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.
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.
The 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
Cayman Islands - a small island close to Cuba that functions as an offshore financial centre
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.