Best Caribbean Destinations for Families – Top Kid-Friendly Islands
Last Updated on March 3, 2023
With so many Caribbean islands to choose from, picking the best destination for your next family vacation can be tough. We’ve made it easy with our selection of the best Caribbean destinations for families and kid-friendly islands to visit with children of all ages.
All these islands feature beautiful beaches and plenty of activities for families with babies, toddlers, kids, and/or teenagers that will suit any traveling style. Explore rainforests, climb volcanoes, or just relax at the beach and enjoy a perfect family vacation in the Caribbean.
Travel tip – Before any international trip make sure to get travel insurance
Related – 20+ Best Family Vacation Spots to Visit with Teenagers
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Caye Caulker, Belize
By Erika from Erika’s Travelventures
Caye Caulker in Belize is a laid-back, budget Caribbean island destination located just a short flight away from the southern U.S. states.
Belize is a tiny, former English colony located along the Yucatan peninsula and is a great place to disconnect from day-to-day stresses on your next family vacation. It offers amazing water activities, great food and culture, and luxurious accommodation all for a low price.
The best thing to do on Caye Caulker is to join a tour to visit the Belize Barrier Reef, which is the second-largest barrier reef in the world. From $20 USD per person you can go on a half-day tour, $40 USD for a full-day tour, to snorkel in different locations around the island.
There are a number of companies offering tours from Caye Caulker, so if you’re a big family it’ll be easy to rent a private boat to go exploring on the crystal-clear waters. Experience the colorful and diverse marine wildlife of Belize in their natural habitat! Adventurous families can also join scuba diving expeditions from Caye Caulker, which visit the Belize Barrier Reef or the famous Blue Hole.
There are also plenty of day trips you can take to explore the rest of the country, such as exploring Maya ruins lost in the jungle, trying to spot jaguars at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, visiting the famous ATM Cave, or seeing howler monkeys near Placencia.
There are plenty of family-friendly hotels and resorts in Belize, in Caye Caulker, book Colinda Cabanas, which offers free snorkeling gear, bicycles to explore the island, and even kayaks so you can extend your time exploring the beautiful Caribbean waters with your family.
By Paulina from UK Every Day
If you are looking for a family holiday destination full of sandy beaches and shallow waters in Mexico, visit Isla Holbox. This small island in the state of Quintana Roo is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico – and is easily reachable from Cancún.
There are plenty of fun activities to do in Holbox. Families will enjoy cycling around the island and admiring beautiful street art. It is super safe to explore Isla Holbox by bike as there are no cars on the island. You can also rent a golf cart and have an unforgettable day with your family.
Holbox is a very instagrammable place so why not take some beautiful pictures there? You can search for Holbox signs or famous hammocks as there are plenty of those on the island. Also, watching a sunset at the Pier is a great way to spend the evening with the family.
Kids will love paddleboarding or kayaking in Holbox. Calm water and great weather make it one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for families.
Other great kid-friendly activities include swimming with bioluminescent plankton, going island hopping and doing some snorkeling, or meeting the famous whale sharks (from mid-May to September).
There are also plenty of beautiful hotels on the island. Villas HM Palapas del Mar will offer you a comfortable stay with amazing views of Holbox. With private pools and an infinity pool on the roof, you and your family will enjoy a holiday on this charming island.
San Andrés Island, Colombia
By Adam from Cartagena Explorer
Located in the western Caribbean, close to the coast of Nicaragua, San Andrés Island is actually part of Colombia. It is a lesser-known good option for a family vacation destination in the Caribbean.
Like most other great kid-friendly Caribbean islands, San Andrés has great beaches. The best beach is at the nearby tiny island of Johnny Cay, while the beaches of Spratt Bight around the downtown area of the north end of the island are also nice.
Families will also love going to the San Andrés Aquarium, where they can snorkel and see lots of colorful fish swimming in their natural habitat at a reef off the island.
Another great activity for families in San Andrés is to rent a golf cart and tour the island. The island is small enough to be easily explored in a day. Besides stopping at the beaches down the eastern coast of the island, there are some other natural swimming pools and places to snorkel on the western side of the island.
A can’t miss spot is the Hoyo Soplador blowhole, located at the very southern tip of the island. Here, waves below crash up through a small hole in the ground. Feeling the air blow up and getting splashed is a hoot!
Other places of interest are Morgan’s Cave, where Henry Morgan supposedly hid buried treasure, and where families can find some pirate artifacts on display in a small museum. The baptist church on the island also has an incredible view from its bell tower.
Good family-friendly resorts on the island include several Decameron properties, which are all-inclusive resorts and nice to stay at.
By Christian from Punta Cana Travel Blog
The Dominican Republic is a perfect destination in the Caribbean for families as it combines marvelous beaches, different outdoor activities, amazing views, and a couple of wildlife encounters, which will guarantee a fun-filled holiday for adults and children alike.
When considering the way of traveling, it is best to plan a road trip to the Dominican Republic. It isn’t necessary to change your accommodation every 2 or 3 nights if you don’t want to, but a rental car will give you the full flexibility of exploring the different corners of the Dominican Republic.
Your best bet to base yourself and your family is the Samaná peninsula. If you’d like to see further regions of the country, the North Coast between Rio San Juan and Puerto Plata and the Central Mountain Range with the mountain towns Constanza and Jarabacoa are great destinations to add to your road trip in the Dominican Republic.
Usually, the best activities for families in the Dominican Republic include kayaking tours (particularly close to Cabarete), exploring super pristine beaches (at the Samaná peninsula or along the north coast), visiting chocolate farms and workshops (for example in Salcedo or San Francisco de Macorís), going ziplining (for older kids; in Samaná, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata) or, for adventurous families, heading on hikes to hidden waterfalls (throughout the country).
If you’d like to see some wildlife with your kids in the Dominican Republic, you can either head on a whale-watching tour in the Bay of Samaná (from Samaná or Punta Cana, from January to March only) or see flamingos, birds, and giant iguanas in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic.
Concerning accommodation, Las Terrenas has plenty of suitable family accommodation with 2 or 3 bedrooms close to the beach at an affordable price level. On the other side, you can also overnight at one of the several kid-friendly eco-lodges in the Dominican Republic, such as El Gallo Ecolodge, Dominican Tree House, or Rancho Platon.
Antigua, Antigua and Berbuda
By Sarah from Tammy Mum
Antigua is the perfect destination for anybody in search of a tropical paradise and is a perfect kid-friendly Caribbean island the whole family will enjoy.
It is home to 365 different beaches, one beach for each day of the year and it boasts ideal weather conditions from warm temperatures to low humidity and limited rainfall, for the Caribbean.
It is a small island that is surrounded by the tranquil and crystalline Caribbean sea, which is perfect for all ages to enjoy. On this tiny island, you can spend your days relaxing on its unrivaled beaches, exploring its well-preserved historical buildings, or enjoying some of the freshest food in the world.
It is famed for being one of the friendliest Caribbean islands and with good reason. Your hosts will do everything to make you feel welcome and ensure you have an unforgettable stay in this little slice of paradise.
Being only around 55 miles in circumference, a popular day trip for tourists in Antigua is to sail around the island in a day. It is a great way to get a glimpse of many of its hundreds of beaches and enjoy some of Antigua’s stunning underwater world with a bit of snorkeling in the crystal clear sea. There are a number of excursion providers who offer these day trips most of which will include a Caribbean-inspired barbeque and rum punch. Just be sure to go easy on the punch.
Antigua offers up many different places to stay from high-end luxury to budget-friendly self-catering apartments. If you are looking for somewhere that caters to all the family and can provide a one-of-a-kind stay then St James Club will do just that. This all-inclusive hotel boasts two beaches, five fine dining restaurants, six swimming pools, watersports, and no end to the on and off-site facilities and activities. It offers guests everything from laid-back relaxation to non-stop adventure and activity, for all ages.
By Disha from Disha Discovers
One of the best Caribbean destinations for families is Aruba. This beautiful island has so much to offer families, from amazing beaches to exciting activities.
The beaches in Aruba are some of the best in the world. Families will find a variety of activities to do on the beach, from swimming and sunbathing to windsurfing and parasailing.
Also, Aruba is a great destination to expose your kids to a new culture. The island has a mix of Dutch and Caribbean cultures, which you can see in the architecture, food, and music.
A jeep tour of the island is a great way for families to see all that Aruba has to offer. The kids will enjoy the exhilarating ride while learning about the beautiful landmarks.
Another great activity for families is hiking. Aruba has some beautiful nature trails that are perfect for a family hike. For example, the Arikok National Park has several hikes that range from easy to difficult.
If you’re traveling with teens, they’ll enjoy taking a diving or paddleboarding class. Aruba is a great place to explore the underwater world, and the calm waters make it perfect for beginners.
Other family-friendly fun things to do in Aruba include touring the Aruba Butterfly Farm, experiencing marine life up close on a submarine, sporting it up at Splash Park Aruba, splashing in the waves at Eagle Beach, and more.
The island is home to some of the best family resorts and hotels, which offer great amenities for families, such as children’s clubs, pools, and restaurants. Renaissance Aruba Resort is a great option for families, as it offers a babysitting facility and a family-friendly zone.
By Dominika from Sunday In Wonderland
If you’re looking for some less obvious best vacation destinations in the Caribbean for families, you should definitely consider visiting Guadeloupe. This small island is located in the Lesser Antilles and is a French overseas department. The people in Guadeloupe speak French and Caribbean Creole, use euro in payments and eat delicious French baguettes for breakfast (by the way a fresh baguette with a coco jam is a delightful combination).
The island is a peaceful and safe location. There, you can easily rent a car and visit every corner of the island with your family. Actually, many of best things to do in Guadeloupe are great activities for kids. One of the most picturesque landmarks of the island – the Carbet Falls has a trail adapted for short legs and is built up with a system of wooden paths that leads directly to the waterfall viewpoint. The majestic Carbet Falls are made up of two waterfalls, 100-meter high each.
According to the legend, they were sighted by Christopher Columbus from his ship when he arrived in America and saved his crew with a promise of drinkable water.
Climbing the volcano La Grande Soufrière might be an exciting adventure for older kids. Although the volcano is active, it doesn’t spit lava and is safe to visit. The trail requires good physical condition yet it’s achievable even for a few-year-olds. The views from the mountainside are incredible.
Of course, there are many other fun activities that you can enjoy in Guadeloupe with your family. Including relaxing on the beach, taking a boat excursion to other small islands, or visiting coffee or cocoa museums and the charming botanical garden in Deshaies. On the island, you’ve got plenty of attractions for everyone.
One of the nicest towns to stay in Guadeloupe with a family is definitely Sainte-Anne. This colorful city is located in Grande-Terre, the Eastern part of the island. There, you can find some restaurants, grocery shops, the local open market, bus stops, and of course beautiful beaches. In Sainte-Anne, you can easily find accommodation in small private boarding houses or apartment rentals. For a beachfront resort perfect for families with kids, check out Village Pierre & Vacances Sainte Anne.
By Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
Puerto Rico is one of the best Caribbean islands and has it all! It is rich in culture and history. The island has great food, beautiful beaches, caves, and rainforests. And as a US territory, you don’t even need a passport to visit if you are a US citizen. A Puerto Rico road trip is one of the best vacations for families in the Caribbean.
The capital city of San Juan makes for a great starting point for your Caribbean vacation. Spend some time exploring Old San Juan. With its blue cobblestone streets, colorful facades, and colonial architecture, this area of San Juan is not only a great place to visit, but it also makes for a great place to stay. There are lots of centuries-old buildings that have been turned into boutique hotels that are perfect for staying in the heart of the city, such as the 352 Guest House Hotel Boutique with spacious rooms and an amazing rooftop.
For a beachfront kid-friendly resort, check out the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, right on the beach, with a swimming pool, restaurants, a bar, and spa.
Kids will also enjoy exploring the old defensive forts in San Juan. Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristóbal are impressive fortresses that were originally designed to protect the island from invaders who might attack by sea. But they now serve as historical sites and museums.
You’ll find great beaches in San Juan, as well. But if you take a road trip around the island, you’ll find even better beaches near Rincon, on Puerto Rico’s west coast, or near Fajardo, on the east coast.
Puerto Rico also boasts three bioluminescent bays. La Parguera is perhaps the best bay to visit with kids. You can take a night kayaking tour in the bay and swim in the water to witness the incredible bioluminescent phenomenon. With every movement, the water glows a greenish-blue color.
By Barbara from Mums on Flip Flops
Varadero might be the most obvious choice when you want to travel to Cuba with kids. It’s a gorgeous Caribbean destination with pristine beaches and turquoise water, but you can hardly call it an authentic place. If you want to see the real Cuba, there might be better choices.
If you like a bit of adventure, it’s a great idea to tour the western part of the island. Start your trip in swinging Havana, where there are a ton of things to do with kids. On number one is definitely a city tour with a convertible classic car – in flashy colors, obviously. A close second is a visit to the Morro Castle where you can see a reenactment show each night – they’ll even fire the canons!
Once you’ve had your fill of the capital, take a classic car taxi to Viñales. This village is surrounded by Mogotes – round hills that make it look like dinosaurs will step out any minute. Even though it’s a touristy place, the village feels authentic and you can see the daily Cuban life run its course. This is the place to be if you’d like to learn more about coffee (visit a coffee farm) or go on a hiking trip – ideally, you’ll combine the two. The kids will absolutely love it! You can also go on a day trip to a gorgeous beach named Cayo Jutías.
End your family vacation in the Caribbean with some fun at the beach either in Varadero for the all-in experience or head over to Playa Larga for another taste of the real Cuba. You can either enjoy your days at the tranquil beach or you can take a trip, for example, to do some birdwatching (flamingos!) in the nearby National Park Ciénaga de Zapata. If you decide to stay in Playa Larga, book a night at Casa Particular Casa Ana/Gleybis. It’s basic but the breakfast is delicious, the hosts are beyond friendly and you can admire the many hummingbirds that live in the large garden.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
By Daniel from Layer Culture
When looking for a kid-friendly Caribbean island to spend time with the family, Jamaica should be somewhere near the top of your list. Traveling with the family can be overwhelming at times but with so many things to do in Ocho Rios for the family, you can finally take some time out and relax.
Most of the all-inclusive resorts such as Beaches Ocho Rios cater for kids so rest assured you can indulge whilst the kids enjoy the waterparks and kiddie pools. Also, by being so close to the beach you can find some great snorkeling opportunities too, where you’ll get the chance to take advantage of the turquoise-colored water and see the diversity of the coral reefs.
If you want to get out of the resort area, there are places such as the magical Dunns River Falls which is the perfect place to visit since it caters to the whole family (including kids who are 6 years old and upwards). These are some of the most remarkable waterfalls in the world and your day soon becomes filled with giant-sized rocks and pocket-sized lagoons as you can climb your way to the top of the falls. The family even can purchase photos of the day from an experienced on-site photographer.
If you are traveling with teens and want something a bit adventurous, take an ATV tour to explore Ocho Rios and its surroundings. Another great activity for families with kids of all ages is bamboo river rafting, a fun way to explore the rainforest.
All in all, whilst in Jamaica you’ll find plenty to do in Ocho Rios and it undoubtedly makes a great vacation destination for all the family.
By Elena from The Carry-On Chronicles
The Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao is one of the best family-friendly destinations in the Caribbean. Given its semi-arid climate and high year-round temperatures, there are plenty of dry, sunny days for families to take advantage of all the wonderful outdoor activities. One of the most fascinating things to do in Curacao is to uncover its natural beauty, including its rich wildlife. Fortunately, you won’t have to go far to observe Curacao’s many incredible creatures in their natural habitats.
For instance, the kids will love exploring the island’s salt flats, which are home to gorgeous flocks of flamingos. The two best spots to check out are Saliña Sint Marie and Saliña Sint Michiel. For the best chance of spotting them, try to arrive early in the morning before they take flight.
If sea creatures are of interest, take the family to Playa Piskadó, a beach that’s beloved for the giant sea turtles who frequent it. A fun snorkeling adventure will allow you to observe these magnificent creatures up close, provided everyone maintains a healthy distance and refrains from touching them.
In addition, wild boars roam the island and if you’re lucky enough, you may just spot two beach-loving boars lounging in the sun on the sands of Playa Porto Mari! This pig-friendly beach is easily a favorite for the whole family.
For a delicious dinner, take the gang to Pirate Bay Beach Club & Restaurant. This beachfront restaurant is decked out in a pirate theme and offers plenty of vegetarian options, including tasty meat-free appetizers, salads, and vegetarian lasagna.
As for accommodations, the whole family is sure to love Coral Estate Luxury Resort. Located in northern Curacao, this budget-friendly family resort has a kid-friendly swimming pool, a collection of eateries, and a diving school for amazing underwater adventures!
By Carine from We Did It Our Way
There’s a little island off the coast of Honduras, in the Caribbean that’s a perfect paradise getaway for families and scuba diving lovers: Utila!
People often avoid Honduras because of safety concerns but know that it is safe if you know what to expect and what to do. Most people will only visit Roatan, a popular stop on the cruise ship circuit. And although it’s bigger than Utila, the latter is more charming, budget-friendly, and easy-going.
There are plenty of things to do in Utila, whether you’re looking to chill out, go on a family adventure or learn something new. Utila is one of the cheapest places in the world where you can learn how to scuba dive or free dive. For those with kids older than 12-years-old, it’s a great family activity. The waters are clear and warm, and there are a ton of dive shops and dive sites to choose from. If scuba diving is not your thing, Utila offers many snorkeling sites as well. Snorkel equipment can also be rented at these places, which makes it easy to plan for it.
If you’re looking to chill out instead, there are a few beaches you can choose from, either on the island or a short boat ride away. Your time in Utila wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Water Cay, a tiny uninhabited island right off Utila. It’s the perfect place to set up your hammock under the trees and chill out in clear waters. Basically, it’s paradise!
Finally, if you’re looking to do some more adventurous activities, you can hike up Pumpkin hill, hike along the cliffs, snorkel in one of the many spots, and kayak down the small canal in the middle of the island.
There are a ton of places where you can stay in Utila. If you want to be in the heart of the action, the main street is the best place to be. That’s also where you’ll find the best restaurants on the island! The Odyssey Resort Utila is a great option for families. Located near the city center yet quiet, the resort features bungalows right on the beach with 2 bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen.
Utila is a great place to be, either for a few days or even a full week. You’ll surely make some new friends and a ton of amazing memories.
Check out some of our other family travel guides:
- 16 Best Family Beach Vacation Spots in the United States
- Top 10 Best Family Vacation Spots in Arizona
- Best family vacations on the East Coast
- Best vacation spots in California for families
- Best Spring Break Destinations for Families
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