ACAR Guide to Liberia Airport
Daniel Oduber Quiros Inernatioal Airport is named after Costa Rica’s President who served between 1974-1978, but is commonly known as Liberia International Airport (LIR). This small, open-air airport is located in the city of Liberia in the province of Guanacaste and was redesigned, expanded and newly inaugurated in 2012 to meet the growing demand of tourists visiting the region. In 2015, passenger traffic was 885,227 making it the second largest airport in Costa Rica and the ninth largest in Central America.
Food: There is one restaurant offering food inside the airport, but is notoriously expensive. Try local highly rated La Choza de Laurel for the best of typical Costa Rican cuisine very close to the airport instead to get a better meal for a cheaper price.
If you have some time to kill between or before flights why not take advantage of some of the airport’s services. The Colibri VIP Lounge is in the main terminal in the secured area and accepts day passes which can be purchased for $25. The lounge offers Wi-Fi, air conditioning, beverages, bar, TV, telephones and a flight monitor. Get that last-minute gift or souvenir the Duty Free shop.
Wi-Fi can be accessed for a fee throughout airport or Airside Café offers free Wi-Fi with a purchase.
Money Exchange/Currency Exchange
The ATM is in Scotia Bank near the main entrance. Global Exchange has two locations in the airport in Departures Hall (open from 6am-8pm) and the
Arrivals Hall (open from 8am-10am).
Liberia International Airport has only seven gates and since it is a small airport with about 40 to 50 flights per week. Customs rarely takes more than 45 minutes and is usually more like 20-30 minutes. After landing you will proceed to immigration to process your passport, head to baggage claim and out the one exit for the terminal.
Note: When leaving the country.
A new restriction of liquids is now in place. Any gels or liquids more than 3.4 oz or 100ml will not be allowed inside the boarding lounge. Exceptions are baby food, medicine and mother’s milk.
The Exit Tax is included in the purchase of many flight tickets now. American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, United Airlines, and Air Canada all follow this practice.
Once you have your bags it’s time to get started on your vacation and there are many options available to every traveler.
Most likely you will have pre-booked a car rental with one of the airport’s resident car agencies, but if not you can still rent a car hassle free. They are located onsite on the main passenger terminal just past customs. Once you book a reservation within the agency your car will either be at the airport waiting for you or you will be shuttled to a nearby location. Avis, Budget, and Economy all have offices in the airport, and the other car rental agencies will meet you at the airport to shuttle you to their offices.
Liberia Airport shuttles meet every flight as you exit customs and immigration. They will take you to your pre-arranged destination but are only available with an advanced reservation.
Taxis are available 24/7 outside the customs and immigration as you exit the terminal. They do not require any advance reservation, but charge between 30% and 40% higher prices than the shuttles.
Buses run between the airport and Liberia City every hour from 5am-9pm. Once there you can make transfers to other popular tourist destinations such as Tamarindo, Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Playa Granada, Playa del Coco and more. Buses are by far the cheapest option but there are few things to consider before choosing this option. It is recommended to speak a bit of Spanish to travel by public transport; you may have to ask questions as many transfer points are not well marked. There is no air-conditioning, seats are not guaranteed, travel time to destinations are significantly longer and there is no direct hotel drop off.
Arriving late? If you need a close overnight stay, the Hilton Garden Inn is the closest hotel in front of the airport on Route 21. They offer free 24-hour shuttle service to and from the Airport.