Help! Which airport do I fly into for my resort?
In many destinations there are multiple airports or tourist areas within the same region and you may have experienced confusion about which one to book for easiest access to your all inclusive resort. In many cases, you have decided on a particular hotel and want to use frequent flier miles or points to get there.
What airport is best? This is where a seasoned travel agent comes in handy. When traveling to the Caribbean or Central America, it’s best to consult with a travel professional!
We’ll take a look at some of the top destinations with multiple airports and give you the best options for airport arrivals and transfers to your resort.
The two main airports used for incoming tourists to Costa Rica are the San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport (code SJO) or the Daniel Oduber Airport in Liberia (code LIR). While you can fly into either SJO or LIR and get to all inclusive resorts, the majority of properties are located in the Guanacaste area and are much closer to the Liberia airport. For example the transfer time is over 3 hours to the RIU Guanacaste from San Jose and the cost of transfers from San Jose to Guanacaste is much higher than from LIR. It really makes the most sense to fly into Liberia (LIR).
Flights go directly into the Cozumel International Airport (code CZM) for most arrivals. However, some guests do opt to fly into the Cancun International Airport (CUN), ground transfer to Playa Del Carmen and then ferry over to the island. That sounds like a lot of effort, so plan on flying into CZM.
Exuma is a small out-island but does have a fair amount of airlines servicing the destination via the Exuma International Airport (GGT).
According to the airport website, the following schedules are available:
Air Canada – Toronto YYZ (Thu, Sun)
American Airlines – Charlotte CLT (Weekly)
American Airlines – Miami MIA (Daily)
Bahamasair – Nassau NAS (Daily)
Delta – Atlanta ATL (Daily)
Silver Airways – Ft Lauderdale FLL (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Sky Bahamas – Nassau NAS (Daily)
Delta Air Lines – Fort Lauderdale FLL
There is one other option. You could opt to fly into Nassau (airport code NAS) and take an air-conditioned ferry to Exuma. The ferry is a lengthy trip.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Yes, you might Google and see the Isla Mujeres National Airport, but that won’t help you since there is no commercial service operating there.
All travelers from the USA to Isla Mujeres must fly into the Cancun International Airport (CUN) and ground transfer to the ferry boat. Isla Mujeres Palace from Palace Resorts and Zoetry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun are the main all inclusive resort options on the island.
The overwhelming majority of all inclusive resorts require a flight into Montego Bay. The Sangster International Airport (airport code MBJ) services the main tourist areas of Montego Bay, Negril, South Coast, Falmouth, Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios.
The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston (airport code KIN) is located on the Southeastern tip of the island. Do not, and we repeat do not, book a flight into Kingston for Sandals South Coast, all Negril hotels, all Montego Bay hotels, or all Falmouth/Runaway Bay resorts. If you do so, you will incur a costly and lengthy commute which will not be pleasant. A new highway from Kingston to Ocho Rios opened in 2016 that cut the drive time to around 2 hours, which is similar to Montego Bay to Ochi. However, most all inclusive resorts in Ocho Rios that include airport transfers have ground operations in Montego Bay. A private transfer from Kingston to Ocho Rios is really the best way to get there from the Kingston airport. We still recommend flying into Montego Bay in almost all cases.
The main airport into the Punta Cana area is the Punta Cana International Airport (code PUJ). However, some people have tried to fly into Santo Domingo. The Santo Domingo Las Américas International Airport (code SDQ) is 2 hours away. We recommend always flying directly into Punta Cana if possible.
While it seems obvious that travelers to Cancun’s hotel zone should choose Cancun International Airport (code CUN) as the port of entry, it may not be so obvious with the all inclusive resorts located on the Riviera Maya. Yes, all travelers to the Riviera Maya should use CUN airport as the airport of choice. There is another way to get to the Riviera Maya via the Cozumel ferry, but we don’t recommend it. The Cancun airport is the home base for all of the hotel transfers companies and ground operators to shuttle you to your all inclusive resort.
St John, US Virgin Islands
Travelers to St John will use the St Thomas Cyril E. King Airport (code STT) for arrivals and then transfer by boat.
St Lucia is home to two airports. Hewanorra International Airport (airport code UVF) is the main airport and handles larger jet traffic. The Vigie Airport, or George F. L. Charles Airport (code SLU) receives inter-island flights. According to the official George F.L. Charles Airport website: Currently, there are three airlines that service George Charles Airport. These airlines are Air Antilles, Air Caraibes, and LIAT. These airlines also provide service from St. Lucia, carrying passengers to destinations such as Antigua, Barbados, Curacao, Fort-de-France, Pointe-a-Pitre, Port of Spain, Saint Kitts, Sint Maarten, and Saint Vincent.
99% of US visitors to St Lucia will use the UVF airport. There is chartered helicopter service available from Hewanorra Airport if you decided to opt out of the scenic drive to the resort areas.
One of the trendiest destinations in Mexico is the Tulum area. While not a short drive from Cancun International Airport, that is the best option when staying at a Tulum all inclusive resort. Transfer companies are waiting at the airport for your arrival into the country. Tip: Do not fall for the long line of time-share salespeople that are ready and willing to assist with your transfers. Pre-paid transfers are just outside of the terminal.