Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. These islands curve southward from the bottom tip of Florida to the Northwest of Venezuela in South America. They are at least 7 000 islands, islets, reefs and cayes in the region. There exist twenty-five territories, including sovereign states, overseas departments and dependencies.

The name West Indies originates from the thought that the Americann continent was in fact India. The Caribbean consists of the Antilles and the Bahamas and is part of North America.

Table of contents
1 Present-day territories of the Caribbean
2 Historical groupings
3 Native American Tribes

Present-day territories of the Caribbean

The nations of Belize and Guyana, although on the mainland of Central America and South America respectively, were former British colonies and maintain many cultural ties to the Caribbean and are members of CARICOM. The Turneffe islands (and many other islands and reefs) are part of Belize and lie in the Caribbean Sea.

Historical groupings

Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:

The British West Indies, formerly united in the West Indies Federation, still make up a composite cricket team that successfully competes in test matches and one-day internationals. The West Indies cricket team also includes the South American nation of Guyana, a former British colony.

Native American Tribes

See also: History of the Caribbean, Caribbean Community and Common Market, African diaspora, British Afro-Caribbean community, Music of the Caribbean