Booking a Liberia Airport Shuttle is a pretty straightforward process. But since they are the most popular and convenient way to get from/to the LIR Airport and your destination in Costa Rica, a vast number of companies, local and foreign, offer these services. The following information is meant to help you when booking your shuttle. If you have questions about Liberia Airport’s shuttle transportation services, please let us know and we will be happy to answer them.
#1 advice: Book Your Liberia Airport Shuttle in Advance
We strongly encourage visitors to book Liberia Airport Shuttle services at least 7 days in advance. Booking in advance will ensure that you are met at the airport after you land. It will also help you avoid overpriced and unauthorized airport transportation services at the terminal. In addition, you will quickly get you to your hotel, home, vacation rental, or Airbnb property.
ALERT! For your safety, avoid any unsolicited transportation services at the Liberia Airport.
Liberia Airpor to Tamarindo from $49 USD
Choosing a Liberia Airport Shuttle company
The airport shuttle transportation industry is very competitive. The Liberia Costa Rica Airport is not an exception. That’s why to narrow down your options, you should focus on companies that offer genuine traveler reviews. TripAdvisor reviews are a great source, but keep in mind that many are manipulated by companies who pay for positive reviews. As an alternative try Google Reviews, they offer a better insight into the legitimacy and reputation of a company.
Another aspect to take into consideration is the way your emails are answered. Prompt, properly redacted emails usually mean better customer support. That’s a must when dealing with the number of companies that offer Liberia Airport Shuttle services.
Liberia Airport Shuttle rates vary a lot. For example, Company A (see image below) charges $283 USD for a round-trip shuttle between Liberia Airport and the Tamarindo Diria Hotel. After some quick research, we found out that Company B charges $160 USD round-trip for the same service – that’s almost half the price! Hence, when comparing prices try at least 2 companies.
The cheapest Liberia Airport Shuttle is not necessarily the way to go, either. Try to balance customer service with price to come up with a good value-to-service ratio when booking your shuttle. Also, try asking your company if they offer any price matching. Sometimes you feel you have contacted the right company, but the price is higher than other companies. So try asking if they can match your lower quote. In most cases, they will agree to match the lower price.
When to book
Most Liberia Airport Shuttle companies will accept bookings up to 2 hours in advance. In some cases, even less advanced notice is required to make a reservation. So it is up to you to decide when to make your reservation. But we highly recommend planning with enough time. As a rule-of-thumb try booking a Liberia Airport shuttle at least 1 week before arriving in Costa Rica.
Information needed to book your Liberia Airport shuttle
Online booking is not yet the standard when booking transportation from/to the Liberia Airport. Most companies (including LIR Shuttle) still do bookings the old fashioned way through email. Whichever booking process makes you most comfortable, always make sure you have your correct arrival and departure flight information into LIR Airport when booking.
We have had cases where clients either make a reservation for a different date or confuse their flight numbers and arrival/departure times. This will cost some travelers expensive re-booking fees after missing a flight or, at best hours, of waiting at the Liberia Airport because no one was expecting them when they arrived.
That’s why it is very important that you make sure you are familiar with your flight dates, flight numbers, and arrival/departure times into and out of Liberia Airport (LIR) when making your reservation. That will save you, and your airport shuttle provider, a lot of time and, in the case of a missed flight, a lot of money.
The majority of transportation companies working out of Liberia Airport will accept US cash and major credit card. Only a few will only do either cash or credit card payment. Ask ahead of time what kind of payment is preferred. We do not recommend exchanging money to pay your Liberia Airport shuttle with the local currency (Costa Rican colones). The reason is that if you exchange before getting to Costa Rica, or at the airport, you will get a very disadvantageous exchange rate. So, bring US currency with you if you plan to pay in cash.
Avoid double bookings
Double bookings for airport shuttles are more common than you think. And we have identified the two most common reasons for this to happen:
1) Confusing the name of the Liberia Airport shuttle company: Since there is a lot of competition between Liberia Airport shuttle companies, most will look for an edge by using closely related keywords as their business’ name. To avoid very uncomfortable situations at the airport, always make sure you have only one reservation. Should you find a double booking, you can always cancel one of the services. Most companies don’t have penalties for doing so and will actually appreciate the advanced notice of cancellation.
2) Lack of communication between passengers when booking: Read this as one person makes a reservation without telling the other one about it. Yes, sounds simple but it happens a lot, especially in large groups. To avoid this, designate one person in your group as the one in charge to book your airport shuttle.
Booking a Liberia Airport Shuttle: Private vs shared shuttle
You’ve probably come across many sites offering either shared or private transportation. Let’s look at what you can expect for either service to determine which is best for you:
The majority of Liberia Airport shuttle services are private. This means that you hire a vehicle in which you, or your party, will be the only passengers, and will be taken directly to your destination as soon as you exit the airport. This service’s most obvious disadvantage is that it is a bit more expensive than shared shuttle services. However, if your party consists of 3 or more passengers the private shuttle might be less expensive than the shared shuttle.
Let’s look, for example, at the shared shuttle between LIR Airport and La Fortuna. The rate per person for this service is $59 USD and departs daily at 8 AM. For a group of 2, the total rate will be $118 USD, about $41 USD less than what the private service will cost (between $159 to 169 USD). In this case, if there are 3 or more passengers in your party, the shared shuttle becomes more expensive than a private one.
Pricing aside, the private shuttle is convenient because it will go directly to your destination, with no additional stops or waiting for other passengers. Let’s face it, not everybody is as punctual as they should be, and this could cause some delays in the shared shuttle. If time is not an issue, and you are traveling solo or in a group of two people, then the shared shuttle is your best option. It is also a great way to meet other travelers who are going to the same destination.
Another factor to consider is when to book either service. Shared shuttles should be booked well in advance to guarantee your seats, that means booking at least 7 days before your arrival. Also, consider that most shared shuttle fares are not refundable if canceled within 3 to 4 days before your arrival. Private shuttles, on the other hand, offer a more flexible booking schedule. Most can even be booked within hours of your arrival and cancellation policies are much more flexible.
We hope this information is helpful. If you need assistance booking a Liberia Airport Shuttle, please let us know. We will be happy to assist you.