The Caribbean – Deconstructed

Doesn’t a Caribbean vacation sound like a dream? Well it can be! But the first challenge is to figure out exactly what (and were) that looks like!

map of caribbean

Map of the Caribbean and Central America

The above map highlights the overall region generally referred to as The Caribbean. It’s generally southeast of the Mainland US, East of Central America and North of South America. It includes the Caribbean Sea as well as the coastlines of the aforementioned land masses. Some islands aren’t technically in the Caribbean Sea, but are still largely referred to as in “the Caribbean.”

It’s made up of 25 independent Countries and territories. You can read a lot more about the various countries, customs, culture, geography etc in this article. We will outline the basic regions below.

The Greater Antilles

This is by far the most visited area within the Caribbean, we would imagine mostly because of the proximity to the mainland US. It includes the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. If you can imagine these islands forming a line, it is generally what separates the Atlantic from the Northern Border of the Caribbean Sea.

The Lesser Antilles

The Lesser Antilles are broken down into 3 main groups which you hear a lot – the Windward, the Leeward and the ABC Islands.

The Leeward Islands

The largest grouping is referred to as the Leeward Islands and can be found in the Northern part of the Caribbean. Here you will find the BVI and USVI, St. Maarten, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Barts, Anguilla, Antigua and a few other smaller islands.

The Windward Islands

This group can be found in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea and includes Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and a few other smaller islands. Usually when contemplating these areas, you will get a more authentic Caribbean experience as it tends to be less crowded and more off the beaten path!

The ABC Islands

The ABC Islands are made up of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao and are very close to the border with Venezuela. Uniquely, they are known for being more arid, out of the hurricane path, more flat and sandy, less lush.

The Lucayan Archipelago

The final of the four regions of the Caribbean is the Lucayan Archipelago. Technically these islands are in the Atlantic, just off the coast of the mainland US. They are easy to get to with lots of vacation options. Here is where you find the Bahamas, and Turks & Caicos.

Wherever you are thinking of spending your Caribbean vacation, with a crewed yacht charter you can see a grouping of islands. Your lodging and food (and many times entertainment) is all covered and nothing left for you to do but enjoy the beautiful islands, blue waters and relaxed Caribbean vibe! Let us help you put together that perfect itinerary!


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