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The perfect family escape - our top ten Caribbean destinations

Published

9 August, 2023

Edited

23 August, 2023

Think of the Caribbean, and you immediately picture pristine white-sand beaches, soft breezes rustling the coconut trees, mesmerising sunsets and azure ocean. It is, without a doubt, the most romantic place on earth for couples. But what are the best Caribbean destinations for families?

If you have children in your group, you'll be wondering whether there are activities, attractions, and adventures that are suitable for younger explorers. You'll also need family-friendly Caribbean accommodation that makes the little ones feel every bit as comfortable as the grown-ups.

At onefinestay, we believe that the Caribbean is the ideal holiday destination for children and adults alike, although some islands certainly have more for families than others. Read on to discover our list of the best Caribbean destinations for families. In it, we will take you through the main islands and what each has to offer, as well as answer some of your FAQs regarding how to choose the best Caribbean island for families with toddlers and teenagers.

Why the Caribbean?

First things first: why choose the Caribbean on your next family getaway? Every island is different, with unique cultural characteristics, cuisine, and even different languages. But one thing is consistent throughout the region, and that’s the fact that families are always welcomed with open arms. Young guests will find a Caribbean island family vacation an incredible adventure filled with colour and unforgettable experiences.

Is it a family-friendly destination?

In a word, yes. The Caribbean islands are the ideal destination for families, even if the youngest members of your group are toddlers. Caribbean island family vacations offer your children the chance to expand their horizons, experience new cultures, and have lots of fun. All ages are welcome in restaurants, and plenty of unique opportunities exist to explore natural and man-made wonders.

Top tips for a Caribbean family vacation

Plan ahead

If you have very young children, talk to your onefinestay concierge to ensure arrangements are made to accommodate their needs at your Caribbean villa, including items such as cots and high chairs.

Pick the right time of the year

The Caribbean climate is divided into dry and wet seasons, with the dry season the best time for younger visitors as it’s not too hot or humid. The best time to visit for a Caribbean family holiday is between December and April.

Take plenty of sunscreen

Make sure you have some reef-friendly SPF 50+ for the children to protect them against the strong sunshine.

Plan plenty of fun things to do

The best Caribbean islands for family holidays have a variety of things to see and do. While a day at the beach is great, include some family-friendly excursions and visits to attractions. On the larger islands, you'll find theme parks that will keep the younger travellers happy, with water parks, conservation centres, and children’s activities galore.

The best Caribbean islands for families

Turks and Caicos

Made up of 40 different islands, Turks and Caicos is a tropical paradise ideal for groups who want a little quality family time together. This island group is one of the best Caribbean islands for families who love the beach, with clear blue water that's safe for paddling and swimming. The sand is powder-soft and perfect for building sandcastles. Older children will love seeing marine life, such as dolphins, turtles and whales, while younger children will adore rock pooling on the dramatic Grace Bay. Villas in Turks and Caicos offer family-friendly facilities, including childcare, and are suitable for children of all ages.

Jamaica

Jamaica is, quite simply, one of the best Caribbean destinations for families. This large island offers a huge range of attractions, and one visit will never be enough to take in the natural wonders of the tropical rainforest or the endless sandy beaches. Magical scenes that children will never forget include the mesmerising glowing waters of Luminous Lagoon. Older children will get a real thrill from activities like river tubing in the YS Falls.

Dominican Republic

With a wealth of parks and adventure centres, the Dominican Republic is definitely one of the best Caribbean islands for families. As well as safe beaches and shallow water that’s perfect for paddling, younger guests will love a visit to theme parks such as Ocean World Adventure Park or the Agua Games Water Park. A trip to the Museo Infantil Trampolin in Santo Domingo introduces younger guests to the environmental diversity of the tropics and is a great day out for children between the ages of four and 12.

St John

One of the smaller, quieter of the US Virgin Islands, St John is nevertheless a family-friendly destination. If you have older children who love the water or are passionate about conservation, St John is one of the best Caribbean islands for active families. Two-thirds of the island is a designated national park, so there's lots to see if you want to lace up your hiking boots and explore. Younger children may find some of the hiking a little too tiring, so this is a destination that especially suits families with teenagers.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is one of the best all-inclusive Caribbean islands for families who want everything at their fingertips. Pencil in an excursion to see the Cayman Turtle Centre for a close encounter with these gentle creatures. Or take a trip to the famous Stingray Beach and watch majestic rays swimming in the shallow water. On dry land, you can journey underneath the earth to the Crystal Caves or take a helicopter ride across the island for the best family memories.

St Barts

St Barts is one of the best Caribbean islands for active families. From snorkelling and swimming to hiking through the jungle, where you can spot geckos, iguanas and tortoises, St. Barts is an excellent destination if your younger family members want to explore. Because the main language in St. Barts is French, it's also an excellent opportunity for your children to improve their language skills.

Antigua

This gorgeous island has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. Long Bay is one of the best for toddlers, as it’s incredibly shallow and safe all the way out to the reef, where they can watch colourful fish flitting between the corals. Antigua also has historic Nelson's Shipyard, the dramatic Betty's Hope plantation, and the pretty capital St John, whose colourful houses and shops are bound to delight younger guests.

British Virgin Islands

From a fabulous wildlife tour of Necker Island to a boat trip around the drama of monolithic Baths boulders, the BVI are full of things to see and do. It’s a perfect Caribbean island destination for active families, with challenging hikes up Sage Mountain or a chance to learn to surf the beaches of Tortola.

Barbados

Beautiful Barbados has plenty of opportunities for a family holiday in the sun. The mysteries of Harrison’s Cave Eco-Adventure Park will enchant younger visitors, while a trip to the wonderful Accra/Rockley Beach is full of fun for little ones. Barbados is one of the most family-friendly islands in the Caribbean, and ideal whether you have toddlers or teens.

US Virgin Islands

Our last entry in our list of the best Caribbean destinations for families is the US Virgin Islands. From the charm of the Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge to the delightful seals of Coral World Ocean Park, USVI is the right place to go if you want to learn more about the culture and ecology of the Caribbean.

Essential information

What is the best Caribbean island for families with toddlers?

Most of the islands in the Caribbean are suitable for very young visitors, but the larger islands are probably easier to plan for, as they’ll have plenty of stores where you can buy essentials such as nappies, powdered formula and baby food. Choose Barbados, Grand Cayman or Jamaica if you have toddlers in tow.

Where is the safest place to travel with children in the Caribbean?

The Caribbean is incredibly safe, and you shouldn’t have any problems no matter which island paradise you choose. Some of the beaches in the smaller windward islands may have stronger currents that you’ll need to be aware of - most have information boards that will warn you of any potential hazards. The majority of beaches, though, are perfectly safe for younger children, as the water is shallow and ideal for paddling and splashing about.

What types of activities can families enjoy in the Caribbean?

There are all kinds of activities to enjoy in the Caribbean, from getting involved with eco-projects such as turtle releases to zip lining and hiking up steep mountain trails. It will depend on the age of your children and what they like to do. Beach lovers are in heaven here, as every island is lined with endless, powder-soft sandy beaches and warm blue water. Diving and snorkelling are hugely popular, as are paddleboarding and sailing. Carnival time fills the islands with music and dancing, or spend a day at any of the theme parks on the main islands like Barbados or Jamaica.

What is the best time to visit the Caribbean with a family?

The best time to visit the Caribbean with children is during the winter months, from December to April. This is the driest part of the year in the Caribbean, and the temperature sits at around 25-28°C (77-82°F). From May to November, you may encounter heavier showers. While they rarely make landfall, hurricanes are possible from July to October.

Find the best Caribbean family destination with onefinestay

Are you ready to discover the wonders of the Caribbean? Take a look at our different destinations, which will tell you more about the individual islands and what's on offer and give you details on our fabulous, family-friendly villas in the Caribbean. At onefinestay, we're always happy to answer any questions you may have, so if you're planning that ultimate Caribbean escape, speak to one of our Travel Advisors, who’ll be delighted to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

Ready for an fun-filled Caribbean break with your family?

OUR EXPERT TRAVEL ADVISORS WILL HELP YOU PICK THE PERFECT CHILD-FRIENDLY CARIBBEAN VILLA FROM OUR EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION.