For me, getting from Liberia to San Jose can be a
real pain in the ass. By car, it can take 3.5 - 4 hours (on a
good day) and by bus maybe 5-6 hours, provided the roads haven't
washed out or bridges collapsed into the swollen rivers.
If I drove my fuel efficient little Bego to San Jose,
fuel and tolls would run me at least $100 (round trip) plus the wear
and tear on my car. Admittedly, the bus would be much cheaper,
costing me less that $10 round trip. All Fran would have to do
is drop me off and pick me up at the Liberia bus terminal... 30
the skies have opened up... literally.
My friend Randy Toltz told me one day that Nature Air,
a local, regional airline,
offers incredible discounts to Costa Rican residents.
After hearing that, I immediately jumped onto their website
to verify his claim.
I created a fictitious itinerary. My
plan was to fly from Liberia to San Jose on Wednesday, June
1 and return on Friday June 3 with the understanding that
Thursday would be spent in San José all day on business.
I wanted my flight to be a NON-STOP. Flight times were
Note: Nature Air does not fly into Juan
Santamaria International Airport (SJO), instead, flies into
Tobias Bolanos International Airport in Pavas (SYQ). ,
OUTBOUND: LIBERIA to SAN JOSE PAVAS
RETURN: SAN JOSÉ PAVAS to LIBERIA
Where's The Special Deal?
Nature Air's website was very easy to
follow. Everything was in English, which was a
pleasant surprise to me. I entered my flight
information, clicked GO and was presented with
several flights conforming to my requirements.
To be honest, what I saw did not
excite me very much. By the time I selected my
outbound and return flight and then add in the
taxes, I was going to pay between $182 and $290.
That seemed like quite a lot of money just to save a
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However, After Further
I learned that Nature Air had another website
which was created specifically for Costa Rican citizens and
Although the site was in Spanish, it was
still extremely easy and intuitive to navigate.
However, there was one very key difference, a disclaimer
appeared in the center of the screen advising all ticket
holders that they must present a Costa Rican national
identification card (Cedula) at the time of check in.
Without one, you pay the full rate.
There are three fare levels, each having it's
own set of restrictions and prices. Obviously, the
least restrictions carries the highest price.
DESCRIPTION. The more flexible you are, the better
chance you have of saving some big bucks. Randy did
pass on to me one tidbit that isn't found on the website, if
you don't see the price you want or if it shows up as
"Tarifa no disponible" -
"Rate Not Available"... just call
them up. You might get lucky!
So there you have it. I could have paid
as much as $290 for this flight but instead, I was getting
by for only $90. While I would still have a need for ground
transportation, taxis are relatively affordable and I don't
have to drive my bloody car all the way to San José.
Nature Air covers all of Costa Rica. I
would certainly consider flying to Limon instead of making
the horrible 8 hour drive from my Guanacaste home.
There are even international flights to Bocos Del Toro
Panama and Managua Nicaragua. Although you won't
qualify for the national discount, it's still good to know
if you want to do a 90 day border run and not have to put up
the BS at the frontier crossings.