The Caribbean (Spanish: Caribe; French: Caraïbe; Dutch: Caraïben; Portuguese: Caribe or Caraíbas) is a region of the Americas consisting of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (most of which enclose the sea), and the surrounding coasts. The region is located southeast of Northern America, east of Central America, and to the north and west of South America.
The Caribbean - Central America
Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the area comprises more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cayes. The West Indies – in contrast to the East Indies in southeastern Asia – consist of the Antilles, divided into the larger Greater Antilles which bound the sea on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), and the Bahamas which are northeast of the sea. Bermuda lies much further to the north in the Atlantic Ocean and is sometimes included in the West Indies. Geopolitically, the West Indies are usually reckoned as a subregion of North America and are organised into 28 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. At one time, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories.
The name "Caribbean" is named after the Caribs, one of the dominant Amerindian groups in the region at the time of European contact during the late 15th century. The analogous "West Indies" originates from Christopher Columbus' idea that he had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of south and east Asia) when he had actually reached the Americas. The Spanish term Antillas was commonly assigned to the newly discovered lands; stemming from this, "Sea of the Antilles" is a common alternate name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.
The Caribbean Islands are classified as one of Conservation International's biodiversity hotspots because they support exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. These ecosystems have been devastated by deforestation and encroachment. The hotspot has dozens of highly threatened species, including two species of solenodon (giant shrews) and the Cuban crocodile. The hotspot is also remarkable for the diminutive nature of much of its fauna, boasting the world’s smallest bird and smallest snake.
Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:
The British West Indies were formerly united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation. The independent countries which were once a part of the B.W.I. still have a unified composite cricket team that successfully competes in test matches and one-day internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.
In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories.
Living in the Caribbean: Relocating, Living, Working and Business Opportunities & Real Estate in the Caribbean; Caribbean Personal Sites
Exploring the Caribbean: Discovering the Islands Historically, Discovering the Islands Naturally; Discovering the Caribbean with Kids; Caribbean Festivals & Events; Local Spots & Happenings
Caribbean Accommodations- mundane to unique, castles to treehouses: St. Thomas, St. John, Anguilla, Crooked Island, Jamaica, St. Maarten, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Grenada, Tobago & Caribbean Accomodation Resources
Cruising the Caribbean: Cruising: Logs & Essays, Yachting Clubs & Boating Associations, General Info, Boating Events
Camping & Eco Living in the Caribbean: St. John, St. Croix, Cooper Island, Jost Van Dyke, Puerto rico, Belize, Other Nature Friendly ways to Visit
Music & Music Events
Caribbean for Couples: Exotic, Adventurous and Romantic Destinations: Hotel/Resort Honeymoon & Wedding Packages, Romantic & Unusual destinations, Romantic Cruises & Free Wedding Ceremonies, Legalities & Wedding Planners Island by Island, Caribbean Books for Couples & Adults
Caribbean Arts & Crafts: Artists of the Caribbean, Art Collections, Caribbean Crafts, Caribbean Artists Groups & Associations and Art Events in the Caribbean - by island.
Caribbean CuisineCaribbean Foods, Caribbean Grocers, Dining around the Caribbean, Caribbean Recipes
A taste for adventure capitalists
Solar Cola - a healthier alternative
This website is Copyright © 1999 & 2006 NJK. The bird logo and name Solar Navigator are trademarks. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged. Max Energy Limited is an educational charity.