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New nonstop DC to Costa Rica service launches this weekend

July 17, 2022
3 min read
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Travelers looking to make their way from our nation’s capital region to one of Central America’s most popular vacation destinations have new flight options. Colombian-based carrier Avianca launched nonstop service yesterday from Dulles International Airport (IAD) outside Washington, D.C. to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The first Avianca flight from D.C. to Costa Rica took off in the very early hours of Saturday morning.

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Going forward, the carrier will operate four weekly flights from IAD to San Jose and four return trips. The southbound flights will operate in the early hours of Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Northbound flights will run in the evening hours on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. This schedule should make it relatively easy for U.S. travelers to plan trips to Costa Rica of anywhere from five days to a week or more.

Avianca’s nonstop flights to San Jose mark the Bogota, Colombia-based carrier’s fourth destination out of D.C.’s more international-heavy airport, on top of its flights between Dulles and Bogota, Guatemala City and San Salvador, El Salvador.

Related: The best times to visit Costa Rica

Meanwhile, the airline’s new routes from Dulles to San Jose will mean more options for D.C. area travelers, with United Airlines operating seasonal service between the two cities. Avianca will offer about 1,800 seats on the route monthly, the airline said.

As far as pricing, when I filtered Google Flights for Avianca nonstop flights between Dulles and San Jose, I found many round-trip options hovering around the $400 mark late in the day, though I was able to find this round trip (departing Labor Day and returning the following Sunday) for $384.

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

As mentioned, the southbound service falls very early in the morning: You’ll depart Dulles at 2:30 a.m., arriving in San Jose at 5:30 a.m. While it's a redeye flight of sorts, at least you’ll be able to get a full first day in Costa Rica. Conveniently, you’ll be able to enjoy a portion of your last day in the country, too, with the return flight leaving just after 5 p.m.

An aerial view of the famous Waterfalls of Llanos de Cortez in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. (Photo by Gianfranco Vivi/Getty Images)

Bottom line

Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination, whether you’re someone that’s looking to hike and spot volcanos or relax at one of its many beach resorts. Now, travelers in the mid-Atlantic will have a more direct link to the Central American country’s largest international airport.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases