Best Caribbean Islands for a Family Vacation
Photo: worachatsodsri/Fotolia

Many people consider a trip to the islands of the Caribbean to be a dream vacation. Its beautiful beaches with clear blue waters, breathtaking scenery, and luxury resorts make the Caribbean a top destination for honeymoons and romantic getaways. But couples travelling with children should not overlook the Caribbean. The islands offer plenty for kids to see and experience, while a Caribbean vacation is truly something that both children and adults will remember for a lifetime. Here are the best Caribbean islands for a family vacation.

»Aruba

Aruba


Aruba has been a top destination for family fun in the Caribbean for decades. Beaches such as Arashi and Baby Beach contain shallow water, perfect for wading and swimming with little ones, while Mango Halto and Boca Catalina offer snorkeling for the whole family. On land, visitors can enjoy many animal attractions such as the Butterfly Farm, Ostrich Farm, and Donkey Sanctuary. They can also learn about the history and industry of Aruba at museums such as the Aloe Factory and Museum and the Archeological Museum of Aruba. Many local hotels offer special deals on attractions for families staying with them. Photo: Nataraj/Fotolia

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»The Bahamas

The Bahamas


The islands of the Bahamas offer family fun both on and off land. Beautiful white beaches with crystal-clear blue water provide guests with the chance to go swimming, paddleboarding, snorkeling, boating, fishing, and more. Many local outfits offer land, beach, and water tours, giving guests the opportunity to view sea life, iguanas, dolphins, birds, and more in the wild. Plant preserves, museums, shopping, and restaurants can be found all across the islands. In addition, caves abound in the Bahamas. Indian Hole Point, Bolling Hole, and Ten Bay are all popular local caves that can be toured by visitors. Photo: A.Jedynak/Fotolia

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»Barbados

Barbados

Barbados is known for its exciting nightlife, but visitors with children can still find plenty of family fun on this island. Resorts such as Sugar Bay Barbados and Bougainvillea Beach Resort offer kids and teen club programs free of charge to guests. Chartered tour boats are available to give travelers an up-close view of sea life. On land, children and adults can view local plants, produce, and animals at the PEG Farm and Nature Reserve. And children will love being able to play like a pirate aboard the Jolly Roger, a real replica pirate ship. Photo: A.Jedynak/Fotolia

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»Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic


The warm, friendly people of Dominican Republic have made it a top family-friendly tourist destination for decades. The island’s nine different ecosystems ensure that families can experience a wide variety of landscapes, plants, and animals. Beaches, freshwater lagoons, mangroves, and tropical scrub forests can all be found here. All-inclusive beach resorts such as Puta Cana Resort and Eden Roc Cap Cana provide luxurious accommodations and activities for kids such as swimming, kayaking, boogie-boarding, and snorkeling. An adventure park containing a zip line, buggies, animals, and hiking trails is also on the Eden Roc property. Photo: Kit Korzun/Fotolia

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»Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are alive with history, culture, and spirit. The Caymans are often called “the culinary capital of the Caribbean.” The island contains over 200 restaurants, encompassing everything from gourmet 5-star dining to simple meals of fresh, locally caught fish and local produce. Located on Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach is a public property that is home to many resorts. Clear, shallow water makes this stretch of beach perfect for little ones to swim, splash, and snorkel. Seven Mile Beach is also home to family-friendly attractions such as Stingray City and the Cayman Turtle Farm. Photo: eric/Fotolia

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»Jamaica

Jamaica


Jamaica is known for its laidback way of life, which makes it a perfect place for a relaxing vacation, although families traveling to Jamaica will also find plenty of adventures and attractions on the island. Ahhh...Ras Natango Gallery & Garden is a beautiful nature preserve where guests can view the plants and birds of Jamaica. The gallery and gift shop display and sell art made by local artists. Kool Running Adventure Park contains waters rides, laser tag, go-karts, and more. Horseback riding on the beach, rafting on the Martha Brae River, and sailing tours of the waters around the island are also available in Jamaica. Photo: mikolajn/Fotolia

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»Martinique

Martinique


On Martinique, Jardin de Balata is one of the top attractions for families. This park contains lush gardens with over 3,000 different species of plants as well as birds, games, and a gift shop. Zoo de Martinique is another place families will want to visit. This small zoo is easy to tour and houses animals from three different continents. Martinique’s capital city, Fort de France, contains libraries, museums, cathedrals, shopping, dining, and a large open-air food market. Relaxing catamaran tours of the island are available at Kata Mambo. Tours last all day and include lunch. Photo: kovalenkovpetr/Fotolia

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»Nevis

Nevis


Nevis may not be as well-known as some of the other Caribbean locations, but this gem of an island should not be missed by tourists. On Nevis, tall mountain peaks rise sharply out of the cool blue Caribbean waters. The island is only 36 square miles, and can be toured in less than a day by bicycle, on foot, or by horse-drawn carriage. Sites and attractions such as Fort Charleston, Nevisian Heritage Village, Fort Ashby, and the Heritage Great House showcase the history of the island. Boat tours, shopping, dining, and spas can also be found on Nevis. Photo: Art Boardman/Fotolia

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»Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico


Easily accessible from the United States, Puerto Rico is a warm and inviting tropical destination. Families travelling to Puerto Rico will want to check out the Museum del Nino, a three-story children’s museum with plenty of hands-on fun. El Yunque National Forest is part of the U.S. National Forest System, and this 28,000-acre preserve is a great place to see tropical plants and wildlife in the wild. On the island’s southwest corner is Guanica, a beautiful beach perfect for picnics, wading, snorkeling, and water sports. Visitors can even take a boat trip to the nearby “Gilligan’s Island.” Photo: solraknauj/Fotolia

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»St. Lucia

St. Lucia


St. Lucia is an island paradise known for its many luxurious hotels and resorts. For families travelling to St. Lucia, all-inclusive resorts such as St. James Club Morgan Bay or The Landings offer a kids club, where kids can play while mom and dad relax. Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa is a budget-friendly all-inclusive resort with water slides, a lazy river, and children’s activities. Even if a hotel does not have a kids club, the concierge will often help families schedule activities elsewhere on the island and can arrange for shuttle service to and from the destination. Photo: Raul Rosa/Fotolia

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»St. Kitts

St. Kitts


St. Kitts is all about natural beauty and historic preservation. Over one-fourth of the island’s land is set aside as a national park, untouched by development. Visitors can view the natural beauty of St. Kitts by boat, horseback, bus, taxi, or from the Scenic National Railway Tour. Historic homes, churches, and plantations can be found across the island. And of course, St. Kitts offers the same calm, beautiful beaches that all Caribbean Islands are known for. St. Kitts is surrounded by large coral reefs, making it a great spot for snorkeling and diving. Photo: ATG images/Fotolia

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»Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos


Turks and Caicos is a group of islands that has consistently been named one of the top travel destinations in the world for families. Visitors can easily travel from island to island by plane or by boat. Every Thursday night, the Island Fish Fry is held at Bight Children’s Park. Food from local vendors, music from island bands, dancing, and storytelling are all a part of this weekly event. Elsewhere on the islands, visitors can enjoy boating, sailing, paddleboarding, parasailing, diving, fishing, and other water sports. Exclusive to the islands is the Caicos Conch Farm, the only farm in the world that raises conch shells. Photo: travnikov studio/Fotolia

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»U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are made up of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John as well as many smaller surrounding islands. On St. Thomas, families will find zip line courses, parasailing, and the Coral World Ocean Park, a large aquarium perfect for young children. On St. Croix, visitors can learn about the history of the islands by touring Fort Christiansvaern and the Estate Whim Plantation Museum. And the natural beauty of the Caribbean can be explored on St. John by visiting the Virgin Islands National Park and the Cinnamon Bay Nature Trail. Photo: BlueOrange Studio/Fotolia

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12 Best Caribbean Islands for a Family Vacation


  • Aruba, Photo: Courtesy of Nataraj - Fotolia.com
  • The Bahamas, Photo: Courtesy of A.Jedynak - Fotolia.com
  • Barbados, Photo: Courtesy of A.Jedynak - Fotolia.com
  • Dominican Republic, Photo: Courtesy of Kit Korzun - Fotolia.com
  • Cayman Islands, Photo: Courtesy of eric - Fotolia.com
  • Jamaica, Photo: Courtesy of mikolajn - Fotolia.com
  • Martinique, Photo: Courtesy of kovalenkovpetr - Fotolia.com
  • Nevis, Photo: Courtesy of Art Boardman - Fotolia.com
  • Puerto Rico, Photo: Courtesy of solraknauj - Fotolia.com
  • St. Lucia, Photo: Courtesy of Raul Rosa - Fotolia.com
  • St. Kitts, Photo: Courtesy of ATG images - Fotolia.com
  • Turks and Caicos, Photo: Courtesy of travnikov studio - Fotolia.com
  • U.S. Virgin Islands, Photo: Courtesy of BlueOrange Studio - Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of worachatsodsri - Fotolia.com