Caribbean Islands, A to Z

-Overview For Family Getaways

Every island in the Caribbean has its unique flavor. Some have colonial towns or other sightseeing to explore; others are famous for coral reefs. Families love their resorts, especially all inclusives, but be sure to get out and explore. all resorts arrange tours, and on some islands it's practical to rent a car and explore on your own.

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Family Vacation Deals in the Caribbean & Mexico

 Matt Kieffer (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr

 Here’s a selection of handpicked special offers that are currently available in favorite kid-friendly resorts and destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Also remember that American citizens do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands (USVI). This page will be updated regularly, so please come back often.

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Which Islands Have All Inclusive Resorts?

 Ashley Burton / Wikimedia Commons

Families flock to the Caribbean for all inclusive resorts. Your destination may be determined by whether or not it offers these convenient getaways.

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Anguilla, for Families

  • small island, lesser-known as a destination for families
  • eastern Caribbean, just east of the USVI
  • don't expect mega-resorts
  • beautiful beaches; good snorkeling, scuba
  • British influence (including left-hand drive)
  • good rating for friendliness and safety*
  • see Family Fun, at the Anguilla site - glassbottom boats, horseback-riding, and other outings.
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  • small island, in the eastern Caribbean, northeast of St. Kitts and Nevis, north of Dominica and St. Lucia
  • 365 beaches; snorkeling; scuba
  • day trips to undeveloped sister island Barbuda
  • British influence and historic districts. Nelson's Dockyard National Park, fully restored, is the only Georgian dockyard in the world
  • Jolly Beach is a family-friendly all inclusive resort, as is the luxury St. James Club Resort & Villas
  • more about Antigua and Barbuda
Continue to 5 of 17 below.
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Aruba For Families


  • The "A" of the "ABC" Dutch Caribbean islands, below the hurricane zone
  • Oranjestad town has historic sections
  • 43 nationalities
  • local lingo Papiamento is fun to try
  • don't expect lush terrain
  • name-brand resorts
  • A+ for friendliness, safety*
  • see Aruba for families - resorts, outings and attractions, flights and airports
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 FotoDawg / Wikimedia Commons

  • just a hop from Florida (and technically in the Caribbean)
  • 700 islands!
  • British influence; historic forts
  • busy areas, quiet areas
  • avoid during Spring Break
  • many resorts, including the legendary Atlantis Paradise Island with giant water shark lagoons, large kids pool area, lazy river, amazing waterslides, and much more
  • Our Lucaya Resort, Grand Bahama, with Westin and Sheraton resorts, is popular with families and has a pool with slides and waterfalls
  • See Bahamas Travel Guide for attractions, travel info, resorts, and more
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  • most eastern Island in the Caribbean; direct flights from the UK
  • “the most British” island
  • much-developed, except for the most rugged coastlines
  • considered a safe, friendly island
  • resorts include ritzy (and family-friendly) Sandy Lane, and two all-inclusive Almond Resorts with nurseries
  • "A" for safety, friendly atmosphere*
  • see Barbados for families
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  • known for pink sand beaches
  • 180 small islands; seven are connected
  • location is north, 600 miles off N. Carolina; technically not Caribbean
  • low season is Nov.- April, unlike the islands in the Caribbean
  • safe, upscale destination
  • British influence
  • sightseeing includes forts, caves
  • Barrier Reef nearby for scuba and snorkeling
  • resorts, inns, B&B's, cottages
  • A for safety and friendly atmosphere*
  • see Bermuda Island Guide
Continue to 9 of 17 below.
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  • one of the "ABC" Dutch Caribbean Islands
  • don't expect lush terrain, or big name-brand resorts
  • known for diving
  • the ocean is the big attraction, and Bonaire's fringe reef is a protected national park (Bonaire Marine Park)
  • Buddy Dive Resort welcomes families
  • Dutch, English, Spanish, and Papiamento (creole language) are spoken; kids will enjoy learning a few words of Papiamento
  • see Bonaire For Families - where to stay, attractions and fun outings.
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Cayman Islands


  • Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac
  • British territory in the western Caribbean northwest of Jamaica
  • Grand Cayman is a sophisticated financial center
  • known for diving and beaches (such as Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman)
  • popular tours to "Stingray City" (sandbar with rays you can feed and hold)
  • Pirates week festival in November, Cayman Brac Family Week in July
  • family-friendly attractions and resorts
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 Nelo Hotsuma from Rockwall / Wikimedia Commons

  • in the Dutch Caribbean, near Venezuela, and below the hurricane zone
  • don't expect lush terrain
  • fascinating town, Willemstad, is a World Heritage site
  • 70 nationalities and proud of this diversity
  • local language Papiamento is fun to try
  • all-inclusive Breezes Curacao has kids programs
  • good snorkeling, diving
  • A+ for safety, friendly atmosphere
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Dominican Republic


  • fast-developing island with many family-friendly all inclusive resorts
  • shares the island of Hispaniola with impoverished country Haiti
  • Punta Cana area on the southeast has beautiful long beaches
  • north coast is good for boogie-boarding, surfing, kiteboarding, and has several tourist towns
  • capital city Santo Domingo has centuries of history and is a UNESCO World Heritage site; not easily visited from the resort areas, though.
  • outings include horseback riding, river-rafting, waterfalls

Read more about the DR and popular tourist areas; or head directly to Dominican Republic Resorts.

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  • in the western Caribbean, south of Cuba
  • unique culture and history; home of reggae; unique patois
  • outstanding family all inclusive resorts
  • famous seven-mile beach at Negril
  • Dunn's River waterfalls are a popular outing
  • crime issues are a reason that tourists prefer all inclusive resorts

There's no place like Jamaica; as the slogan says, "Once You Go, You Know". See Jamaica for Families for resorts, where to go - and some good ways to get to know the country beyond your resort.

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Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico, photo © Zain Deane.
Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico, photo © Zain Deane.

This Caribbean island has family-friendly resorts, beautiful beaches, and attractions to visit, such as historic Old San Juan and the El Yunque rainforest. Logistics are made easy by many direct flights, and the fact that no passport is required for U.S. citizens. Puerto Rico won our 2012 Readers' Choice Award for Best Spring Break Destination for Families.

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St. Lucia


St. Lucia is known for its scenic beauty, and especially for the photogenic twin peaks of the Pitons, left. This island has a number of family-friendly all inclusive resorts.

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Turks & Caicos

 James Willamor (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr

  • small British territory in the western Caribbean, total population about 30,000
  • known for unspoiled white-sand beaches, luxury resorts, snorkeling, and diving
  • The Beaches brand of all-inclusive resorts for families has a flagship resort here, Beaches Turks & Caicos, with a water park and lazy river
Continue to 17 of 17 below.
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US Virgin Islands

 National Park Service

  • three distinct islands offer white-sand beaches, super snorkeling, colonial towns and forts, and some popular family resorts.
  • in the mid-Caribbean, near the DR and Puerto Rico
  • two-thirds of St. John is National Park, land and sea
  • St. Thomas has a bustling colonial town, with fort, and Coral World marine park
  • on St. Croix, the town of Christiansted is beautifully restored
  • no passport required, for US citizens

*Safety ratings are from guidebook Caribbean With Kids.

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