Instructions in case of a flight delay or flight
If in the home country or on the way to Costa Rica you find out that
there is a flight delay or a flight cancellation, immediately
contact the host family assigned.
If there are problems communicating with the host family the following emergency numbers can be used:
Sonia Rojas C.,
Administrative Director: (506) 8380-2218
Ronny García M., Academic Director: (506) 8382-6384
If you are in Costa Rica
when dialing the emergency numbers, you do
not need to dial the country code (506). If
there is no answer from any of the emergency
numbers, the reason could be that there are
problems with the signal. In this case please
keep trying. If you are in USA or
Canada, dial 011 first, then 506...
Please read the following information carefully:
Be aware that Juan Santamaría International Airport
located in Alajuela and not in San Jose
(capital city). All flight tickets use SJO / San
José as an International code, but
the International Airport
is located in ALAJUELA.
If the airplane arrives before 10:00 p.m. (CST), for
example 9: 55 p.m. the family will always wait until
you show up outside the Juan Santamaría
International (SJO) Airport (this could be one hour or one
hour and a half later: 11:00 p.m. or 11:30 p.m.).
If the airplane lands past 10:00 p.m., for example
10: 05 p.m. the family will return home and the
safest procedure to follow is to take a hotel
shuttle or an airport taxi to the closest hotels in
the Alajuela area:
Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn and Suites
where you can call the emergency numbers easily and
in a safe place.
The following morning the host family or a taxi driver will pick you up to take you to the homestay accommodation.
Why families will not wait if the Airplane lands past
You should know that, as a cultural aspect, Costa
Ricans usually go to sleep about 10 p.m., because in
Costa Rica life starts early in the morning (about
Another important thing to know is that not all host
families have a car, and because of that it is not
easy for them to go pick up someone at the Juan
Santamaría International (SJO) Airport, in the middle of
If for example, an airplane arrives at 10:15 p.m.,
you need to take into account that you will be out
of Immigration and Customs about 11:30 p.m. and this
if the luggage arrives on time. If the
luggage does not arrive, you will need to
fill out a form and this could take one more hour.
Why it is not safe to go directly to the house of the
host family assigned?
In the middle of the night, a taxi driver always has
hard time finding an address. Why? In Costa Rica
there are no names on streets and avenues and no
numbers in the houses. That is why we do not
recommend you to go directly to the host family
Why it is not safe to go to a small hotel in the area,
late at night?
The taxi driver will also have a very hard time
finding the location of a small hotel. Something
important to take into consideration is that small
hotels do not have doors open after 10:00 p.m.
Why we recommend Holiday Inn Express?
Airport taxis will get to the
Holiday Inn Express in 3 minutes. The Hotel
is open 24 hours and there is a bilingual clerk on
duty all night. The taxi’s fee is very small and at
the hotel you will have a discount when you specify
that you are an ICLC client:
Cultura y Lengua Costarricense.
At the hotel you can pay with credit card, you will
find comfort to rest, security, free internet
access, 1 hour of international calls free of charge
and breakfast included. In addition, if you are
waiting until someone picks you up you can go to the
fitness room to exercise or to the outdoors pool.
Some times, at arrival, travellers do not have local
coins or a right calling card to dial from a public
phone. We recommend you to call once you are at the
hotel. When calling from a public phone, you could
be distracted and your luggage could get lost.
You should avoid accepting help from people outside
the airport. There are always people that offer
help, and some times, instead of receiving help you
could get very confused or robed.
questions or information not listed on these pages
please contact us at:
Instituto de Cultura y Lengua Costarricense
P.O. Box 609-4050
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2-458-8485 / +506 2-458-8473
Contact link form.