Best Airports in the Caribbean & Central America 2016

Date: October 15, 2016

best airports caribbean central america 2016In our annual survey, we asked travellers to rate airports in the Caribbean and Central America based on their overall airport experience. They ranked their experiences on these factors:

  • Comfort (Rest Zones & Gate Seating)
  • Services, Facilities & Things to do
  • Food Options
  • Immigration/Security
  • Customer Service
  • Cleanliness

In the tropics, excellent air conditioning, friendly staff and a good view secure you a spot on the list of Best Airports in the Caribbean and Central America. This year, the newly opened V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua leads the pack with swanky new technology and sparkling floors. While others on the list are a little less modern, they still offer reliable internet, pleasant customer service, clean, comfortable terminals and sometimes, a glimpse at the Caribbean sea!

Here are the Top 5 Best Airports in the Caribbean and Central America based on overall airport experience, as determined by voters in our 2016 Airport Survey.

1. V.C. Bird (Antigua) International Airport, Antigua & Barbuda (ANU)

Antigua airport by V.C. Bird International Airport / Facebook

V.C. Bird Airport opened in August 2015 after 3 years of construction, and immediately sprang to the top of our Best Airports in the Caribbean & Central American list. This swanky new airport blew its regional rivals out of the water when it came to talk of cleanliness, comfort and service. Travellers were especially delighted by the fresh new technology, the shopping opportunities, and the interior design. The only real complaint at ANU is that sometimes, the air conditioning gets a little too cold. ( Photo courtesy of V.C. Bird International Airport / Facebook )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi. For more information, visit Antigua Airport Guide.

» Vote

2. Montego Bay Sangster International Airport, Jamaica (MBJ)

Montego Bay Airport hangs onto its status as second best airport in the Caribbean and Central America thanks to the helpful staff and free Wi-Fi. The island vibe, beautiful views and good range of duty free shops further enhance the Jamaican travel experience. While long lineups seem to be garnering more criticism rather than less, the VIP lounge all but makes up for those headaches. Here, for $40 weary travellers are treated comfort and treats that seem to make the entrance fee arguably worthwhile.

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Montego Bay Airport Guide.

» Vote

3. Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten (SXM)

St. Maarten Airport by Princess Juliana International Airport / Facebook

St. Maarten’s International Airport was voted onto the list because it is small and easy to navigate. Though it can get a bit crowded and warm, the free Wi-Fi certainly eases some travel pains - as do the views out onto the ocean from the terminal windows. Though they only have a handful of restaurants and shops, the Wi-Fi is free to use and the overall design is fresh and modern. ( Photo courtesy of Princess Juliana International Airport / Facebook )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi. For more information, visit our Princess Juliana Airport Guide.

» Vote

4. Panama City Tocumen International Airport, Panama (PTY)

Professional and helpful staff are essential to travellers trying to work their way through the region’s busiest airport. Though Panama City Tocumen Airport fell a few points this year in our rankings, voters continued to rave about excellent customer service and free Wi-Fi. Sure, the air conditioning can be a little intense. But, the availability of mobile charging ports is appreciated. It’s also big enough that it accommodates sleepers well, with armrest-free benches and a few quiet corners for those who spend time looking.

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi (2 hours). For more information, visit our Panama City Airport Guide.

» Vote

5. Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport, Aruba (AUA)

aruba airport by Aruba Airport / Facebook

Oranjestad International Airport in Aruba is said to be a pleasant place to fly into. It’s small - a single terminal with three floors - so there is little confusion about where to go, and when. However, this size does mean that lineups can get long, and that amenities are fairly limited. Outside of a few restaurants and some shopping, the big attraction here is a few slot machines and a sculpture garden (and an hour of free Wi-Fi). The simplicity of the terminal means that you easily recognize how friendly and welcoming the staff are! ( Photo courtesy of Aruba Airport / Facebook )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi. For more information, visit our Aruba Airport Guide.

» Vote

Top 10 Best Airports in the Caribbean and Central America

Below is a list of the Top 10 Best Airports in the Caribbean and Central America as voted by travellers in our 2016 Airport Survey:

  1. V.C. Bird (Antigua) International Airport, Antigua & Barbuda (ANU)
  2. Montego Bay Sangster International Airport, Jamaica (MBJ)
  3. Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten (SXM)
  4. Panama City Tocumen International Airport, Panama (PTY)
  5. Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport, Aruba (AUA)
  6. L.F. Wade International Airport, Bermuda (BDA)
  7. San José Juan Santamaría International Airport, Costa Rica (SJO)
  8. San Salvador Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport, El Salvador (SAL)
  9. San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Puerto Rico (SJU)
  10. Managua Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, Nicaragua (MGA)

Now that you’ve read about the best airports, read on to see what awaits on the list of Worst Airports in the Caribbean and Central America!

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Explore more of our survey results:

OVERALL AIRPORT EXPERIENCE
» Best Airports in the World » Worst Airports in the World
» Best Airports in Africa » Worst Airports in Africa
» Best Airports in Asia » Worst Airports in Asia
» Best Airports in the Caribbean & Central America » Worst Airports in the Caribbean & Central America
» Best Airports in Europe » Worst Airports in Europe
» Best Airports in the Middle East » Worst Airports in the Middle East
» Best Airports in North America » Worst Airports in North America
» Best Airports in South America » Worst Airports in South America
» Best Airports in the South Pacific » Worst Airports in the South Pacific
LAYOVERS  
» Best Airports for Layovers » Worst Airports for Layovers
SLEEP-ABILITY  
» Best Airports for Sleeping » Worst Airports for Sleeping

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