With sunny weather and a wide variety of outdoor activities, a trip to Mexico or the Caribbean can be a great option for a family vacation.
While many all-inclusive resorts have special activities for children, here are some other attractions that you and your family may enjoy.
Mexico’s Mayan ruins provide a window into the country’s history. Several are easily accessible from the resort areas of Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya. Tulum, perched on a cliff, is beautifully preserved and easy to explore. At Coba, in the heart of the jungle, the kids can climb among the ruins. In Chichen Itza, the pyramids, temples, columned arcades and other structures are evidence of a once-dazzling ancient city.
The largest eco-park in Mexico’s Yucatan region, Xcaret is a great place for families. Visitors of all ages can learn about Mexican culture and nature through a variety of exhibitions and activities, including chocolate-making workshops, performances and traditional Mayan games.
At the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, you can stroll freely among animals playing and feeding in their natural environment. The park’s inhabitants include deer, armadillos, iguanas, turtles, parrots, flamingos and peacocks. Grenade Hall, a 19th century signal station, is an ideal vantage point for viewing the beauty of the island.
If your family loves theme park rides, Atlantis, a resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, is home to Aquaventure, a 141-acre waterpark. In addition to 11 swimming pools, attractions include high-speed water slides and a mile-long river ride featuring rolling rapids.
Los Tres Ojos — Three Eyes National Park — is one of the most unique spots in the Dominican Republic. A winding staircase leads to a series of underground caverns that were once used by the Taino people for refuge and rituals. Pathways hug iridescent blue lagoons, or “eyes” as the Taino called them for their oval shapes.
Built by the Spaniards in the 16th century, Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan is an enchanting place, with towering walls, plazas, hidden patios and cobblestone streets. There are also two centuries-old forts to explore, San Cristobal and San Felipe del Morro. El Morro, a six-level fortress designed to protect the city from attacks from the sea, still has some of its original cannons facing the ocean.
Located on the island of Providenciales, Bight Reef is one of the most popular snorkeling sites in the Turks and Caicos. Close to Grace Bay Beach, it’s home to a wide variety of marine life. The trail is marked with orange buoys, so Bight Reef is a good place for beginners if you and your kids want to try snorkeling.
Coral World Ocean Park, on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has five acres of aquariums, outdoor pools and nature trails. Your kids will be able to meet marine animals up close and learn about ocean conservation. Exhibits include a dolphin sanctuary, underwater observatory and a coral reef aquarium.