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The best Caribbean destinations for families

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With its pristine beaches and marvellously clear waters; fascinating cuisines and cultures; and of course, its island way of life, the Caribbean is a wonderful travel destination for families to explore. It offers the perfect mix of holiday bliss, outdoor adventure and of course, family fun.

From characterful Cuba with its cultural attractions to balmy Belize, a real-life jungle paradise, we’ve rounded up our top three Caribbean destinations for families to enjoy.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: eco-adventure, coral reefs and island bliss

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (a collection of 32 islands and unique cays) are a textbook tropical paradise. This island country offers a host of outdoor- and water-based family experiences, everything from scuba diving to peaceful sailing and tropical eco-adventures. Whether your kids are budding adventurers or established thrill-seekers, this beautiful destination will delight their nature-loving hearts with its tranquil lagoons, beaches, rainforests and awe-inspiring coral reefs.

If you choose to explore the Grenadines, Union Island is a great place to start. It offers some great restaurants, bars and hotels, particularly in the main town, Clifton, making it perfect for travellers. The island also has plenty of outdoor adventures to enjoy – everything from kitesurfing and snorkelling to island cruises, hiking and stand up paddleboarding, with safari tours also on the cards. When staying on Union Island, Tobago Cays is a must-visit, with its inspiring attractions like Tobago Cays Marine Park, Mayreau Gardens and Baradal Turtle Sanctuary.

Sometimes overlooked in favour of the Grenadines, Saint Vincent, meanwhile, offers a wonderful array of eco experiences to enjoy, thanks to its tropical rainforest terrain, cascading waterfalls, and marvellous mountains that whisper of island adventure. Kids can explore the tropical Montreal Gardens, learn about beautiful birdlife, and live out their wildest buccaneer dreams Pirates of the Caribbean-style, as they traverse Saint Vincent. Older kids and teens will relish the opportunity to hike trails like Dark View Falls, visit Brighton Salt Pond, or discover vibrant coral reefs and sunken ships resting in the watery depths below.

Cuba: vintage cars, vibrant culture and national parks

Cuba may be famous for its thriving music scene, rich cultural influences, beloved architecture and classic cars – but this charming country also offers the very best in Caribbean beaches, family-friendly holiday experiences, and incredible national parks. This stunning archipelago, located in the Caribbean Sea, has so much for beachgoers to enjoy, with a vast shoreline made up of inlets, beaches and calming bays.

One of Cuba’s best, most popular family-friendly beach destinations is Varadero. Here, some 20km of sugar-white beaches and stunning azure waters provide a perfect paradise year-round. For families keen to educate kids on the importance of preserving our ocean’s treasures, Playa Coral, near Matanzas, is the place to go. Here, you can swim to a thriving coral reef that’s home to rich marine life and some 30 unique coral species.

If you’re reluctant to answer the ocean’s siren call, head to one of Cuba’s main cities, like Havana. In the beautiful capital city, a world of intrigue awaits. Think classic car tours through the city, traditional Cuban culinary delights, entrancing salsa dancing, and much more. Old Havana, with its historic monuments, churches and quaint streets, echoes of yester-year. This famous municipality is timelessly beautiful and possesses an inherent, nostalgic charm. Kids and the young at heart alike will delight in fun classic car drives or self-guided walking tours that show you Havana’s vibrant, charming streets and old buildings. They’re also a great way to help kids and teens discover Cuba’s rich cultures and history first-hand.

Last but by no means least, families visiting Cuba need to explore the country’s incredible national parks, including Viñales and Topes de Collantes. Both have the most incredible natural beauty, amazing hiking experiences, special flora (like Cuba’s national flower, the white mariposa lily), and plenty of fauna, too.

street with old fashioned car

Belize: jungle paradise, Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches

Belize is a wonderful holiday destination for families, especially if you crave excitement or need a nature fix. This Central American country truly offers the best of both worlds. On the one hand, you have the Caribbean Sea, where tranquil beaches and beautiful offshore islands provide the perfect escape. Then, in stark contrast, there’s lush jungle terrain simply bursting with a host of wildlife, natural flora, diverse fauna and of course, thrilling outdoor experiences!

When visiting Belize, a great attraction to start with is the forested Bladen Nature Reserve. Aside from being home to rich birdlife and wildlife, the reserve offers incredible freshwater snorkelling, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, all perfect activities for families to savour together. The reserve has plenty of great hiking trails too, and provides a perfect opportunity to educate kids on the importance of biodiversity, teaching them why we must protect our planet’s natural marvels.

Given that Belize’s coastline has hundreds of offshore islands (or cays), there’s no shortage of excellent, family-friendly beaches to choose from. Lovely sandy destinations include: Half Moon Caye, Hopkins Village Beach and of course, Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye.

If you’re keen to see even more of the coastline, head to the Belize Barrier Reef. This unique barrier reef, second in size only to Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef, is home to hundreds of different coral and fish species. It’s another incredible place to inspire younger generations to protect and preserve the ocean’s countless wonders!

Finally, venture into Belize’s Mayan ruins. Unlock the mysteries of this ancient civilisation, as you explore one or more of the many sites spread across the country. You’ll find several sites to choose from; some of the most popular include Caracol, Altun Ha and Xunantunich. This is a great activity for history enthusiasts and archaeology-obsessed kids alike.

Make it happen

If you’re keen to visit an idyllic Caribbean destination, speak to one of our local experts – they’ll help you craft the tailor-made family getaway of your dreams!

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