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More Europeans Visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica Welcomes More European Visitors

More Europeans are traveling to Costa Rica and are contributing to our solid tourism industry. Costa Rica receives nearly 2.9 million visitors each year and is the Central American leader in tourism for its political stability, pristine beaches, exciting eco-activities, welcoming locals, real estate investment opportunities, and breathtaking natural beauty.

Americans make up 40% of travelers to Costa Rica, but Europeans now represent almost 25%. Visits by Europeans are on the rise with the introduction of direct flights from across Europe including Britain, France, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Costa Rica Airports that Receive Flights from Europe

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

Flights from the UK and Europe to Costa Rica

While it's been possible to fly to Costa Rica from Europe for years, the advent of non-stop affordable flights has fostered a dramatic increase in European visitors.

  • Thomson Airlines operates direct flights from London Gatwick to Liberia every Tuesday

  • British Airways flies 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 airline Edelweiss Air flies non-stop between Zurich and San Jose

  • Iberia offers direct flights from San Jose to Madrid throughout the week

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flies from Amsterdam Schiphol to San Jose twice per week.

The manager for Air France-KLM in Central America, Pia Lackman, says that that the new direct flights to Costa Rica have been “very successful.”

European Visitors to Costa Rica Stay Longer

Costa Rican Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura reported that European visitors generate more tourism revenue per visit since they stay an average of 18 nights compared to 12 for Americans.

Moreover, the increase in European visitors to Costa Rica also results in more Europeans relocating and investing in Costa Rica as they discover the many real estate opportunities, high quality of life, great weather and exceptional schools. We would be happy to assist visitors from the UK and Europe to learn more about investing in Costa Rica.

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