Discover The Best Caribbean Islands For Families

The Best Caribbean Family Vacations to Create the Ultimate Memories

By Taylor Fuller | Published on June 14, 2023

When you're planning a vacation for the whole family, it can be hard to narrow down the best destinations that are perfect for everyone. Thankfully, there are a lot of amazing, family-friendly locations all over the world. Some of the best are filled with gorgeous beaches and rainforests. Why not head to the Caribbean for some fun in the sun? The best Caribbean islands for families are the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands. There are so many incredible things to do with the whole family, and you could spend your days swimming in crystal-clear water, building the biggest sand castle you've ever seen, exploring new places and checking out the local cultures. The best family Caribbean vacations are jam-packed full of fun and waiting for you to arrive on a cruise!

Planning The Best Family Caribbean Vacations

With unlimited choices on where to travel with your family, how do you pick the perfect destination for you? First, you've got to figure out what your family loves to do. If they're interested in hanging out on the beach and relaxing, you'll want to pick a location with picturesque beaches. If everyone agrees they want a little bit of adventure, you'll need to find a place that can cater to that. If they prefer to learn about the history of a new-to-them place, you'll want to check those boxes, too. Family vacations are the perfect way to spend quality time together. And you're in luck, as the Caribbean is full of family-friendly islands. You'll want to spend all of your future family vacations exploring the Caribbean.

It's Island Time In Jamaica

Jamaica is the ultimate playground for both kids and adults. It's a paradise packed full of adrenaline-pumping activities, lush rainforests, towering mountains and stunning coastlines. Plus, there is so much wildlife to explore from the treetops to the sea.

Thrill-seekers should head to Mystic Mountain to get their fix. Grab the whole family, and glide through the sky on the Sky Explorer Chairlift. Find breathtaking views of Ocho Rios below as you climb through the trees. Once you've reached the top of the mountain, you can hop on the bobsled attraction. This is sure to get your blood pumping as you plunge through 3,280 feet of twists and turns. And if that's not enough for you and the family, it's time to fly through the Jamaican rainforest on a zip line.

Nature lovers will love a day spent climbing waterfalls at Dunn's River Falls. Link hands, and climb this spectacular waterfall that stands tall at 180 feet. It stretches 600 feet in length, making it a fun climb to do together. Make sure to grab water shoes that have a good grip on them because it can get really slippery. The best thing to do is create a chain with your group, alternating an adult with a child, so it's a safe experience for everyone. I have memories from childhood of my dad lifting me over some rocks I couldn't climb on my own. This is a can't-miss activity and a little teamwork goes a long way!
If you're interested in a chill day, you can head to Seven Mile Beach. It's located in Negril and has tranquil waters that are the perfect spot for your kids to snorkel and see how many different fish they can point out under the clear water. Once they're finished splashing around, build a sandcastle together while you sip a rum punch on the beach. Afterward, the whole family can indulge in some local Jamaican delicacies, like fresh jerk chicken, beachside.

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Fun In The Sun In The Bahamas

No matter what Bahama island you choose to vacation on, your family will have the time of their lives. From waterslides to pirates to colorful parrots, and more, there is no shortage of things to do with your family in the Bahamas.

Head to the Aquaventure Water Park on Paradise Island to slide down massive waterslides. This huge water park is one of the biggest in the hemisphere. The centerpiece is a five-story Mayan temple that has multiple waterslides. One even goes through a shark tank tunnel! If you'd prefer to relax with the kids, you can always float through the lazy river, swim in one of the beautiful pools, or grab your snorkel and see what you can find beneath the sea.

History buffs will love a day spent at Pirates of Nassau, a museum where you can see replicas of actual pirate ships. This is a great stop for families as they can explore the history of famous pirates like Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, one of the most famous pirates of his time, and Anne Bonny and Mary Read, famous female pirates.

If wildlife is your thing, there are so many amazing places to check out in the Bahamas. If you want to get the whole family paddling, Lucayan National Park is a great choice as you can kayak through mangrove forests. You can also pay a visit to Coral Vita, a coral farm in Grand Bahama. Take a guided tour and learn about what the people who work there are doing to fight climate change. And if your little ones love to look at animals, Ardastra Gardens and Wildlife Conservation Centre in Nassau can't be missed. It's home to more than 130 species of animals, some of which you can get up close to.
The best family Caribbean vacations are jam-packed full of fun and waiting for you to arrive on a cruise!

Outdoor Adventures In Puerto Rico

Outdoor adventures are what make Caribbean vacations what they are. When you share those adventures with your family, they're even better. When you visit Puerto Rico on a cruise, you'll find a ton of outdoor activities to participate in that combine thrills, history, adventure, and more.

If you have teens, and they love to be outside, a visit to El Yunque National Forest is a must. Make sure to pack everyone's hiking shoes as you'll be needing them. There are 25 miles of trails that are well-marked and easy enough for just about anyone. During your hike, you'll see cascading waterfalls and flowing rivers.

For families with kids of all ages, a beach day is a great idea. There are so many gorgeous beaches in San Juan that boast soft, white sand and gentle seas. The younger kids can build sand castles and splash around in the shallows while the older ones explore underwater caves, perfect for snorkeling.

On a family vacation to Puerto Rico, make time to head to Vieques in the evening. Watch as the Bioluminescent Bay lights up as your paddles dip in and out of the water. This is a truly spectacular thing to witness, as it has the highest concentration of bioluminescent dinoflagellates (the stuff that makes the water light up) in the world.

Finally, a trip to Puerto Rico isn't complete without a visit to Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the oldest Spanish fort in the New World. It dates back to 1539 and is definitely worth the visit. You can find it in Old San Juan, and on the weekends you'll find locals and tourists alike enjoying the sunshine, flying kites, and picnicking. Before relaxing out front, visit the fort and learn about the 500-year history of both the structure and the island. It's a great way to combine learning and fun for the family.

Beach Paradise In The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are pretty much the ultimate beach paradise. They have miles and miles of unspoiled beaches and colorful coral reefs. They also have a ton of amazing family-friendly activities, so everyone can get involved. You'll want to make sure to bring your GoPro to capture the memories as you get wet and wild!

If you find yourself in Tortola, you must join in on turtle tagging. This is an amazing activity you can do in partnership with a conservation program. It's an educational experience that helps raise awareness of the conservation efforts for turtles, plus it allows kids to interact with animals in an ethical and safe environment.

For families that love a bit of adventure and beauty combined, check out The Baths on a cruise to Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. This is a top experience in the BVI and one that you truly cannot miss out on. A collection of kid-friendly beaches are lined with huge volcanic rocks that create hidden areas, natural pools, and even tunnels. It's fun for the whole family.

If your kiddos are eager to hit the open waters, why not let them learn how to sail at a sailing school? The British Virgin Islands are well known as being a sailing destination, so it's the perfect place to get the whole family involved. Spend an afternoon learning the basics before hitting the seas. It's one of the quintessential Caribbean experiences.

When planning a fun island vacation, remember that the best Caribbean family vacations are filled with thrills, history, sightseeing, relaxation and more. Most importantly, these activities are an excellent backdrop for creating memories that will truly last a lifetime.

Written By

Taylor Fuller is a travel and lifestyle writer. She has lived and traveled all over the world and loves to share her experiences. She is the author of The Rainbow Atlas and currently calls London her home.

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