If you’re looking for the best Caribbean islands with kids, you’re in the right place.
We’re Caribbean family travel experts here at Mango Tree.
A necessary disclaimer before we dive in: We’re Caribbean addicts. Frankly, we haven’t been to a Caribbean island that we think would be bad with kids. Our complete list of best Caribbean islands for families would include practically all of them.
But that wouldn’t help you narrow down your choices!
So instead, we’ve tried to pick a diverse set of islands that each offers something different to families. If you’re looking for a vacation that will please you and your little travelers, this list will guide your way.
Whether you want beautiful beaches, relaxing resorts, or an adventurous trip with hiking and watersports, each of these islands will provide a perfect backdrop for busy families to have fun and reconnect.
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The Best Caribbean Islands With Kids
If you’ve been reading our blog for while, you may know that Grenada was our first love in the Caribbean. Located at nearly the bottom of the eastern Caribbean chain, just north of Trinidad & Tobago, it has it all. We cover all the details in our ultimate guide to Grenada with kids, including the best places to stay.
A main attraction is Grand Anse Beach, one of the Caribbean’s best in our opinion: a two-mile stretch of white sand backed by palm trees. It’s shallow and calm, making it ideal for swimming and water play. The beach is home to a handful of great family-friendly hotels, including Spice Island Beach Resort and Mount Cinnamon Resort, but there are no high rises here to spoil the view or overcrowd the shore.
Even with a few great hotels, Grenada remains largely untouched by tourism. There are a couple of up-scale restaurants and plenty of beachfront dining. But the real star is the best produce market in the Caribbean, with bins overflowing with tropical fruits and vegetables.
And spices. You’ll find all the spices. It’s called the Spice Island for a reason. If you enjoy cooking on vacation, especially with local ingredients, you’ll be spoiled for choices.
There also are waterfalls and hiking trails to entertain the kids beyond the beach. The locals are generally eager to see and help tourists, making it an enjoyable place to explore.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or something more active, Grenada is among the best Caribbean islands for families. Especially families who love to cook.
2. St Vincent & The Grenadines – Bequia
If you’re looking for a family Caribbean vacation that combines adventure with a touch of family friendly luxury, look no further than Bequia.
A handful of small, lush hills plunge down into white sand bays that are perfect for smaller swimmers. The island is located in the Grenadines, just south of St. Vincent. Bequia is best accessed by a 1-hour ferry from St. Vincent, although there are also direct charter flights from Barbados and St. Lucia. It requires a journey but it’s totally worth it if you have a week or more for your Caribbean family vacation.
Once on the island, visitors will love the throw-back Caribbean charm. While there is plenty to do, the pace of this tiny island is relaxed and relaxing. Families will have no choice but to slow down. Check out our complete guide to Bequia with kids for all the details, including where to stay and what to do.
If you’re intrigued but wondering where to stay, Bequia Beach Hotel is one of our all-time favorite Caribbean resorts for kids. The family vacation we spent there, when our kids with 8 months and 4 years old, was one of our best. Kids and parents alike will love the saltwater pool and well-prepared Caribbean fare (there is also an on-site Italian restaurant during the busy season). The hotel offers easy access to the island’s best beach for kids, Princess Margaret beach.
For a slower, laid-back trip off the beaten path, Bequia is absolutely one of the best islands to visit with kids.
3. Turks & Caicos – Providenciales
Turks and Caicos is widely considered to be one of the best islands in the Caribbean for families coming from the east coast. That’s partly because it’s so close: Providenciales – the most populous island in Turks & Caicos and the one that most tourists visit — has an international airport with direct flights from many U.S. destinations. The convenience factor is hard to beat.
What’s more, 3-mile long Grace Bay Beach is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. It’s a calm, kid-friendly beach with several great family resorts. Parts of this beach are excellent for teaching young kids to snorkel, such as Bight Reef.
One thing that really stands out about Turks & Caicos for families is that many of the best hotels for families also have lots of suites with multiple bedrooms and full kitchens. And on top of all that, there are plentiful beachfront restaurants nearby that the whole family will love.
If you are looking to break up your trip with something more rugged, take a quick and easy ferry to relatively empty Middle Caicos. Stay at Dragon Cay Resort and wake up to some of the best views anywhere.
With the family-friendly resorts, calm beach, and easy access from major U.S. cities, we think Turks and Caicos is absolutely a best family-friendly Caribbean island.
If you’re ready to pack your bags, don’t miss our list of the best family resorts in Turks and Caicos. We love these hotels and would stay at all of them with our kids in a heartbeat.
4. Honduras – Roatan
When you think of Honduras, you might not immediately imagine a kid-friendly Caribbean island. But Roatan, Honduras is truly a hidden gem for family travel.
There’s nothing fancy about Roatan, and that’s why we love it. For a detailed account, check out our blog post on why Roatan is great for kids. But for now, let me just say: this little island still packs in a ton for kids, from animal encounters to snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, all without pretense or fuss.
Roatan is known for its diving, but the reef starts just off-shore. What that means for parents traveling with little ones is that the off-shore snorkeling is phenomenal. Young swimmers can wade into the water and see the reef teeming with colorful fish.
At West Bay Beach, a particularly great spot for families, low-key restaurants line the sand, offering a relaxed atmosphere and affordable prices.
Beyond the beach, there are plenty of activities for kids in Roatan. Your little travelers will also love meeting the island’s friendly monkeys, sloths, and iguanas. And, perhaps best of all, Roatan remains an affordable destination, even as other Caribbean islands have become increasingly expensive. So if you’re looking for best tropical family vacations on a budget, be sure to add Roatan to your list! And don’t miss our complete guide to Roatan for families for tips on where to stay and what to do.
When it comes to Caribbean island vacations, Dominica — not to be confused with the Dominican Republic — is often overlooked in favor of more mainstream destinations like Jamaica and the Bahamas.
But Dominica’s dramatic oceanside cliffs, rich history and culture, and great hotel options offer something unique for families looking to get off the beaten path. It may be the best island in the Caribbean for families looking for an active and adventure-packed vacation. It doesn’t surprise us in the least that Travel and Leisure placed Dominica at the very top of the best Caribbean islands 2022 list.
Dominica’s network of hiking trails, waterfalls, and natural pools are unparalleled in the region, making it the perfect place for nature lovers. There are also opportunities for whale watching, snorkeling, and swimming. (Rainforest spa, anyone?)
Because Dominica is not your beach-lounge type of vacation, this island may be best enjoyed with elementary-school-aged kids rather than toddlers and babies.
6. Saint Martin / St. Maarten
This one was easy. We know several families who have returned to Saint Martin again and again, and who have had fantastic trips here with kids of all ages. Much as we love exploring new Caribbean destinations, St. Martin is one we’ve been tempted to revisit.
A top reason to love St. Martin: the villas. Families dream of finding a sprawling Caribbean manor on the beach or with a view to bring along extended family or groups of friends. Then, sticker shock sets in after seeing what such villas can cost on some islands. Saint Martin has an extensive inventory of gorgeous villas, and that means they remain more affordable than many other destinations.
If you opt for the villa route, you may not be beachfront. But that’s OK. A great thing about tackling Saint Martin with kids is that it’s easy to get around by car. Good thing too, because the island has 37 different beaches, so you’ll want to leave the villa and explore them.
Our favorite St Martin beach is the stunning Pinel Island, which has perfect swimming conditions for kids and great beachside service for adults. A day at Pinel Island is a Caribbean dream.
Another reason to love Saint Martin? The French food. If you want a slightly more upscale dining scene, or maybe just a little flavor of France in your island vibes, you’ve found your place. We love starting the day with pastries or crepes for the kids, and coffee for mom and dad, before heading off to the beach. The casual lolo restaurants that dot St. Martin’s towns and beaches are also excellent for kids.
And, of course, if you prefer a hotel experience, you’ll find that in St. Martin! We love two small boutique hotels in Grand Case, where you’ll have both beaches and food at your fingertips: Hotel L’Esplanade and Grand Case Beach Club.
It’s always a treat to find a remote Caribbean destination that’s not overly developed or touristy. But often, those destinations are either hard to get to, or hard to navigate. After all, that’s what keeps the tourists away.
Bonaire is neither of those things. It feels like a secret, and yet it’s somehow easy. That combination is why we think Bonaire is one of the best Caribbean islands for kids.
You will know the moment you arrive that you’re in a very special place. Compared to its more populated neighbors, Aruba and Curacao, Bonaire is quiet, with only a fraction of the population. The town of Kralendijk is colorful and lively – but compact enough that you will never more than a few blocks away from the ice cream shop in the middle.
It’s all about the sea here. Since 1979, the waters surrounding Bonaire have been part of a national marine park, and the marine life is the best we’ve seen in the Caribbean. The wildlife is abundant and accessible to kids — flamingos, iguanas, crabs, reef fish, and more are at your fingertips all day. Take your kids to explore Bonaire’s best beaches, and you’ll often be the only people around.
And yet, Bonaire makes it easy for families at every turn. Customs is quick, the airport is small, and you can be at your hotel within an hour of landing in Bonaire. The U.S. dollar is widely accepted. The hotel staff is friendly, warm and welcoming. And the island’s small size, and flat landscape, makes it easy to explore.
8. Antigua & Barbuda – Antigua
Antigua is perfect for parents who want to unwind and relax. The island has several small, all-inclusive resorts, that offer the serenity and calm of a boutique hotel but the amenities of a larger resort.
And there is still plenty to do. Antigua is known for its 365 beaches — one for each day of the year — offering plenty of chances to explore and making this one of the best family vacation spots in the Caribbean.
Another highlight of a family trip to Antigua would be the weekly barbecue at Shirley Heights, which offers the best view on the island (shown above). On Sundays, the great food and live music create a festive atmosphere that is perfect for family fun.
Antigua also offers a snorkeling experience that caters to younger travelers, which makes it an especially good trip for the Under 5 crowd. Long Bay Beach, on Antigua’s east coast, has plentiful marine life on a reef in shallow water. In fact, the reefs are so shallow that you can walk to them, and even kids who can’t swim yet may be able to see fish and practice with snorkel masks.
If you’re based in or near New York, Antigua should be high on your list of family friendly Caribbean islands, as several airlines offer direct flights from JFK
9. Mexico (Playa del Carmen)
Recommended by Melissa, who documents her family’s travels and provides travel tips on her blog, The Family Voyage.
While it’s not an island, Playa del Carmen is a fantastic Caribbean destination for families with kids of all ages, so we wanted to be sure to include it. From many U.S. cities, it’s easier to get to than the islands. And sometimes, we just need something easy. Those visiting with babies and toddlers can enjoy relaxing at an all-inclusive resort and swimming in the gentle waters of the Caribbean.
Playa del Carmen really shines for school-age kids and up. It offers the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure and no one will ever say they’re bored! You’ll spend some days at the pool or the beach, but it’s easy to rent a car and alternate them with unique experiences like swimming in a cenote, visiting ancient Mayan ruins or even exploring nearby Xcaret Park.
One hotel that frequently comes recommended for families in Playa Del Carmen is the Mahekal Beach Resort. It’s more intimate than many of the surrounding resorts and maintains much of the area’s original character from before Riviera Maya’s tourism boom. You can get more wonderful details in this Mahekal Beach Resort review.
10. Saint Kitts and Nevis
Recommended by Steph & Lewis from Book It Let’s Go! Steph and Lewis provide travel planning services and tips from their home base in St. Kitts and Nevis.
We often get requests for the best Caribbean island for families with activities beyond the beach. If that sounds like you, St Kitts and Nevis may be the right choice for your best family Caribbean vacation
There are many exciting things to do on Saint Kitts and Nevis. For families with young children, there are tons of fantastic and beautiful beaches with white and black sand and lots of opportunities for swimming and shell hunting. Many tropical coral reefs are in very shallow water, perfect for beginners learning to snorkel.
Saint Kitts has a ton of activities for kids of all ages. Start with Brimstone Hill Fortress, perhaps one of the Caribbean’s best forts for kids, which is a massive stone fortress with maze-like ramps and stairs to help kids burn off energy.
There’s also the Saint Kitts scenic train — a three-hour journey, so pack lots of snacks. But kids will love on the chance to take a train on vacation. And parents will love the 360-degree view from the top deck as you ride along the coastal road.
But wait, there’s more! Adventurous families can zipline through the jungle, horseback ride along the beach, or take an ATV tour up the mountain.
Of course, when it’s time to relax, St. Kitts has great beaches for families too. The best beaches in St. Kitts on the kids are on the Caribbean side. These are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. With all this variety, you’re bound to have a fantastic family trip.
11. Saint Barts
St. Barts is often thought of as a destination for the wealthy and famous, and it’s true that the island has its share of designer shops and luxurious resorts. However, St. Barts is also an under-the-radar choice for the best Caribbean vacations with kids.
When in St. Barts with kids, it’s all about the slow pace, the beaches, and the animals. It’s a great choice for an easy, quiet vacation. And of course, no trip to St. Barts would be complete without trying some of the delicious French-Caribbean cuisine.
The island is home to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, with calm waters and powdery white sand that is perfect for play. Kids will especially love the beach on the airport side of the island to watch the planes fly in — they come quite close!
St Barts is also full of animals. Kids can see iguanas, turtles, snails, hermit crabs, pelicans, and schools of colorful fish in the shallow beach areas. Start your mornings with a nature walk or hike to get some energy out and explore the island’s wildlife.
Best of all, because St. Barts is relatively small, it’s easy to get around without a car, making it a stress-free vacation destination for families.
Want to learn more? One of our favorite family travel bloggers hits all the highlights in her St. Barts with kids post.
12. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico makes many families’ lists of top travel destinations. And with its close proximity to the United States, it’s easy to get to! Plus, no passport required — which also means no long lines at customs.
Of course, most families make a stop in San Juan. This charming city has so much to offer kids and parents alike: colorful buildings, accessible beaches, delicious gelato, and cobblestone streets and plazas to discover. El Morro and San Cristobal are two of the most popular forts in the Caribbean, and they offer great views of the city and the ocean.
No post about Puerto Rico for kids would be complete without talking about El Yunque National Forest. It is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system, and it’s an amazing place to hike and see waterfalls with kids. The El Portal Visitor Center is a great starting point, and from there you can choose one of several different trails depending on your fitness level and how long you want to hike.
If you’re looking to get out of the city, you can head east to Fajardo. Here, you’ll find beautiful beaches, bigger resorts, and a unique Bioluminescent Bay. Or, take the road less traveled, and head west to the surfing mecca Rincon, which has a more bohemian atmosphere. Your kids will love hunting for shells on the beach and watching surfers from the point at the town’s lighthouse.
No matter where you go in Puerto Rico, your kids are sure to have a great time!
Jamaica is one of the bigger Caribbean islands and has multiple areas. You could take several different family trips here and have a great experience each time. The thing we love most? The warmth of Jamaican hospitality.
If you’re looking for an easy all-inclusive resort to visit, with a kids club and all the frills? Jamaica’s Montego Bay has endless options. Want to venture a little further? Try the infamous seven-mile beach in Negril. But the place I’m most excited to visit with my kids? The somewhat lesser frequented area of Port Antonio. with the infamous blue lagoon (yes the one from the movie).
For older kids, Jamaica has, even more, to offer beyond beaches and resorts. These can include river rafting, cliff jumping, and hiking the Blue Mountains. (Bring me home some coffee, please!) It’s also one of just a handful of Caribbean islands where you can go horseback riding in the water.
Lots of U.S. airlines fly direct to either Kingston or Montego Bay, making it easily accessible.
Plus, when it comes to villas and all-inclusive resorts, Jamaica’s options are more affordable than many other islands. Everyone should go to Jamaica at some point, and definitely bring the kids. (And don’t forget to sample some delicious Jamaican rum while you’re there.)
Find the best Jamaica family hotels here for your next trip.
14. US Virgin Islands – St Thomas & St John
I’ll admit it: For many years, I told people that St. Thomas was not among my favorite Caribbean Island. With the emphasis on duty-free shopping and crowds from cruise ships, it just didn’t feel like my style. But the truth? I just wasn’t doing it right.
I recently re-discovered St. Thomas as a family destination and happily put the US Virgin Islands back on my list of best Caribbean islands for kids.
First off, St. Thomas is a short flight from many U.S. cities. And with no passport required, the hassle of traveling with kids drops down a notch. There are direct flights from some European capitals as well.
Once you’re in St. Thomas, you have easy access to St. John via the 20-minute Red Hook ferry. (That’s especially true if you stay near the east end of St. Thomas, near the ferry dock. We highly recommend Secret Harbour Beach Resort for families interested in exploring both islands.) Though they are very different islands, in one trip you can experience slightly more developed St. Thomas, and wild St. John, which is about 60% Virgin Islands National Park. Both islands have beaches that would easily rank as among the best for Caribbean vacations.
Between the two islands, you’ll have endless opportunities for hiking, snorkeling, and exploring kid-friendly beaches. We also especially loved the Tree Limin’ Extreme zipline in St. Thomas, which is on the side of a hill with gorgeous views of Magen’s Bay Beach.
And don’t forget the Coral World Ocean Park! St. Thomas has one of the best (and affordable) seaquariums in the Caribbean, which is perfect for kids who love marine life.
Recommended by Victoria of Guide Your Travel. Victoria grew up spending her summers in Bermuda and has enjoyed many return trips with her cousins and other family members.
Bermuda is a great place to visit with kids of all ages. The island is known for its paradise-like beaches with pink sand and crystal-clear waters.
Bermuda is suitable for kids of all ages, but kids 6 and up will really enjoy the underwater world here. Kids ages 12 and up can take advantage of introductory scuba diving classes. And kids between the ages of 6 and 14 will enjoy the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Center which is a fun, interactive museum explaining Bermuda’s incredible underwater world and its history with shipwrecks.
Another great activity for kids is to explore Bermuda’s stunning parks with hidden caves and underground lakes — lots to do for families beyond the beach.
Note, though, that Bermuda can be an expensive place to visit, which is why most tourists come here as part of a cruise and only stay for one or two days. Bermuda can be more than a cruise destination for families. You could easily spend a week or two here without running out of things to do. Here are some tips for making your trip to Bermuda more affordable, so you can extend your stay!
Recommended by Nikki who offers money-saving travel tips, including for families, on her blog, She Saves She Travels.
With plenty of amenities to make you feel at home, your family will enjoy the white-sand beaches of Aruba, definitely one of the best tropical islands for kids. On most of the beaches, you’ll be able to rent palapas and chairs for shade and comfort.
For younger children, the sand in Aruba is perfect for building sandcastles — always family favorite. Be sure to visit Baby Beach for its shallow water and extra gentle waves.
For older kids, Aruba’s Splash Park, full of inflatables, offers a day of family-fun. You can also visit the Donkey Sanctuary, the Butterfly Farm, or take a tour on a pirate schooner and sail the coast of Aruba!
Teens will love the active adventures that Aruba has to offer. They can take windsurfing lessons, visit Arikok National Park and the Natural Bridge. Going parasailing or renting one (or more) UTV’s for the day is a fun way to explore Aruba. There are so many things to do in Aruba, you won’t get bored!
Travel tip for families: book accommodations in advance, especially if you want to stay in a hotel on Palm Beach. Many restaurants on Palm Beach require reservations for dinner, so plan accordingly.
17. The Bahamas
If you’re considering the Bahamas islands for your Caribbean family trip, you can’t go wrong! While these islands are not actually located in the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas are part of the Caribbean region and totally count as a Caribbean destination.
The island nation of the Bahamas is made up of nearly 700 islands, though they aren’t all inhabited. These islands offer warm blue water, tropical beach fun, and family-friendly luxury. The Bahamas easily makes our list of best Caribbean islands for families.
What really stands out to us about the Bahamas are the long, sandy beaches in the Out Islands. If you want blue water as far as the eye can see, and shallow sloping beaches for small kids, these are the islands for you.
If you want seclusion, relaxation, and quiet beaches, though, it’s the Out Islands for you. Destinations like Andros, the Exumas, and Harbour Island take a slightly longer journey, but are well worth it. But these islands on your Caribbean bucket list and let us Mango Tree help you nail down the best Bahamas location for you!
The Bottom Line
You can’t go wrong in the Caribbean! There are so many kid-friendly Caribbean islands perfect for memorable family vacations.
But if this list of ideas sent your brain into overdrive, or if decision-fatigue has you shutting your laptop, let us take the hassle out of your travel planning. We’ll get you to the Caribbean while minimizing stress and hassle at every stage.
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