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Winter Escapes: Fly Away With KLM To Its New Destinations

While you may not want to fly all the way to Amsterdam to get to the Caribbean or Central America, it’s good to know you have the option if you happen to be in Europe this winter.

Beginning late this month, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines takes off with new service to St. Maarten, Guanacaste Liberia in Costa Rica and Bangalore, in the heart of the southern third of India.

St. Maarten

In 2017, the damage and destruction from Hurricane Irma halted KLM’s service to St. Maarten, although flights were later combined with those from Amsterdam to Curaçao. But beginning October 27, direct service begins anew to the tiny Caribbean country with direct service from Schiphol with Tuesday and Thursday flights. On January 14, another weekly flight will be added to the lineup.

The roomy Airbus A330 has been selected for the route. Flights to St. Maarten will depart from Schiphol on Tuesdays at 11:20 a.m. and arrive at 3:35 p.m., with all times local. On Thursdays, the flight departs at 11:45 a.m., with an arrival time of 4:00 p.m. The return departs St. Maarten at 6:15 p.m., and lands the next morning in Amsterdam at 7:50 a.m.

The sparkling turquoise waters of St. Maarten and St. Martin await, with Dutch, French and native influences touching the culture, dining experiences and history of the small island. For the wild life, casinos, nightclubs and discotheques await, and for the wildlife, snorkeling and diving provide myriad opportunities to see the vividly-hued undersea world of Sint Maarten Marine Park. Watch for sea turtles in the warm Caribbean sea, and on land sightings of mongoose, raccoon, tortoises and iguanas are not uncommon.

Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Liberia

For an escape to Guanacaste Liberia, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, flights from Amsterdam will operate four times a week beginning on October 29. The comfortable Boeing 787-9 was chosen for the route. The outbound flights include a stopover in San José, Costa Rica’s lively capital.

Convenient flights depart Schiphol each Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 12:35 p.m., landing in San José at 5:15 p.m., before continuing on to Guanacaste Liberia at 7:15 p.m., and arriving at 8:10 p.m. The return flight from Guanacaste Liberia leaves at 9:15 p.m. and arrives at 2:20 p.m. in the Netherlands. All times are local.

The province of Guanacaste, named after Costa Rica’s national tree, is wedged on the north by Nicaragua and on the south by the Nicoya Peninsula. In between are glorious beaches with sand ranging in a palette of color from pastel pink to soft white to polished black. Take time to explore some of Costa Rica’s national parks: Rincon de la Vieja National Park known for its active volcano, Tenorio Volcano National Park with the stunningly beautiful Rio Celeste Waterfall, Santa Rosa National Park known for its birding and sea turtle watching, and Palo Verde National Park, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tropical and migratory birds.


From KLM’s U.S. departure cities – among them Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York JFK, Orlando, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington Dulles – you can get to Bangalore with just one stop in Amsterdam. Flights begin on October 30 and will operate each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The flights are also on the Boeing 787-9.

The flights to Bangalore depart Schiphol at 11:05 a.m. and arrive early the next day at Kempegowda International Airport at 12:50 a.m. The return is 2:45 a.m., arriving at Schiphol at 8:25 a.m. Again, all times are local.

Bangalore, its moniker traditionally and officially Bengaluru, has become known as the Silicon Valley of India because of the omnipresence of technology companies. The city is huge, with some 12 million in population, making it India’s fourth largest city after Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta. English is widely spoken in this vibrant, always-moving city.

KLM is a member of the 19-member SkyTeam Alliance that includes Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, and XiamenAir.

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