The Caribbean, once known as an exclusive haven for the wealthy and adventurous, is fast becoming the playground of holidaying families. With family-friendly hotels, like Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, offering an affordable destination, the cultured history, abundance of outdoor activities and crystal blue waters of the islands are attracting parents and kids in abundance.Parents will enjoy introducing their children to the multi-national culture of the Caribbean, especially in Aruba. Driving around this picturesque twenty-mile-long island, the chatter of locals speaking English, Spanish and Dutch abounds… quite appropriate for a diverse population whose license plates proudly bear the slogan, “One Happy Island.”
Families can visit the Ayo Rock formations that have often been described as the cartoon town of “Bedrock,” as seen in The Flintstones. Once an ancient dwelling place, paths have been cleared to allow visitors to view the mystical stacked rocks and stone etchings.
At the Kibaima Miniature Village and Park, young ones can experience miniature versions of typical Aruban houses while viewing exotic birds and animals. Also nearby is the Butterfly Farm, a tropical garden displaying hundreds of butterflies of all sizes, and beachfront horseback riding.
Many glass-bottom family boat tours grant long looks at manta rays and the rare green moray. But if kids are searching the seas for a bit more adventure, however, they’ll love learning about the rogue pirates who ruled the Caribbean seas long ago.
In the 18th century, the city of Nassau in the Bahamas was governed by pirates who plundered many treasure-laden boats en route to Europe. A visit to Blackbeard’s Castle, nestled amongst the hills of Charlotte Amalie - the capital of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands - is one of many tours families can take to get a closer look at a pirate’s life.
While family vacations can be a budget-breaker, many hotels and resorts in the Caribbean are allowing families to affordably experience the islands. With properties sprinkled throughout the Caribbean on islands including Aruba, Jamaica and the Bahamas, check out www.holiday-inn.comfor special all- inclusive and “free night” deals from the family-friendly Holiday Inn SunSpree® Resorts, and Holiday Inn hotels.