If you’re heading to the Caribbean you're probably already looking up the best tours and excursions to try while vacationing on your island of choice. What if we told you that some of the most exciting things you can do during a vacation in this territory may be available near your resort? That's right … you can set off on exciting adventures right from your Caribbean beach resort, starting with water sports.
As the Caribbean is known for its breathtaking beaches, there isn't a better place to try a new watersport or one you already enjoy. The region's crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, and the breezy atmosphere is ideal for a sailing adventure or simply riding around on an aqua trike. As your vacation approaches, we've compiled a list of some of the most popular water sports available in the Caribbean to help you decide!
Expert tip: Want to try something that’s a little less daring than parasailing, but as fascinating as scuba diving in the Caribbean? Look in the direction of Turks and Caicos resorts and Jamaica resorts which offer a range of exciting water sports!
You can enjoy water sports on your own or as part of a guided tour in the Caribbean. Here are some of the more popular water sports for visitors to the islands:
To say the Caribbean is an amazing location for scuba diving would be a bit of an understatement. With diverse marine life and captivating underwater scenery, this is one of the best destinations for scuba diving in the world. One of the best things about scuba diving in the Caribbean is that there’s a range of locations that cater to divers of all skill levels. Even if you’ve never gone scuba diving before, you can get PADI® certified during your Caribbean vacation at Beaches Resorts.
Kids aged 12 and older can earn a PADI® scuba diving certification. There are also programs that make it possible for kids as young as 10 to get an introduction to this activity. Once you’re PADI® certified, you can scuba dive for free at Beaches Resorts (up to two tanks per day). The team at Beaches Resorts has done over 100,000 successful PADI® certifications at the resort, so this will be an easy and straightforward process!
Five best Caribbean islands for scuba diving:
Expert tip: Ahead of trying any water sport in the Caribbean, be sure to verify age restrictions. It can also be useful to check safety recommendations ahead of time.
Snorkeling is an excellent way to see the underwater world. You won't need much experience to try snorkeling during your Caribbean holiday - just some enthusiasm and the appropriate snorkeling equipment. You can see a variety of marine species while snorkeling in the Caribbean without having to venture out into deep water. The warmth and clarity of the water in this region add to the experience as well.
The magnificent coral reefs of the Caribbean may pique your interest as you swim about getting up close to diverse marine life. Some islands are better than others in terms of what you'll see, but you'll be able to have a fantastic snorkeling experience on most of them. While snorkeling, keep safety in mind — snorkeling tends to be safer for persons who can swim. It is not advised to go snorkeling alone if you cannot swim. You should avoid going too far out of your depth while snorkeling as well. Stay in an area where your feet will be completely flat on the ground when you are standing in the water.
Five best Caribbean islands for snorkeling:
Insider tip: The best Turks & Caicos all-inclusive family vacation packages include lots of options for dining, multiple pools for the family to enjoy, and even easy access to the best places to snorkel in the Turks & Caicos. All of these and more can be found at Beaches Turks & Caicos!
The thrill of flying through the air as part of your Caribbean kitesurfing experience definitely might be reason enough to try this adrenaline-boosting water sport. This is a wind-powered sport in which you will ride on a board propelled forward by a kite. You’ll need a bit of training and instruction before you can try kiteboarding in the Caribbean, but once you have the hang of it, sliding across the water led by your kite will be the most amazing experience ever. Kiteboarding is best for the most adventurous vacationers, as is windsurfing.
Five best Caribbean islands for kitesurfing:
Did you know?: The Caribbean is actually a beloved surfing destination! There are a couple of islands you can travel to if you want to try traditional surfing in the Caribbean. If you’re skilled enough, you may even wish to participate in one of the annual surfing competitions.
Whether you're a seasoned sailor or setting off for the first time, there are lots of options to choose from for a sailing adventure in the Caribbean. This is a leisurely activity that is perfect for days when you really want to take things at a slower pace. Experienced sailors will be able to book sailing charters or enjoy all-inclusive resorts with boats they can take out into the water. For newbies, you'll be able to book a private or group boat excursion or hire a captain for a sailing charter.
If sailing is something you've always wanted to do but you've never quite been able to make the time to learn (or just couldn't find a boat!), a vacation in the Caribbean just might be the ideal time. Some resorts offer professional sailing instruction like the Beaches Resorts Sailing School. This program makes it possible for children and teens to venture out onto the ocean in Laser Bug Performance boats, Hobie Waves, or Hobie Getaways. Kids as young as 8 years old can also take part in introductory sailing experiences in the Caribbean.
Five best Caribbean islands for sailing:
The Caribbean is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and calm, clear waters. As this is what most come to expect from this region, it might be a little surprising to know that some exciting surf experiences await in this destination too. Some of the best Caribbean surfing spots can be found on islands like Jamaica, Barbados, Puerto Rico, and others.
The best location for surfing in the Caribbean will depend on the type of experience you're looking for. If you're not sure where to go, take a look at our best surfing in the Caribbean post. Some islands have their own surf schools, which come in handy for visitors who've never surfed before but are open to learning. You’ll be able to rent out surf equipment in many places as well. All in all, whether you're well-seasoned at riding the waves, or just starting off, you'll be able to find an awesome surf location in the Caribbean.
Five best Caribbean islands for surfing:
A little (or a lot!) or bravery might be required for water skiing. The good news is once you've taken a lesson or two from a professional instructor, you'll feel confident enough to head out on the water to try some real water skiing action. If you're well versed in the water skiing arena, then trying this water sport out in the Caribbean is the next best thing. As part of this experience, you’ll get to admire amazing views while enjoying the ocean in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Water skiing is best for vacationers looking for a thrill. In terms of resorts in the Caribbean where you can find some water skiing action, look in the direction of Beaches Negril — this is one of the only resorts in the Caribbean to include water skiing in its all-inclusive offering. Added to that, Beaches Negril is the only resort to include professional, purpose-built Mastercraft® boats which can make this experience loads more fun!
Five best Caribbean islands for waterskiing: Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Bonaire.
Expert tip: Do you have kids who're going to want to spend lots of time in the water while on vacation in Jamaica? Negril resorts can be ideal as you’ll be able to find options for kids’ scuba, water sports, and so much more. Added to that, Beaches Resorts in Negril is one of the best water park resorts in the Caribbean!
Not only is wakeboarding fun, but it's also a great way to tone your body. Wakeboarding involves using a board with foot binding that the rider stands on as he or she is towed behind a motorboat. The boat usually goes at around 30 miles per hour while you, the rider, hold onto a tow handle attached to the boat by a rope. Wakeboarders often wear safety equipment including helmets and life jackets. Wet suits are also fairly common.
Ahead of your wakeboarding adventure in the Caribbean, you'll be given a safety briefing by your instructor and told what to expect. Details of the route will also be provided. Compared to some other water sports, wakeboarding can be picked up fairly easily. As your instructor will tell you, one of the most important things to know when wakeboarding is to use the right foot as the leading one. Overall, wakeboarding will more or less entail riding the waves created by the boat.
Five best Caribbean islands for wakeboarding: Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Bonaire.
Tubing is one of the most thrilling water sports adventures available in the Caribbean. It's one of those things you and your kids may find yourself doing repeatedly throughout your beach day. Tubing might also be referred to as inner tubing or kite tubing depending on where you go. This adventure entails the rider sitting in a large tube that is towed by a boat. The tubes are typically round and come in a variety of sizes. Most tubes (also known as biscuits or donuts) can accommodate multiple riders.
You won't need to practice before your Caribbean water tube ride, but you will most likely be given instructions ahead of time. To keep you safe, you'll be told what to do and what you shouldn't do during the ride. You will also be informed of the ride's route and duration. Tubing is a great option if you're visiting the Caribbean with your children and want to ensure that they have rave reviews afterward!
Five best Caribbean islands for tubing: Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Saint Vincent, The Bahamas, Barbados.
You’ll have lots of options for amazing water sports to try in the Caribbean, including windsurfing. As some of the beaches in this region are windier than others, these would be the ideal beaches for a windsurfing adventure. Windsurfing is the perfect way to enjoy the gorgeous Caribbean scenery while surfing the waves.
This is a wind-powered sport, as the name implies. Windsurfing is a cross between sailing and surfing, and it entails getting on a windsurfing board, balancing yourself on the water, and navigating the sail in the wind. Windsurfing can be a little challenging at times. As such, it is one of those water sports that will necessitate some practice. You will be able to learn the basics of windsurfing during your vacation.
Five best Caribbean islands for windsurfing: Turks & Caicos, Aruba, Barbados, Saint Martin, Antigua & Barbuda.
SNUBA diving is a great way to enjoy diving a little deeper in the Caribbean without additional certifications. During your vacation, you can sign up for a SNUBA adventure with friends or family to see some of the most amazing underwater views. This activity is best for water lovers with a sense of adventure who enjoy trying new things.
SNUBA diving isn’t as in-depth as scuba diving, but it is a little more intensive than snorkeling. Consider it the perfect mix between both of these types of diving. If you’ve never SNUBA dived before, you can check out our ultimate guide to snuba diving which will provide details on what to expect. Some of the pluses of SNUBA is that you can dive up to 20 feet deep with the help of a breathing apparatus, minus the heavy equipment that would come along with scuba diving. The hoses that provide air for SNUBA divers are attached to a small raft at the surface. Children who are as young as six or seven can try this type of diving as part of special diving programs, which is also a plus.
Five best Caribbean islands for SNUBA diving: The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Jamaica.
Paddle boarding is one of those water sports that might take a little getting used to. This is basically surfing the waves with a paddle. Once you know what you’re doing, paddle boarding can be fun and relaxing. Before setting off, you’ll need to select a board. The size of your paddle board will depend on your level of experience and there are quite a few options to choose from. If you’re interested in paddle boarding with the family, older children will be able to join in just as long as they can swim.
There are a few things to keep in mind when paddle boarding for the first time. Firstly, use a leash that will keep your board tethered to you if sea conditions change. You’re also going to want to be mindful of professional instructions which are a must before heading out. Ride just the waves that you can handle, and pay attention to things like paddling with your core, and falling off your board the right way if you do. Overall, ensure that you're comfortable before setting off and have fun!
Four best Caribbean islands for paddle boarding: Turks & Caicos, The Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands.
In the Caribbean, you can put your paddling skills to the test while also discovering new locales and taking in the breathtaking scenery. One of the best ways to do this is with a kayaking adventure. This is a popular water activity on most Caribbean islands and it entails getting aboard a canoe-like boat and maneuvering around in the water with a double-bladed paddle. Most kayaks can accommodate two passengers, making this an ideal pastime for couples. Families that are searching for adventure may also enjoy kayaking in the Caribbean. If you have a larger group, you will be able to take out multiple kayaks at once for an exciting experience.
Four best Caribbean islands for kayaking: Turks & Caicos, The Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands.
Body boarding can be super fun out in the sunshine on a tropical beach. This is an activity that won't take much — just people who genuinely want a bit of excitement in the ocean and a suitable bodyboard. Bodyboarding is appropriate for all ages which makes it a great option for a family vacation in the Caribbean.
In comparison to other boards used for surfing the waves, learning how to use a bodyboard in the Caribbean will be simpler. This is a great option if you're going wave riding for the first time, or if your beach trip includes younger children who want to join in on the fun.
Four best Caribbean islands for bodyboarding: Barbados, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago.
Aqua triking is ideal for one of those lazy days at the beach when you just feel like trying something a little different. These water bikes don’t require much training, if any. You’ll simply need to get on board the trike and start pedaling. Aquatrikes are usually suitable for two people, which means it can be a great couple's activity. So, when the kids are busy at the kids' camp, you and the love of your life can take off on an Aquatrike adventure. Riding above the clear and tranquil waters as part of this experience will be a dreamy vacation memory you won't soon forget!
Four best Caribbean islands for Aqua Triking: Turks & Caicos, The Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, Jamaica.
Expert tip: Ready to book your Jamaica vacation and looking for some fun things to do? Here are the best snorkeling spots in Jamaica, as well as one of the top beaches on the island you're sure to love, Doctor's Cave Beach. You’ll also love these Jamaica water parks for more fun in the water!
Water parks aren’t usually thrown into the category of water sports, but it certainly feels like one! Going to a Caribbean water park is one of the most fun things to do in this destination, especially if you're traveling with children. At water parks like the Pirates Island Waterpark at Beaches Turks & Caicos, there are lots of fun things for both kids and adults to get into. There’s even a Surf Simulator that you can try your hand on. You’ll feel like a pro, even if you’ve never surfed a day in your life!
At the Pirates Island Water Park, there are loads of ginormous water slides, a water play area for tots, and a splash deck that parents might love just as much as kids. There’s also a swim-up bar and food trucks with lots of delectable options. The best part of all of this is that with a Beaches Resorts vacation, all of this and more is included in your stay!
Deciding which water sports to try during your Caribbean vacation is no easy task. Fortunately, there’s always the option of staying at an all-inclusive resort like Beaches Resorts where you can try unlimited water sports all included in your stay. You can spend your time at this resort trying water sports you've always wanted to have a go at, but just never found the time. The extensive water sports offerings at Beaches Resorts include snorkeling and scuba diving which certainly will be a vacation highlight.
In addition to the amazing water sports you can try at Beaches Resorts, you can enjoy gourmet dining at multiple restaurants, luxurious accommodation, day and night entertainment including themed nights, and other family-centric add ons like the Kids Camps, Xbox Play Lounge, an arcade and games room for teens, and so much more. With all of these activities (plus the exciting Caribbean water sports!) this might just be your best vacation yet!
Expert tip: Have you always wanted to try scuba diving in the Caribbean? Here’s what you need to know about Jamaica scuba diving and Turks & Caicos scuba diving. If Turks & Caicos is your choice, don’t miss out on a dive adventure at Coral Gardens Turks & Caicos.