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Nature Air Now Connects Costa Rica and Nicaragua

By Paige, Nicaragua, June 2011

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Costa Rica’s northern neighbor, though not yet nearly as popular a destination, has been getting plenty of attention in recent years. Nicaragua boasts unique attractions, such as the architecturally stunning Spanish colonial cities of Granada and León, and the mysterious lake island of Ometepe, its hourglass figure formed from two towering volcanoes—one of them active—recently declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Traveling between the two small Central American nations just became faster, cheaper, and easier, thanks to new flights by one of Costa Rica’s inexpensive domestic carriers, Nature Air. Although two international airlines, Copa Airlines and TACA Air already offered connections (sometimes via Panama City), flights in their full-sized planes are pricey, usually well over US$400. Bus companies, including Tica Bus and King Quality make the trip more cheaply (around US$30 each way), but who wants to lose nine precious hours of vacation time?

Finally, after several years of hiatus, Nature Air, the world’s first carbon-neutral airline (Costa Rica’s official domestic airline, SANSA, has since followed suit) is resuming service to Nicaragua. The Twin-Otter dual engine planes make the trip to Managua in 90 minutes from San José, about 30 from Liberia, for as low as US$55 plus taxes, which include the US$26 Costa Rican departure tax and US$10 Nicaraguan tourist visa.  Previous service to the tourist city of Granada will not be reintroduced in the foreseeable future, as that airport is currently closed to regular flights.

The first flight got off the ground last month, and was met at Managua’s Sandino International Airport (MGA) by Mario Salinas, Nicaraguan Minister of Tourism, and Alex Khajavi, President of Nature Air. “Nicaragua and Costa Rica are brother nations that live side by side and share much in common as a destination,” said Salinas. “Tourism is an activity that brings us closer and allows us to work together as countries.”

Nature Air will serve Managua four times weekly, with more flights to be added this December, depending on availability. They also serve Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Photo by Verde562

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