A Guide to Airports in the Caribbean

Princess Juliana Airport . St.Maarten
Peter Phipp/Photolibrary/Getty Images

More than 7,000 islands make up the vast region that is the Caribbean. A desired destination for its sugar-sand beaches, colorful towns, and spicy flavors, this collection of atolls just south of Florida is composed of nearly 40 nations and territories, which can make travel planning rather overwhelming. There are dozens of airports to choose from, some supremely accessible for international travel and others equipped only for island hopping. A comprehensive overview is necessary before starting your Caribbean itinerary.

Anguilla: Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA)

Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (Wallblake Airport)
 Ward Callens / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
  • Location: The Valley, Anguilla
  • Best If: You're coming from another Caribbean island.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for an entry point from abroad.
  • Distance to The Valley: Anguilla's capital city is a five-minute drive (or less) from the airport.

While AXA does receive international flights, it errs on the smaller side. Many who are traveling from North America fly into St. Maarten/Martin (SXM) instead—because it's bigger—and take a ferry or short flight to Anguilla.

Antigua and Barbuda: V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU)

VC Bird Airport
David Stanley / Flickr
  • Location: Osbourn, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Best If: You want to fly into the largest, and therefore cheapest, airport in the Antigua and Barbuda region.
  • Avoid If: You want to avoid a crowd.
  • Distance to St. John's: The capital of Antigua and Barbuda is a 10-minute drive from the airport.

ANU is located the only airport located on the island of Antigua and is the largest of three in the Antigua and Barbuda region.

Aruba: Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)

Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
Sunnya343 / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Location: Oranjestad, Aruba
  • Best If: You're staying in one of Aruba's primary coastal hotel districts.
  • Avoid If: You're in a hurry.
  • Distance to downtown Oranjestad: The capital of Aruba is a five-minute drive (or less) from the airport.

Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport is the perfect entry point to the island's main hotel districts, but can get tremendously crowded at times. Travelers are encouraged to arrive three hours before departure during peak hours.

Bahamas: Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS)

  • Location: Nassau, The Bahamas
  • Best If: You're traveling to Nassau.
  • Avoid If: You're traveling to Freeport.
  • Distance to downtown Nassau: The Bahamas' capital city is a 20-minute drive from the airport.

NAS is The Bahamas' primary travel hub. It's big, accessible to international travelers, and close to the capital of Nassau and Cable Beach. It is, however, a fair distance from the resorts of Paradise Island.

Bahamas: Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA)

  • Location: Freeport, The Bahamas
  • Best If: You're staying at one of the popular resorts of Freeport.
  • Avoid If: You're traveling to the capital of Nassau.
  • Distance to downtown Freeport: Freeport is a 10-minute drive from the airport.

Freeport is the main city on Grand Bahama and home to a number of popular tourist resorts. The Grand Bahama International Airport may be small, but it serves an impressive number of passengers for its size.

Barbados: Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI)

Grantley Adams International Airport
Barry haynes / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
  • Location: Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Best If: You're traveling to The Crane Resort or another hotel in Bridgetown.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for a quick layover between Caribbean islands.
  • Distance to downtown Bridgetown: The capital of Barbados is a 15-minute drive from the airport.

Located on the southern coast of Barbados, BGI is the only international airport on the island and a perfect gateway to the popular Crane Resort or other hotels in the capital city.

Belize: Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE)

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport
 Kaldari / Wikimedia Commons / CC 1.0
  • Location: Belize City, Belize
  • Best If: You're traveling to Belize City or Ambergris Caye, which you can get to via ferry.
  • Avoid If: You're island hopping on a budget, as ferrying could be cheaper.
  • Distance to Belize City: The largest city of Belize is a 30-minute drive from the airport.

Although Belmopan is the capital of Belize, its largest city is Belize City. On the outskirts is the island's primary airport, BZE, serving nearly a million passengers yearly.

Bermuda: L.F. Wade International Airport (BCA)

  • Location: St. George's, Bermuda
  • Best If: You're flying to Bermuda or another nearby island from abroad.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for a quick layover between Caribbean islands.
  • Distance to Hamilton: Bermuda's capital city is a 25-minute drive from the airport.

Bermuda's national airport sits on the east end of the island. It's not especially close to the capital, Hamilton, but a convenient starting point for the Rosewood Tucker's Point resort.

Bonaire: Flamingo International Airport (BON)

Flamingo International Airport
 Bjørn Christian Tørrissen / Wikimedia Commons / CC 3.0
  • Location: Kralendijk, Caribbean Netherlands
  • Best If: You're trying to reach the southern Caribbean (also known as the Dutch Caribbean).
  • Avoid If: You're focusing instead on the northern islands.
  • Distance to downtown Kralendijk: The capital city is about a five-minute drive from the airport.

The pint-sized Flamingo International Airport in Bonaire is on the south side of its main town, Kralendijk, and close to most of the island's resorts. It offers several nonstop flights to and from the U.S. on United, Delta, and American Airlines.

British Virgin Islands: Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS)

Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport
 Legis  / Wikimedia Commons  / Public Domain
  • Location: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  • Best If: Your destination is the British Virgin Islands.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for a more tourist-friendly destination, such as Cuba, Aruba, or the Bahamas.
  • Distance to Road Town: The capital city is a 25-minute drive from the airport.

The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport also goes by the Beef Island Airport. It's located on a small island that's conveniently connected by a bridge to mainland Tortola. EIS serves as the gateway to all of the BVI, with ferry links nearby.

Cayman Islands: Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM)

  • Location: George Town, Cayman Islands
  • Best If: You're traveling internationally to or from the Cayman Islands.
  • Avoid If: You seek a less touristy destination, because the Cayman Islands is seeing a surge in visitation.
  • Distance to downtown George Town: The capital city is a five-minute drive from the airport.

Located in the heart of Grand Cayman's more-developed west end, GCM is the gateway to some the Caribbean's most beautiful and sought-after beaches.

Colombia: Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ)

Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport
 Mr.Jhosimar / Wikimedia Commons / CC 4.0
  • Location: San Andrés, Colombia
  • Best If: Your primary interest is the islands off the coast of mainland Colombia.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the cheapest, most convenient international flight to Colombia.
  • Distance to downtown San Andrés: The city center is a five-minute drive from the airport.

ADZ is the sixth largest airport in Colombia (according to the number of passengers), but the primary travel hub of the archipelago of San Andrés.

Costa Rica: Daniel Oduber International Airport, Liberia (LIR)

Daniel Oduber International Airport, Liberia
Emw/ Wikimedia Commons / CC 3.0 
  • Location: Liberia, Costa Rica
  • Best If: You're visiting Costa Rica's Caribbean coastal towns.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the easiest, cheapest international flight to Costa Rica.
  • Distance to downtown Liberia: The center of Liberia is a 20-minute drive from the airport.

Although Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) is Costa Rica's main international airport (in the capital city, San Jose), LIR serves Costa Rica's northwest regions, including the Caribbean destinations of Playa Hermosa, Playa Flamingo, Culebra, and Santa Rosa and Guanacaste National Parks.

Cuba: Jose Marti International Airport (HAV)

Jose Marti International Airport
 Rojinegro81/ Wikimedia Commons / CC 3.0
  • Location: Havana, Cuba
  • Best If: You're looking for the most convenient entry point to Havana.
  • Avoid If: You're looking to escape the crowds.
  • Distance to downtown Havana: The capital city is a 24-minute drive.

The vast majority of international travelers arrive in Cuba via Jose Marti International Airport, located in the buzzing and immensely-colorful capital city, Havana.

Cuba: Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport (VRA)

  • Location: Matanzas, Cuba
  • Best If: Traveling to Cuba's main beach area.
  • Avoid If: Your primary destination is Havana.
  • Distance to Matanzas: Matanzas is a 20-minute drive from the airport.

Although it used to be called the Varadero Airport, VRA is actually closer to Matanzas than to Varadero. It's the gateway to Cuba's main beach resort area, just east of Havana.

Curaçao: Hato International Airport (CUR)

Hato International Airport
 Andre Engels/ Wikimedia Commons / CC 2.0
  • Location: Willemstad, Curaçao
  • Best If: You're looking for a non-touristy side trip from Aruba.
  • Avoid If: You're focusing your travels on the northern islands instead.
  • Distance to Willemstad: The capital is a 20-minute drive from the airport.

Curaçao is located in the south part of the Caribbean, close to Aruba. CUR is on the island's central coast, a few miles northwest of the capital city of Willemstad and about 15 minutes by car from the famous Otrabanda district.

Dominica: Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM)

  • Location: Marigot, Dominica
  • Best If: You're looking for an entry point to exploring mountains, hot springs, and rainforest.
  • Avoid If: The cities and beaches of the Caribbean are of more interest to you.
  • Distance to Roseau: The capital city is a one-hour drive from the airport.

Dominica is a destination for nature lovers looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Douglas-Charles Airport is located on the quiet northeast coast, about a one-hour drive from Roseau.

Dominican Republic: Las Americas International Airport (SDQ)

  • Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Best If: You're traveling to the capital or the La Romana area.
  • Avoid If: Touristy places are not your cup of tea.
  • Distance to downtown Santo Domingo: The city center is a 45-minute drive from the airport.

The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations and SDQ is the nation's main international airport, located in the capital city on the south coast, also serving the La Romana area.

Dominican Republic: Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ)

Punta Cana International Airport
 Hans Buch/ Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
  • Location: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Best If: You're looking for a less busy airport than the primary SDQ.
  • Avoid If: Santo Domingo is your final destination.
  • Distance to Santo Domingo: The capital city is a two-hour, 20-minute drive from the airport.

The other major airport in the Dominican Republic is the Punta Cana International Airport, serving the east coast resort area of this beachy oasis.

Grenada: Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND)

Grenada: Maurice Bishop International Airport
 Tony Hisgett / Flickr / CC 2.0
  • Location: St. George's, Grenada
  • Best If: You want to stop by Grenada on your Caribbean travels.
  • Avoid If: You'd rather save money by ferrying.
  • Distance to St. George's: The capital city is about a 20-minute drive from the airport.

GND is located on the western tip of Grenada, neighboring the Sandals LaSource resort. It's close to the island's other resorts and the capital, St. George's, too.

Guadeloupe: Pointe-á-Pitre International Airport (PTP)

Pointe-á-Pitre International Airport
 LPLT/ Wikimedia Commons / CC 3.0
  • Location: Les Abymes, Guadeloupe
  • Best If: You want to stop by Guadeloupe during your Caribbean vacation.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for a big, major airport to fly into.
  • Distance to Basse-Terre: The capital city is an hour drive from the airport.

Located in the center of the island of Basse-Terre, this airport is also the gateway to Guadeloupe's other islands: Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and îles des Saintes.

Haiti: Aeroport International Toussaint Louverture (PAP)

  • Location: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Best If: You're looking for the easiest way to Haiti.
  • Avoid If: You would rather stick to more on-the-beaten path destinations.
  • Distance to downtown Port-au-Prince: The city center is a 15-minute drive from the airport.

Also called the Port-au-Prince International Airpot, PAP is located in the capital of Haiti and the main gateway to travelers visiting all points of the island.

Jamaica: Sangster International Airport (MBJ)

Sangster International Airport
SymphonicPoet/ Wikimedia Commons / CC 4.0 
  • Location: Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Best If: You're looking for a gateway to Jamaica's tourist area.
  • Avoid If: You're headed to Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, or the eastern half of Jamaica, which you could get to from Norman Manley International Airport.
  • Distance to Montego Bay: Montego Bay is a15-minute drive from the airport.

MBJ is a large international airport serving Montego Bay and the entire western half of the island of Jamaica, including Negril and Falmouth.

Martinique: Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF)

  • Location: Fort-de-France, Martinique
  • Best If: You're looking for easy access to the buzzing island of Martinique.
  • Avoid If: You're looking to escape the crowds in more remote areas of the Caribbean.
  • Distance to Fort-de-France: Fort-de-France is an 11-minute drive from the airport.

Martinique is a major destination for Caribbean island hoppers, so you can bet that its main airport is fit for international travel and domestic flights alike. FDF is located just south of the capital of Fort-de-France. 

Panama: Tocumen International Airport (PTY)

  • Location: Panama City, Panama
  • Best If: Your destination is Panama or you want to arrange a quick layover.
  • Avoid If: You're more interested in exploring the islands to the east.
  • Distance to Panama City: Panama City is a 20-minute drive from the airport.

PTY is the perfect starting point for the Caribbean coastal destinations of Panama and it provides air links to the San Blas Islands and other destinations, too.

Puerto Rico: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
 Mattes/ Wikimedia Commons / CC 2.0
  • Location: Carolina, Puerto Rico
  • Best If: You're looking for a big travel hub with lots of public transportation options and other tourist resources.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for a quieter, less-touristy destination.
  • Distance to San Juan: The capital city is a 10-minute drive from the airport.

Also known as San Juan International Airport, SJU is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean. It's close to the Condado, Miramar, and Isla Grande resort areas, as well as Rio Grande and the El Yunque rainforest.

Puerto Rico: Rafael Hernández International Airport (BQN)

  • Location: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
  • Best If: You want to travel to a less busy part of Puerto Rico.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the cheapest, easiest flight.
  • Distance to San Juan: The capital city is a two-hour drive from the airport.

Puerto Rico's second-largest airport serves the island's west coast and is near to the popular Porta del Sol tourist district.

Saba: Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (SAB)

  • Location: Hell's Gate, Caribbean Netherlands
  • Best If: You want to visit the Mount Scenery volcano.
  • Avoid If: You don't want to visit the Mount Scenery volcano.
  • Distance to Mount Scenery: The trailhead to the volcano is a 10-minute drive from the airport.

Saba is actually the smallest special municipality of the Netherlands and is almost entirely consumed by the dormant volcano, Mount Scenery. If you aren't visiting the volcano, though, SAB might be out of the way.

Saint Lucia: Hewanorra International Airport (UVF)

  • Location: Vieux Fort Quarter, Saint Lucia
  • Best If: You're looking for the easiest, cheapest entry point to Saint Lucia.
  • Avoid If: Your destination is the north side of the island.
  • Distance to Vieux Fort Quarter: Vieux Fort Quarter is a 10-minute drive from the airport.

UVF is the larger of Saint Lucia's two international airports, located near Vieux Fort Quarter on the southern part of the island.

Saint Lucia: George F.L Charles Airport (SLU)

  • Location: Castries, Saint Lucia
  • Best If: You're traveling to the north side of the island or the capital city.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the easiest, cheapest entry point to Saint Lucia.
  • Distance to downtown Castries: The capital city is an eight-minute drive from the airport.

It isn't Saint Lucia's primary travel hub, but SLU is the closest to the capital city and very accessible to the entire north side of the island as well.

St. Barts: Gustaf III Airport (SBH)

  • Location: St. Jean, St. Barts
  • Best If: You're looking for beaches that aren't crowded with tourists.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for a major airport with lots of tourist resources.
  • Distance to Gustavia: The capital city is a seven-minute drive from the airport.

Also known as Saint Barthélemy Airport, the Gustaf III Airport in tiny St. Barts is a perfect gateway to the Caribbean's pristine beaches, without all the crowds.

St. Maarten/St. Martin: Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM)

  • Location: Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
  • Best If: You're looking for an easy entry point to St. Maarten or St. Barts.
  • Avoid If: You don't like crowded airports.
  • Distance to Philipsburg: The capital city is a 15-minute drive from the airport.

SXM is a busy gateway airport not only for the Dutch and French sides of St. Maarten/Martin, but also nearby islands like St. Barts.

Trinidad and Tobago: Piarco International Airport (POS)

  • Location: Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • Best If: Trinidad is your primary destination.
  • Avoid If: You're more interested in Tobago.
  • Distance to Port of Spain: The capital is a 40-minute drive from the airport.

POS serves business travelers as much as tourists. Located in central Trinidad, this international travel hub is about a 40-minute drive to the capital of Port of Spain.

Trinidad and Tobago: A.N.R Robinson International Airport (TAB)

  • Location: Crown Point, Tobago
  • Best If: Tobago is your primary destination.
  • Avoid If: You're more interested in Trinidad.
  • Distance to Scarborough: The largest city of Tobago is a 24-minute drive from the airport.

Although Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, the biggest city on the Tobago side is Scarborough and that's a 24-minute drive from TAB. This airport is located on the southern end of the island.

Turks and Caicos: Providenciales International Airport (PLS)

  • Location: Providenciales, Caicos Islands
  • Best If: You're looking for the easiest, cheapest flight to Turks and Caicos.
  • Avoid If: You would rather fly into a lesser-trafficked airport.
  • Distance to Providenciales: Providenciales is a 10-minute drive from the airport.

PLS is the gateway to all those luxury resorts and the world-class scuba diving that Turks and Caicos holds. It's larger and busier than Turks and Caicos' other international airport, JAGS McCartney International Airport.

U.S. Virgin Islands: Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport (STX)

Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport
 Lars Schmidt/ Wikimedia Commons / CC 3.0
  • Location: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Best If: You want easy access to the capital city.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the fastest flights from U.S. cities.
  • Distance to Christiansted: The capital city is a 20-minute drive from the airport.

STX is one of two major airports serving the U.S. Virgin Islands. It's located on the island's south-central coast about, a short drive to the capital city.

U.S. Virgin Islands: Cyril E. King International Airport (STT)

  • Location: St. Thomas
  • Best If: You're looking for fast flights from U.S. cities.
  • Avoid If: You would rather fly into St. Croix.
  • Distance to Charlotte Amalie: Charlotte Amalie is a 13-minute drive from the airport.

Cyril E. King International Airport is located east of bustling Charlotte Amalie. St. Thomas' airport is a gateway to St. John and the British Virgin Islands, too.

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