St. Lucia is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, a fact that will be immediately apparent when landing on the island. St. Lucia is also home to more than one airport, a rarity for an island that size. The George F. L. Charles Airport services destinations within the Caribbean while Hewanorra International Airport is the point of arrival and departure for travelers visiting St. Lucia from the rest of the world. Read on for more information about the islands two airports, and how to travel between them.
Hewanorra International Airport
- Location: Hewanorra, also known as UVF Airport, is located in Vieux Fort, 40 miles south of the capital city of Castries.
- Best If: You are an international visitor arriving from outside the Caribbean.
- Avoid If: The airport is unavoidable if you are arriving from outside the Caribbean, and don't own a private plane (which is bad for the environment anyway). But, if you to wait in traffic en route to your final destination, you can book a helicopter shuttle to George F. L. Charles Airport, located in the capital city of Castries.
- Distance to Soufriere: UVF airport is a one-hour taxi ride to Soufriere, home of the Pitons. Fares start at $65. A cab from Hewanorra International Airport to the Rodney Bay area of the island is a little further, clocking in at an hour-and-a-half on the road.
Hewanorra International Airport is the hub for international visitors with a single terminal. The airport welcomes direct flights from a number of U.S. cities and services a variety of airlines including American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Air Canada, United Airways, and JetBlue. A $175 million renovation project began in early 2019 which will result in a much larger terminal.
Harried travelers needn't worry about difficulties in securing ground transportation once they've landed on the island. There will be cabs waiting for travelers in both airport locations. Visitors can also navigate the island's minibus system for public transportation, and arrive at their hotel like a local. However, travelers who prefer to plan their itineraries well in advance should consider booking a shuttle to their hotel via Saint Lucia Airport Transfers or Saint Lucia Airport Shuttle. Regardless of the route you decide to take, be sure to verify your fare in advance with your taxi driver, as it is subject to change based on mileage distance to the hotel, the number of passengers in the vehicle, and the amount of luggage.
George F. L. Charles Airport
- Location: George F. L. Charles Airport is located on Peninsular Road, 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) north of the capital city of Castries.
- Best If: You're traveling to other Caribbean islands. catching inter-island flights.
- Avoid If: George F.L. Charles Airport does not offer flights to destinations beyond the Caribbean Sea, so if you're a visitor hailing from anywhere else in the world, then this airport isn't an option for you when booking flights. It is, however, an option if you decide to book a helicopter transfer from Hewanorra International to George F.L. Charles upon your arrival (or departure) in St. Lucia.
- Distance to Soufriere: George F. L. Charles is also roughly an hour away from Soufriere. That said, we still recommend purchasing a helicopter transfer for travelers looking to get a greater perspective on the island's lush, mountainous beauty.
George F. L. Charles Airport is a decidedly smaller operation than Hewanorra International that handles inter-island flights. Also a single terminal, the airport services tropical carriers such as Caribbean Airlines, Air Sunshine, Air Caraibes, LIAT, interCaribbean Airways, and Air Antilles. George F.L. Charles hosts incoming and outgoing flights to nearby destinations such as Saint Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, Dominica, Antigua, Saint Thomas, and Port of Spain.
The airport's verdant runway overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Landing amidst such tropical bliss—the ocean on three sides, the rainforests beyond, is a memorable experience for guests. If you're on a Caribbean safari and planning on visiting a few more island nations before returning home, then George F. L. Charles is a dream come true.
The airports in St. Lucia are less busy than those of their neighbors and there's even the option to book a helicopter transfer between the two for visitors in a rush, or for visitors who just appreciate the view of the Pitons from above. Would-be jet-setters (and helicopter-hedonists) should consult the St. Lucia tourism authority in advance for further information before booking a late-arriving return flight to George F. L. Charles Airport on the day of their departure.