Top 10 Priority Pass Lounges in Mexico and Central America

These lounges can offer hot food, better Wi-Fi and a reprieve from the rest of the airport.
Paul Rubio
By Paul Rubio 
Edited by Jeanette Margle
Top 10 Priority Pass Lounges in Mexico and Central America

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A top perk of many premium credit cards is complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership, which grants fee-free access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. Within Priority Pass’s lounge network, there are a whopping 47 lounges across 27 cities in Mexico, yet only 12 lounges among all seven countries in Central America (none in Belize, two in Guatemala, two in El Salvador, two in Honduras, none in Nicaragua, three in Costa Rica and three in Panama).

A number of lounges within Mexico and Central America’s Priority Pass network are surely worth visiting, but most do not merit early airport arrival for gratuitous lingering. Even the region’s best lounges are not as flashy as some in Europe, the U.S. and Southeast Asia. Plus, they are often overcrowded (especially in Mexico). But when they’re not packed, Priority Pass lounges in Mexico and Central America are a welcome retreat from the stale surrounds of most of the region’s airports, with amenities that may include complimentary top-shelf alcohol, premium Wi-Fi, fresh sushi and massages.

Here are our top 10 Priority Pass lounges in Mexico and Central America, from #10 to #1.

Note: Due to COVID-19, some lounges may not be open at this time. Check the Priority Pass website for updated operating hours and closures. Certain normal offerings may be limited or unavailable.

10. The Lounge Panama by Global Lounge Network

Panama Tocumen International (PTY), Panama

Opened in 2019, Panama City airport’s newest airside airport lounge is the best of the three Priority Pass lounges in Central America’s busiest airport — though that’s not saying much. The décor skews more modern than the dated, worn leather motif common among Central America lounges, and the self-service bar and small hot buffet are bonuses for those wanting a quick bite and sip. It tends to be far less crowded here than the packed-to-the-hilt Copa Club, Panama City, another Priority Pass location that also serves as the flagship lounge for Copa’s Panama City hub.

9. VIP Lounge Liberia

Liberia Daniel Oduber Quiros International (LIR), Costa Rica

This new lounge, opened in 2019, is stylish, bright and spacious, with a number of colorful, personality-driven nooks for relaxing preflight. There are typically a few cold appetizers like salads, wraps and fruit cups, a self-service soda station, a decent tea selection, beer on tap and two wines to choose from (one red, one white).

8. Salas Internacionales VIP Club

Tegucigalpa Toncontin International (TGU), Honduras

Though small and basic, Salas Internacionales VIP Club is all about the excellent complimentary food and drink. Look forward to piping hot panini and made-to-order sushi rolls, with a selection of six on the menu, ranging from a standard California roll to a rainbow roll. Each is made with fresh fish and served with soy sauce, ginger and wasabi, and they’ll even customize the rolls upon request. The lounge also serves a number of great Central American rums like Zacapa from Guatemala and Flor de Cana from Nicaragua, as well as Honduras’ national pride, Salva Vida beer (some premium liquors require payment). What’s more, the Wi-Fi here tends to be much better than the free service in the terminal.

7. Mera Business Lounge (Terminal 3)

Cancun International (CUN), Mexico

There are four Mera Business Lounges at Cancun airport, but the one in Terminal 3 serves passengers of all U.S. carriers except Southwest (which leaves from Terminal 4). Wood trusses and glass dividers add contemporary flair and maximize space within the boutique-sized lounge. Considering the price-gouging that goes on at the Cancun airport (hello, grossly overpriced beer and pizza), the complimentary selection of fresh juices, beers and liquors — plus snacks like fresh guacamole — yields exceptional value.

6. VIP Lounge

Los Cabos International (SJD), Terminal 2, Mexico

With purple accents and patterned white plaster walls, this two-story lounge gives W Hotel vibes circa 2005 — and that’s definitely better than the rest of the airport’s lackluster surrounds. Wait staff bring cocktails to the table while self-serve food options include fruits, tuna salad and ham sandwiches. If magazines, Wi-Fi and alcohol aren’t enough, a ping pong table and billiard table help pass the time.

5. Terraza Premier Aeromexico By Heineken

Mexico City Benito Juarez International (MEX), Mexico

This collaboration between Aeromexico and Heineken in Terminal 2 feels more like a sophisticated airport bar than your standard airport lounge, anchored by a wooden oval-shaped bar illuminated by a massive lighting structure bejeweled with Heineken bottles. Snacks here are sparse, but the vibe is chill and the drink selection excellent. Expect a full selection of top-shelf liquors and a self-service fridge stocked with nine different ice-cold beers from Heineken and its subsidiaries, including Mexican favorites Bohemia, Dos Equis, Indio, Sol and Tecate, plus Belgian mainstay Affligem.

4. VIP Lounge Puerto Vallarta International (Gate 10)

Puerto Vallarta International (PVR), Mexico

This chic two-story lounge is filled with eye-catching furnishings like geometric bookshelves, low-back counter stools, white ottomans and wood-framed, cushioned seats. Light bites like sandwiches and salads are self-served, and cocktails like strong margaritas and gin and tonics are prepared by the lounge bartenders. Note that there is another, far less appealing Priority Pass lounge nearby also named “VIP Lounge,” so be sure to visit this one near gate 10.

3. Casa Del Ron Aeropuerto

Guatemala La Aurora International (GUA), Guatemala City, Guatemala

This sleek, intimate lounge, sponsored by premium Guatemalan rum producer Ron Zacapa, is a less-crowded, posh alternative to Guatemala City’s other Priority Pass lounge, Copa Club, Guatemala City. Enhanced and reopened in 2019, the rum-themed lounge is adorned with barrels and bottles galore. Naturally, flights of Ron Zacapa Centenario headline the drink menu. Lounge goers can choose one complimentary dish from a bistro menu, which includes the likes of beef carpaccio with balsamic cream and an egg wrap with salsa ranchera and refried beans.

2. Lounge 19

Mexico City Benito Juarez International (MEX), Mexico

This small-but-mighty lounge in Terminal 1 at Mexico City airport was named the 2018 best lounge in North America at Priority Pass’ Global Airport Lounge of the Year Awards. It’s actually the smaller of the airport’s two Grand Elite-branded lounges, both of which offer amenities uncommon to Priority Pass, like complimentary 15-minute hand or foot massage, shoeshine service, nail service and golf cart service to your gate. Choose one item from the printed menu, indulge in premium drinks and enjoy fabulous service.

1. The Grand Lounge Elite

Mexico City Benito Juarez International (MEX), Mexico

Of all the Priority Pass lounges in Mexico and Central America, this one receives top marks for its idyllic combination of excellent amenities, charming interiors and stellar service. Much like its sister outpost, Lounge 19, the Grand Lounge Elite’s complimentary amenities include 15-minute massages, golf cart service to your gate, one item from a well-crafted international menu (which also features Mexican staples like tacos al pastor and chilaquiles) and unlimited alcoholic drinks. What makes this space rise above Lounge 19? A few standout design elements, including a large skylight that infuses natural light, more space and the sheer quantity of attentive staff delivering a premium lounge experience.

The best of the rest

Not quite good enough to make the Top 10, but worth your time if you're in the area:

  • Aeroconnections VIP Lounge at San Salvador El Salvador International (SAL), El Salvador.

  • VIP Lounge (West) at Guadalajara Miguel Hidalgo International (GDL), Mexico.

  • Mera Business Lounge National, Cancun International (CUN), Mexico.

The bottom line

Among Mexico and Central America’s 59 Priority Pass lounges, only a handful deserve carving out an extra 30 minutes or hour for early airport arrival. Most of Mexico’s and Central America’s airports are older, and the spaces that the lounges occupy reflect that. But while our top 10 lounges in this region don’t wow like lounges in some other parts of the world, offerings like complimentary top-shelf alcohol, premium Wi-Fi, fresh sushi and even massages are sure to enhance your Mexico or Central America airport experience.

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