LAS TORTUGAS

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17 November 2022

LA COSTENA

La Costena is Nicaragua's only domestic airline.  Based in Managua, La Costena carries passengers to mostly Nicaraguan locations:  Big Corn Island, San Carlos, Bluefields, Bonanza, Ometepe, Puerto Cabezas, Siuna, San Juan de Nicaragua, Waspan, and the non-Nicaraguan city of Tegucigalpa which is the capital of Honduras.  I have read that at one time Avianca owned a part of La Costena from 2010 but sold their portion of the smaller airline in 2019.   

La Costena has proven to be a very "user friendly" organization with good person to person communication.  Until recently it's been suffering because of past covid shut downs...but covid regulations spread suffering everywhere.  Before covid's unnecessarily onerous burdens on the tourism business, La Costena offered two flights a day between Managua and Bluefields. 

Their early afternoon departure from Managua was timed so that people arriving there on their way to the Carribbean could get to both Bluefields and/or Big Island.  As it is now, most people spend their arrival night in Managua and catch the early/only flight to Bluefields and/or Big Island. Bit by bit La Costena is adding the second flight back to their list...so far only on Sundays and a few Saturdays. Hopefully a busy tourist season will see these flight additions happen for all the other days of the week.

When I last checked in for my La Costena flight to Bluefields I asked the woman at the counter how business was. Her reply was "Better, thank god." This photo shows how the waiting room in Managua looked when I sat down to await my flight. By the time the flight was called the room was full, as it should be...full of mostly European tourists headed for Big Island (and perhaps from there on to their boat ride to Little Island, a place to small for any airplane).