Incorrectly identified in 1492 by Christopher Columbus as the west coast of India, the Caribbean generally refers to the archipelago of more than 7000 islands that encircle the Caribbean Sea. It wasn’t long after Columbus’ historic expedition that European powers began staking their claim. The Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Danish all exercised influence over the region before individual nations achieved independence beginning with Haiti in 1804. Today the islands are known as a significant resort destination that welcomes visitors with open arms.
The region enjoys a year round tropical climate where temperatures remain consistently between 75 and 89 degrees at sea level. There is variation in air temperature when the islands rise above sea level. Hurricanes have a propensity to develop between June and November and produce torrential rainfall and can cause significant destruction.
The region hosts many festival and events throughout the year including Grenada’s Round the Island Easter Regatta, the St Lucia Jazz Festival and British Virgin Island Music Fest. The Dominican Merengue Festival celebrates the dance merengue style, while the reggae is trumpeted at the Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica.