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 many hotels near San Jose airport with free airport shuttle and for all budgets.
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 the best hotels near San Jose Airport.
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. San Jose Airport to San Jose downtown takes around 30 minutes or more depending on traffic.
This post was updated January 2019.
Budget/Cheap Hotels Near San Jose Airport with Free Airport Shuttle
You can also read our post on the best hostels in Costa Rica if you’re traveling on a budget.
Berlor Airport Inn
This small hotel is just 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) from the airport with simple but comfortable rooms. They offer a free airport shuttle, have an on site restaurant and all rooms have ac and a private bathroom. Their pizza house restaurant is not bad!
Rooms start at $60 for a single. Click here to check rates.
Hotel Santa Maria Inn
This is a super cozy family owned hotel just 5 minutes (4 kilometers, 2.5 miles) from San Jose 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. Excellent option for a budget hotel near San Jose Airport with free airport shuttle.
A double is $70 in high season, $59 single and a family room is $120 without taxes. The price includes free airport transportation 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 (~ 1 mile) from San Jose 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.
This hostel is only 3 minutes from San Jose 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.
Mid – High Range Hotels Near San Jose Airport Without Shuttle
Here are some recommendations for hotels near San Jose Airport.
One thing to note is that these hotels are in Alajuela. Shared shuttles don’t go to Alajuela so you won’t be able to get picked up or dropped off at this hotel. Some tour companies don’t pick up here as well and these hotels don’t offer free airport shuttles. These hotels are ideal if you plan to stay more than one night after your arrival or before your flight out.
Hotel La Rosa de America
This hotel is 15 minutes from San Jose 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.
Beautifully decorated hotel with 24 villas, up in the mountains outside Alajuela. Also has their own private trails, 3 pools and yoga studio. Is definitely like a resort and you should stay there for more than just one night!
No airport shuttle and is around a 25-30 minute drive without traffic so make sure to plan accordingly for your flight.
Villa San Ignacio
Posh hotel with a pool, restaurant and 16 rooms and suites. Also pet friendly! It is around 8 kilometers (5.5 miles) to the airport.
Rates start at $140 a night. Check rates here.
Mid to High Range Hotels near San Jose Airport with Free Airport Shuttle
Hotel Aeropuerto (Airport Hotel)
For hotels near San Jose Airport, this is one of the most popular and best options. It’s only a 5 minute drive from San Jose airport. Hotel Aeropuerto also offer a free shuttle 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 beautifully decorated 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. The restaurant is very good and they offer a full breakfast buffet. This is one of the best hotels near San Jose Airport with free shuttle.
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 San Jose 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 San Jose Airport with free airport shuttle, 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 an upscale option. Very nice for a Marriott and I feel like it meets the standard of other Marriott airport hotels I’ve stayed in other cities.
Rooms start at $150.
Holiday Inn Express San Jose Airport Costa Rica
If you’re looking for comfort and convenience in a hotel near San Jose 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 San JoseAirport. 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
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 San Jose 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.
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Don’t forget to read our post on tips for going through immigration and customs in San Jose and Liberia airport.
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