A British overseas territory in the Caribbean, the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The name derives from the word for "eel" in any of various Romance languages, probably chosen because of the island's eel-like shape.
Occupies one-third of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. A former French colony, it became the first independent black republic and the only nation ever to form from a successful slave rebellion.
A unitary island nation in the Caribbean and the smallest nation in the Americas in both area and population. Historically the British dependency of Anguilla was also a part of this union. Alexander Hamilton, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, was born here.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
It is also known as the "Helen of the West Indies" as the island switched between British and French control so often it was likened to the mythical Helen of Troy. It is one of the Windward Islands.
Has its capital at Kingstown and Bequia is the largest island and is one of the few places in the world where limited whaling is still allowed by the International Whaling Commission.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Comprise around sixty semi-tropical Caribbean islands, ranging in size from the largest, Tortola, to tiny uninhabited islets. Capital is Road Town.
British Virgin Islands
A new overseas collectivity of France that came into being on February 22, 2007.
One of the twenty-six regions of France, home of the poet Saint-John Perse, the pseudonym used by Alexis Léger, winner of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Literature.
The most populous country in the Caribbean. Known as 'Pearl of Antilles.'
An island nation located in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean with two major islands. Columbus landed on his second voyage in 1493 and named one of the islands after a church in Seville, Spain. The English pop band Duran Duran shot the video for their 1980s hit "Rio" here.
Antigua and Barbuda
In Latin, its name means "Sunday", which was the day on which it was discovered by Columbus. Has been nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" due to its seemingly unspoiled natural beauty. It is one of the youngest islands in the Lesser Antilles, and it is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity. In 2004, it was selected for the film of Pirates of the Caribbean. The Sisserou parrot is the national bird and is indigenous to its mountain forests.
There are two main islands, which are the only inhabited ones of the group, Grand Turk and Salt Cay. A great many of the tourists who visit the islands are Canadian. Owing to this, the islands' status as a British colony, and historic trade links, some politicians in Canada and here have suggested some form of union.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The most easterly island in the Caribbean and the only island completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. As early as 1511, the island is referred to as 'the island of the bearded ones' in an official Spanish document.
Was given its name by Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1493, after its namesake located in Catalonia, Spain. It is often referred to as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, due both to its resemblance to coastal Ireland and to the Irish descent of most of its early European settlers. With the advent of Beatles producer George Martin's studio in the 1970s, the island attracted world-famous musicians.
Gustavia, which is the main town of the island, was named after King Gustav III of Sweden, and remains as a reflection of the Swedish period. Part of the 'French West Indies' group along with Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Martin.
A 32 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, just north of Venezuela. It is in the Realm of Kingdom of the Netherlands. The predominant language is Papiamento.
Currently occupies the eastern portion of the Caribbean island called Hispaniola. Was the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas after Greenland, and became the first point of colonization in the Western Hemisphere by explorers from Europe.
The Dominican Republic
An English-speaking nation consisting of two thousand keys and seven hundred islands and cays that form an archipelago. The origin of the name is ambiguous. It is thought to derive from the Spanish for "shallow seas"; others trace the name to the Lucayan word for a "large upper middle land."
The islands form an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island of Aruba was part of this group until 1986, when it was granted a "status aparte", and became a separate part of the kingdom. Since 2006 the islands have given rise to diplomatic disputes between Venezuela and the Netherlands.
Napoleon's wife, Joséphine, was born here to a family of the wealthy Creole elite. The city of Saint-Pierre (destroyed by a volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée), was often referred to as the Paris of the Lesser Antilles.
Group of islands that are an insular area of the United States. Consist of the four main islands of St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, and Water Island, and many smaller islands. It is the only part of the United States where traffic drives on the left.
United States Virgin Islands
A British overseas territory that is a global offshore financial services centre and one of the leading tourist scuba diving destinations in the world. Columbus named them 'Las Tortugas' after the numerous sea turtles there. Has the dubious honor of being the most hurricane strikes in history. Large parts of the novel The Firm by John Grisham, and the film, take place here.
Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island to mean either the "Land of Springs," or the "Land of Wood and Water." Formerly a Spanish possession known as Santiago, it later became a British West Indies Crown colony. It is the third most populous anglophone country in the Americas, after Canada and the United States. The musical genres reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub, and, more recently, dancehall and ragga all originated in the island's vibrant popular urban recording industry and internationally known reggae musician Bob Marley was born here.
The Amerindian name for one of the islands is usually translated as 'The Land of the Hummingbird.' Columbus named the islands as 'Holy Trinity' and 'Bella Forma.' Birthplace of calypso music and the steelpan, which is widely claimed to be the only acoustic musical instrument invented during the 20th century. Home of two Nobel Prize-winning authors, V. S. Naipaul and St. Lucian-born Derek Walcott.
Trinidad and Tobago
Is the second-smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere. Columbus first sighted the island and gave it the alias 'Conception Island.' Operation Urgent Fury was an invasion of this island by the US and several other nations in response to a coup in 1983.
The second-largest island of the Antilles, lying between the islands of Cuba to the west, and Puerto Rico to the east. Haiti occupies the western third of the island; the eastern two-thirds are the Dominican Republic.