6 of the Best Caribbean Islands for Families

I think we’ve all spent our fair time daydreaming about frolicking on faraway beaches. In my daydreams, I’m usually on a sun-soaked Caribbean Island. In real life, I am constantly planning how to get to said islands since the Caribbean is an amazing place to travel as a family!

There are plenty of islands to choose from, each with its own features and flair that set them apart from the others. You will find varying food, culture, activities, and scenery across them. Below, I will break down the best Caribbean islands for families where you’re sure to have an exciting and memorable time.

Grab your bathing suit, some sunscreen, and some slick shades, because we’re headed to the Caribbean! Let’s get it!

Top 6 of the Best Caribbean Islands for Families

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

They wouldn’t name it Grand Cayman if it wasn’t grand, and you’ll understand from the minute you touch down on the island. Crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, sunshine in spades, and the cheerful sound of the steel drum will illuminate the day for you once you step foot outside and really start taking it in.

best Caribbean Islands for Families

Grand Cayman is great for sitting back on the beach and unwinding with a frozen drink, but there’s a reason we’ve crowned it one of the best Caribbean islands for families. This island specifically offers so many family-friendly activities.

We love Stingray City and the Cayman Turtle Centre, where you’ll learn lots about sea turtles and even get a chance to touch them! That’s a big deal, considering sea turtles are protected in the wild and you’re really not supposed to get within ten feet of them!

Snorkeling, water sports, and more make this destination one of the best in the Caribbean. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that, in regard to crime, Grand Cayman ranks among the safest islands, even if you adventure beyond the actual resort.

Grand Cayman also has a famous bioluminescent bay that lights up the sea like it was decorated with Christmas lights. Pictures of this marvel are cool to see, but being there in person is something you and your family are bound to never forget!

Let’s not leave out the resorts, which tend to be family-friendly, offer a wide variety of activities and dining options, and, oh, did we mention many are all-inclusive? You won’t have to worry about breaking the bank as your children down their third and fourth virgin daiquiris at the pool.

Booking Grand Cayman for a family vacation guarantees a great time, and safe time, by all!

Best Resorts

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

This one’s a bit of a mouthful, but Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is another hidden gem in the Caribbean that you’ll easily mistake for paradise once you arrive. You get all the usual island favorites; tasty food and drink, water sports, and brilliant beaches that’ll provide the perfect backdrop to unwind in the sunshine.

best Caribbean Islands for Families

Grace Bay Beach is particularly popular for families, consistently ranking among the best beaches in the entire world. The water is calm here making it perfect for families with little ones. Aside from the calm waters, it is absolutely stunning with incredible white sand and turquoise water.

Providenciales is an excellent spot for adventuring “under the sea,” as Sebastian the Crab would say, boasting some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Check out Smith’s Reef and Bight Reef for great snorkeling and diving opportunities. You’ll see coral walls, shipwrecks, and may even encounter a few reef favorites like stingrays and sea turtles.

You will, of course, see plenty of fish, each with vibrant scales and beautiful colors that make you feel real guilty when you indulge in a tasty seafood dinner later that evening. Don’t worry; most of the reef fish are not the ones you’ll find on your plate later!

best Caribbean Islands for Families

Not quite sold on Providenciales just yet? Well then, here’s one for the equestrians— Provo Ponies! Provo Ponies offers guided horseback rides along Long Bay Beach, which is a certified crowd-pleaser for children and adults alike. I mean, some of us have gone horseback riding on a ranch, but on the beach— it’s another thing entirely!

Seriously. If you’re considering a Caribbean vacation, Providenciales is a strong contender for the top spot as far as the best islands go.

Best Resorts

Alexandra Resort – All Inclusive

Grace Bay Club


You don’t have to be a Pirate of the Caribbean to fall in love with Barbados. Known mostly for those powdery beaches and crystal-clear waters, there’s plenty to do and see while you’re on the island.

Families will fall in love with the Platinum Coast, as this spot has famously calm waters that give parents peace of mind when the little ones go out for a swim. It’s easy to kick back and unwind in your perfect tropical paradise amidst the palm trees and sunshine.

Beach days are great for relaxing, sunbathing, and letting your worries wash away, but there’s plenty to get into on the island for the adventurous type and history buffs alike.

best Caribbean Islands for Families

Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, offers glimpses into the rich heritage, tales of pirates, colonialism, and other tidbits for the history buffs among us. For animal lovers, the Barbados Wildlife Sanctuary has numerous species of animals freely roaming the grounds, including monkeys, tortoises, and deer. Make sure to keep your valuables secure though, as the monkeys are known for making mischief!

And let’s not forget Harrison’s Cave, an incredible underground limestone cavern that offers some refuge from the intense Caribbean sunshine. Below the surface, you and your family will embark on a guided tram tour to explore the winding network of tunnels, checking out cool rock formations, underground waterfalls, and hidden pools you would’ve never known were there.

Barbados, like most Caribbean islands, has a rich culture, and the island is known to put on vibrant festivals to celebrate its history. Expect colorful celebratory garb, Bajan music, dancing, and delicious food as far as the eye can see!

best Caribbean Islands for Families

Barbados is also home to some of the coolest water parks you’ll find anywhere, including the Rascals Water Park and the Splash Zone at the Pirates Cove Beach Bar. These spots have great water slides and attractions, plus kid-friendly accommodations and children’s pools for the littlest ones who need their own space to toddle around.

Best Resorts

Waves Hotel & Spa by Elegant Hotels – All-Inclusive

Sugar Bay Barbados – All-Inclusive

St. Lucia

St. Lucia is made for the adventurers among us. The island is without a doubt one of the most majestic places in the world, and you’ll know it from the moment you see the Pitons peeking above the horizon.

best Caribbean Islands for Families

Families traveling to St. Lucia can expect that sense of adventure to pervade everything from the lush rainforests, where you can hike and go zip-lining, to the Caribbean Sea itself where boat tours will take you to all the top attractions on the island.

Sulphur Springs Park is one of the highest-ranked family-friendly attractions, enjoying status as the world’s only drive-in volcano offering an up-close-and-personal view of the volcano. There are also mud baths nearby, which the kids might find icky, but you’ll likely find it’s among one of the most therapeutic experiences you never knew you needed!

best Caribbean Islands for Families

As a popular spot in the Caribbean, there are plenty of beaches, of course. Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay has calm waters, making it a great choice for families with younger children, while Anse Chastanet offers similar digs too.

Also similar to other Caribbean spots, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly resorts, all-inclusive accommodations, and other great places where everyone can relax, eat and drink, and swim in luxurious pools under the hot Caribbean sun.

Best Resorts

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort


There’s a reason most people think of Jamaica first when they think of the Caribbean, and it still ranks, year after year, as one of the best places for a family vacation thanks to the beautiful scenery, rich culture, delicious food, impressive resorts, and, of course, that famous Jamaican sunshine!

best Caribbean Islands for Families

On the popular beaches of Montego Bay, Negril, and Ocho Rios you’ll enjoy soft sand, beautiful water, and plenty of lively locals.

Many people love to stay on the resorts and enjoy all-inclusive accommodations, decadent dining options, on-site entertainment options, and unparalleled beaches, but there are many places nearby for excursions as well.

Dunn’s River Falls is a popular spot. This waterfall cascades down terraced steps into the sea, offering families the chance to climb the falls by forming a human chain for a bonding experience you and the kids will likely love.

Then, zip on over to Dolphin Cove, an interactive marine park where you can swim with the dolphins, and even get a kick peck on the lips from them if you’re ready to put the tail of a fish between your teeth! Dolphin Cove also offers thrilling water slides for the adrenaline junkies in the crowd, so you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy while there.

Jamaica is a great place for river tubing and bamboo rafting too, which are popular activities on the Martha Brae River in Falmouth or the Rio Bueno in Ocho Rios. If you’re not ready to try that out, consider a guided tour instead,  which allows families to float along the calm river currents and take in the view at a slower pace.

best Caribbean Islands for Families

There’s a lot to love about Jamaica, but, unlike some of our other selections on this list, Jamaica has a reputation for being dangerous if you travel off the resort. 

Many families I know have had a wonderful time just staying on the resort grounds or journeying to nearby destinations using resort-provided transportation. However, tourists should definitely be aware of the risks before considering a leisurely stroll away from the luxe resorts.

Best Resorts

Beaches Negril – All-Inclusive

Beaches Ocho Rios – All-Inclusive

Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa – All-Inclusive

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Thomas is one of the best destinations if you’re interested in the U.S. or British Virgin Islands. Not only is this among the largest and most popular destinations of the options, but it’s close to other islands, like St. John, St. Martin, and St. Croix, making it easy to island hop and take in even more trademark Caribbean beauty.

best Caribbean Islands for Families

Families will gravitate to beaches like Magens Bay and Sapphire Beach on the East Coast, which offer calm waters where families can swim, boogie board, sunbathe, and build sandcastles. There are also plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and water sports, including windsurfing, parasailing, jet skis, paddleboarding, kayaks, canoes— you name it, and there’s a place to rent the stuff and get out there!

St. Thomas has plenty of attractions nearby too, like Coral World Ocean Park, which offers interactive exhibits where the kids can get up close and personal with various marine life. It’s a great family-friendly spot you’re bound to enjoy!

best Caribbean Islands for Families

You could really make a pretty sweet family vacation out of St. Thomas alone, but there’s a reason why island hopping is so popular here. Trips to other adjacent islands by plane or ferry are available daily, so you could go for a day trip and come back, or switch hotels entirely in the middle of your stay and try another island on for size.

No matter which Virgin Island you stay at, you’re guaranteed a great family vacation, but St. Thomas is a strong contender for the best of the bunch.

Best Resorts

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove, A Marriott Vacation Club Resort

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Caribbean Islands for Families

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