The Caribbean or Caribbean Area (Dutch: Cariben or Caraiben, French: Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles; Spanish: Caribe) is a region of the Americas. It includes the Caribbean Sea, its islands (more than 7,000 islands, small islands and cays, most of them surrounding the sea), and the coastal islands of north South America and east Central America.


The Caribbean is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to its east and north, the coast of South America to its south, the coast of Central America to its southwest, and by the Gulf of Mexico to its northwest.

The West Indies is the name for the group of the islands of the Bahamas and the Antilles. The Antilles are divided into two groups: the larger Greater Antilles, on the north limit of the Caribbean Sea, and the Lesser Antilles, on the east and south.

The Caribbean islands have many different types of land. Because of this, the islands have many different kinds of plants and animals, even uncommon ones.

Famous islands in the Caribbean include Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The countries of Dominican Republic, and Haiti are on Hispaniola. There is also a lot of white sandy beaches and hot sun there.[1]

Groups of islands

Name Area[2]
Population[3] Density
Capital city Oficial
Bahamian Archipelago
23x15px Bahamas 13,880 319,031 23 Nassau English
23x15px Turks and Caicos Islands 948 47,754 50 Cockburn Town English
Greater Antilles
23x15px Cuba 110,860 11,061,886 100 Havana Spanish
Hispaniola 76,420 20,113,564 263  
23x15px Haiti 27,750 9,893,934 357 Port-au-Prince French
23x15px Dominican Republic 48,670 10,219,630 210 Santo Domingo Spanish
23x15px Jamaica 10,991 2,909,714 265 Kingston English
23x15px Puerto Rico 13,790 3,674,209 266 San Juan Spanish
23x15px Cayman Islands 264 53,737 204 George Town English
Lesser Antilles
Leeward Islands
23x15px United States Virgin Islands 1,910 104,737 55 Charlotte Amalie English
23x15px British Virgin Islands 151 31,912 211 Road Town English
23x15px Anguilla 91 15,754 173 The Valley English
23x15px Antigua and Barbuda 443 90,156 204 Saint John's English
Saint Martin 88 70,953 806  
23x15px Saint Martin 54 31,264 579 Marigot French
23x15px Sint Maarten 34 39,689 1167 Philipsburg Dutch
23x15px Saba 13 1,971 152 The Bottom Dutch
23x15px Sint Eustatius 21 3,791 181 Oranjestad Dutch
23x15px Saint Barthélemy 22 7,298 332 Gustavia French
23x15px Saint Kitts and Nevis 261 51,134 196 Basseterre English
23x15px Montserrat 102 5,189 51 Plymouth English
23x15px Guadeloupe 1,628 405,500 249 Basse-Terre French
Windward Islands
23x15px Dominica 751 73,286 98 Roseau English
23x15px Martinique 1,128 403,795 358 Fort-de-France French
23x15px Saint Lucia 616 162,781 264 Castries English
23x15px Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389 103,220 265 Kingstown English
23x15px Grenada 344 109,590 319 St. George's English
23x15px Barbados 430 288,725 671 Bridgetown English
23x15px Trinidad and Tobago 5,128 1,225,225 239 Port of Spain English
ABC Islands
23x15px Aruba 180 109,153 606 Oranjestad Dutch
23x15px Bonaire 294 16,541 56 Kralendijk Dutch
23x15px Curaçao 444 146,836 331 Willemstad Dutch


The name Caribbean comes from Carib, indigenous people living in the Lesser Antilles and north South America when the Europeans came to the Americas.


The 18th century saw many countries trying to colonize the islands.[4] Because of this, Caribbean culture is very similar to those of Africa, India, and many countries in Europe.


  1. Carribian Islands-Geography. Accessed 4-19-2011
  2. "Country Comparison :: Area". CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  3. "Country Comparison :: Population". CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  4. Caribbean History. Accessed 4-19-2011