Plan de l'article
- The Caribbean: an archipelago of islands
- The Caribbean Archipelago
- Video: visiting the Caribbean
The Caribbean: an archipelago of islands
The Caribbean Islands are a massive archipelago located in the Caribbean Sea, which can be divided into various regions: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and the ABC Islands. There are 13 sovereign States and 17 dependent territories in the Caribbean. The dominant languages are English, Spanish, French, Dutch and Caribbean Creole. The archipelago extends over 1.06 million km and lies between North America and South America.
The Caribbean Sea
This maritime expanse is commonly referred to as the Caribbean Sea as well as the Caribbean Sea.Its eastern space extends along the western front of the Atlantic Ocean, between Central America and the southeastern part of the Gulf of Mexico.The extent of the Caribbean Sea extends over 2400 kilometres. Its estimated maximum depth is approximately 7 700 meters located at the Cayman pit.
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Origin of name: Caraïbes
The name of this sea originates in the names of the Native American inhabitants of this archipelago of islands. The Caribbean populated the entire area as well as part of South America, long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistador in the 15th century.
Geography of the Caribbean
The Caribbean Sea integrates the Gulf of Mexico, part of the waters of the Bahamas, the territorial waters of French Guiana, and Guyana in South America. This definition is given by the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Greater Caribbean Region.
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States or islands bordering the Caribbean SeaMap of the Caribbean Islands
Belize, Costa Rica, the Honduras, Nicaragua.
Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname.
Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Saint Bartholomew, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbudas, Saint Vincent, Saint Kiss and Nevis, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Montserra, Anguilla, Barbados…
Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico).
South of the United States:
Florida and the Bahamas.
The Caribbean Archipelago
The West Indies are part of a vast ensemble whose boundaries are not clearly defined: the Caribbean Zone. In addition, the boundaries of the West Indies may vary, depending on the recognition of the entire archipelago of the Islands.Within the West Indies, one can Distinguish: the Lesser and the Greater Antilles. These complexes consist of an archipelago of volcanic or limestone islands that extend from Cuba to Trinidad and Tobago more insular and close to Venezuela. The population of the entire Caribbean has more than 42 million inhabitants in an area of nearly 236,000 km².
Lesser Antilles – Small Caribbean Islands
The Lesser Antilles consists of the small Caribbean islands including the French Antilles, forming an island arc southeast of the Greater Antilles, extending from the Virgin Islands east of Puerto Rico to the west coast of Venezuela .
Map of the Lesser Antilles The islands are part of a long arch of volcanic islands, most of which are located around the Eastern Caribbean Sea on the western border of the Atlantic Ocean, some of which are in a further southern corridor of the Caribbean Sea, just north of South America.
Tectonic Formation The geomorphological position of the Lesser Antilles, coincides more or less with the outer edge of the Caribbean plate, and most of the islands were formed via the result of the subduction of tectonic plates, where one or more Atlantic plates slipped under the Caribbean plate.
Geography The highest point is Soufrière with an altitude of 1467 meters on the island of Basse-Terre, in the archipelago of Guadeloupe. The most important seabed of the Lesser Antilles is located in the ocean in the Atlantic with 9210 meters deep and is located north of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Lesser Antilles archipelago covers 14307 km². The total population of the Lesser Antilles is almost 3,970,000 inhabitants, with 1.36 millionLandscape of the dominica in Trinidad and Tobago which is the largest island.
The particularities of the Lesser Antilles.
Politically, the West Indies are distributed as follows:
- 8 independent island countries
- three British overseas territories, 2 French overseas
- departments, two French overseas territories of France,
- 3 autonomous countries of
- the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 3 special municipalities of
- the Kingdom of the Netherlands,
- 1 island states of the United States,
- and two agencies federal government in Venezuela.
The main languages in order of importance in the Lesser Antilles are English, French, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento (Creole of Dutch Islands).
The warm tropical climate is pleasantly tempered by trade winds, more or less constant all year round. These winds are interrupted only by a few thunderstorms on the Atlantic Ocean. Inside the Caribbean Sea, the climate is slightly warmer and cools with altitude, and humid. However two types of stations are to be identified:
- The cool and dry season (December to June), the period known as Lent.
- The wet and warm season (June-December) named Hivernage, called the Hurricane Season.
The Caribbean Islands are classified into two categories: the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands:
(stretching along the coasts of South America)
The islands of the wind
( delimiting the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantique)
- Anguilla Anguilla
- Saint Martin
- Saint Barthélemy
- Saint Eustatius
- Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Christopher
- Antigue and Barbuda
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
The Great Antilles — the great islands of the
The Great Antilles are part of the 4 major islands of the Antilles archipelago, all of which are located north of the Caraîbes , which are:
- Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic which form the same and only island) and
- Puerto Rico which is a free but associated state such as the Commonwealth with the United States of America.
They alone represent the vast majority of the area and total population of the Caribbean, which is approximately 33 million inhabitants.
Map of the Caribbean: Greater and Lesser Antilles Yellow: Large AntilesGreen: Small AntilleRed: Bahamas
The Greater Antilles are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea east of Yucatan (Mexico) and South Florida (USA) and west of the Lesser Antilles.
The group includes the four largest islands in the Caribbean: Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, (which includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti) and Puerto Rico. The Bahamas is an archipelago of islands nearby, (north of the Caribbean) is not part of the geographical unity.
These large islands are formed by a range of steep high mountains and whose highest point is more than three thousand meters (Pico Duarte 3087 meters), culminating in Hispaniola. These mountains are made up of limestone outcrops, all are much older than the eruptive source of the Lesser Antilles and there are has no sign of recent volcanic activity.
The Bahamas , however, are islands of coral origin. In the past, the Bahamas was not even considered part of the West Indies, but it has now expanded its space as a third group in the Caribbean (Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and the Bahamas).
The Greater Antilles are part of Central America and are bathed by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.Democratic governments are in: Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Communists in Cuba.
Area and population
|Country||Area (km²)||Population (2017)||Densitykm²||Capital||Language|
|Dominican Republic||48.730||10.090.000||207.05||Santo Domingo||Spanish|
|PortoRico||9.104||3.994.259||430,2||San Juan||Spanish/ English|