/hostels. Remember, you need to be at least 2 hours before your flight at SJO Airport.
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If you’re flying in and out of LIR Airport in Liberia, here is our list of the best hotels near LIR Airport.
Don’t forget to read our post on tips for going through immigration and customs in SJO and LIR airport.
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