Lost in Costa Rica: Getting ThereAir, Costa Rica, Dispatches from the Road, Group Travel, Photography & Video, Planning — By Amanda P on August 31, 2009 at 5:00 am
A huge bonus of flying to Central America in summer-flights are insanely cheap. My guy Jeff and I paid under $400 round trip from New York City to San Jose, and Dad and his wife paid a similar amount from Tampa (Jen and her guy Trent used frequent fliers). If you’re a living in Denver, you can fly non-stop between the mile high city on Frontier for a song-just look for deals on their website.
While the flights down on Continental were smooth and uneventful, our intra-country flights on Costa Rica’s Nature Air were anything but-in the best possible way. The world’s first carbon neutral airline uses 19-seat Twin Otter Vistaliners to cart passengers to 17 destinations within the country.
We took our inaugural Nature Air flight after discovering that we could spend 10 hours in an unairconditioned bus between San Jose and the frontier town of Puerto Jimenez, or just $55 for a one-hour flight. Even with $20 in taxes added on, we all decided that the it was worth extra cash to save time-and our backs.
Most Nature Air flights leave out of San Jose’s regional airport in Pavas (annoyingly, you almost always have to connect through the capital city, no matter which intra-country destination you’re flying from and to) but it’s a clean, well-equipped facility and you don’t have to go through massive security lines like the big international airport.
Interestingly enough, on the day that we flew, the security folks appeared only to be checking the men’s bags, and left the women’s stuff alone. Maybe they switch every other day?
While its initially a tad disconcerting for nervous fliers to go up in the air in a tiny plane (you can actually see your pilots flying the craft through the open cockpit), the ride is actually pretty smooth and you’ll forget your fears as soon as you catch a glimpse of the scenery below you. I know I did.
Here’s a video of our landing on the tiny airstrip in the jungle-an experience that I won’t soon forget.
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