The Caribbean is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the surrounding coasts. Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises morethan 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. These islands generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea.
Geopolitically, the Caribbeanislands are usually regarded as a subregion of North Americaand are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962,there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then UK dependencies. The West Indies cricket teamcontinues to represent many of those nations.
The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. Theseislands include Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas. Others possess rugged towering mountainranges like the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica.
The climate of the area is tropical but rainfall varies with elevation, size and water currents. Warm, moist trade winds blow consistently from the east creating rainforest/semidesert divisions onmountainous islands. Occasional northwester lies affect the northern islands in the winter. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, divided into 'dry' and 'wet' seasons, with the last six months of theyear being wetter than the first half.
The waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish, turtles, and coral reef formations. The Puerto Rico trench, located on the fringe of theAtlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico, is the deepest point in all of the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricanes that sometimes batter the region usually strike...