Liberia Guanacaste Airport (LIR)

The Liberia Guanacaste Airport (Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, LIR Airport, or Liberia Costa Rica Airport) is the second most important airport in Costa Rica. Its location near pristine beaches, national parks, and luxury resorts makes it the ideal airport to fly into to maximize your Costa Rica vacation time. That’s why over one million travelers worldwide choose Guanacaste Airport (LIR) as their entry point to Costa Rica each year.

Liberia Guanacaste Airport
Liberia Guanacaste Airport (LIR)

Liberia Guanacaste Airport – General Information

Guanacaste Airport’s location

Liberia Guanacaste Airport is located in the heart of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province, and here are some driving times and distances to places of interest for reference (see Liberia Airport Shuttle options):

Liberia City

Driving time: 15-20 minutes.

Distance: 13 Km

San Jose Costa Rica Airport (SJO)

Driving time: 3-4 hours.

Distance: 210 Km

Costa Rica-Nicaragua border

Driving time: 1:30-1:45 hours.

Distance: 89 Km

Costa Rica-Panama border

Driving time: 6-8 hours.

Distance: 454 Km

Several Names, One Airport

Liberia Guanacaste Airport’s official name is Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quiros. Its three-letter IATA code is LIR, and its four-letter ICAO code is MRLB. Most travelers use the key phrases “Liberia Costa Rica Airport”, “Liberia Airport Costa Rica”, or “Liberia Airport” when searching for information about the airport. That’s because of its location near Liberia City, the capital of Guanacaste province.

You might also start seeing some companies refer to the Liberia Costa Rica Airport as the Guanacaste Airport. This is a marketing strategy meant to differentiate it from the country of Liberia in Africa and its international airport. However, this airport is located about 8200 km from Liberia, Costa Rica – a bit far from LIR Airport.

Guanacaste Airport’s administrative body

The private and commercial sector 

The Costa Rica government awarded a 20-year commercial concession to CORIPORT S.A. to build and operate the new passenger terminal inaugurated in January 2012.  With a 45% participation by Vinci Airports, CORIPORT S.A. will operate the terminal’s commercial real estate through 2030. If you want to contact CORIPORT, call +506 2666-9600 or email them at lirinfo@aww.cr.

Government administrated sectors

DIGAC: Direccion General de Aviacion Civil (DIGAC) oversees the airport runway and control tower operations. Direct questions about landing fees, tower operating hours, and airplane parking to the DIGAC. Call +506 2242-8000. Spanish and English are spoken.

SVA: The Servicio de Vigilancia Aerea (SVA) is the airport’s police department. They man checkpoints before entering the departure gates. The SVA deals with terminal and runway perimeter security. In addition, they can make traffic stops.

DGME: Direccion General de Migracion y Extranjeria oversees immigration control at all entry points in Costa Rica. Please ensure you fulfill the entry requirements before traveling to Liberia, Costa Rica.

SNA: Servicio Nacional de Aduanas (customs) deals with customs at the Liberia Guanacaste Airport. You will only be dealing with them if you bring an excess of $10,000 USD or cargo additional to your regular luggage.

Guanacaste Airport (LIR) vs San Jose Airport (SJO)

The two largest and busiest international airports in Costa Rica are Liberia Guanacaste Airport (LIR) and San Jose Airport (SJO). And choosing which airport to fly to depends on many factors. But which is the best airport to fly to if you travel to Costa Rica? Here are a couple of recommendations based on the experience of many travelers.

Guanacaste Airport Distance to the first destination

Travel time to your destination from the airport is an essential factor. Especially if getting to Costa Rica will take the best part of a day or two. So try to choose the airport closest to your destination.

These are some of the closest destinations and hotels to Guanacaste Airport:

Need help getting to any of these destinations? Check our Liberia Airport Transportation page.

Airplane ticket price

Fares to San Jose Costa Rica Airport tend to be lower than fares to LIR Airport. It might make sense to purchase the lower fare to SJO, depending on where you are going. But let’s take, for example, Tamarindo Beach as a destination and say you saved $300 USD over flying to LIR Airport.

But by adding transportation time and costs from SJO Airport to Tamarindo ($239 – $249 USD by private shuttle and about 4:30 hours), you can eliminate ticket savings and lose almost half a day at your destination. This does not consider if your flight into SJO Airport arrives late and an overnight stay is necessary before heading to Tamarindo.

Ease of access

The Liberia Guanacaste Aiport is located in a rural area, and access to and from the airport is straightforward. SJO Airport, on the other hand, is located in the greater metropolitan area of Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose. Getting to and from SJO Airport can be tricky, especially during rush hour and the rainy season. It is not unheard of to cover the 18 km separating SJO Airport from San Jose Downtown in as much as 2 hours.

About LIRairport.com and Liberia Guanacaste Airport

LIRAirport.com is a general information website about Liberia Guanacaste Airport (LIR). We are not the official site for the airport and are not affiliated with any of its operators, private or governmental. The whole purpose of this site is to offer information about flying into Guanacaste Airport and guide travelers with procedures before arriving at and departing from the LIR Airport.