| Antigua/Barbuda | Barbados
| Cayman Islands | Dominica
| Haiti | Dominican
Republic | BVI |
| Puerto Rico | Jamaica | St Martin/St Maarten | St Kitts/Nevis | Guadeloupe | Martinique |
The West Indies are a large group of islands that separate the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Greater Antilles include the island countries of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (Hispaniola), and Puerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles are the much smaller islands to the southeast, and they are divided into two (2) groups, the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands.
Leeward Islands - northern group of the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies, extending SE from Puerto Rico to the Windward Islands. The principal islands are the American Virgin Islands; the French island and overseas dept. of Guadeloupe and its dependencies; the Dutch islands of St. Eustatius and Saba; the Dutch and French St. Martin; the islands of the independent states of St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda; and the islands of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Montserrat, and the British Virgin Islands. Largely volcanic in origin, the Leewards have lush, subtropical vegetation, rich soil, and abundant rainfall. The warm, delightful climate is tempered by the surrounding water so that there is little variation in temperature. Most of the islands are popular tourist destinations. Products are mostly agricultural—fruits, vegetables, sugar, cotton, coffee, and tobacco.
Windward Islands, southern group of the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies, curving generally southward for c.300 mi (480 km) from the Leeward Islands toward NE Venezuela. Excluding Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, which are in the region but are not part of the group, the Windward Islands consist of the French overseas dept. of Martinique and the former British Windward Islands (c.700 sq mi/1,810 sq km). The former British islands consist of the independent states of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:
- Spanish West Indies - Cuba, Hispaniola (present-day Dominican Republic, and until 1609, Haiti), Puerto Rico, Jamaica (until 1655), the Cayman Islands, Trinidad (until 1797) and Bay Islands (until 1643)
- French West Indies - Anguilla (briefly), Antigua and Barbuda (briefly), Dominica (briefly), Dominican Republic (briefly), Grenada (briefly), Haiti, Montserrat (briefly), Saint Lucia (briefly), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (briefly), Sint Eustatius (briefly), St Kitts (briefly), Tobago (briefly), Saint Croix (briefly), the current French overseas départements of Martinique and Guadeloupe (including Marie-Galante, La Désirade and Les Saintes), and the current French overseas collectivities of Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin.
- British West Indies/Anglophone Caribbean - Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bay Islands, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica (from 1655), Montserrat, Saint Croix (briefly), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago (from 1797) and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- Danish West Indies - present-day United States Virgin Islands.
- Dutch West Indies - present-day Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Virgin Islands, Saint Croix (briefly), Tobago and Bay Islands (briefly)
- Swedish West Indies - present-day French Saint-Barthélemy.
- Portuguese West Indies- present-day Barbados, known as Los Barbados in the 1500s when the Portuguese occupied the island during the same time as Brazil. However, the Portuguese abandoned Barbados in 1533, nearly a century prior to the British arrival on the island.
| St Lucia | Grenada | St Vincent/Grenadines | Aruba | Curacao | Trinidad & Tobago |
| Turks & Caicos | Guyana | US VI |
Your vacation island in the West Indies awaits you. . .
Come soak up some Sun.