CALL US: Toll Free 1-866-976-8898 CALL US: Local 2653-0073

WHAT'S APP 506-8442-5554


English French German Italian Spanish

European visitors to Costa Rica on the rise

Chris Simmons

Growing numbers of Europeans are boosting Costa Rica’s healthy tourism industry. Costa Rica receives nearly 2.9 million visitors annually and is by far the Central American leader in tourism for its spectacular beaches, stable political system, friendly locals and incredible natural beauty. While Americans account for approximately 40% of visitors to Costa Rica, Europeans now represent nearly 25%. Their numbers continue to grow with the introduction of direct flights from across Europe including Britain, France, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Direct flights from Europe to Costa Rica arrive at two main international airports,  The Daniel Oduber Airport (LIR), located in Liberia, is the gateway to the famous North Pacific Guanacaste beaches like Tamarindo and Flamingo. The Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO), the second busiest airport in Central America, is located just 14 miles from Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose.  From there, the rest of Costa Rica is easily accessible via national flights on Sansa or Nature Air, private bus companies like Grayline or by car. 

Direct flights from Europe to Costa Rica include: 

  • Thompson Airlines flies direct on Tuesdays from London Gatwick to Liberia
  • British Airways flights operate from London’s Gatwick to San Jose twice a week in the summer season and three times a week during the winter.
  • Air France offers two weekly flights to San Jose from Paris Charles de Gaulle.
  • Swiss carrier Edelweiss Air started a new non-stop route between Zurich and San Jose on May 9, 2017.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flies from Amsterdam Schiphol to San Jose twice a week.

Pia Lackman, the manager for Air France-KLM in Central America, said her airline had found its new direct flights to Costa Rica to be “very successful”. According to Tourism Minister Ventura, Europeans spend more time in Costa Rica once they arrive — an average of 18 nights compared to 12 for Americans —which means more tourism revenue overall. More European visitors to Costa Rica also mean more Europeans relocating to the country as investors from across Europe discover the high quality of life, excellent schools and fabulous real estate opportunities. Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun looks forward to assisting you find your perfect home in Costa Rica.

Lisa and Chris Simmons, Tamarindo