With its pristine beaches, tropical forests, and turquoise waters, the Caribbean has been a family vacation favorite for decades. But with numerous islands to choose from, finding the right fit for your crew can be a daunting task. Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Caribbean islands for those traveling with kids, ranging from an underrated gem known for its natural wonders to an isle full of fascinating history. Whether you’re traveling with teens or toddlers, there’s an option perfectly suited for your family.
Jamaica is a well-trodden territory when it comes to family vacations, and for good reason. Not only does it boast stunningly blue waters and spacious sandy beaches, but it also offers plenty of adventures to keep the whole family entertained. On the island’s northern coast, you can explore the Green Grotto Caves near Discovery Bay, soak in the natural beauty of Dunn’s River Falls and Park in Ocho Rios, or spend an afternoon at Mystic Mountain adventure park. There’s an abundance of activities, including scuba diving, ATV riding, and river rafting, ensuring endless excitement for everyone. And when hunger strikes, don’t miss the chance to indulge in some delicious jerk chicken at Scotchies in Ocho Rios or try oxtail at Sweet Spice Restaurant in Negril. Families looking for convenience will love staying at Royalton Negril, where a mini waterpark and kids’ club await right on-site.
Puerto Rico is an ideal choice for American families in need of an easy getaway, as U.S. citizens don’t need a passport to visit, and the island is conveniently located just two hours from Miami and less than four hours from New York City by plane. After spending some quality time on the beautiful beaches, venture to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old San Juan, with its charming cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and historic forts like Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal. Beyond the capital, explore El Yunque National Forest, go zip-lining at JungleQui Zipline Park, try a surfing lesson in Rincon on the west coast, or embark on a snorkeling trip to spot turtles. For adventurous families, a 45-minute ferry ride from Ceiba to Vieques will lead to a memorable bioluminescent kayaking tour in Mosquito Bay.
For those seeking a fly-and-flop vacation, fantastic all-inclusive resorts like the 500-acre Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort and the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort, featuring an oceanfront playground, can be found outside of San Juan.
Families with active teens will find Dominica to be an off-the-beaten-path gem worth exploring. As the youngest Caribbean island at just 26 million years old, it has earned the nickname “Nature Island” for its lush rainforests, abundant waterfalls, and volcano-fed hot springs. Dominica is home to one-of-a-kind attractions like the Waitukubuli Sea Trail, the only sea kayaking trail in the Caribbean. This 37-mile route winds along the island’s western side and takes seven days to complete on a TRAK tour, offering opportunities to visit local communities and immerse in the island’s natural splendor along the way.
Accommodations on Dominica cater to families, with options ranging from eco resorts like the Hibiscus Valley Inn to luxury hotels like InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa. Each offers pools, restaurants, and activities suitable for all ages.
For a beach vacation enriched with history, head to Barbados. Beyond its stunning natural setting, the island offers an abundance of cultural experiences that engage and educate both adults and children alike. Explore the colonial architecture in Bridgetown, tour the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, or browse the Gallery of Caribbean Art in Speightstown, showcasing the work of local artists. For outdoor adventures, visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve or take a submarine ride to spot vibrant coral, tropical fish, and even a sunken ship. Stay at Sugar Bay Barbados, which caters to families with young kids, offering amenities like a kids’ club and babysitting services.
While Aruba’s azure waters are undoubtedly captivating, this island has much more to offer. From the vibrant murals in artsy San Nicolas on the southern edge to the incredible dining scene with fresh seafood, toes-in-the-sand restaurants, and traditional fare like pastechis (savory stuffed breakfast pastries), everyone in your family will find something to love here. Adventure seekers can opt for ATVing, horseback riding, and Jeep safaris to explore the island’s desert-like interior, including caves and natural pools. For younger ones, attractions like the Butterfly Farm and the Aruba Ostrich Farm are a delight.
Families will feel at home at resorts like The Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, boasting a lazy river and waterslide, and the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino, featuring a popular kids’ club called Camp Hyatt.
The Caribbean is a treasure trove of family-friendly destinations, each offering its unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences. Whether you choose the lush landscapes of Dominica, the historical charm of Barbados, the convenience of Puerto Rico, the thrill of Jamaica, or the all-around appeal of Aruba, your next family vacation is bound to create memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready for an unforgettable Caribbean adventure!