The kids are back in school and, if you’re like me, you’re thinking about just one more quick family vacation. The Caribbean has long been a favorite of mine and fortunately there are great deals to be found on tropical getaways and many islands to visit that are outside the hurricane belt. Take a look at five Caribbean hot spots to consider this fall:
1. Aruba. For kids who can’t get enough of water parks and slides, a stay at the all-inclusive De Palm Island is a must. The tropical-themed water park features a colorful water playground for tiny tots along with plenty of kid-friendly slides, dumping buckets and dancing fountains. You’ll also want to spend time jumping waves and exploring some of Aruba’s natural treasures, like Baby Beach and Natural Bridge.
2. Bonaire. Sure, everyone knows that Bonaire is a paradise for scuba diving, but the kids may find more enjoyment in snorkeling on this island, which was identified as among the best for families by Islands magazine. Stay at Harbour Village Beach Club and your kids will go wild for all the activities available as part of Kids Great Adventures, like geocaching, photography and trips to the Butterfly Farm.
3. Belize. For eco-adventures, Belize is the place to go whether you stay on the mainland or explore the small islands just off the coast. The Lodge at Chaa Creek offers an all-inclusive Eco-Kids Rainforest Adventure that your kids won’t soon forget. Children will learn all about the tropical rainforest, explore Maya temples and canoe on the Macal River to meet a local family in the village of Christo Rey. As a bonus, guests will hatch and release a bright blue butterfly into the Belize jungle.
4. Curacao. Go kayaking or simply relax on one of two private beaches at the recently renovated Hilton Curacao. Take the shuttle to Willemstad, the capital of Curacao, to explore this historic Dutch town and take photos of the pastel-colored shops and restaurants that line the Santa Anna Bay. Through December 24, 2014, enjoy the Bring Your Family package, which includes a beach play set for kids, a dolphin encounter, daily breakfast and more (starts at $229 per night).
5. Trinidad & Tobago. Get to the dual islands of Trinidad and Tobago for kayaking in the bioluminescence of the Ortoire River in Mayaro or turtle watching on the Matura Beach or Grand Riviere in Trinidad. Stay at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort in Tobago for plenty of family activities, including the Caribbean Kids Club, which teaches children all about endangered sea turtles.