At around 100 miles wide, Puerto Rico is one of the largest of the tropical islands. It is also one of the most family friendly. Puerto Rico is famous for its vast expanse of pristine beaches, but that's not the only reason to plan a family vacation there. You and your children can have a wonderful time with a wide variety of activities, such as diving, windsurfing and snorkeling. If those activities seem too tiresome, you can always take to Puerto Rico's wondrous and historic capital city: San Juan. When you visit the city, be sure not to miss Alcaldia, the town hall which was built in 1604. It looks like a castle. Your little ones will love wandering through the arcades, towers and balconies inside its walls.
The tropical island of Barbados is actually the very top of a giant submerged mountain of coral and limestone. If you take a family vacation to Barbados you will most likely be tempted by the smattering of hotels. While those are nice places to stay, you'll have a richer experience staying at one of the bed and breakfasts, which are run by residents of the island and full of local charm and flavor. But it's the activities that make this island so family friendly. You and the kids can go out on a deep-sea fishing boat, or go underwater in a mini-sub. But, by far the most exciting thing to do is put on snorkels and explore the shipwrecks around the island, some of which are over 200 years old.
Jamaica is one the most famous of the tropical islands, and for good reason. With amazing scenery, great culture and endless excitement, this paradise makes for a great family vacation. There are so many things to do here that make this island family friendly. You can take your kids southeast to hike in the Blue Mountains; a mysterious, lush cluster of mountains overflowing with exotic flora and fauna. You can take guided tours on the south coast and learn about the island's history. Like any tropical resort, Jamaica is replete with places for you to surf, snorkel, fish and sail. But Jamaica also has a rich heritage, so try and get away from the kids long enough to explore the vibrant arts and music of the island.
Cayman Islands: Little Cayman
Little Cayman is a tiny, pristine wonderland. Only 12 miles long and populated by under 200 people, this tropical island is virtually untouched from the commercialism of the other tropical resorts. There is no thriving tourist industry, no rampant consumerism here. It's a great change of pace, and a great place for a family vacation. It may not be built up, but make no mistake, there is plenty for your kids to do here. You and your family will have the option of exploring the vast, untouched beaches. Or you may decide to go bird-watching in the Booby Pond Nature Reserve, which is home to some of the rarest and most splendid bird species in the world. This is a very family friendly island. Your kids will enjoy the excitement and adventure, and you will enjoy the solitude, and the welcome change from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Article Written By Stephen Weiner
Stephen Weiner has been writing since 1992 and his articles and reviews have appeared in: Voice of Youth, Advocates, Library Journal, School Library Journal, The Boston Globe, The Children’s Center Bulletin Newsletter, The Shy Librarian, Public Libraries, Diamond Dialogue, Comic Buyer’s Guide, The Graphic Novel Review, Bookmarks, Comic Book Artist, and The English Journal.