Despite the fact that the Caribbean is a huge tourist destination, some islands in the region can take a lot of work to get to. The lack of large airports sometimes means several connections and plane changes. This isn't the case when you travel to Puerto Rico, which is home to one of the biggest and busiest airports in the region. Although this airport is not located directly in Utuado, it can get you close enough for a short drive.
Located in Isla Verde, which is just minutes from San Juan is the (SJU). It serves as an important hub of air travel in the Caribbean, and although there are at least a half a dozen other airports on the island, almost every person who flies to will land first at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. In fact, over eight million people arrive or depart from this airport each year.
The airport has come a long way from the one runway three terminal facility it was when it originally opened in 1955. Today, there are conference rooms, shops, and restaurants for guests to utilize as they wait for flights, which will arrive at one of four terminals on two runways which are each longer than 8,000 feet. With all of this, there are still plans in the works for continued expansion.
Finding a flight to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport from the United States is fairly easy. Many major airlines have flights from most of the large cities in the country. Flights are also available from Canada, Europe, and South American several times a day.
If you live in the states the following chart may be helpful. Not all of the flight combinations you will see listed on the internet make a lot of sense so it's useful to see a summary of which airlines actually fly direct to this location.
|Baltimore, MD, USA||BWI||AirTran|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA||FLL||AirTran, Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines|
|Jacksonville, FL, USA||JAX||Jet Blue|
|Miami, FL, USA||MIA||Air Berlin, American Airlines, British Airways, WestJet|
|Orlando, FL, USA||MCO||Jet Blue|
|Tampa, FL, USA||TPA||Jet Blue, Southwest Airlines|
|West Palm Beach, FL, USA||PBI||Jet Blue|
|Windsor Locks, CT, USA||BDL||Jet Blue|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA||FLL||Spirit Airlines|
|Orlando, FL, USA||MCO||Jet Blue|
If you will be flying from Europe this list will be helpful.
|Madrid, Spain||MAD||American Airlines|
See the table below for a listing of scheduled air service from airports in the Caribbean region. If you can't take a flight from an airport near your home, connecting through another airport in the Caribbean might be a very viable option.
|Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda||ANU||LIAT, Seaborne Airlines|
|Basseterre, St. Kitts||SKB||Seaborne Airlines|
|Culebra, Isla de Culebra||CPX||Air Flamenco|
|Dominica||DOM||Air Sunshine, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines|
|Dominican Republic||SDQ||Jet Blue, Seaborne Airlines|
|La Romana, Hispaniola||LRM||Seaborne Airlines|
|Mayagüez, Puerto Rico||MAZ||American Airlines, Cape Air, United Airlines|
|Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis||NEV||Air Sunshine, American Airlines, Cape Air, Seaborne Airlines, United Airlines|
|Pointe a Pitre, Grande-Terre||PTP||Seaborne Airlines|
|Puerto Rico||RVR||Air Flamenco|
|Punta Cana, Hispaniola||PUJ||Seaborne Airlines|
|Santiago De Los Caballeros, The Dominican Republic||STI||Jet Blue, Seaborne Airlines|
|Simpson Bay, The island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten||SXM||Air Sunshine, Jet Blue, Seaborne Airlines|
|Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda||VIJ||Air Sunshine, American Airlines, Seaborne Airlines|
|St. Croix, US Virgin Islands||STX||Jet Blue, United Airlines|
|St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands||STT||Air Sunshine, Cape Air, Jet Blue, United Airlines|
|St. Vincent, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||SVD||LIAT|
|The Valley, Anguilla||AXA||American Airlines, Cape Air, United Airlines|
|Vieques, Puerto Rico||VQS||Air Flamenco, Air Sunshine, American Airlines, Cape Air, Seaborne Airlines, United Airlines, Vieques Air Link|
|the BVI, British Virgin Islands||EIS||American Airlines, Cape Air, Seaborne Airlines, United Airlines, VI Airlink|
From San Juan, there are two options for traveling to Utuado. You can fly to the next nearest airport, which is the (ARE) in Arecibo, or you can rent a car and drive. Most tourists choose to drive. A rental car, which can be picked up right at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, costs about $40 to $70(USD) a day, and the drive southwest takes about 90 minutes, allowing visitors to see a bit of the Puerto Rican landscape as they go. Flying, meanwhile, will cost about $100(USD) per person, and won't get you directly to Utuado; you'll still have a half an hour of driving to do after you land.
If you do decide to fly, you'll do so with a flight aboard local carrier. When you arrive at Nery Juarbe Pol Airport, you'll find a small facility that averages around 150 arrivals and departures each month on the 3,975 foot long asphalt runway. This airport is most popular for skydiving and flight instruction.
Planning a getaway in Utuado is made easier by the fact that flights to Puerto Rico are plentiful. You may have to take a few extra steps to make it to your final destination, but overall, the process is an easy one.
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