A Fam­ily Af­fair

From close en­coun­ters with stingrays to su­per­vised chil­dren’s clubs and beach horse rid­ing, the Caribbean pro­vides end­less fam­ily fun

Your Guide to the Caribbean - - Contents -

Hol­i­days pro­vide a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for the fam­ily to spend qual­ity time to­gether – and the Caribbean’s mul­ti­far­i­ous is­lands and coun­tries pro­vide oceans of ex­pe­ri­ences and happy mem­o­ries that will last a life­time.

Cap­ture your chil­dren’s smiles on cam­era as they jump aboard the galleon pi­rate ship, Black Magic, for a seafaring ad­ven­ture at Cap Mai­son, Saint Lu­cia. Dressed as a pi­rate, young ones will quickly get swept along, fir­ing the black pow­der can­nons and even walk­ing the ‘plank’! Mean­while, par­ents can sit back and en­joy the voy­age to the Di­a­mond Botan­i­cal Gar­dens and Sul­phur Springs, Saint Lu­cia’s drive-in vol­cano.

Other Pi­rate­soft­he­caribbean- themed ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered by the ho­tel in­clude a trea­sure hunt on Pi­geon Is­land, and a trip to Black Bay in Vieux Fort, where Black­beard al­legedly stored his trea­sure.

Up and un­der

The skies re­ally are the limit on Ja­maica, Belize, Haiti, Gre­nada and Saint Lu­cia. Young ones will love the aerial tram that glides silently through the Saint Lu­cian rain­for­est with its hum­ming­birds and gi­gan­tic gom­mier trees. Older ones will find thrills aplenty on the other is­lands’ ex­cit­ing zip-lines.

The Caribbean’s warm, clear seas pro­vide hours of fishy fun, too. Swim among huge stingrays at St­ingray City, just a boat ride from Grand Cay­man or An­tigua – even lit­tle ones can join in the feed­ing from the shal­lows of the sand­bar.

Swim­ming with dol­phins makes for a mem­o­rable day out in St. Martin/st. Maarten, the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands and St. Kitts, and fam­i­lies that don’t want to get their feet wet can en­joy the ocean’s stun­ning marine life from an At­lantis sub­ma­rine in Grand Cay­man and Bar­ba­dos. Cu­raçao’s Sea Aquar­ium of­fers more than 400 species of fish, and its Os­trich Farm in Santa Catha­rina pro­vides fun for all the fam­ily.

Days out

Igua­nas, tur­tles, vol­ca­noes and trains make a great day out. Min­gle with blue igua­nas at the Queen El­iz­a­beth II Botanic Park on Grand Cay­man or take a sa­fari and learn about the breed­ing pro­gramme that saved these dragon-like crea­tures from ex­tinc­tion. Watch­ing tur­tles hatch is a once-in-al­ife­time ex­pe­ri­ence on Saint-martin, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago and An­tigua – why not join a con­ser­va­tion project? Jump aboard the St. Kitts dou­bledeck scenic rail­way for a re­laxed tour through the is­land’s su­gar plan­ta­tions.

In Montser­rat, get up close to Soufrière Hills, the Caribbean’s most ac­tive vol­cano.

Spot colour­ful trop­i­cal fish and tur­tles on dive or snorkel trips with Aqua­nauts, Gre­nada, and learn lo­cal arts and crafts skills at Co­conut Bay Beach Re­sort, Saint Lu­cia.

A gal­lop along the sands of Bark­ers Beach, Grand Cay­man, and a swim with your horse is fun for all the fam­ily. Af­ter­wards, en­joy a film at the is­land’s Ca­mana Bay open-air cin­ema and watch the stars be­neath the stars.

There’s plenty to keep teens ac­tive: Mar­tinique of­fers Aqua­land wa­ter park, fea­tur­ing adrenalin-pump­ing wa­ter­slides and a wave pool while ad­ven­tur­ers will love climb­ing to the top of Pic Par­adise, the high­est peak of Saint-martin, or ex­plor­ing the Hato Caves of Cu­raçao.

Fam­ily ho­tels and re­sorts

All-in­clu­sive re­sorts and fam­ily ho­tels come in all shapes and sizes in the Caribbean – and of­fer a va­ri­ety of su­per­vised chil­dren’s clubs, ac­tiv­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment for all ages.

Fam­i­lies will never go hun­gry at Beaches Turks & Caicos. New food trucks of­fer­ing mac­a­roni and cheese and icy treats join the re­sort’s 21 restau­rants and Wednes­day Night Fish Fry. Young ones from the age of four can also en­joy a taste of scuba div­ing with SNUBA Doo® and SNUBA® (also at Beaches Ja­maica).

A 141-acre wa­ter park pro­vides plenty of thrills at At­lantis Par­adise Is­land in The Ba­hamas. A 200-foot body slide, down a 60-foot al­most-ver­ti­cal drop from a Mayan tem­ple, a night­club and an In­ter­net lounge with gam­ing con­soles will keep older ones amused.

Young ones can feed baby stingrays, sharks and fish in the fish nurs­ery, be­come a ju­nior dol­phin trainer for the day and learn how to care for the re­sort’s 50,000 sea crea­tures.

Sun­scape Splash Mon­tego Bay, Ja­maica, of­fers a pi­rate-themed wa­ter­park with a lazy river and two wa­ter­slides, su­per­vised Ex­plorer’s Club for three to 12-year-olds, babysit­ting ser­vice and a Bub­ble­maker in­tro­duc­tory scuba pro­gramme for eight to 10-year-olds.

Grafton Beach Re­sort, Tobago, re­lies on old-fash­ioned clas­sic board games to en­ter­tain all of the fam­ily.

Lux­ury Carlisle Bay, An­tigua, of­fers trea­sure hunts, ten­nis coach­ing and su­per­vised ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing school hol­i­days. Elite Is­land Re­sorts has three fam­ily friendly ho­tels with free kids’ clubs and non-mo­torised wa­ter-sports – St James’s Club Morgan Bay, Saint Lu­cia, and St James’s Club and Vil­las and The Veranda, both on An­tigua.

…and lux­ury vil­las

For multi-gen­er­a­tional fam­i­lies and groups of friends trav­el­ling to­gether, vil­las are a great choice be­cause they of­fer space, pri­vacy and the free­dom to do as they please. •

All- in­clu­sive re­sorts and fam­ily ho­tels come in all shapes and sizes in the Caribbean - and of­fer a va­ri­ety of su­per­vised chil­dren’s clubs, ac­tiv­i­ties and en­ter­tain­ment for all ages

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