Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Learn More About The Caribbean Islands

The gorgeous Caribbean Islands evoke the images or crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, and swaying palm trees. What many people don't know is just how many islands and countries form the Caribbean Islands. There are literally thousands of islands - the Bahamas alone have 501 islands in the group. Some of the other countries that are included are Barbados, Cayman Islands, Haiti, Martinique, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. There are also some continental countries that have Caribbean Islands such as Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras and Costa Rica.

The Caribbean is made up of over 7,000 islands and is situated South East of the Gulf of Mexico and just to the East of Mexico. While some of these islands are their own independent country such as Cuba, Jamaica and The Dominican Republic, some are part of another nation but are located in the Caribbean. The area has also been long referred to as The West Indies.

The climate in the region is tropical and they enjoy year-round sun and do not have traditional Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter seasons and are subject to a 'dry' season for the first six months of the year when there is little rain and 'wet' for the second half of the year, where there is some rain. The region is at times subject to hurricanes, so it's essential to be aware of this when planning your travel to the region.

With so many countries part of the Caribbean Islands, there are so many wonderful variations in culture, food, and history, and you can choose a wide range of options when planning your holiday from sun baking on beautiful white sand beaches and spending days in crystal clear water, exploring coral reefs, swimming with schools of migratory fish and hawksbill and green turtles.

You can also choose to discover some of the rich history of the region including Caribbean slavery which was prevalent for several hundred years, the arrival of Spanish explorers, colonisation by the British, French and Dutch and the impact of all of these have had on the region creating a rich tapestry of heritage, culture, and identity which makes the region so unique and fascinating.

The region also has strong ties to shipping with some of the words busiest shipping lanes running through and past the area, with one of the most famous the Panama Canal being a 'must see' when you travel to the area. Approximately 15,000 ships pass through the canal every year, a far cry from the 1,000 that went through when the canal first opened in 1914.

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