Date: October 17, 2015
Airports topping this list of Best Airports in the Caribbean and Central America are noteworthy for the overall travel experience, the level of cleanliness, the calibre of customer service, the quality of the facilities and the general comfort provided. Highlights include good value VIP lounges, ultra-effective air conditioning and easy to navigate terminals. Although travellers eagerly await more prevalent unlimited free Wi-Fi, they’re thrilled to appreciate these terminals for what they do well! If nothing more, they certainly provide visitors to these spectacular countries with a welcoming entry or exit point!
These are the Top 10 Best Airports in the Caribbean and Central America based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in our 2015 Airport Survey:
1. Panama City Tocumen International Airport, Panama (PTY)
Panama’s Tocumen International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Central America. After some much needed renovations in 2006, the terminals are now intensely air-conditioned, reasonably clean and have a solid number of chairs without armrests. Electrical outlets suitable for Canadian/US plugs are easy enough to find – however, past travellers have warned that a good number are in fact broken. Wi-Fi is free to access for up to two hours and after that, you can seek out various restaurants and bars that offer additional time for no cost. Airport sleepers delight with the fact that all businesses inside the terminal shut down over night, leaving them to relative peace – provided you can avoid the cleaning crews and early morning departures.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi. For more information, visit our Panama City Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of scgshoes on Instagram
2. Montego Bay Sangster International Airport, Jamaica (MBJ)
Voters say Sangster International Airport is efficient, modern and staffed by helpful staff. What’s more, MBJ happens to be one of the few airports on this list that dishes out free Wi-Fi access! Multiple voters also gave specific kudos to the Club Mobay VIP Lounge. Though closed overnight, the lounge’s open bar, snack bar and shower makes the $40 entrance fee seem worthwhile to those hoping to squeeze out a few final hours of vacationing.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Montego Bay Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of _weirdenga on Instagram
3. San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Puerto Rico (SJU)
Puerto Rico’s tiny primary airport secures third place on this list because it keeps things easy and simple. The terminal takes a no-frills approach to travel, stocking the basic requirements for an airport including restaurants, luggage storage, a currency exchange, and private lounges. Generally, Wi-Fi must be purchased though some travellers have found free access near the American Airlines terminal. In Terminal D, there is also a helpful non-profit called “Traveler’s Aid” that helps stranded and distressed passengers. In the event that you need transportation assistance, emergency housing or have had something stolen, these are the people to talk to. Couple all that with a handful of promising in-progress renovations, and we may see this airport climb higher in the rankings in the years to come!
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • WiFi ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our San Juan Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of mia2lilo on Instagram
4. Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten (SXM)
St. Maarten’s international airport is remembered perhaps most vividly by beach-goers on nearby Maho Beach. Infamous for planes descending feet above the sand as they approach the runway, this airport is located quite literally on the edge of the ocean. Travellers happily note that the tiny terminals are clean, convenient and friendly. 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.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi. For more information, visit our Princess Juliana Airport Guide.
5. Nassau Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS)
Nassau’s sparkling and tiny new airport snags the number five spot because of its efficiency, cleanliness and intense air conditioning. Though hardly a budget traveller’s paradise – free WiFi is capped at 30 minutes a person – it’s nothing that a little pre-flight preparation can’t solve. Arrive in the terminal with your shopping complete and your travel snacks packed, and you’re sure to avoid the high costs at the shops and restaurants. That said, it may be worth splurging on one inexpensive item so that you can enjoy the outdoor patio and a few final hours of Bahaman sunshine! Otherwise, amenities at NAS include a Nail and Spa bar, a children’s play area and a few smoking lounges. If you’re planning to sleep, be sure to double-checking the latest sleeping policies. Some travellers in 2015 reported midnight evictions!
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use- Lounges ($) • 30 minutes Free WiFi. For more information, visit our Nassau Airport Guide.
Top 10 Best Airports in the Caribbean & Central America
Below is a list of the Top 10 Best Airports in the Caribbean and Central America as voted by travellers in our 2015 Airport Survey:
- Panama City Tocumen International Airport, Panama (PTY)
- Montego Bay Sangster International Airport, Jamaica (MBJ)
- San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Puerto Rico (SJU)
- Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten (SXM)
- Nassau Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS)
- Aruba Queen Beatrix International Airport, Aruba (AUA)
- San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport, Costa Rica (SJO)
- San Salvador Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport, El Salvador (SAL)
- Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala (GUA)
- Curaçao Hato International Airport, Curaçao (CUR)
Having read the best, it now is likely fitting to continue on to the Worst Airports in the Caribbean and Central America “winners”!