Tag Archives: San Jose

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juan santamaria costa rica statue

Juan Santamaría is a Costa Rica Hero

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Juan Santamaria

His name is Juan Santamaría. Today his name may be recognizable for those traveling into or out of San Jose's largest airport. The airport in San Jose, airport code SJO, is officially named after Juan Santamaria.  He is known by Costa Rican's as a national hero.

Early Life & Death

He was born on August 29, 1831, in Alajuela, Costa Rica. At the time Alajuela was the capital of Costa Rica, following Costa Rica's independence in 1821. He died on April 11, 1856 in Rivas, Nicaragua during the second battle of Rivas.

Imagen de wikipedia

William Walker Conquers Nicaragua

The story of Juan Santamaria starts with William Walker. Costa Rica was in the middle of a war against William Walker. Walker was a power-hungry physician-lawyer-mercenary from the United States of America who was attempting to overthrow all of Central America to establish English speaking colonies under his control. Walker was successful in overthrowing the Nicaraguan government in early 1856 and declared himself President of Nicaragua on July 12th of that year. After overthrowing Nicaragua, he continued heading south to Costa Rica, where he declared war against Costa Rica on March 1, 1856.

Walker Starts War with Costa Rica

The President of Costa Rica (Juan Rafael Mora Porras) publicly asked for any man who was able to fight and to defend Costa Rica to band together and head to Nicaragua. History states that Juan Santamaría was a poor laborer and the illegitimate son of a single mother. In other words, he had very little prospects or hope for much success. Seeing this as an opportunity to have an adventure and possibly improve his situation, he proudly joined the army as a "drummer boy". Even though he was twenty-five years old at the time, the term "drummer boy" is still used to describe him in multiple online locations.

Juan Santamaria Dies

The Costa Rican troops headed north from Alajuela and won a small battle in Santa Rosa, Guanacaste. Walker lost 26 soldiers in the battle. From Santa Rosa, the troops marched fifty miles to Rivas, Nicaragua arriving on April 8, 1856. The goal of the Costa Rica army was to drive Walker out of a hotel or inn, that provided an advantageous fighting position. The battle that broke out is known as the Second Battle of Rivas. The Costa Rican's were unable to gain an advantage and resorted to trying to burn down the building that Walker was based in. Juan Santamaria, the 'drummer boy', agreed to lead the charge to burn down the building where Walker was hiding. Santamaria grabbed a torch and set fire to the building which resulted in the Costa Rican army winning the battle, but unfortunately Juan Santamaria was killed during the battle.

His actions were immediately remembered, and his spirit for freedom and decisive actions, is still celebrated today.

Costa Rica Remembers Juan Santamaria Every Year

ojochal juan santamaria 2020

Children in Ojochal celebrating Juan Santamaria day.

For his delivery despite being so young (25 years) in his honor, the Alajuela International Airport bears his name and there is also the Juan Santamaría Historical Cultural Museum, there is also a bronze statue in a park in Alajuela and another in the Assembly Legislative of Costa Rica.

Ojochal children juan santamaria celebration

Children in Ojochal celebrating Juan Santamaria day.

In schools and some public institutions every April 11 is celebrated as the day of Juan Santamaria (Battle of Rivas) with costumes and typical dances of Costa Rica.


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costa rica domestic terminal

New Costa Rica Domestic Airport Terminal

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Costa Rica's Domestic Airport terminal received a substantial upgrade in mid-2018. The new modern design is sleek, airy, and bright with improved traveler amenities, including mobile charging stations and a well-provisioned convenience store.

The open, streamlined layout of the new Costa Rica domestic airport terminal is visible before you pass through the doors, and a gorgeous, contemporary bronze sculpture accents the glass-paned entrance.

costa rica domestic terminal san jose

Once inside, the crisp, minimalist styling is soothing on the traveler's nerves. Everything is well-marked, and signs are bright with large print, making information easy to read and locations easy to find. Airport staff, as always, are cheerful, friendly, and committed to customer service. Domestic flights are available through Sansa Airlines, with service to 14 destinations across Costa Rica, and Carmonair Charters, with service to nearly 40 stops nationwide.

Terra Tica, the shop located beside the gate seating area, offers a wide variety of refreshments, including fresh bakery items, cold drinks, and high-energy snacks. You'll also find an assortment of locally crafted goods and vacation souvenirs.

The gates are well-lit and airy, with accessible seating and charging stations throughout ensuring your mobile device and/or laptop are fully charged prior to boarding. The tarmac is visible through floor-to-ceiling windows which span the length of the building providing natural lighting and great views while waiting to board your flight.

San Jose Domestic Airport

As with the previous Costa Rica domestic airport terminal, travelers walk out to their plane. There are now many safety improvements including well marked walking paths, high-visibility vests worn by employees to guide travelers to the correct plane and easier access, including ramps.

For those returning to San Jose at the end of their trip, enhanced accessibility and clearly-marked points of entrance alleviate passengers' doubts about where they need to go when they deplane.

A roundabout in front of the terminal provides easy access to taxis and shuttles, and San Jose's Juan Santamaria's main terminal is but a short walking distance. Baggage handlers greet travelers at the entrance, and a central information desk is located across from the ticketing counters for travel or locale-related questions.

Updates are being made to regional terminals and airstrips as well, including San Isidro and Palmar Sur. For the most updated information on travel within Costa Rica, please contact us by phone or email, and be sure to check us out on YouTube.

Pura Vida!


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san isidro perez zeledon airport

Daily Flights from San Jose to San Isidro del General Perez Zeledon

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When looking to visit the Osa region of Costa Rica, a visitor or traveler must balance how long it will take to get to the area versus how much time they have in the country. We encourage our visitors to fly from San Jose's Juan Santamaria airport (SJO) to a local airport in Osa. There is only one option when flying from San Jose to San Isidro del General. Additionally, there are several other locations to choose from including:

  • Quepos
  • San Isidro del General/Perez Zeledon
  • Palmar Sur
  • Golfito
  • Puerto Jimenez

Sansa Airlines is the only local airline that offers daily flights into San Isidro del General. Below is Sansa's schedule:

sansa flights san jose to san isidro del general

San Isidro is a great location to start your trip in Costa Rica. It's large population, variety of stores (even a movie theater) and its proximity to other cities, make it a great place to get your trip ready.

San Isidro is within 30 minutes of:

Please contact us here at Osa Property Management if you would like assistance putting together your Costa Rica travel itinerary or your flight from San Jose to San Isidro del General.

san isidro perez zeledon airport


Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal Property Management

Osa Property Management Experts  have lived and managed homes in the region for over 16 years. Not only do we live here, but we are one of the few LEGAL property management companies in the area with legally working, full-time, and fully insured employees (this protects YOU from potential legal problems also).

Our Team will ensure your property is well-maintained and actively rented (if you want to offer your home as a vacation rental).

We are focused on Hatillo, Dominical, Playa Hermosa, Uvita, San Buenas, Chontales and Ojochal property management.

We offer:

We ensure our clients, whether renting a home, or buying Costa Rica real estate to develop, have a positive experience.

Osa Property Management Office