For those who live in the United States of America or Canada, the dreamy beaches of Caribbean islands and the atmospheric ruins of Mexican towns are easily accessible. Fortunately, Mexico and the Caribbean nations often make for excellent family vacations. Just a short flight away from most of the American continent, these destinations are awash in history, marine life, and unbeatable natural marvels. Do we have your interest? Then, let’s move on to the best spots in the west for a family vacation:
Cancun has wonderful beaches, resorts, and shops, but it is also home to amazing Mayan ruins. El Rey Archaeological Zone, the pyramid and iguanas of El Meco, and Xcaret park with its caves and snorkeling sites are top attractions in this touristy town in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Children will love the Cancun Underwater Museum full of mesmerizing sculptures, and the nesting turtles and seabirds at Isla Contoy. The Ritz Carlton Cancun and Hyatt Ziva Cancun are some of the best family-friendly hotels in Cancun.
The resort town is situated in Jalisco state in Mexico. Perched on the Pacific shore, Puerto Vallarta is no stranger to dazzling beaches, water sports, and snorkeling trips. The city centre offers a different experience, with the baroque Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Church, cobblestoned streets, and boutique shops. Families will relish strolling along the El Malecon seaside promenade. Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta and Grand Velas Riviera Narit come well-recommended for those travelling with kids.
The Bahamas comprise over 700 islands known for their coral reefs and uninhabited cays. Many tourists prefer to go snorkeling or scuba diving in the renowned Andros Barrier Reef and Thunderball Grotto. There is also merit in going to the capital city Nassau is ideal for relaxed sightseeing. You can see horse carriages and colonial buildings from the British era. The black coral gardens off the coast of Bimini, Pig Beach, and the waterpark at Atlantis Bahamas are also must-visits. For families, Grand Isle Resort and Spa, and Rosewood Baha Mar are the best hotel choices.
The island nation in East Caribbean is renowned for its twin mountain peaks – the Pitons. Many choose to trek to the tapering mountains and enjoy the panoramic views. St. Lucia is also home to volcanic beaches, storybook villages, and excellent diving sites. Those travelling with older children can explore the rainforest, with its many wonders such as a 15m high waterfall that cascades over a cliff. Families will have a great time staying at Marigot Bay Resort and Marina by Capella or Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort.
The Caribbean nation is a golfing mecca, but it is also a fantastic family destination. The capital city Santo Domingo is replete with colonial architecture and Spanish churches. You could also go whale watching at Samana Bay, and go boating through the mangroves at Los Haitises National Park. Eden Roc at Cap Cana and Amanera at Cabrera Rio San Juan are well-appointed for families.