There’s something undeniably magical about a Caribbean family vacation. The weather is almost always perfect, the seas alluring, and the fun endless.
You could choose any Caribbean resort and have an amazing vacation, but you don’t want a couples’ honeymoon retreat. You want a vacation destination catered toward families and will create an unforgettable experience from the moment you check out to when you regrettably have to leave.
I’ve found nine such resorts that must go on your bucket list. Let’s take a look!
Adventure awaits at Atlantis Paradise Island, a sublime escape for families seeking a vacation that transcends the ordinary.
Atlantis Paradise Island invites families to stay and play on its five miles of private beach. Even if you’re a beach-hopping family, you’ve never experienced seas like this. The sands are white and soft, the waters blue and warm.
The resort also has 14 pools and 20 swimming areas. When you towel off, you can take an ecotour, including some that allow you to see 200 animal species and 50,000 creatures.
No, I don’t necessarily mean witnessing animals behind glass. Atlantis Paradise Island allows guests to play with sea lions with a certified animal behaviorist. Dolphin Cay is a deepwater lagoon for swimming with the dolphins.
Dive deep into the Caribbean when you take a snorkeling excursion. You just might see a fun, colorful variety of tropical fish. Kayaking and paddleboarding the seas are also available.
Why pay to visit a nearby water park when access to the Aquaventure is included in your stay at Atlantis Paradise Island? This park has 20 million gallons of water and is 141 acres. The Atlantean theming is charming, but kids will come for the slides and rapids.
Aquaventure boasts 11 distinct pools and 20 swimming areas, including the Mayan Temple Pool and Grotto Pool. The Rapids River is a mile-long looping river ride featuring seven-foot drops, elevations, and surges.
The water slides here are for the brave and the bold, with the Leap of Faith the most daring. It’s a body slide that drops you 60 feet straight down. The Challenger Slide is a dual ride for two where riders race to the finish.
The Abyss is another vertical drop slide partially ensconced in darkness, and The Power Tower is 120 feet. Other rides at Aquaventure are Jungle Slide and Serpent Slide.
Atlantis Paradise Island has its fair share of kids’ clubs to further children’s exploration of the resort. The Atlantis Kids Adventures for children three to 12 is a supervised, Adventure Guide-hosted experience.
The Atlantis Kids Adventures for children three through six includes play zones, LEGO construction areas, kid-themed grocery stores where they can feel like small adults, and a life-sized Victorian dollhouse with tea parties.
The Atlantis Kids Adventures for preteens 7 through 12 includes cooking classes, a game room, an arts and crafts room, and a performance room where kids can explore their creativity through talent shows, concerts, photo shoots, skits, or films.
The hotels within the resort cater to different tastes, with options such as The Cove (an ode to elegance and luxury), The Royal (a larger-than-life hotel known as “the beacon of Atlantis”), The Reef (with sky-high views), The Coral (with great proximity to the Marina), and Harborside Resort (a colorful, coastal paradise).
In the Caribbean Netherlands, the Golden Rock Dive & Nature Resort is a retreat for relaxation and excitement, all rolled into one special resort.
Its ideal spot between the Atlantic Ocean and Quill Volcano makes it a coveted vacation location, as your eyes will be filled with views of the ocean, pools, and gardens.
The resort facilities are catered toward getting outside and experiencing the wonders of the Caribbean. Your family will spend adventuresome days taking garden walks, playing in the kids’ play zone, or partaking in sports on a basketball/tennis court, oceanfront gym, and asymmetrical pool.
The Statia Divers experience is your opportunity to dive deep into the resort’s natural lagoon on one of more than 30 dive sites. Don’t know how to scuba dive? No problem! You will receive instruction so you feel confident swimming among the sponges, coral, and fish.
Retreat to a stunning villa with overarching Atlantic Ocean views. These spacious rooms are nearly 700 square feet and feature a kitchenette and living area ideal for families who want to save by doing some cooking while on vacation.
Famed for its intersection of affordability and authenticity, the Bahamas resort Lighthouse Pointe is a favorite for families. It offers all-inclusive amenities such as entertainment (including karaoke!), fine dining and drinks, golfing, and beach access.
This award-winning resort features breathtaking outdoor infinity pools, saunas, and swim-up bars. It fosters the ultimate atmosphere of peace and relaxation.
Most rooms are 400 square feet, including the Ocean View, Marina View, and Island View rooms. Families seeking more space shouldn’t miss the Ocean Breeze Suites, which are 800 square feet.
A stay in an Ocean Breeze Suite promises separate bedrooms (including one with a king-sized bed), views of the ocean you’ll always want to wake up to, a private double balcony for lounging late in the day, sleeper sofas, and living areas for unwinding.
Antigua & Barbuda
An island of discovery is calling in the West Indies at Curtain Bluff. Situated in the south part of Antigua, among miles of rocky cliffs, this resort is near Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
A great value for families eager to flex their passports without spending an arm and a leg, a stay at Curtain Bluff presents opportunity after opportunity for outdoor fun.
The Cee Bee Kids Camp for children 3 to 10 years old promises an ever-changing roster of daily activities, including sports courts, waterskiing, snorkeling, sailing, crab races, and arts and crafts.
Taking a break is fun, too, what with wide-screen televisions, a game room, board games, and a jungle gym and sandbox.
How about some thrilling water sports? You and the kiddos can play all day, paddling, waterskiing, sailing, or swimming. The best part is that water sports are included with your stay, so you don’t have to pay extra.
There are yet more amenities at Curtain Bluff, such as boat tubing on the Super Marble, sun float and hammock access, snorkel equipment (including snorkels, masks, and fins) with two trips per day to the reef, wakeboarding instruction and equipment, and aqua aerobics.
Beach toys from Windsurfers to kayaks, paddleboats, and Hobie Cats are available for the whole family to use. You can also take a dip in the spacious swimming pool, which includes dual lap lanes 75 feet each.
If you’d rather stay dry, the ground sports offered at Curtain Bluff foster hours of fun, with options like pickleball, basketball, and squash available. Spacious sports courts give you plenty of room to play and explore your family’s competitive side.
Staying here means awakening to ocean views and listening to the soothing sound of crashing waves every night in bed. The commodious, bright rooms have contemporary Caribbean design touches sure to put a smile on your face.
Hulford Collection rooms are high-level suites, Rooms on the Bluff are mid-level rooms between 800 and 1,700 square feet, and Beach Front Rooms are simple, moderately sized, and inexpensive for families on a budget.
Skyrocketing to the top of most Caribbean getaway bucket lists is the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts in Punta Cana. This all-inclusive resort is Nick-themed everything, inviting kids and parents alike into the enchanting, colorful, and exciting world of Nickelodeon.
After grabbing a bite at the yummy Lighthouse Restaurant, get changed into your bathing suits and dive into the Lighthouse Pool, a large, shapely pool with a center island dotted with beach umbrellas. Swim-up pools connect to rooms across the resort.
If your little ones aren’t the strongest swimmers, they can always play at the Kids Splash Pool. Adjacent to a kiddy playhouse, this shallow pool with interactive splash and play features is ideal for toddlers still finding their sea legs.
The biggest and most popular water attraction at this resort is Aqua Nick, exclusive to the Punta Cana resort. This onsite water park has one restaurant, four quick-bite stations (known as Aqua Bites), 21 slides, one activity pool, and two lazy rivers.
Some of the slides you can ride include the single-rider twisting body slide The Big Plunge, the 60-foot Soak Summit Tower, the one-person Riptide Rush water slide, the twisting body slide Tubular Twist, and the two-person Gnarly Half-Pipe.
Paw Patrol Adventure Bay is the toddler-friendly portion of the park, featuring smaller, kid-friendly water slides such as the Puppy Plunge, Rescue Racers, Pups Away, Hero Half Pipe, and the Adventure Bay exploration splash zone.
Bikini Bottom Beach is the home of the themed Activity Pool and often features visits from the SpongeBob SquarePants crew. Lazy and adventure rivers are great for lounging.
That’s not the only place across this resort to see Nick characters. Meet and greets and pop-ups happen all the time, often when and where you least expect them. Characters from Paw Patrol to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to The Fairly Oddparents will liven up pajama parties, orange carpets, and day-to-day resort activities.
Club Nick is a kids-only hangout for children 4 to 12. Expect character visits (you never know who will pop in!), DIY crafts and activities (supervised, of course), and play structures.
Get to Plaza Orange for events, entertainment, and performances you won’t find anywhere else on the resort.
Of course, I’d be remiss to gloss over that this is the home of the famous Pineapple Villa, a perfect recreation of SpongBob’s home that kids will adore. They’ll pinch themselves the entire vacation because they’ll swear they’re dreaming!
For more than 60 years, guests have experienced the best of the Andros Islands at Small Hope Bay Lodge in the Bahamas. This eco-friendly, natural resort offers all-inclusive amenities you won’t find anywhere else.
Have you always wanted to take the kids scuba diving? Perhaps you’re eager to try snorkeling? The instructors at the resort will happily guide you to diving in the Andros Islands, including teaching you how to do it and where the best areas are to see tropical aquatic life.
Andros Island has more than 170 miles of marine life, underwater caves, and coral reefs waiting for you to explore. The dive sites are divided by skill levels, such as shallow diving at Red Shoal with blue grunts and Elkhorn coral or Love Hill (a colorful maze of fun) to medium dive sites like Black Forest with hard coral and Sea Turtle Ridge, home of sponges and shelled creatures.
The Shark Observation Experience for older kids is the adventure of a lifetime. Families can feed the sharks or even dive with supervision.
There are many more natural adventures awaiting guests at Small Hope Bay Lodge. Your options include everything from fishing (with an in-house boat and guides available) to guided adventures.
The nature tours will take you through the Andros Islands’ many secrets and hidden treasures. Half-day kayaking, blue hole, and bird tours are super fun. You can also opt for full-day tours of Westside or Northwest Andros.
Is your family full of history buffs? The nature tours have historical components, including a tour of Captain Henry Morgan’s Cave.
Lunch is provided for full-day tours, and snacks and refreshments are available for half-day tours so you can maintain your energy.
One- or two-bedroom cabins have all the amenities families need for a fun-filled vacation, including daily housekeeping, available laundry service, cribs (by request), reusable water bottles and beach towels, outdoor and indoor showers, solar-powered hot water, air conditioning, standing and ceiling fans, and a reverse osmosis water cooler.
Oh, and did I mention the beach views you’ll savor daily? They truly make your vacation experience something special.
Private, peaceful, spellbinding, and unapologetically beautiful, the Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve has enchanted guests since the 1950s when it was originally constructed.
So many enriching experiences await you here when you visit. Get deep into the resort’s 50 acres of surrounding land on the 11-mile Rockefeller Nature Trail.
Two winding courses take you through lush green jungles, beautiful forests, and soft sand beaches. You can travel via golf cart, bike, or on foot.
The resort’s proximity to the El Yunque Tropical Rainforest means you can explore there by day, hiking its trails and witnessing over 200 animals and plant species. You can also explore caves like Cueva Ventana, which features limestone cliffs.
How about some ziplining? The Toroverde Adventure Park will take you miles above Orocovis as you ride down with your heart in your throat. You can also go horseback riding on a historic estate and secluded beach at La Hacienda Esperanza, a private natural reserve on the resort grounds.
Select from kids clubs for children 4 to 8 and 9 to 16. These clubs will immerse the children in Puerto Rico’s deep cultural heritage with fun activities like experiments, constellation observation, and cooking.
The residences, villas, and rooms include something for everyone, with ground-floor or elevated rooms available, some with up to two bedrooms. Amenities like sofa beds, king-sized beds, plunge pools, balconies, and beachfront views create the backdrop for the vacation of a lifetime.
The five-star Royalton Splash Punta Cana resort near Bavaro Beach recently opened its doors to guests the world over.
Between the Mediterranean seas, accommodations and amenities, and varied activities, it’s no wonder this resort has become such a family-friendly destination in such a short time.
An all-inclusive vacation at this resort grants access to supervised teen and child programming, daily room service, water park access, sports bar events, in-room minibar, daily and nightly entertainment and activities, non-motorized water sports, unlimited free calls, free Wi-Fi, four pools (including two for kids), and unlimited gourmet a la carte dining and international drinks.
Let’s talk more about the Royalton Splash Punta Cana’s water park, shall we? It’s one of the biggest in the Caribbean and designed just for resort guests.
Spend the day lazing about in a pool or get active on the spray grounds with splash pads for kiddos. The seven oversized water slides include open and tube slides for all sorts of fun. A wave pool is also a must-see.
A kids’ club for children 4 to 12 is supervised and offers age-appropriate excitement each day. Games, an onsite playground, cartoons, and crafts round out the activities here. You might even spot resort mascots Binoo and Toopy!
The Teen Lounge for older kids between 13 and 17 is still supervised but offers activities older kids care about.
The Royalton Splash Punta Cana features 273 suites and junior rooms, including a Luxury Family Suite with pool and garden views. This room has a bunk bed, a king-sized bed, terrace or balcony views, and a separate bathroom.
Grand Cayman Islands
Make your next family getaway unforgettable at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. This paradise on the Grand Cayman Islands features a seven-mile beach for sunning and playing.
Don’t miss the evening social hour, a time for relaxing and surrounding yourself with convivial conversation. You can enjoy complimentary tea and coffee each morning and read your complimentary newspaper.
The complimentary On-Demand Family Fridge Program with Mini Me Milk Fridges is for families with babies and toddlers still breastfeeding so that you can refrigerate your breast milk throughout the vacation.
Beachfront water sports services available to guests include jet skiing, paddleboarding, Hobie Cat sailing, and kayaking. The equipment is provided to you during your stay, and you can even take lessons.
Camp Seafire is a kids’ club for children five to 12. The camp activities include games, crafts, water activities, and outdoor programs. Each activity is curated to appeal to children of different age groups.
Half-day and full-day sessions are open, but availability usually goes fast, so inquire before booking your vacation here.
SPLASH at Seafire is the resort’s water park for children 12 and younger. The Camp Seafire team oversees the activities here so your kids are safe as they play the day away.
The family-friendly hotel options include bungalows and specialty suites. A bungalow for up to six includes a sizable living room, dining room, a luxury kitchenette, and garden, water, or oceanfront views.