Flying With Nature Air in Costa Rica: What It’s Really Like

flying nature air

 

One of our favorite things about traveling in Europe is how quick and easy it is to hop from one country to the next. We’ve just spent the past month island hopping all around Greece, and this weekend, we’re flying from Samos to Rome for only $80. Not the cheapest flights we’ve scored, but also not bad at all!

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. 

Since we only had two weeks in Nicaragua on our last trip, we knew we wanted to make getting to and from the country as enjoyable as possible. Flying with Nature Air was the perfect solution.

 

Flying with Nature Air

 

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!

 

flying with Nature Air

 

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.

 

Flying With Nature Air to Nicaragua

Flying With Nature Air to Nicaragua

 

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!

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. 

 

Enjoy this post? Check Out More Of Our Awesome Articles On Costa Rica!

 

Read More Costa Rica Travel Tips
 

Meet: Casey Siemasko


Casey Siemasko is a blogger, content marketer, and co-founder of A Cruising Couple. She has been living and traveling outside of the US full-time since 2011. She finds her life inspiration in exploring the world and seeks to find the magic in the most ordinary of places.

13 Comments

  1. The views from the plane are incredible – I’m generally not a super huge fan of flying on small turbo planes, though it doesn’t seem like it was a bumpy ride at all, and your video looks absolutely fab! I love the fact that the windows are like 4 times the size of what you would normally see – it’s an amazing scenic flight at the same time!

    Thanks for introducing me to Nature Air – I had no idea that there was such a thing as a carbon neutral airline, so I would absolutely fly them to support responsible travel while in Central America.

    Glad you had a great flight!
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…Her Location Independent LifeStyle Allows Her to Travel the World: Interviewing Sara SchneiderMy Profile

    Reply
    • I love airline reviews! I always like to know what I’m getting in to. Glad to be able to introduce you to Nature Air 🙂

      Reply
  2. Casey, the assumption behind Nature Air’s carbon neutral accounting is that without passengers flying with them and damaging the environment that the conservation work would not take place. I not at all convinced that that is the case. Carbon offsets make consumers feel good about making high carbon travel choices. Surely, the true responsible option is to take those bumpy roads and in the process get to meet and support locals on your journey?

    Reply
    • Hey John, I definitely get what you’re saying. I actually mentioned that in the post as well, saying that compensation for flight emissions doesn’t erase the fact that flying still emits co2. But there are actually some studies that say commercial flights are more eco-friendly than driving, as long as you’re not flying in a private jet. I’m not sure where these turbo planes would fit in to that. Either way, driving is not always an option, especially if you’re on a time constraint and need to get somewhere quickly. And if I’m going to fly anyway, I like knowing that I’m supporting a company that is doing what they can to give back.:)

      Reply
  3. wow. just wow. i would be absolutely terrified on such a small plane! Kudos to you. the beauty certainly looks worth it!

    Reply
    • Definitely worth it! 🙂 It was cool that we had the same pilot on the way back, too. By then we were like, oh yea, we know how this works haha!

      Reply
  4. The worst airline I have ever flown. They were an hour late to depart on the way in and over an hour late on the way out. Not helpful at all. Just Awful. 03/15/2016, There was no gate attendant, Didn’t bother to change even the destination sign at the gate. Will never fly with again. I have flown all over the world, India, Greece, etc. Gave us tickets for a different flight and didn’t even say anything about our flight being cancelled. Totally shifty. We missed our connection.

    Reply
    • So sorry to hear that! We’ve only had great experiences with Nature Air, but we appreciate you sharing yours as well.

      Reply

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