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Air

Flight options to the Caribbean will vary between islands.

Airports & Airlines

It doesn’t matter which island you fly into, touching down on Caribbean land is always a thrilling experience. Some islands, such as Saba, Montserrat or Sint Eustatius, have tiny runways, where small regional planes miraculously land on airstrips that don’t look much longer than Band-Aids. When you fly into the Bahamas you feel like you’re surely going to land in the ocean. Other islands, such as Dominica, look like vague colonial outposts, surrounded by cane fields, dusty roads or mountains. Conversely, airports such as those in Barbados, Aruba and Sint Maarten are as big and modern as you could wish.

Major Caribbean islands have flights from North America, the only exceptions being ones with airports unable to handle jets. Larger islands also have service from the UK and Europe.

From North America

Most major airlines in North America fly direct to the more popular islands in the Caribbean. In fact such service is so widespread that even places as tiny as Bonaire have nonstop service to major US cities. Generally, however, getting to the Caribbean from US cities without hub airports will involve changing planes somewhere. American Airlines has major hubs for its extensive Caribbean service in Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Also note that service to the Caribbean is seasonal. An island that has, say, weekly nonstop flights from Chicago in January may have none at all in June.

From Europe

You can reach the Caribbean nonstop from Europe. Proving that old colonial ties linger, airlines from the UK serve former British colonies like Barbados and Antigua; French airlines serve the French-speaking islands; and Dutch carriers fly to Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. There are no direct flights to the Caribbean from Australia, New Zealand or Asia – travelers fly via Europe or the US.

Charters

Charter flights from the US, Canada, the UK and Europe offer another option for getting to the islands. Fares are often cheaper than on regularly scheduled commercial airlines, but you usually have to depart and return on specific flights and you’ll probably have no flexibility to extend your stay. Such flights also often come as part of packages that include stays in resorts.

Departure Tax

Some airports may charge a departure that is not included in the price of the ticket.

Sea

The only way to reach the Caribbean by sea is on a cruise ship (or for a few lucky people, on a yacht).

Land

It is not possible to travel to the Caribbean by land.