Caribbean Islands

Posted 2 years ago


The Caribbean is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.


Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays. (See the list.) These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which also includes the Lucayan Archipelago (comprising the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands). The Lucayans and, less commonly, Bermuda, are also sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries, regions, and territories of Belize, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, the Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil), are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.


Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are usually regarded as a subregion of North America and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was also a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then British dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations.

Area: 2,754 million km²
Population: 39,17 million (2009)


Climate


The climate of the area is tropical to subtropical in Cuba, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Rainfall varies with elevation, size and water currents (cool upwellings keep the ABC islands arid). Warm, moist trade winds blow consistently from the east creating rain forest /semi desert divisions on mountainous islands. Occasional north westerlies affect the northern islands in the winter. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ seasons, with the latter six months of the year being wetter than the first half.
Hurricane season is from June to November, but they occur more frequently in August and September and more common in the northern islands of the Caribbean. Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region usually strike northwards of Grenada and to the west of Barbados. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest of the island of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean. A great example being recent events of Hurricane Irma devastating the island of Saint Martin during the 2017 hurricane season.
Water temperatures vary from 31 °C (88 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F) all around the year. The air temperature is warm, in the 20s and 30s °C (70s, 80s and 90s °F) during the year, only varies from winter to summer about 2–5 degrees on the southern islands and about 10–20 degrees difference can occur in the northern islands of the Caribbean. The northern islands, like the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, may be influenced by continental masses during winter months, such as cold fronts.


Languages

Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Haitian Creole, and Papiamento are the predominant official languages of various countries in the region, although a handful of unique creole languages or dialects can also be found in virtually every Caribbean country. Other languages such as Caribbean Hindustani, Chinese, Indonesian, Amerindian languages, other African languages, other European languages, other Indian languages, and other Indonesian languages can also be found.


Religion

Christianity is the predominant religion in the Caribbean (84.7{30b3c1a05441a6ec696a3ef2bf35d9a34dfa377050be22c8a6500787eb0a1c7f}). Other religious groups in the region are Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion (Taoism and Confucianism), Bahá’í, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Kebatinan, Traditional African religions, Afro-American religions, Yoruba (Santería, Trinidad Orisha, Palo, Umbanda, Brujería, Hoodoo, Candomblé, Quimbanda, Orisha, Xangô de Recife, Xangô do Nordeste, Comfa, Espiritismo, Santo Daime, Obeah, Candomblé, Abakuá, Kumina, Winti, Sanse, Cuban Vodú, Dominican Vudú, Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, and Vodun).


Caribbean Culture

Modern Caribbean culture has been heavily influenced by the culture and traditions of Europe, along with hints of African culture and others that have come to the islands through immigrant populations. These various waves of migration have formed a truly unique blend of cuisines, music, art, customs and traditions in the region.
One of the most recognizable aspects of Caribbean culture is the region’s music. Although they have roots in both European and African culture, the sounds of reggae, meringue, calypso, rumba and zouk music are distinctly Caribbean. Although the Caribbean islands share aspects of a common culture, each nation offers something unique and distinct to visitors. For stunning scenery and luxury resorts, they head to the Cayman Islands. St. Kitts and Nevis attract with their seclusion and lively music festivals, the unique flair of Barbados combines horse races by day and calypso dancing at night, and the US Virgin Islands draw visitors with their plantation tours and unspoiled beaches.


Caribbean Lifestyle

Nature enthusiasts can explore the botanical gardens underwater limestone caves and offshore reefs of the Bahamas, then gamble at twinkling casinos and delve into pirate lore without ever leaving the islands. In St. Lucia, they can unwind on an isolated beach, then indulge their adrenaline by zip-lining through a rainforest or climbing the Pitons. These are just some of the many unique experiences visitors can have while exploring the islands.


  1. Anguilla (Anguilla is a British overseas territory since 1980)
  2. Antigua and Barbuda
  3. Aruba (Aruba is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  4. Bahamas
  5. Barbados
  6. British Virgin Islands (BVI is a British overseas territory )
    • Tortola
    • Virgin Gorda
    • Anegada
    • Jost Van Dyke
  7. Caribbean Netherlands also known as the BES islands are the three special municipalities of the Netherlands that are located in the Caribbean Sea. Consist of the islands of
    • Bonaire
    • Sint Eustatius
    • Saba
  8. Cayman Islands (Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory since 1962)
  9. Cuba
  10. Curaçao (Curaçao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  11. Dominica
  12. Dominican Republic
  13. Grenada
  14. Guadeloupe (France overseas territory since 1946)
  15. Haiti
  16. Jamaica
  17. Martinique (France overseas territory since 1946)
  18. Montserrat (Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory established since 1632)
  19. Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States since 1898)
  20. Saint Barthélemy (Saint Barthélemy is an overseas collectivity of France since 2007, having been previously a french colony since 1648, exchanged with Sweden in 1784 and sold back to France in 1878)
  21. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  22. Saint Lucia
  23. Saint Martin (France overseas territory)
  24. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  25. Sint Maarten (Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  26. Trinidad and Tobago
  27. Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI are a British Overseas Territory)
  28. United States Virgin Islands USVI is a territory of the United States. Consist of the main islands of
    • Saint Croix
    • Saint John
    • Saint Thomas


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