More than two years ago, volcanic activity at the Arenal Volcano in northern Costa Rica began to dissipate, and many believed it would affect tourism in the area. That doesn’t seem to be happening.
On Wednesday, Sansa Airlines, part of Grupo Avianca Taca, inaugurated a new flight to the northern town La Fortuna, near the volcano, from San José and via Liberia, the provincial capital of Guanacaste.
“There is a lot of demand,” Avianca Taca’s communications director, Sofía Valverde, said. “A large percentage of tourists who come to Costa Rica want to visit La Fortuna, not only for the volcano, but also for the thermal baths, the waterfall and the great hotels, and they drive up to four hours to get there. With this new flight, they can be there in less than two hours,” she said.
The airline now offers four weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing from Juan Santamaría International Airport outside of San José at 7 a.m. The flight makes a brief stop at Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, and arrives in La Fortuna at 8:45 a.m.
Return flights are direct, leaving La Fortuna at 8:57 a.m. and arriving in San José in 35 minutes.
Avianca Taca’s commercial director, Danilo Correa, said the new route strengthens Sansa Regional’s plan from the capital, connecting it with primary destinations in Costa Rica.
“This new flight responds to the need to expand the market, facilitate tourism and cooperate with social and economic development in the region,” Correa said.
Hermes Navarro, of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), participated in Wednesday’s inaugural flight, saying it is vital for the country to strengthen alliances in the tourism sector. In this case, the alliance between the ICT and Sansa Regional will help boost tourism in La Fortuna.
“We’ve been working with Avianca Taca for a year, and with this new route, we’re strengthening our relationship with them,” Navarro said.
Sansa Regional has operated for more than 30 years, using Cessna Grand Caravan airplanes with a capacity for 12 passengers. In addition to the new route to La Fortuna, the airline operates flights to and from Golfito, Drake Bay, Tamarindo, Quepos, Liberia, Playa Tambor, Palmar Sur, Puerto Jiménez and San José.