Whether you have a late-night arrival in Costa Rica or an early morning departure before your return flight, sometimes it’s convenient to stay at one of the hotels near the San Jose airport. The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express are next to each other, five minutes from the airport by shuttle. There’s nothing special about these two hotels other than convenience, and the only restaurants in walking distance are Denny’s, RostiPollo, and Casino Fiesta. Both hotels use the same shuttle van that runs 24-hours a day at 15-minute intervals. Conveniently, there is a rental car building directly across the street from these hotels, including offices for Solid Rent A Car, ACE Rent A Car, Vamos Rent A Car, Toyota Rent A Car, and Thrifty Car Rental.

Additional, perhaps better, hotel options are available a little further from the airport. The Double Tree by Hilton Cariari San Jose (shown below) is 10 minutes from the airport and has a hint of Costa Rican feel, whereas others have a chain airport-hotel feel. For a reasonable price they have nicer rooms; a much better pool; and a shopping center with a cool little market (Fresh Market), a sushi restaurant, pizza place, a few other restaurants and a pharmacy within walking distance. The hotel offers a free shuttle; however, it only departs from the hotel on the hour starting at 4:00 am until 10:00 pm, and departs from the airport every hour starting at 4:30 am until 10:30 pm. If you don’t want to wait at the airport for the shuttle you can take a taxi for a small fee. The more upscale Costa Rica Marriott Hacienda Belen is also in the general area (it has a spa). The Marriott has a free shuttle, but you have to call their shuttle service to arrange pick up.