10 Best Family Vacations in the Caribbean
Because our families have different needs and preferences, deciding on a vacation destination can be difficult. However, if you’re considering booking a flight to the Caribbean Islands, you should know that your options are virtually limitless, with numerous islands to choose from. This large selection is fantastic news because each of these islands retains distinct and distinct characteristics, allowing you to return to the Caribbean without having to repeat islands unless you want to. And if you need another reason to travel with your children, we’ve already covered that! We’ve visited a number of islands and have narrowed it down to our top five favorite family-friendly islands!
1. Turks and Caicos Islands
If you live in the United States, Turks and Caicos is one of the closest Caribbean islands to which you can book a flight. Because of the short flight, your children will not be agitated before you arrive, allowing you to begin your trip in a pleasant manner. Turks and Caicos is a family-friendly vacation destination due to its abundance of activities and facilities that cater to children’s needs. Turks and Caicos is an island surrounded by reefs and corals, and its deep blue sea water provides the most tranquil environment in which to relax. There are countless activities you can do with your children!
Our list includes going on bike rides around the island, assuming your children know how to ride. You can also take them to exploration sites like farms and wildlife tours to show them different aspects of nature and educate them on the island’s flora and fauna. And your family vacation can conclude with a long, cool dip in the ocean. And, if you’re looking for a spectacular place to stay, consider the All-Inclusive Beaches Resorts, but there are plenty of lower-cost options that may also work for your family.
2. The Bahamas
The Bahamas is one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands on our list, with its vibrant green expanse of forestry covering the entire island and its white sandy beaches fringing along emerald blue waters. The Bahamas is a well-known family vacation destination, particularly for children. The island is home to a variety of attractions, including aquarium parks, botanical reserves, and more. Families can visit the Lucayan National Park to explore underwater caves and see the sea animals that live in the park’s ecological zones. Children can also participate in horseback riding and kayaking, and older children can accompany their parents on a trek through the national park.
Apart from that, families are encouraged to visit other historic sites such as the marine life reserve and Fort Charlotte. Both are excellent choices for teaching your children about the history, culture, and environmental aspects of the Bahamas and the Caribbean. In the marine life reserve, kids can go around spotting large turtles and tropical fishes, while Fort Charlotte immerses them in historical structures and history itself. The Fort Charlotte also has real moats, drawbridges, dungeons, and wartime canons, which are hard to come by nowadays. A visit to Fort Charlotte will not only teach your children about the past, but will also allow them to feel and experience what it was like to live in the past. The Bahamas is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit with your family because of this, as well as its beautiful landscape.
And if you’ve ever paid attention to TV commercials, you’ve probably seen the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island ad a few times. If a little splurge is in your budget, consider spending a few nights at Atlantis to enjoy their water park and beaches.
3. Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands, which are part of the Western Caribbean Islands archipelago, are known for their numerous luxury beach resorts and deep blue sea. However, Cayman Islands is also an ideal family vacation destination, not only because of the numerous facilities available, but also because it is regarded as one of the safest Caribbean islands.
Because of the island’s low crime rate, you can rest assured that your children and other family members will be safe while visiting. Aside from that, the Caymans island has a variety of activities for families to enjoy, such as fun boat trips to Stingray City, where the family can enjoy smooth cycling trails on children’s bikes and buggies.
You can also take your children to the Cayman Turtle Centre, which is essentially a turtle sanctuary on the island. Other creatures, such as birds and spectacular fish, can also be found in this location. And if you’re willing to spend a lot of money, you can take your family out on a helicopter ride to explore the island – a view you’ll never forget.
Aruba actually surpasses the Cayman Islands as the safest island in the Caribbean, with almost no occurrences of crime, particularly crime directed at tourists. While this island in the southern Caribbean Sea is one of the more expensive to visit, it still has a plethora of activities and facilities that make the price worthwhile.
This island is less touristy than others in the Caribbean. This is most likely due to the fact that it is one of the Caribbean islands that is the furthest away from the mainland United States, as it is located on the South American continent. As a result, it does not receive as much tourist traffic as others. It has a family-oriented area that is designed to provide all of the amenities needed to ensure that your family has a memorable Caribbean vacation.
You can go to the Butterfly Farm, which is home to a plethora of tropical, exotic, and rare butterflies and moths. Other attractions include, but are not limited to, the Arikok National Park and the Donkey Sanctuary. Aruba is a haven for those who adore nature and its inhabitants.
There is no such thing as boredom in Jamaica. This Caribbean Sea island offers a variety of fun and educational activities that will keep your kids so occupied that they won’t complain about being bored. One of the best things for kids visiting Jamaica is the opportunity to get up close and personal with sea creatures at places like Dolphin Cove.
We believe in responsible tourism and ecotourism, and while we are aware of Dolphin Cove and want you to know about it, we prefer seeing sea animals in the open sea whenever possible. If you go to Dolphin Cove, you will be able to swim with the dolphins. That being said, Jamaica is ideal for swimming due to its naturally shallow waters, particularly at Doctor’s Cave Beach, which is ideal for children to swim in without much parental assistance. Of course, we don’t recommend leaving your children unattended in water, no matter how shallow it is, because accidents do happen in shallow waters.
If you make it to Doctor’s Cove, your older children will be grateful for the trampolines on the beach! If you want to be a supermom or superdad, take your entire family to Aquasol Theme Park, which is located near Doctor’s Cove, and spend the entire day playing and riding on various water slides and water rides. Jamaica is a fun, lively, and enthralling destination for both adults and their children.
6. Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic is considered one of the best Caribbean island for families, with large amounts of tourists flocking to the island every year. This island nation has all the qualities of a great family destination. With excellent affordable resorts and beachside amenities, this island strive to make sure children and adults alike are having a blast when they visit.
When you’re in the Dominican Republic colloquially knowns as D.R. and not to be confused with another Caribbean Island, Dominica, you can either visit the amazing creatures that roam on land or the ones which populate the seas. Aquariums and theme parks with the likes of Ocean World Adventure Park and Manati Park present an array of animals which your kids would love to see and learn about. The Ocean World Adventure Park lets you and your children pet sea lions and interact with sharks while the Manati Park puts you in an expanse of green land inhabited with colorful macaws and parrots.
If you’re a water person and we hope you are, you can get your snorkeling gears out and swim under the water to see and feed the stingrays which live in the area. Afterwards, your family will enjoy the many beaches of Dominican Republic, from the white sandy shores of Playa Rincon to the luxury resort beach area in Bavaro Beach.
Barbados has actually won an award as the best Caribbean Island for families to visit on holidays and vacation from the Telegraph Caribbean Travel. This island is calm but the kids will have so much activities to do. If they love the beach, they are in for treats as most resorts and accommodation have beachside activities they might engage themselves in. Whether it is to swim or make sand castles, children of different age groups can find that Barbados has the perfect environment to meet all their needs.
Teenagers are also welcome to use boogie boards while parents relax under the sun in the cool Caribbean breeze. Most beaches in Barbados also include facilities such as lifeguards, on-site shower, beachside playgrounds including slides and swings. If you’re looking for a more adventurous trip, you can also hop on a submarine and venture out into the depths of the sea at night to see the corals light up and become alive in the darkness. We definitely think Barbados deserves a spot on your to-go-list.
8. US Virgin Islands
The archipelago of the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean offer tourists to choose from a vast number of islands and islets, where a few islands are considered to provide the perfect environment for a family vacation. The US Virgin Islands is a relatively safe destination spot and it is quite family-friendly in terms of security.
Additionally, families can visit specific natural parks and reserves located in different parts of the islands. The Virgin Islands National Park in St. John allows families to take a hiking trip before coming up on the nature park which houses a vast multitude of local flora and fauna. They can also visit the Christiansvaern in the island of St. Croix to know more about the rich history and culture of the Caribbean islands. Or you can visit Estate Whim Living Museum , a facility which caters to educating its visitors about the life and history of St. Croix and other Caribbean nations. And when you tire from all the activities, families can relax on the sandy white shores of the different beaches present in the USVI while also participating in water-sports such as snorkeling or kayaking.
9. Saint Lucia
If you want to know which island is the best Caribbean island for couples, look no farther than Saint Lucia. Known to be one of the most popular sites for honeymoons in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia includes a number of luxury resorts and exquisite beach views for couples to relish and relax in. Dubbed as the most romantic Caribbean island, Saint Lucia has a scenery that you could fall in love with – from large mountains overhanging in the backdrop to palm trees lining around the sandy beaches. However, Saint Lucia is also great for kids otherwise it won’t have made our list. We like to think of St Lucia as a place where you could visit with your kids and still have a great adult time!
The beaches of Saint Lucia are unique because they come in three varieties of color – gold, white and silver – something that fascinate children and adults alike. Because the island is relatively quiet and isolated, you can also take advantage of hidden spots on the beaches for having more intimate moments with your family while watching the sun set in the Caribbean horizon.
10. Saint Barts
Saint Barts is considered as one of the safest islands in the Caribbean with low rate of crime – locals even leave their cars and houses unlocked. While Saint Barts is known to be suitable for couples, there are a few kid-friendly activities as well. You can either take a boating trip with yachts that are always available with either your kids or your partner and explore the Caribbean Sea or have a relaxing time on the beaches which often turn lively with local beach music.
And while you’re here, you have to have the coolest adventure possible. Go to St. Jeans Beach to see actual airplanes landing almost arms-length. This experience is not widely recommended for kids and especially without supervision. But some of our kids who have been to the beach think it’s the coolest thing ever. So, if you can, visit and experience how incredibly close the plane comes to the beach before landing at the airport that’s just adjacent to the beach. And while you’re on the beach or other beaches in Saint Barts, be sure to participate in snorkeling, scuba diving and other water sports.
So there you have it: the top 10 Caribbean countries to visit with your children on your bucket list. Have you visited any of these islands or plan to visit soon? They are all worth your time. Which Caribbean islands are your favorites?