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The Caribbean is the place to go when you need a break from the fast, hectic pace of everyday life. In this part of the world, time slows to a crawl. The culture is laid back, accepting and incredibly friendly to visitors, so you are sure to feel welcome wherever you go. Of the hundreds of islands in the region, only a handful are regularly visited by tourists. Each sovereign state and territory has its own unique culture, and there are advantages to visiting each one. So, where should you go? How can you possibly narrow things down? A great first step is familiarizing yourself with the most popular destinations. Once you’ve found one that suits your fancy, dig a little more deeply to create the ultimate Caribbean vacation itinerary.
When most people envision a tropical beach vacation, the Caribbean springs to mind. With hundreds of islands scattered mostly across the far western portion of the North Atlantic – which is known as the Caribbean Sea – the region boasts an amazing year-round climate, countless miles of white sand beaches, gorgeous coral reefs, shimmering, crystal-clear water, incredible biodiversity and much more. It’s little wonder, then, that people flock here when they need to get away from it all.
The Caribbean islands are one of the most prestigious tourist destinations in the world. Served with a immensity offer of leisure , in the Caribbean you can live a dream life, practicing sports, relaxing, diving, watching wildlife, sailing, strolling on the beach, on the mountain, having fun at parties, living in an isolated area, what you like best, you can do in the Caribbean.
THE GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE
Caribbean Islands is a massive archipelago located in the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean can be subdivided into a few different regions: the Lucayan Archipelago, the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and the ABC Islands. There are 13 sovereign states and 17 dependent territories in the Caribbean, and English, Spanish, French, Dutch and Antillean creole are the predominant languages. The Caribbean sprawls across more than 1.06 million square miles and is primarily located between North America and South America. Most of the islands are located in the Caribbean Sea, but quite a few are technically located in the North Atlantic. The most popular and most visited region in the Caribbean is the Greater Antilles, which includes Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The Lucayan Archipelago is located in the northern part of the region while the Lesser Antilles are to the east. The western – and southernmost portion includes numerous smaller islands that mostly belong to countries in Central America and South America.
In addition to boasting incredible scenery, the Caribbean is blessed with amazing weather. Though the climate varies, it is overwhelmingly tropical, with most areas enjoying sunny, warm weather throughout the year. Rainfall varies according to factors like water currents, island size and elevation, but the rainy season typically falls during the second half of the year, with the dry season falling during the first half. For this reason, late winter through early spring tends to be the most popular time to vacation in this tropical paradise.
The Caribbean is a true melting pot. It was originally inhabited by Arawak Indians. Later, Caribs, a rival tribe, invaded. They are also the inspiration for the name of the Caribbean Sea and the region as a whole, though their culture is almost entirely extinct now. Through the centuries, a bevy of European nations has swept through the Caribbean. They colonized most of the major islands here, and many of those islands remain under the control of countries like the U.K., the Netherlands and France. However, several others have since won their independence.
The racial makeup of the Caribbean is incredibly diverse. People of African ancestry tend to make up the majority in the French Caribbean, Dutch Caribbean and Anglophone Caribbean. Asians make up a significant minority in the region as well. Most inhabitants are of mixed race backgrounds, and their ancestries include Dutch, English, Italian, Portuguese and Italian. Mulattoes, people of African and European descent, make up a significant minority in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. In most of the larger islands across the Caribbean, people of African descent make up the majority.
This melting pot of cultures and ethnicities makes the Caribbean a wonderfully diverse and fascinating place. While most come here for the great weather and incredible beaches, the region is jam-packed with incredible cultural and historical attractions as well, and they are well worth checking out.
HOW MANY COUNTRIES ARE THERE IN THE CARIBBEAN?
The Caribbean islands are made of 28 independent countries and other territories
- Anguilla(Anguilla is a British overseas territory since 1980)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Aruba(Aruba is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
- British Virgin Islands(BVI is a British overseas territory)
- 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, and Saba)
- Cayman Islands(Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory since 1962)
- Curaçao(Curaçao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
- Dominican Republic
- Guadeloupe(France overseas territory since 1946)
- Martinique(France overseas territory since 1946)
- Montserrat(Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory established since 1632)
- Puerto Rico(Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States since 1898)
- 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)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Martin(France overseas territory)
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sint Maarten(Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands(TCI are a British Overseas Territory)
- United States Virgin Islands(USVI is a territory of the United States. Consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas)