One of our favorite things about traveling in Europe is how quick and easy it is to hop from one country to the next. Unfortunately, traveling around Central and South America is a little more difficult. The roads in Costa Rica are getting better, but in many places, they’re still winding and pot-holed dirt roads. And even though Nicaragua is just to our north, traveling via bus is a total situation—especially because of the time it takes to go through border control.
As many of you probably know by now, I’m not a huge fan of flying (unless it’s in first class ;-p.) Yet I would not hesitate to hop on another Nature Air flight because of the unique opportunity it provides.
Flying With Nature Air
When we first checked-in with Nature Air, I was shocked to see that there were only around fifteen other people waiting in the lounge to get on the flight with us. Dan just chuckled. He knew what it was like to fly on a 19-person twin-engine turbo plane, but this was all new to me. When all the passengers had checked in, we headed to the aircraft early…no sense in waiting around if we had the clear to fly and all the passengers were here!
We settled into our teeny-tiny plane, got an introduction to the flying and safety procedures from the two pilots, and then settled in for our short flight. I was awe-struck that we could see into the cockpit and watch the pilots fly! As one friend put it, the experience made it feel like we had a private charter plane whisking us away to Nicaragua.
But easily the best part about the Nature Air flight experience is that the windows on the plane are nearly four times the size of typical commercial aircraft! And that’s why flying with Nature Air is such a unique experience. You actually get to see the beauty and abundance of Costa Rica from above. We had a bird’s eye view of the dense jungles, volcanoes, islands, lakes and more.
When we crossed the border into Nicaragua, we were able to point out Lake Nicaragua as well as the famous isletas, getting a virtual tour of the country before we even touched foot on the ground. For a nervous flier like me, there was simply no time to be thinking about improbable worse-case scenarios. I was completely enthralled by the beauty outside my window.
The World’s First Carbon Neutral Airline
For a country that is known for being on the cutting-edge of all things “eco,” it’s only logical that Costa Rica would also be home to the world’s first carbon neutral airline—Nature Air.
The largest private charter operator in Central America, Nature Airlines operates flights to 15 destinations around Costa Rica, as well as to Bocas del Toro, Panama and Managua, Nicaragua. And for each and every one of these flights, Nature Air compensates for 100% of its carbon emissions. We think that’s kind of cool!
If you’re wondering how it all works, Nature Air has the details behind its mathematics on its website. But if you’re like me, and you haven’t taken a math class since senior year of high school, then this explanation should suffice:
Nature Air takes all the fuel burned per calendar year, regardless of how many passengers were on the flight, or if the aircraft was in taxi on the runway, or if it was doing scenic flights over volcanoes or or if it was testing the engines in maintenance. Nature Air then offsets carbon emissions by conserving and protecting tropical forests in Costa Rica. Specifically, NatureAir has helped to conserve 500-acres of tropical forests in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica—one of our favorite places on earth.
Unfortunately compensation for flight emissions does not erase the fact that flying still emits CO2; however, Nature Air is always working to improve fuel efficiencies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Flight operations at Nature Air have improved fuel efficiency by 7% in the last three years.
Flying is a way of life for many travelers like ourselves, but it feels good to know that by choosing Nature Air, we are doing our part to conserve the beautiful world that we’re so fortunate to experience.
A Short Clip: A Bird’s Eye View Of Flying With Nature Air
To give you an idea of just how breathtaking the Nature Air flights are, here is a quick clip from our recent flight. Keep in mind we were flying to Nicaragua. Depending on where you’re going, you might also see waterfalls, mountains, coastline and other breathtaking scenery around Costa Rica.
If you’re traveling to Costa Rica and want to see as much as possible—without wasting precious time on those bumpy, pot-holed roads I mentioned, then you might consider an unlimited 7-day flight pass for only $349. Alternatively, keep an eye out for Nature Air’s “Loco” fares, when you can grab super inexpensive flights to all corners of Costa Rica. Even NatureAir’s regular fares are quite reasonably priced, especially considering that your money is going towards carbon neutrality. Just don’t pack too much—extra weight takes up a lot of extra fuel, so keep your baggage down to a minimum for the lowest—and most environmentally friendly—prices.
We can say we’ll be using Nature Air next time we fly to Nicaragua—which hopefully won’t be too far off!
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Have you flown with Nature Air? What was your experience like?
We were guests of Nature Air. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.