Find the Best Caribbean Island for Your Family

by Sarah Boyd
a woman holds her child's hand as they walk on the beach on a breezy day

Trying to decide which Caribbean island is right for your next family vacation? It’s important to keep in mind just how much activity (and what kind) your kids will crave. Will they be happy with surf, sand, and sun? Or do they need a little more action to stay happily entertained? Here’s what to consider before you book.

Beach Bum Central

If your crew is happy to bask in the sun all day, you might want to head for these islands, which boast some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Antigua – When you combine the clear waters of Antigua with its 365 stretches of sand, what you get is a full range of fun-in-the-sun options—from lively and energetic to private and quiet.

Cayman Islands – You’ll love the pristine beaches of Grand Cayman with its stunning Seven Mile Beach waterfront, where you can all enjoy swimming, snorkelling, or just floating.

Turks and Caicos – If calm, clear turquoise waters and miles of soft, white sand sound like heaven, then check out Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos for some family beach fun.

Go Wild in Nature

Got a nature-loving family that thrives on outdoorsy adventures, even when in the Caribbean? It’s not just all beaches around here!

Nature Caribbean BVI The Baths

British Virgin Islands – Sure, the beaches might lure you in first, but you’ll be happy to know you can explore colourful Baths National Park with the kids in the British Virgin Islands.

U.S. Virgin Islands – Explore Virgin Islands National Park on St. John, where you can galivant through over 20 trails together. And be sure to make a stop in the Cinnamon Bay area of the park for access to a paved nature trail and beautiful beach. 

Barbados – In the middle of the island of Barbados you’ll find several nature preserves that are worth making the trek: for streams and waterfalls, take a trip to Harrison’s Cave; and if seeing wildlife, such as parrots, peacocks, and green monkeys is on your to-do list, you’ll want to venture out to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.

For the Culture Buffs

If you want to show the kids (essentially) more than one part of the world, here are some spots in the Caribbean where you can take in some history and colonial architecture in addition to gorgeous beaches.

Curacao – Intrigued by European vibes? You’ll find plenty of them in Willemstad, the capital of Curacao. Dutch culture is alive and well here, from the pastel-coloured architecture to its many delicacies (think Dutch meatballs and doughnuts).

Puerto Rico – Another gem of the Caribbean! Immerse your family in the island’s unique culture—wander through Old San Juan’s Spanish colonial architecture and visit its historic fortresses, like Castillo San Cristóbal, built in 1783.

old san juan puerto rico

Really Catering to the Kiddos

And we can’t forget the all-time family favourites of the Caribbean! An abundance of affordable, kid-friendly resorts, plus the added flexibility of non-stop flights from many U.S. cities have made these destinations the ultimate go-to for families.

Bahamas – Atlantis Bahamas. Need we say more? This 141-acre water park makes it the family vacation kids ask for by name.

Jamaica – Jamaica offers tons of personality and activities for the little ones. Don’t forget to add attractions like Mystic Mountain and Dunn’s River Falls Park to your itinerary.

Dominican Republic – You don’t have to spend a lot to have a blast in the Dominican Republic. All-inclusive, anyone? La Romana and Punta Cana have the most family-friendly beaches, while day-trip tours to historic Santo Domingo are a great option to keep older kids amused.

Aruba – Another all-inclusive must-see in the Caribbean is Aruba. With crystal clear water that’s perfect for snorkelling, scuba diving, or even taking a sunset cruise, this island has plenty for the kids, but adults will love it just the same.

So, no matter what activities your family is into, there’s a perfect place in the Caribbean to make your next vacation everything you’re dreaming of and more.

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