We’ve travelled in some very tiny planes no bigger than a flea around Central America – room for 2 passengers, rucksacks and the pilot upfront.
One of the Blue Lizard Travel team – Chris, had flown into a beautiful Canadian resort by sea plane and loved it – the drama, the water landing. I couldn’t wait for the experience and when we were visiting the Maldives recently (to JA Manafaru the most northerly island in the Maldivian atolls) we were obliged to travel out of Male for around 90 minutes to reach our tropical hideaway.
Leaving the international airport after a whole night of flying was startling – the sea was sharp aqua and right in front of the airport entrance. Boats of all sizes waited to escort guests to and fro to their islands nearby. Our check in for the internal sea plane flight was informal and rested on the weight of our luggage – ideally not more than 20 kg, preferably less. We were driven to our new departure lounge, just across the “spit” of island which houses the main airport in 5 minutes. There the scene shifted to lots of tiny red and white sea planes congregated in a similar way to any airport, except all floating on aqua seas with jetty’s leading everywhere. Our luggage was packed into the back and we boarded, making a beeline for the front seats where the fans are wall mounted above. Ear plugs are issued, the pilot and co-pilot jump aboard with flip flops on and a bottle of water – just another day in the office, start the engines and suddenly we were off into open water. The engine got up a bit of steam then we accelerated, travel ling lightly over the water for a minute before ascending into the skies. We didn’t fly particularly high and the stunning islands below were marked out like jewellery. You get used to the noise and the single engines whirring away either side of the plane – if anything we were distracted by everything we could see from this birds eye view. Before we knew it we could see our island on the approach through the cockpit window. The landing was incredibly smooth – I thought there would be more of a bang as you hit the water – then you coast alongside the jetty until the plane has been secured in the same way you would a boat. Pretty amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again sometime soon.
Whilst we do not feature island resorts on our website (yet) we do sell them and have good rates so don’t hesitate to ask for our advice with your trip.