When it comes to the Caribbean islands, Jamaica is a must on every family’s vacation list. Here are four terrific reasons why.
By Michelle Rae Uy
Visit Jamaica with the kids. (Courtesy Visit Jamaica)
Yes, there are the serene beaches lined with colorful reefs, the lush forests, that nice tropical island vibe, those British colonial historical sites, and that unbelievable Jamaican cuisine that make Jamaica every bit irresistible to families looking for that relaxing and unassuming Caribbean getaway. But here are even more reasons for you to stop putting off your Jamaican vacation and scratch it off your family bucket list this summer.
Awesome Activities for the Whole Family… Including the Grandparents
Horseback riding in Jamaica (Courtesy Visit Jamaica)
From cultural tours to interacting with marine life to horseback riding, Jamaica has an assortment of offerings to suite every member of the family! Hire a tour operator to guide you on a hiking, bicycling or ATV tour, go horseback riding or water tubing, or go on a catamaran cruise around the island. Visit marine park Dolphin Cove and interact with friendly dolphins, stingrays and even sharks! Explore the island’s beautiful natural attractions like the cascading Dunn’s River Falls or the dense rainforest of Mystic Mountain. Then later, learn about the island’s history by visiting sites like the Green Grotto Caves and the Historic Falmouth.
Cool Down and Splash Around in a Water Park
Sugar Mills Falls Water Park (Courtesy Hilton Rose Hall)
Handy when you have kids in tow, water parks are among the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the Caribbean. And in Jamaica, it’s no different. Cool down and splash around with the kids at one of the island’s several water parks, including the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park, the largest one in Jamaica. Located at Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Sugar Mill Falls is great for both kids and adults, featuring waterfalls, lagoons, a 280-foot water slide, a jungle garden, terraced pools and a lazy river. And when you’re ready to relax, do it in style in a private cabana with your very own butler.
Accommodations to Fit Big Families
Half Moon Resort (Courtesy Half Moon Resort)
Multigenerational groups can rest easy and quite comfortably, with Jamaica’s fantastic selection of hotels and resorts that can accommodate large groups effortlessly. Several properties on the island have villas, manors and suites that feature several bedrooms to allow families to spread out. Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay has private villas with up to 7 bedrooms – kids can have their own rooms too, while Beaches Negril has suites that can accommodate up to 12 people! For an even more luxurious all-inclusive stay, Sea Island Villa is a 6,000-square-foot, six bedroom property that comes with its own staff (cook, butler, housekeepers, and night watchman) so you won’t have to worry about a thing!
“Meet the People” Program
Immerse in the local culture and flavors with Meet the People. (Courtesy Visit Jamaica)
For an educational and cultural experience that allows travelers, especially kids, to really immerse themselves in the island’s tradition, customs and way of life, Jamaica’s “Meet the People” program is a once in a lifetime opportunity that every visitor needs to take advantage of. The program allows individuals or families to meet and spend time with as well as engage in different local activities such as hiking and visiting a school or church with a local who shares their interests, making their Jamaican experience a more unique one. Best of all, it’s completely free!
Michelle Rae Uy contributed this to MiniTime. She is a travel writer based in Los Angeles and MiniTime’s Head of Content, who spends her free time on adventures and film photography.