Treat your family to a holiday of a lifetime in the Caribbean sun
With flight times from the UK taking around 10 hours, an envy-inducing climate and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Caribbean offers a blissful escape from everyday life.
And with a wide range of family-friendly resorts to choose from, you certainly won’t be stuck for choice.
The Dominican Republic is ideal for active family getaways, with swathes of sandy beaches offering a host of adrenaline-inducing watersports and national parks with cycling trails and treetop ziplines. There are also plenty of waterparks, like the family-favourite Ocean World Adventure Park on the northern coast, where you’ll find a host of slides and get the chance to interact with various marine life.
Jamaica also offers a wide range of family attractions, whether you’re spending a day relaxing on the delightful beaches or taking a thrilling bobsled ride through Mystic Mountain. For vibrant culture and some of the Caribbean’s most spectacular nature, Cuba has plenty of activities and attractions to satisfy all ages, from exploring the historic city of Havana with its 1950’s cars and crumbling Spanish buildings to ecological reserves filled with spooky caves and tropical wildlife.
Best family friendly beaches
With pristine sand and clear, shallow waters, the Caribbean is home to some of the world’s best family-friendly beaches. Cuba’s biggest beach resort, Varadero, features long stretches of glorious sands and fantastic snorkelling opportunities among colourful reefs and sea life that all generations can enjoy.
Jamaica is also known for its lengthy shores, with shallow bays and calm waters that are ideal for kids who love to swim and splash around. Family-friendly beaches like Seven Mile Beach in Negril offer plenty of watersports and boat tours, as well changing rooms, showers and a playground.
Meanwhile, towns like Bavaro in the Dominican Republic offer some of the Caribbean’s greatest beach strips, where days with the family can be spent sunbathing under palm-thatched umbrellas, horseriding along the shores and grabbing a bite to eat at one of the snack bars.
Best family activities in the Caribbean
Most hotels in the Caribbean come with family-friendly facilities like play parks and some of our featured hotels below even have their own waterparks with slides and splash pools, meaning that you won’t have to travel far to have a good time. But for those who want to explore the islands, there’s a whole host of great family days out too.
The Dominican Republic offers plenty of opportunities to get up close with nature. In Bavaro you can take an outback safari trip among jungles, traditional ranches and plantations. Older kids will love cycling through the famous Blue Mountains or jumping from cliffs into warm waters at Negril’s West End Road coastal path. Cuba’s Varadero also offers a natural playground for outdoor pursuits, such as the Hicacos Point Natural Park where you can spot various tropical birds, butterflies and reptiles.
Other family holiday destinations
Family holidays aren’t just limited to the Caribbean. There are many other destinations to consider, including Greece and the Canary Islands for relaxing beach breaks, or if you’re looking for something a bit different, Lapland‘s snow and Christmas vibes may appeal.
If your heart is still set on the Caribbean, take a look at our travel guide to help you plan your trip and check out our pick of the best family hotels on offer below.
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The 4* Memories Splash Punta Cana is ideal for families who are looking for an activity-based holiday. The hotel features its own waterpark with a designated children's section, a kids' club, a teens' games lounge, two pools and a wide range of sports and activities on offer. It's right on the beach too, where you'll find a number of watersports like snorkelling and kayaking. There are a variety of child-friendly restaurants to choose from, including Mexican, buffet and Italian, as well as an ice-cream bar.
With a seafront setting, a child-friendly pool scene and an array of eating options, the Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia has it all. This 4* hotel has a Medieval-themed splash park, while the nearby sandy beach has a range of watersports on offer. Daytime activities for children and adults include scuba diving lessons in the pool, football, volleyball, aerobics and dance lessons. There's also a hotel-run mini club and teen club, and a designated splash area with fountains and slides.
Located on the famous Seven Mile Beach, the 5* TUI Sensatori Resort Jamaica is ideal for an upmarket beach-based break with the kids. The hotel features an eclectic All Inclusive dining scene, where you can enjoy unlimited food around the clock, as well as a choice of three pools, a lazy river, an activity pool and a children's splash park. There's also a kids' club so you can enjoy some quiet time and you get a choice of two types of family suites, some of which include oceanfront views.