Family Friendly Caribbean Vacations: Everyone’s Happy

Maybe your family has already experienced the famed “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disneyland and it’s now time to kick it up a notch. On the cheap, you could just have a family movie night and watch Johnny Depp bring the swaggering Jack Sparrow to life. However, why not find some family friendly Caribbean vacations that will appease the adventurous pirate-like side of everyone?

Read our top 3 (or 9 if you’re into math) picks for the best Caribbean vacations for families:

1.) Cayman Islands

Sounds fancy, right? Well, it is if you’re thinking of taking the family to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. But there are diverse options for families on a wide range of budgets. After all, you have three islands to choose from!

  • Grand Cayman: the largest island of the three and perhaps the most visited. Here your kids will find opportunities to swim with the stingrays in Stingray City and get friendly with sea turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm. Grand Cayman is known for its snorkeling opportunities so check out Smith’s Cove near Georgetown! Also, the annual Pirates’ Week Festival happens annually here and children are welcome!
  • Cayman Brac: “Family Week” in July offers special hotel rates and activities for families. You will be able to hike through the Parrott Reserve, do an island tour and even introduce the kids to scuba diving with “Bubblemakers.” This island has a small population of around 1,500 so it will offer a more laid back experience.
  • Little Cayman: This Island is even more secluded (about 90 miles NE of Grand Cayman near Cayman Brac) and offers good fishing, birding, and biking since it’s the flattest of the three!

2.) The U.S. Virgin Islands

Good things come in three’s as we found above with the Cayman Islands. Next up, the U.S. Virgin Islands offers some solid family friendly Caribbean travel options in the forms of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Perhaps you’ll want to spend a little time on all three!

  • St. Thomas: Magens Bay is a safe and inviting place for swimmers of all ages and ability. The water at Coki Beach is the clearest one on the island and kids can see marine life and feed the fish! You will also find kid-friendly toy and gift stores in town.
  • St. John: This Island is perfect for a day trip from St. Thomas. You can get in some snorkeling at Trunk Bay and see some more secluded beaches! There are historical ruins and various tour companies that offer daily excursions.
  • St. Croix: Where do we even begin? The Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is consistently ranked as one of the must-sees on the south side of the island. For the adults: go visit the Cruzan Rum Distillery and get a quick tour (along with some tastings!).

3.) The Bahamas

We couldn’t leave this one off the list (mostly because it was home to pirates in the 17th century!). Even U.S News & World Report ranked it as #3 on their list of “Best Family Vacations in the Caribbean.” Sticking with our theme of “3” per the above lists (and not forgetting about pirates), we’ll show you three of the islands of the Bahamas that boast an abundance of family friendly resorts and activities: Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, and New Providence!

  • Paradise Island: The Atlantis Paradise Island offers a plethora of toddler, preteen and teen activities. The world’s largest open-air aquarium, Atlantis Waterscape has over 100 stunning species of fish. This island is also where you want to be to get in on the Dolphin Encounter and Powerboat Adventures.
  • Grand Bahama: Swimming with dolphins = fun for everyone. What more could you want on a Caribbean vacation? Ok, well besides accomplishing the best underwater selfies with the family, you’ll find a myriad of family-friendly activities. The Lucayan National Park is not to be missed or book an ecotour that involves anything from kayaking, snorkeling, diving, hiking, and more!
  • New Providence: The most populated island of the Bahamas, this island also houses the capital city of Nassau. Chances are you’ll fly into Nassau and head to Paradise Island, which is common. However, you can still find solid hotel deals for your family here too.


Updated: February 24, 2016