The Caribbean isn’t all about huge family-friendly resorts. We’ve rounded up the best environmentally friendly hotels, glamping properties, farmsteads and campsites for those looking for a green family holiday in the region.
This eco boutique property in the hills above Portland uses solar power to heat the water, and has an anaerobic waste-water treatment and ‘natural air-con’ from its open windows! Food is delicious, there’s a lovely swimming pool and it’s very welcoming to children, with extra beds available in the 10 rooms (which come without TVs or telephones). There’s also a wellness area with an outdoor bath and shower, using ingredients from the adjoining herb garden, and lots of hammocks for lounging around.
A seven-minute ferry ride from St Thomas, these lo-fi wood-and-canvas cottages a five-minute walk from Honeymoon Beach have private terraces and space for two adults and two kids. Guests share a pavilion for cooking and dining, as well as a hot tub and a bathhouse using captured rainwater and solar energy.
Mount Victory Camp Eco Lodge, St Croix
The gorgeous rainforest farm retreat with its free-range chickens has a variety of family-friendly dwellings with kitchenettes, some built around live trees, plus a campsite. Workshops for adults and kids include calabash carving, bamboo bow making, wild plant identification, animal tracking and primitive shelter making. The beach is about 3km away.
This micro-resort of just three secluded 2/3-bedroom wooden cottages set amongst orchids includes a pool, a hot tub and an Ayurvedic spa. Petite Anse beach is just over 3km away.
This is a quirky, self-sufficient rainforest retreat with wind and hydro generators and home-grown food including breadfruit and mangoes (one of the owners was a chef in Pennsylvania). Nearly everything was crafted from recycled parts – even the coffee roaster is made from old car parts. The four cabins are cosy and relaxed, with hammocks and views of the sea; all sleep up to four. This is an easygoing place ideal for introducing kids to the concept of self-sufficient living. You can go on walks through the jungle, swim in the sea or enjoy the plunge pool.
This simple mountain lodge sleeps up to four people in its low-key cottages with private terraces; organic dining and good local hiking are other draws.
Papillote Wilderness Retreat
Up a mountain, amongst orchids, this eco-inn has hot mineral pools, Creole dining and two family suites with their own kitchens. Yoga and massages are available.
These award-winning sister lodges embrace cottages, an apartment, treehouses, a dorm hostel, and a village homestay. Activities include guided hikes and bamboo and coconut craft workshops.
This rustic four-room eco hotel in a nature reserve in the mountains 14km from Trinidad, surrounded by avocado and peach trees, has a natural swimming pool, as well as being close to lovely waterfalls.
Cuba’s first agrotourism venture, comprised of two farmers’ cooperatives in Mayjigua, invites guests to stay in rustic cabañas with compost loos and to help pick mangoes, harvest coffee, pound sugar cane and milk cows. In your free time, you can go horse-riding and bird-spotting and dine with the villagers.
Read more about family holidays in the Caribbean, including places to stay and eat and things to do with kids.