In the previous post, I wrote about how much I dislike driving in Costa Rica so I thought I’d follow it up with a post about the best type of transportation experience here on the Rich Coast…flying. There is no comparison between taking a flight on a puddle jumper and driving. Seeing from above Costa Rica’s villages, rich coastline, stunning tropical jungles and expansive volcano range, it is an experience like no other.
And this time, not only did I get to fly over the Pacific coastline to travel from Manuel Antonio/Quepos to San Jose but the next morning, I flew from San Jose to Bocas del Toro, flying over the Caribbean coast of both Costa Rica and Panama.
The morning I left Arenas del Mar in Manuel Antonio, there were two families leaving as well – both leaving by shuttle and not so happy about the 3+ hour drive ahead of them on a winding mountain – the road I had taken to get there a few days before. But this time, I was flying to San Jose on Nature Air – a less than 30 minute flight from start to finish. The plane was on time and as we took off, we flew over African Palm plantations then headed inland, flying between the tropical rainforest and coastline.
The next day, we took off from San Jose and headed southeast. We traveled over thousands of acres of mountainous terrain. The Eastern mountains seem to be even more dense than the ones near Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. Being in a smaller plane, you’re able to really see the details of the small towns located throughout the countryside, which are often surrounded by plantations (I imagine it’s delicious Dota coffee) and alongside rivers running through the valleys. Eventually, we came to the coastline and headed into the Bocas Archipelago. The woman behind me squealed a little when we landed as we literally landed on the beach (similar to arriving in Tambor). But as always, the landing was smooth and the plane stopped just in front of the futbol field (a little bizarre that there is a futbol field next to the runway on the airport’s property).
On the return flight from Bocas to San Jose, there was a spectacular sight – the smoke stream coming out of Turrialba volcano.
There are many reasons to fly when traveling around Costa Rica or doing add-on trips to Nicaragua or Panama…when you’re on vacation you don’t want to spend all your time in a car. Arriving at your destination hours ahead of someone who is driving is well worth it. Imagine all the extra time you have to relax on the beach or hike in the rainforest if you’re not in the car for hours on end! It’s also so much easier – someone else is driving which means no getting lost! And Nature Air is the first airline to be certified as 100% carbon neutral – meaning it offsets its carbon emissions by supporting local reforestation and conservation programs. They also have a foundation for child and community development and only use bio-diesel in their ground vehicles.
Supporting a company who gives back to the community and automatically offsets my travel are both super important to me and my commitment to living a conscious life. And not having to drive on dirt roads, go down one-way streets the wrong way or get lost are the added bonus points.
Enjoy the beautiful slideshow of what Costa Rica and Panama look like from high above…Next up: Travel Adventures in Bocas del Toro!
Note: While I am now paid and/or receive comped services at many of the places I visit, I will always offer my unbiased opinion to you, my readers. Fortunately, I almost always have experiences that exceed my expectations.