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Review: Nature Air


Quite an adventure!

  • By SilverTraveller yorkshirecat

    76 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Feb 2014
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Tortuguero, Costa Rica
  • Partner
  • Economy

125 people found this review helpful

We climbed the rickety steps up into the tiny twin prop plane and immediately bagged the rear seats, allowing fellow passengers to fill the remaining 6 rows of seats between us and the open cockpit. The door was slammed shut from outside and, with no cabin crew or flight announcements, we watched excitedly as the pilot pulled a lever in the ceiling, the propellers roared into life, and we bounced off along the runway. Seconds later we were skimming treetops and skirting mountain sides on our way to Tortuguero Rainforest on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

We had stumbled across Nature Air by accident after arriving a day late in the capital city of San Jose. Our flight from Heathrow into Newark had been delayed, resulting in us missing our connecting flight to San Jose and day 1 of our Bales Natural Wonders of Costa Rica tour. Fortunately I had recalled reading about the local airline and Bales agreed to book us on the 25 minute flight so that we might catch up with the tour on day 2.

We had experienced some anxious moments on our way to check in. We were travelling with two soft cases that weighed just under 18k and two rucksacks under 10k. The young tour guide who had accompanied us to the airport had frowned at our luggage and helpfully informed us we would not be allowed on board with all that! We were resigned to purchasing an extra seat for our baggage if necessary. However, at check in we all had to climb on to the scales to be weighed with our bags and were pleased to be judged within limits. The group of beefy American deep sea fishermen waiting behind us exchanged anxious glances.

As I looked out of the plane window at the line of cars and lorries crawling along the winding mountain roads below, I felt extremely grateful that, after a stressful start to our holiday, we had not had to face a 5 1/2 hour journey by road and boat to catch us up with our group. There are no direct road links to the rainforest. Our flights, at a mere $40 each, were excellent value.

Our colourful little plane began descending rapidly through the trees towards the river and I began to wonder if it was in fact a sea plane, but at the last moment a tiny strip of tarmac came into view and we were soon bouncing to a halt between the Caribbean shore and the Cano Blanco river where our river taxi awaited us.

We were to endure several, lengthy, bone shaking journeys on unmade roads during our tour of Costa Rica – many of which could have been made in greater speed and comfort by this little local airline. If we ever returned to this beautiful country, I would have no hesitation about planning my internal journeys using Nature Air.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 4 Comment(s)

  • coolonespa
    over 7 years ago
    These small planes are real flying & I love them. I remember taking one in the Dominican Republic & as we were waiting in the terminal they pilot was gently turning one of the propellors. A rather anxious lady beside me asked what he was doing & I aid "he's winding the elastic band up". A little laugh seemed to relax her.
  • Barrowman
    over 7 years ago
    A great start to your holiday YC, sounds like it was fun anyway and no doubt the rest of the holiday made up for the missed day....
  • yorkshirecat
    over 7 years ago
    It was great fun and certainly helped reduce the stress of starting a group tour by delays and a missed flight. I have been on small, twin prop planes before, flying regularly from Manchester to Newquay and from Bangkok to Koh Samui, but those planes were about twice the size of Nature Air planes and had cabin crew who rushed up and down during the short flights checking on passenger safety and dispensing drinks. On our Nature Air flight there were no crew and nobody telling passengers to put on their seat belts so, apart from us, nobody did!
  • ESW
    over 7 years ago
    What a marvellous way to start a holiday. This sounds a fantastic flight and one to remember.