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For most people it’s about the destination, not the travel. Very few people enjoy flying and I don’t blame them. One thing I think just about everyone on earth enjoys is the unmistakeable, childlike excitement found when your destination’s monuments and great landscapes appear out the window, before your eyes as you approach landing. It’s absolutely exhilarating. Here are a few of my favorites. Anything to add?

Rio De Janeiro

All approaches into Rio offer staggering topography. Santos Dumont (SDU), the domestic airport for Rio De Janeiro is right smack dab in the center of it all with approaches going right over and around the famed Sugarloaf Mountain. Though it lacks the surreal artists palate of colors that Rio generally offers, this mesmerizing approach video shows you just about how it feels….


Snow capped mountains are as intriguing as they are elegant. Putting a beautiful city beneath a snow capped backdrop just seems unfair. In putting together this piece one of the hardest things to find was videos that did the approaches justice. I absolutely did not have that problem here with undoubtedly my favorite video of the whole lot offering a nail biting and beautiful view into Queenstown (ZQN)….

Cape Town

It’s hard to do justice to yet another natural wonder of the world. Table Mountain is one of the most stunning vista’s and catching glimpses of it and other natural marvels on your approach into Cape Town (CPT) really set things off. This video doesn’t quite capture the scale you feel through your eyes but it will do the trick. Skip around to get to the great bits!

New York

Really? Absolutely. Though most international approaches going to Newark or JFK offer decent views of the city from afar, few rival a certain approach to LaGuardia (LGA) which essentially descends at low altitude parallel to the city giving you the true “holy crap this is New York” feeling. This video gives you a nice little taste….

St. Martin/Sint Maarten. 

This absolutely stunning crystal blue approach is as fun for those on the ground as those flying in. St. Martin (SXM) is a plane spotters paradise offering just about the closest access to an active runway in the world…with a beach behind it. You just have to watch this video shot by our very own reader Chris Snell to see for yourself!

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a large city in every capacity. One of the ways to measure large is vertically and on approach into this majestic city you really get a sense of the natural beauty of the surroundings, and certainly the skyscrapers. I don’t think I’ve seen the beauty of the approach into Hong Kong (HKG) displayed better than this surreal time lapse thanks to a KLM Captain. 

Yes, yes I know, there are even more stunning private air strips around the world. I do not own a private plane and I am quite sure very few of our readers do as well. These are simply my favorite commercial landing strips which more times than not offer a spectacular view in an even more stunning setting. Want to throw your favorite view on here? Comment below! 

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