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The '''islands of the Caribbean Sea''' or '''West Indies''' are an extensive archipelago in the far west of the Atlantic Ocean, mostly strung between [[North America|North]] and [[South America]]. They've long been known as a resort vacation destination for honeymooners and retirees, but a small movement toward eco-tourism and backpacking has started to open up the Caribbean to more ''independent'' travel. With year-round good weather (with the occasional but sometimes serious exception of hurricane season in the late summer and early fall), promotional air fares from [[Europe]] and North America, and hundreds of islands to explore, the Caribbean offers something for almost everyone.
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== Understand ==
  
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The Caribbean islands were first inhabited by the Arawak Indians, then were invaded by a more aggressive tribe, the Caribs. Unfortunately, neither could appreciate their victory forever, although the Arawaks may have had a quiet reign of nearly two millenia. Then the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish, and British arrived, after which the Carib population steeply declined due to various factors. The islands have known many historic battles and more than a few pirate stories.
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==Regions==
  
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[[Cuba]], [[Dominican Republic]], [[Haiti]], [[Jamaica]], [[Puerto Rico]] and the [[Cayman Islands]], often grouped as '''Greater Antilles''', are by far the largest countries in the area and the most visited by travellers. In the north is the '''Lucayan Archipelago''', which includes The [[Bahamas]] and the [[Turks and Caicos Islands]]. The Caribbean also includes the '''Lesser Antilles''', a group of much smaller islands to the east.  Further to the west and south, there are various less frequently visited islands that belong to Central and South American countries.  
  
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=== Lucayan Archipelago ===
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Please check on [[Special:Listusers|this list]] that the [[Wikipedia:Username policy|username]] you choose has not already been taken. We apologize for any inconvenience. {{ #if: {{{sig|}}} | {{{sig}}}}}
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{{Regionlist
|}
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| regionmap=Map of the Caribbean.png
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| regionmaptext=Nations and territories of the Caribbean
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| regionmapsize=500px
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 +
| region1name=[[Bahamas]]
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| region1color=#FFD0D0
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| region1items=
 +
| region1description=a cluster of islands north of the Greater Antilles and southeast of [[Florida]]
 +
 
 +
| region2name=[[Turks and Caicos Islands]]
 +
| region2color=#8E908D
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| region2items=
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| region2description=a cluster of islands south of [[The Bahamas]]
 +
 
 +
}}
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=== Greater Antilles ===
 +
 
 +
{{Regionlist
 +
 
 +
| region1name=[[Cuba]]
 +
| region1color=#71B37B
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| region1items=
 +
| region1description=
 +
 
 +
| region2name=[[Cayman Islands]]
 +
| region2color=#C8C8C8
 +
| region2items=
 +
| region2description=a small island close to Cuba that functions as an offshore financial centre
 +
 
 +
| region3name=[[Dominican Republic]]
 +
| region3color=#68A9C4
 +
| region3items=
 +
| region3description=
 +
 
 +
| region4name=[[Haiti]]
 +
| region4color=#B383B3
 +
| region4items=
 +
| region4description=
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| region5name=[[Jamaica]]
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| region5color=#D56D76
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| region5items=
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| region5description=
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| region6name=[[Puerto Rico]]
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| region6color=#D5DC76
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| region6items=
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| region6description=
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}}
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=== Lesser Antilles ===
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 +
The Lesser Antilles can be further divided into three groups:
 +
 
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====Leeward Islands====
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{{Regionlist
 +
 
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| region1name=[[Anguilla]]
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| region1color=#DADADA
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| region1items=
 +
| region1description= Just a 20 minutes ride away by boat from Saint Martin, Anguilla is a member of the British Commonwealth of nations, Anguilla is not very touristy (yet), but has incredible white sand beaches.
 +
 
 +
| region2name=[[Antigua and Barbuda]]
 +
| region2color=#71B37B
 +
| region2items=
 +
| region2description= Known for its 365 beaches, one for each day of the year.
 +
 
 +
| region3name=[[British Virgin Islands]]
 +
| region3color=#DADADA
 +
| region3items=
 +
| region3description=
 +
 
 +
| region4name=[[Dominica]]
 +
| region4color=#A78379
 +
| region4items=
 +
| region4description= Caters for the eco and budget minded travelers.
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 +
| region5name=[[Guadeloupe]]
 +
| region5color=#68A9C4
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| region5items=
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| region5description=
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| region6name=[[Montserrat]]
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| region6color=#DADADA
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| region6items=
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| region6description=
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| region7name=[[Saba]]
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| region7color=#DADADA
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| region7items=
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| region7description=
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| region8name=[[Saint-Barthélemy]]
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| region8color=#DADADA
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| region8items=
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| region8description=
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| region9name=[[Sint Eustatius]]
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| region9color=#DADADA
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| region9items=
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| region9description=
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| region10name=[[Saint Kitts and Nevis]]
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| region10color=#BCBCBC
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| region10items=
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| region10description=
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| region11name=[[Saint Martin]]
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| region11color=#DADADA
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| region11items=
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| region11description=
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| region12name=[[U.S. Virgin Islands]]
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| region12color=#DADADA
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| region12items=
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| region12description=
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}}
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 +
====Windward Islands====
 +
 
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{{Regionlist
 +
 
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| region1name=[[Barbados]]
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| region1color=#71B37B
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| region1items=
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| region1description=
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| region2name=[[Grenada]]
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| region2color=#D56D76
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| region2items=
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| region2description=
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| region3name=[[Martinique]]
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| region3color=#68A9C4
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| region3items=
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| region3description=
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| region4name=[[Saint Lucia]]
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| region4color=#D56D76
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| region4items=
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| region4description=
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| region5name=[[Saint Vincent and the Grenadines]]
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| region5color=#B383B3
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| region5items=
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| region5description=
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| region6name=[[Trinidad and Tobago]]
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| region6color=#A78379
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| region6items=
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| region6description=
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}}
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====ABC Islands====
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{{Regionlist
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| region1name=[[Aruba]]
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| region1color=#D56D76
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| region1items=
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| region1description=
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| region2name=[[Bonaire]]
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| region2color=#71B37B
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| region2items=
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| region2description=
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| region3name=[[Curaçao]]
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| region3color=#71B37B
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| region3items=
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| region3description=
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}}
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 +
===Other islands and territories===
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 +
These countries are not part of the Greater or Lesser Antilles but are variously close to it, and are commonly associated with the Caribbean (e.g. members of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community).
 +
 
 +
* [[Bermuda]] {{-}} some distance to the north of the Caribbean, but commonly associated with the region
 +
 
 +
* [[Nueva Esparta]] {{-}} is one of the 23 states of Venezuela, granted free-port status in 1973 and located in the Caribbean Sea, just a short distance off the northeastern coast of [[Venezuela]].
 +
 
 +
* [[Navassa Island]] {{-}} uninhabited wildlife refuge, part of the [[United States]], also claimed by [[Haiti]]
 +
 
 +
* [[French Guiana]], [[Guyana]] and [[Suriname]] {{-}} culturally and economically a part of the region, but geographically on mainland [[South America]]
 +
 
 +
* Several countries in [[Central America]], [[South America]] and [[Mexico]] have shorelines {{-}} and islands {{-}} in the Caribbean.  Such islands are typically much less developed and include the [[Corn Islands]] (Nicaragua), [[San Blas Islands]] (Panama), [[Los Roques]] (Venezuela) and [[Providencia]] Island (Colombia).
 +
 
 +
==Cities==
 +
 
 +
*[[Havana]] &mdash; world-famous capital of [[Cuba]], and largest city in the Caribbean
 +
*[[Kingston (Jamaica)|Kingston]] &mdash; capital of [[Jamaica]]
 +
*[[Nassau]] &mdash; capital city of [[The Bahamas]]
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*[[Port-au-Prince]] &mdash; capital of [[Haiti]]
 +
*[[Port of Spain]] &mdash; capital of [[Trinidad and Tobago]]
 +
*[[San Juan]] &mdash; capital of [[Puerto Rico]]
 +
*[[Santiago de Cuba]] &mdash; Cuba's second largest city
 +
*[[Santo Domingo]] &mdash; capital of of the Dominican Republic
 +
*[[Willemstad]] &mdash; capital and largest city of the [[Netherlands Antilles]], [[Curacao]]
 +
 
 +
==Other destinations==
 +
 
 +
*[[Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park]]
 +
*[[Milot|Citadelle Henri Christophe and Palais Sans Souci]]
 +
*[[Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes]]
 +
*[[Jardines del Rey]]
 +
*[[Maracas National Park]]
 +
*[[Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario]]
 +
*[[San Juan|La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site]]
 +
*[[Viñales]]
 +
 
 +
== Get in ==
 +
 
 +
=== By plane ===
 +
 
 +
* From [[Europe]] to:
 +
** [[Aruba]], (AUA)- from London (LGW), Manchester (MAN) by Thomson Airways,
 +
** [[Antigua and Barbuda]] (ANU) from London (LGW),Manchester (MAN) by British Airways, BMI, Virgin Atlantic and from Frankfurt (FRA) by Condor
 +
** [[Barbados]], Bridgetown (BGI) from London, Manchester by Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines and from Frankfurt by Condor
 +
** [[Cuba]] from London (LGW) by Virgin Atlantic, Air Jamaica, from Madrid (MAD) by Iberia, from Paris (CDG) by Air France and from all three by Cubana
 +
** [[Grenada]], Maurice Bishop International (GND) from UK by Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Excel from Germany Condor
 +
** [[Saint Lucia]], Hewanorra (UVF) from London (LGW) by Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines and from Manchester (MAN) by Virgin Atlantic
 +
** [[Martinique]] Fort-de-France (FDF) from Paris by Air France, Air Caribes
 +
** Tobago (TAB), from London (LGW) by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and from Frankfurt (FRA) by Condor
 +
** Trinidad, Port-of-Spain (POS) from London by Caribbean Airlines
 +
** Turks & Caicos Islands (PLS), from London (LHR) through Nassau, [[The Bahamas]]
 +
** [[Curacao]](CUR)- from The Netherlands, KLM
 +
 
 +
* From [[United States]] to:
 +
** [[Curaçao]] (CUR), [[Bonaire]] (BON) from Miami (MIA) - by Insel Air [http://www.fly-inselair.com/]
 +
** [[Curacao]], (CUR) - by American Airlines [http://www.aa.com/]
 +
** [[Aruba]], (AUA) - by Delta Airlines, AirTran, American Airlines, Jetblue Airways, US Airways, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Continental Airlines and SLM
 +
 
 +
*From [[Canada]] to:
 +
** [[Aruba]] (AUA) - WestJet, Air Canada, Sun Wing Vacations,
 +
** [[Sint Maarten]] - WestJet [http://www.westjet.com]
 +
** [[San Andrés]] - Air Transat [http://www.airtransat.ca]
 +
 
 +
* Airlines:
 +
** Air Caraibes [http://www.aircaraibes.com/]: from Paris to Guadeloupe, Martinique
 +
** Air France [http://www.airfrance.com/]: from Paris to Guadeloupe, Martinique
 +
** Air Jamaica[http://www.airjamaica.com/]: London to Jamaica and Cuba
 +
** American Airlines [http://www.aa.com/]: from Miami to; Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Jamaica, Kingston, Montego Bay, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Trinidad
 +
** British Airways [http://www.ba.com]: from London (LGW) to Antigua, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Tobago and from Manchaster to Saint Lucia.
 +
** Caribbean Airlines [http://www.caribbean-airlines.com/]: from London to Barbados, Saint Lucia, London - Antigua, Belfast - Tobago (see BWIA Route map [http://www.bwee.com/plan_your_trip/BWEEROUTEMAP.htm])
 +
** Cayman Airways[http://www.caymanairways.com/]: from the Cayman Islands to multiple gateways in the US
 +
** Condor/Thomas Cook [http://www.condor.com]: from Frankfurt (FRA), see Condor Route map [http://www4.condor.com/tcf/de/flugziele/map_ma.html]
 +
** Cubana [http://www.cubana.cu/html/ingles/index.asp?language=GB]: To Cuba from Madrid, Paris, London
 +
** Iberia [http://www.iberia.com]: from Madrid to Havana, San Juan de Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo.
 +
** Insel Air [http://www.fly-inselair.com/] Direct flights from Miami and Inter-Island travel. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Haiti, Las Piedras, Miami, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, St. Maarten, Suriname, and Valencia.
 +
** JetBlue [http://www.jetblue.com] to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Saint Maarten, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Saint Lucia and Barbados mostly to New York and Boston and some also to Washington DC, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.
 +
** Virgin Atlantic [http://www.virginatlantic.com/]: from London to Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Havana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Tobago and from Manchester to Barbados and St Lucia
 +
** WestJet [http://www.westjet.com]: from Lester B. Pearson Toronto International Airport to Princess Juliana Airport.
 +
 
 +
== Get around ==
 +
Numerous companies offer cruises, charters, and boat tours in the Caribbean.
 +
 
 +
===By plane===
 +
* LIAT [http://www.liatairline.com] has connections between most of the eastern Caribbean
 +
* Caribbean Airlines [http://www.caribbean-airlines.com], a [[Trinidad]]-based offers flights between islands and [[Canada]], [[US]], [[Europe]] and other airport in [[South America]]
 +
* American Eagle is another notable air carrier between islands
 +
* Jetblue [http://www.jetblue.com/] Expanding its base in [[Puerto Rico]] offers budget flights between [[USA]], [[Dominican Republic]], [[U.S. Virgin Islands]], [[St. Maarten]].
 +
 
 +
===By boat===
 +
* Express des Iles [http://www.express-des-iles.com/] offers transport between [[Dominica]], [[Guadaloupe]], [[Martinique]], [[Saint Lucia|St. Lucia]] and others for about €67 one-way and €100 round-trip. Bear in mind that at some islands, if you are not legal resident, proof of onward travel may be required, if you fail to provide it, you may get your entry refused by the immigration officer.
 +
 
 +
{{isPartOf|North_America}}
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{{outline}}
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{{Continentalsectionguide}}
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<!--[[pl:Karaiby]]-->
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[[ca:Carib]]
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[[de:Karibik]]
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[[es:Islas Caribe]]
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[[fi:Karibianmeri]]
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[[fr:Îles des Caraïbes]]
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[[hi:कैरबियन द्वीप समूह]]
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[[hu:Karib-szigetek]]
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[[it:Caraibi]]
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[[ja:西インド諸島]]
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[[nl:Caribische eilanden]]
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[[pt:Caribe]]
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[[ro:Insulele Caraibe]]
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[[ru:Вест-Индия]]
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[[sv:Västindien]]
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[[zh:加勒比]]
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[[wts:Category:Caribbean]]
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[[WikiPedia:Caribbean]]
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[[Dmoz:Caribbean/]]
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{{hasDocent|Dohnutman}}

Revision as of 02:40, 8 April 2013

Sunset on Montserrat

The islands of the Caribbean Sea or West Indies are an extensive archipelago in the far west of the Atlantic Ocean, mostly strung between North and South America. They've long been known as a resort vacation destination for honeymooners and retirees, but a small movement toward eco-tourism and backpacking has started to open up the Caribbean to more independent travel. With year-round good weather (with the occasional but sometimes serious exception of hurricane season in the late summer and early fall), promotional air fares from Europe and North America, and hundreds of islands to explore, the Caribbean offers something for almost everyone.

Contents

Understand

The Caribbean islands were first inhabited by the Arawak Indians, then were invaded by a more aggressive tribe, the Caribs. Unfortunately, neither could appreciate their victory forever, although the Arawaks may have had a quiet reign of nearly two millenia. Then the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish, and British arrived, after which the Carib population steeply declined due to various factors. The islands have known many historic battles and more than a few pirate stories.

Regions

Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands, often grouped as Greater Antilles, are by far the largest countries in the area and the most visited by travellers. In the north is the Lucayan Archipelago, which includes The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Caribbean also includes the Lesser Antilles, a group of much smaller islands to the east. Further to the west and south, there are various less frequently visited islands that belong to Central and South American countries.

Lucayan Archipelago

Nations and territories of the Caribbean
Bahamas
a cluster of islands north of the Greater Antilles and southeast of Florida
Turks and Caicos Islands
a cluster of islands south of The Bahamas

Greater Antilles

Cuba
Cayman Islands
a small island close to Cuba that functions as an offshore financial centre
Dominican Republic
Haiti
Jamaica
Puerto Rico

Lesser Antilles

The Lesser Antilles can be further divided into three groups:

Leeward Islands

Anguilla
Just a 20 minutes ride away by boat from Saint Martin, Anguilla is a member of the British Commonwealth of nations, Anguilla is not very touristy (yet), but has incredible white sand beaches.
Antigua and Barbuda
Known for its 365 beaches, one for each day of the year.
British Virgin Islands
Dominica
Caters for the eco and budget minded travelers.
Guadeloupe
Montserrat
Saba
Saint-Barthélemy
Sint Eustatius
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Martin
U.S. Virgin Islands

Windward Islands

ABC Islands

Other islands and territories

These countries are not part of the Greater or Lesser Antilles but are variously close to it, and are commonly associated with the Caribbean (e.g. members of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community).

  • Bermuda — some distance to the north of the Caribbean, but commonly associated with the region
  • Nueva Esparta — is one of the 23 states of Venezuela, granted free-port status in 1973 and located in the Caribbean Sea, just a short distance off the northeastern coast of Venezuela.

Cities

Other destinations

Get in

By plane

  • From Europe to:
    • Aruba, (AUA)- from London (LGW), Manchester (MAN) by Thomson Airways,
    • Antigua and Barbuda (ANU) from London (LGW),Manchester (MAN) by British Airways, BMI, Virgin Atlantic and from Frankfurt (FRA) by Condor
    • Barbados, Bridgetown (BGI) from London, Manchester by Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines and from Frankfurt by Condor
    • Cuba from London (LGW) by Virgin Atlantic, Air Jamaica, from Madrid (MAD) by Iberia, from Paris (CDG) by Air France and from all three by Cubana
    • Grenada, Maurice Bishop International (GND) from UK by Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Excel from Germany Condor
    • Saint Lucia, Hewanorra (UVF) from London (LGW) by Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines and from Manchester (MAN) by Virgin Atlantic
    • Martinique Fort-de-France (FDF) from Paris by Air France, Air Caribes
    • Tobago (TAB), from London (LGW) by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and from Frankfurt (FRA) by Condor
    • Trinidad, Port-of-Spain (POS) from London by Caribbean Airlines
    • Turks & Caicos Islands (PLS), from London (LHR) through Nassau, The Bahamas
    • Curacao(CUR)- from The Netherlands, KLM
  • From United States to:
    • Curaçao (CUR), Bonaire (BON) from Miami (MIA) - by Insel Air [1]
    • Curacao, (CUR) - by American Airlines [2]
    • Aruba, (AUA) - by Delta Airlines, AirTran, American Airlines, Jetblue Airways, US Airways, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Continental Airlines and SLM
  • Airlines:
    • Air Caraibes [5]: from Paris to Guadeloupe, Martinique
    • Air France [6]: from Paris to Guadeloupe, Martinique
    • Air Jamaica[7]: London to Jamaica and Cuba
    • American Airlines [8]: from Miami to; Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Curaçao Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Jamaica, Kingston, Montego Bay, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Trinidad
    • British Airways [9]: from London (LGW) to Antigua, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Tobago and from Manchaster to Saint Lucia.
    • Caribbean Airlines [10]: from London to Barbados, Saint Lucia, London - Antigua, Belfast - Tobago (see BWIA Route map [11])
    • Cayman Airways[12]: from the Cayman Islands to multiple gateways in the US
    • Condor/Thomas Cook [13]: from Frankfurt (FRA), see Condor Route map [14]
    • Cubana [15]: To Cuba from Madrid, Paris, London
    • Iberia [16]: from Madrid to Havana, San Juan de Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo.
    • Insel Air [17] Direct flights from Miami and Inter-Island travel. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Haiti, Las Piedras, Miami, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, St. Maarten, Suriname, and Valencia.
    • JetBlue [18] to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Saint Maarten, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Saint Lucia and Barbados mostly to New York and Boston and some also to Washington DC, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.
    • Virgin Atlantic [19]: from London to Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Havana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Tobago and from Manchester to Barbados and St Lucia
    • WestJet [20]: from Lester B. Pearson Toronto International Airport to Princess Juliana Airport.

Get around

Numerous companies offer cruises, charters, and boat tours in the Caribbean.

By plane

By boat

  • Express des Iles [24] offers transport between Dominica, Guadaloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia and others for about €67 one-way and €100 round-trip. Bear in mind that at some islands, if you are not legal resident, proof of onward travel may be required, if you fail to provide it, you may get your entry refused by the immigration officer.



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