Caribbean Safe for Family Trips, Travel Writer Says

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Some spots in the Caribbean are well-known and attract crowds, but even near these places, you can find quiet spots. Other islands are almost never crowded. Barbuda offers a string of nearly deserted, pink sand-laced beaches, good for those who can do without bathrooms and snack shops for the day. Anguilla, with a population of 10,000 on an island 16 miles (26 kilometers) long, features many beautiful, uncrowded beaches where facilities are nearby. Although quiet, Anguilla is known for its upscale accommodations and cutting-edge Caribbean cuisine. Known for its exceptional diving and snorkeling, Little Cayman, with a population of about 170 people, has more frigate birds than people.

What are you top picks for planning a high- and low-end trip?

The Caribbean is known as the home of the all-inclusive vacation, a particularly good budget stretcher for families. Jamaica has several of these. FDR, FDR Pebbles, and Beaches Negril are good family choices. Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is the well-known chain's flagship Caribbean family property.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, the Hyatt Aruba, and the Hyatt Regency Cerromar, Puerto Rico may be a bit pricier, but offer good value and good children's programs. The upscale Four Season's Nevis is great for families with young children and Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic, has programs for kids and teens, and donkey polo games for families.

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