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Visit One of the 12 Best Caribbean Islands for Families!

A mom and day hold and kiss their infant daughter while on the beach at St. Thomas.
Photo Courtesy: Hilary Cramer Robinson
St. Thomas

Many factors come to mind when selecting the perfect Caribbean island for family vacation. Families often consider details like proximity to the airport, type of vacation (relaxing, adventurous, all-inclusive), hotel amenities like kids clubs, and more. Additionally, some families prefer pristine turquoise beaches, while others enjoy venturing out and exploring the island. Using suggestions and insights from our Facebook group, we’ve compiled our 12 Best Islands to Visit in the Caribbean for Families! Parents adore this cluster of countries located along the Caribbean Sea, brimming with fascinating cultures, beautiful beaches, and countless kid-friendly activities. Each offers a unique adventure, however, which is why deciding what’s best for your family is so important! 

A family of four sits together on a bridge on a bright sunny day in the Dominican Republic.
Photo Courtesy: Megan Tucker
Dominican Republic

Families with babies or toddlers often prefer to stay at all-inclusive hotels in the Dominican Republic or Jamaica, where you’ll spend your time on-site with everything you need nearby. Traveling with teens or more adventurous trekkers? You may appreciate a more laid-back, less-commercialized island where you can venture out, like St. Lucia or Antigua. All of these Caribbean islands for families provide a gorgeous getaway any time of year, though, which is why travelers choose to escape the cold here from December to April. Finally, no matter which island you choose, we know you will soak up the sun and take home plenty of memories from these charming Caribbean islands for families!  

Aruba

Two boys race down a beach in Aruba, while one carrys a toy sail boat.
Photo provided by Kate Tucker Ayzenberg, Photographer Courtesy: Melyn Dankerlui

Beautiful beaches and plenty of kid-friendly activities await you in Aruba. Lovingly called One Happy Island, this palm-tree paradise can be a bit expensive for families and touristy at times. However, the perks of clear shallow waters, long stretches of pristine beaches, guaranteed good weather, and friendly locals make up for it! Aruba also features numerous all-inclusive resorts to ensure each member of your family is spoiled. The best Aruba hotels for families include Playa Linda Beach Resort and Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club. Both are located within a 10-minute walk of the famous Leeward Antilles and Palm Beach. Hit up Baby Beach if you’re staying in San Nicholas, known for its spectacularly soft sand. Eagle Beach is also outstanding! Afterward, check out De Palm Island for its waterslides, banana boat rides, and snorkeling excursions. Finally, animal lovers can’t miss attractions like the Butterfly Farm, home to hundreds of crystallizing insects!

What Our Families Say

“Hands down, Aruba! People are so friendly, it’s safe, and the beaches are beautiful with blue waters. It’s my all-time favorite!”

– Lisa Rihn-Whale

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Aruba Information can be found here.

Turks & Caicos

A young boy wearing a cap sits smiling in the sand on a beach in Turks & Caicos.
Photo Courtesy: Kelli Wein

Home to pristine white-sand beaches and numerous luxury, all-inclusive resorts, Turks & Caicos offers a dreamy paradise. In fact, the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving makes Turks & Caicos ideal for adventure seekers! From kitesurfing lessons to relaxing pool-side, there are ample things to do in Turks & Caicos. Secure reservations at family-favorite resorts like the all-inclusive Beaches Turks & Caicos or Grace Bay Club to ensure smooth sailing throughout your vacation. Regardless of which hotel you choose, you’ll likely spend most of your time lounging on beaches, like Grace Bay Beach or Sapodilla Bay! Turks & Caicos is also a haven for natural beauty. Additionally, kids will love the Flamingo Pond Overlook, where they can experience the charm and grace of West Indian flamingos. Finally, spend a day wandering Little Water Cay with endangered rock iguanas in their natural habitat! 

What Our Families Say

“Turks and Caicos has clear blue water, waves aren’t too strong for little ones, and you can already see beautiful fish in shallow water. We stayed at Beaches and it was heavenly.” 

– Cindy Millan Plante

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Turks & Caicos Information can be found here.

Cayman Islands 

A small girl wearing a colorful dress smiles while her parents look on in the background on a beach in the Cayman Islands, one of the best Caribbean islands for families.
Photo Courtesy: Jen Grzenia

Flaunting exquisite blue skies, shimmering turquoise waters, and modern infrastructure, the Cayman Islands provide a safe, family-friendly destination. Grand Cayman is the most popular of the three islands. Cherish postcard-perfect views at parent-recommended hotels like The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman or Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa. Seven Mile Beach, offering calm waves and shallow shoreline, is a must in Grand Cayman with kids. Then, interact with live rays at Stingray City, one of the best things to do in the Cayman Islands with kids! Afterward, take an Atlantis Submarine Ride to explore marine life up-close or visit the Cayman Turtle Center. Macabuca Restaurant is also scrumptious for lunch! Animal enthusiasts will delight in spotting giant sea turtles at Boatswain’s Beach. Lastly, take a day trip to Little Cayman for a snorkeling adventure! Stick around for Pirates’ Week in November to experience parades, fireworks, and other fun activities! 

What Our Families Say

“The Cayman Islands are family-friendly and there aren’t too many tourists that are actually staying on the island.”

– Hazel V. Adriano

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Cayman Islands  Information can be found here.

U.S. Virgin Islands

A young Jewish boy is thrown from a chair in the water off the coast of St. Thomas during his Bar Mitzvah.
Photo Courtesy: Ellouise Natalie

A ticket to paradise in the U.S. Virgin Islands doesn’t require a passport for U.S. citizens! Boasting white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and rolling green hills, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix form this family-friendly U.S territory. St. Thomas is particularly popular for families with active tweens or adventurous teens, showcasing snorkeling, delicious dining, and historical sites. Outdoor adventure beckons families to Magens Bay Beach, where you can kayak, paddleboard, and more! Nearby, marvel at amazing views from the trailhead at Magens Bay. Or, regard the massive cruise ships in the marina while wandering Main Street in Charlotte Amalie. Families can also take the ferry to St. Johns, a less commercialized island teeming with native wildlife. Virgin Islands National Park is the best place to experience this natural reserve. Finally, spend your day hiking, snorkeling underwater at Trunk Bay Beach, or turtle-spotting at Hawksnest Bay Beach! 

What Our Families Say

“St. John is number one for me for the best beaches, not overly commercial, very safe feeling, and just gorgeous.” 

– Laura Tye

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands Information can be found here.

Puerto Rico

A mom sits with her three children on a stoop surrounded by tropical plants in Puerto Rico.
Photo Courtesy: Tara Sutton

Puerto Rico with kids offers a stunning tropical backdrop, with added American conveniences (think Costco). Things to do in Puerto Rico include everything from lounging on gorgeous beaches to experiencing local culture and history. San Juan hosts multiple family-friendly hotels near Old Town. San Juan Marriott Resort, for example, is perfect for families who desire a beach vacation combined with a city feel. Or, book your stay at El Conquistador Resort, one of the best family resorts in Puerto Rico. Here, little ones can take advantage of the resort’s on-site water park! Looking for a rural getaway? Consider a hotel near El Yunque National Rainforest, a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. In Puerto Rico, spend your days sunbathing at Balneario El Escambron, a family-friendly beach with secluded coves, adventurous water sports, and shallow waves. Afterward, wander cobblestone streets in search of tasty morsels, while appreciating the iconic Castillo de San Cristobal.

What Our Families Say

“Puerto Rico has it all within easy reach in just one island. Beautiful beaches, delicious food, rich culture, and so much fun! 

– Alexandra Michelle

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Puerto Ricos Information can be found here.

Grenada

Left Image: A young child with blong curls hugs a tree on a beach in Grenada, one of the best Caribbean islands for families. Right Image: Mom and daughter stand smiling on vibrant grass on a clear blue day in Grenada.
Left Image: Jeni Reca Keenaghan, Right Image: Ashley Smits

Grenada guarantees a gorgeous getaway for all ages! Home to colorful architecture, rolling hills, and delicious cuisine, this kid-friendly destination is another one of the best Caribbean islands for families! Parents who prefer a low-key, less crowded experience will certainly appreciate the laidback ambiance here, especially at kid-friendly hotels adjacent to St. George’s, the island’s capital city. Blue Horizons Garden Resort is a favorite among families who prefer eco-conscious, apartment-style accommodations. Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club is a great option too, boasting a kids club and babysitting services. Either way, settle in on the shores of Grand Anse Beach for calm waves and access to scuba diving, parasailing, and windsurfing! Annandale Falls, a cascading waterfall framed by flora, is another must-visit for nature lovers, offering intermediate trails with amazing views. Lastly, save time for a hike in nearby Grand Etang National Park to overlook Grenda’s very own rainforest! 

What Our Families Say

“Grenada is laid back and beautiful.” 

– Michelle Ristuccia

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Grenada Information can be found here.

Dominican Republic

A family of four, wearing color coordinated outfits in blue and pink, walks on the beach toward the water in the Dominican Republic, one of the best Caribbean islands for families.
Photo provided by Dana Pressler, Photographer Courtesy: Mario Ptasik

Known for stunning beaches, kid-friendly activities, and all-inclusive resorts, the Dominican Republic is a diverse Caribbean island ideal for tiny globetrotters. In fact, if you’re looking for a vacation where you never need to leave the resort, you’ll find that here (generally, it’s recommended you stay on-site due to ongoing safety issues with lesser developed areas). Punta Cana and Bavaro Beach, also called the Coconut Coast, is a favorite among families, famous for its strip of luxury accommodations. All-inclusive resorts like Club Med Punta Cana or Melia Caribe Beach Resort provide supervision for kids as young as four months old. Outside the resort-strip, you’ll find inexpensive Airbnbs, making the Dominican Republic a cheap and reasonable island. Then, discover numerous activities for families across the island. Families can enjoy windsurfing and kayaking, along shimmering shores shaded by palm trees. You may also even catch acrobats taking center stage on the beach! 

What Our Families Say

“I’m from The Dominican Republic, so it’s hard not to pick that one because I love it. The water/sand is just beautiful.”

– Maringly Morrobel

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Dominican Republic Information can be found here.

Curaçao

Colorful homes on the beach in Willemstad, Curacao, one of the best Caribbean islands for families.

Choose Curaçao for your next family vacation in the Caribbean! Famous for its friendly locals, coral reefs teeming with marine life, and secluded beach alcoves, this Dutch territory boasts culture, great restaurants, and affordability. In particular, Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital city, is lined with vibrant architecture, historical attractions, and kid-friendly all-inclusive hotels. Families love staying at Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, where kids under twelve eat free, or Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, where kids under eighteen stay-for-free! A lot of Curaçao’s kid-friendly attractions are spread out throughout the island, but don’t let that discourage you from venturing out to natural wonders like Christoffel and Shete Boka National Park. Animal enthusiasts will also delight in visiting Curaçao’s Ostrich Farm! Enjoy sun, sand, and waves at Kenapa Beach or explore underground mysteries while wandering the Hato Caves. Don’t forget to walk over the illuminated Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge at nightfall! 

What Our Families Say

“My family spends the summer in Curaçao and has had amazing experiences, especially the kids camp at the Sea Aquarium. Swimming with dolphins, feeding sharks, snorkeling, lobster class and so much more!”

– Christina Noordstar

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Curaçao Information can be found here.

St. Lucia

Three kids sit on the deck of a boat in a bay, off the shore of St. Lucia.
Photo Courtesy: Marina Nicholl

St. Lucia is a lovely Caribbean island for families! Home to dark volcanic-sand beaches, quaint fishing villages, and kid-friendly resorts, St. Lucia also offers adventurous families a low-key, albeit spendy getaway. Due to its long flight path, St. Lucia may better suit older kids and teens. Book your stay at Coconut Bay or Sugar Beach A Victory Resort to experience pure vacation bliss! Daredevil families will also love the rugged terrain, as St. Lucia is more mountainous than other Caribbean islands. Explore acres of lush rainforest and scores of waterfalls through guided tours. Then, explore by sea through a Pirate Cruise. The island’s highest point, Mount Gimie best exemplifies the island’s natural beauty. Additionally, two other mountains form St. Lucia’s iconic Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Finally, treat kids to a drive through the island’s volcano, Mount Soufriere. Kids will love how close you are to the eruption site!

“I love St. Lucia! From the rainforest to the beach, there is a lot to love about this island. Additionally, the locals are super friendly and the food is amazing. Snorkeling in crystal blue waters and visiting the island’s gorgeous waterfalls were definitely highlights of our time in St. Lucia! We also loved learning about the local culture and history through tours organized by our resort. It is truly one of the best Caribbean islands for families. We can’t wait to go back.”

– Antonia Grant

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to St. Lucia Information can be found here.

The Bahamas

A young girl gives her sister a kiss in the water, off the beach in the Bahamas, one of the best Caribbean islands for families.
Photo Courtesy: Marina Nicholl

The Bahamas ranks among the best Caribbean islands for families. Take a quick flight from the East Coast and you’ll arrive in this scenic archipelago consisting of multiple islands. Kids will love staying at the ever-popular Atlantis Resort, featuring six distinct hotels. The Reef, however, offers a quieter setting with ample kid-friendly activities. While The Bahamas can be one of the spendier islands, it’s unique attractions make it well worth the expense! Spend your afternoons relaxing on calm shores along Cabbage Beach or Goodman’s Bay. Additionally, children can build sandcastle creations at the iconic Pink Sands Beach, accessible via ferry from Nassau to Harbour Island. Then, splurge on an excursion to Dolphin Cay and you can swim with friendly marine life! Meanwhile, a day-trip to Pigs Beach with BahamasAir Tours allows you to take a plunge with piglets! Lastly, visit the Pirates of Nassau Interactive Museum in George Town

What Our Families Say

“Though we’ve been to about 11 different islands, we really like The Bahamas.” 

– Juliet B Rady

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to The Bahamas Information can be found here.

Jamaica

A young boy runs along a beach in Jamaica.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Journey to Jamaica for everything from all-inclusive pampering to adventurous outdoor sports! Tourist hubs Montego Bay and Negril are popular destinations for families to visit on the island’s west coast. Jamaica also features several families-friendly all-inclusive resorts ready to spoil your family. We especially recommend visiting Jamaica with babies or toddlers because hotels like Beaches Negril, The Holiday Inn Montego Bay, and The Grand Palladium have everything you’ll need on-site. Take advantage of the designated baby or kids clubs, scenic views, and dining all in one place! Older kids or teens will appreciate Jamaica’s reputation for adventure sports, whether it’s paddleboarding, river rafting, or zip-lining. Dunn’s River Falls is another must-visit for Jamaica with kids. This famous, 180-foot waterfall near Ochos Rios welcomes thousands of tourists to climb it each year! Finally, head to the north shore and tour the Green Grotto Caves in Runaway Bay for a tropical treat. 

What Our Families Say

“I’ve been all over the Caribbean and for our active family, we really enjoy Jamaica. We’ve had the best experiences there and met some fantastic people.” 

– Jennifer Christman Pace

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Jamaica Information can be found here.

Antigua

A family of three smiles on the beach in Antigua, one of the best Caribbean islands for families.
Photo Courtesy: Kelli Wein

Plan an amazing family adventure to Antigua! From St. Johns to English Harbour, this Caribbean island houses all-inclusive resorts, sandy beaches, and rich local history. Carlisle Bay and Blue Waters Resort and Spa are popular among families with littles, especially since the latter boasts a baby club. In Antigua, expect equal amounts of education and excitement. Between a Rainforest Zip Line Tour or a tour of Betty’s Hope, a restored sugar plantation with an iconic windmill, families will delight in exploring Antigua. Animal lovers will also fancy a Jeep Safari Tour to spot local wildlife. In English Harbour, Nelson’s Dockyard is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring a superb children’s museum! Then, visit the famous military fortifications at Shirley Heights for incredible views. In fact, Shirley Heights Restaurant and Bar even hosts a family-friendly barbecue each Thursday. Consequently, this underrated Caribbean island will quickly become a family favorite!

What Our Families Say

“For a bit of culture and beauty, we loved Antigua. We stayed at Carlisle Bay but also explored the island: Shirley Heights, Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbor, and Stingray City.” 

– Kelli Levesque Wein

In addition, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel to Antigua and Barbuda Information can be found here.

Thank You To Our Community

A family of six snuggles together smiling on the beach in Aruba.
Photo provided by Kate Tucker Ayzenberg, Photographer Courtesy: Melyn Dankerlui
Aruba

Finally, this article on the 12 Best Islands to Visit in the Caribbean for Families would not have been as helpful, informed, or family-friendly without the contributions and input from the amazing members of our Facebook group, Families Who Love To Travel! Furthermore, travel recommendations on the best Caribbean islands for families or other vacations with kids can also be found by joining us on Facebook at Families Who Love To Travel. It’s a community of dynamic families who also love to adventure and explore through travel. Then, follow us on Instagram (@families.love.travel) to connect with other families who love the unique experiences travel has to offer – and to get sneak peeks of upcoming articles!

*Lastly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the activities on this list may also be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.

Families Love Travel Team

The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.
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