11 best all-inclusive resorts with a lazy river in Mexico and the Caribbean

Lazy river at Hilton Rose-Hall Resort and Spa in Jamaica (Photo: Hilton)
Lazy river at Hilton Rose-Hall Resort and Spa in Jamaica (Photo: Hilton)

In recent years, I’ve come to believe that all-inclusive family vacations are the ultimate way to relax. With all your food and activity costs paid upfront, you’re free to indulge in unlimited food and drink while lounging by the pool or beach. For families in particular, all-inclusive resorts are the best way to ensure that everyone in your crew has a great family vacation. And all-inclusive resorts with a lazy river can up the fun and relaxation level even more.

There’s no better way to truly kick back and relax than floating down a lazy river in the tropics. The best all-inclusive resorts with a lazy river have elaborate waterways that range from lazy to crazy. So, grab a tube (and a margarita) and find the resort with a lazy river that’s right for your family.

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1. Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, an All-Inclusive Resort

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Hilton Rose Hall Waterpark Family
Hilton Rose Hall’s lazy river is among the best in the Caribbean (Photo: Hilton)

What better way to kick back and relax than by floating on a lazy river surrounded by palm trees? Hilton Rose Hall, tucked between the mountains and the sea in Montego Bay, is a family-friendly beachfront Jamaican resort. It has tropical features throughout, including along the meandering lazy river where you’ll float by lagoons and waterfalls.

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The resort’s lazy river weaves through Sugar Mills Falls, one of the largest water parks in Jamaica. In addition to the all-inclusive resort’s lazy river, the water park also has a 280-foot water slide, three secluded whirlpools, and a poolside concierge for ultimate relaxation.

2. Beaches Turks and Caicos

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos 

Beaches Turks and Caicos, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (Photo: Beaches Turks and Caicos)
The lazy river at Beaches Turks and Caicos is part of the impressive Pirates Island water park (Photo: Beaches Turks and Caicos)

If you can manage to pull yourself away from the crystal-clear blue waters surrounding Beaches Turks and Caicos, floating along the resort’s lazy river is a great way to relax in paradise. At 650 feet long, the undulating lazy river feels substantial on its own, but it’s also just one component of the family-friendly Pirates Island water park.

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When you’re finally ready to hop out of the lazy river, you can check out the wave simulator, an excellent way for kids (and grown-ups) to try their hand at surfing without putting a toe in the ocean. I loved lounging on the lazy river while my more daring children went down the giant slides in the water park. Beaches Resorts also operates two all-inclusive resorts with a lazy river in Jamaica (Beaches Ocho Rios and Beaches Negril).

3. Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Riviera Maya

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Riviera Maya is one of the top all-inclusive resorts with a lazy anywhere in the world (Photo: Nickelodeon Hotels and Reports)

With massive water parks, adrenaline-pumping water slides, and two epic lazy rivers, Nickelodeon Resorts appeal to kids of all ages from toddlers to teenagers. Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Riviera Maya‘s two lazy rivers come in both slow and speedy varieties: The laidback ride is perfect for the smallest guests, while the faster one is a bit more adventurous with gentle waves that push you along.

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My family rode on both lazy rivers multiple times. My eight-year-old and tween preferred the lazy river with waves. It was fun to move a bit faster than a typical lazy river, but it was still calm enough to live up to the lazy river name. We saw plenty of toddlers having the time of their lives on the calmer version. 

4. Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Family Resort

La Romana, Dominican Republic

Surrounded by the lush jungle of the Dominican Republic yet with exclusive beach access to the Caribbean Sea, Hilton La Romana pretty much has it all—including four outdoor pools, a water park with tube slides, a toddler-friendly splash zone, and a winding lazy river. If you want to balance lounging on the lazy river with more adventurous water sports, activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and windsurfing are also included with your stay.

5. Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa

Vieux Fort, St. Lucia  

CocoLand at Coconut Bay Beach Resort (Photo: Coconut Bay)
CocoLand is the beloved water park at Coconut Bay Beach Resort (Photo: Coconut Bay)

Coconut Bay is home to CocoLand, the largest waterpark in St. Lucia. In addition to water slides and a splash park, CocoLand has a huge lazy river with meandering twists and turns that take you under cooling waterfalls.

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The resort’s lazy river is a wonderful place to relax after zooming down Coconut Coaster, CocoLand’s fastest and most thrilling water slide. The all-inclusive resort has many other kid-friendly features, too, including an on-site petting zoo with local animals.

6. Delta Hotels by Marriott Riviera Nayarit, An All-Inclusive Resort

Nayarit, Mexico

An oasis nestled deep in a forest canyon, Delta Hotels by Marriott Riviera Nayarit was inspired by the nearby Tolantongo caves in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. But what makes it one of my favorite all-inclusive resorts with a lazy river is that it uses the natural thermal waters inside the caves as inspiration for its Aqua and Jungle Adventure, the epicenter of the hotel.

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In addition to multiple pools and two kids areas with slides and splash pads, Delta Hotels by Marriott Riviera Nayarit features a long lazy river. Floating through the resort on the lazy river may be the best way to see the surrounding jungle. And when it comes to access to natural water, the Delta also has easy access to the beach. 

7. Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana is a family-friendly Caribbean retreat located on the picturesque Juanillo Beach in Punta Cana. When you want to take a break from sun and surf, you can head directly to a laidback lazy river that winds through the resort’s Canapolis water park.

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When it’s time to stop being so lazy, you can have fun with the water park’s Grotto Cascade, water cannons, and water slides. And for those who prefer taking a dip in the sea, Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana has easy access to the Caribbean. As with most other all-inclusive resorts with a lazy river, all non-motorized water sports are included with every stay. 

8. Royalton Bavaro, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort and Casino

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Lazy river at Royalton Bavaro Resort and Spa (Photo: Royalton Resorts)
At 1,200 feet, the lazy river at Royalton Bavaro is among the best in the Caribbean (Photo: Royalton Resorts)

Those who prefer their lazy rivers long and scenic will love the Royalton Bavaro’s 1,200-foot lazy river that takes you through a cave, past relaxing waterfalls, and over hidden dips. The resort’s water park also has a splash pad, a FlowRider surf simulator machine for budding surfers, and several water slides. Other on-site family-friendly features include minigolf, rock climbing, snorkeling, and kayaking.   

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9. Villa La Valencia

Los Cabos, Mexico

Villa La Valencia Beach Resort and Spa Cabo (Photo: The Villa Group)
Villa La Valencia Beach Resort’s lazy river winds in and out of the dedicated kids pool (Photo: The Villa Group)

When booking Villa La Valencia, you have the option of choosing an all-inclusive package or paying for food and drink a la carte. All guests can take advantage of the resort’s amenities, including an infinity pool and a lazy river spanning more than 1,000 feet. When young guests hop off the lazy river, they can hop into the resort’s dedicated kids pool or head over to the kids club. 

10. Moon Palace The Grand Cancun

Cancun, Mexico

Guests of Cancun’s Moon Palace The Grand have access to several pools, a skating rink, bikes, kayaks, tennis courts, and more. When it’s time to stop moving and relax, head to this all-inclusive family resort’s resort’s lazy river where you can kick back and enjoy the views. Moon Palace’s water park also includes water slides and a wave simulator perfect for practicing your surfing skills.

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11. Atlantis Paradise Island

Paradise Island, Bahamas 

The Rapids River at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas (Photo: Atlantis)
The awesome lazy river at Atlantis is the single best one I’ve ever experienced (Photo: Atlantis)

Okay, technically Atlantis isn’t all-inclusive, but it is a full-service Bahamas resort with a lot of extras bundled into the price, including access to one of the Caribbean’s best and biggest water parks. I had to include it as a bonus recommendation because it’s home to the single best lazy river in the Caribbean. This unique lazy river goes from a quiet ride to bumpy rapids and back again with some surprises thrown in.

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The lazy river at Atlantis is absolutely enormous and winds around the resort. It’s so big that you can hop on at one of the lazy river’s eight entrances or take a shortcut and ride one of the resort’s many water slides right into the rapids for a ride that goes on and on. If you really want an all-inclusive experience, keep your eye on the Atlantis website because it sometimes offers special deals on all-inclusive packages.

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Jamie Davis Smith
Jamie is a mother of four and a freelance writer. She lives in Washington, DC, but can more often be found wandering with her family and writing about their adventures near and far. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Fodors' Travel, FamilyVacationist, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Yahoo, and many others. She is a USA Today "Top 10" travel expert.