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  •  The Caribbean Islands

    A vast volcanic mountain chain lies along the floor of the Caribbean Sea. The tops of some of the mountains extend beyond the water to form many of the islands of the region. Other islands are cays (pronounced keez), low-lying coral islands, formed over thousands of years from the accumulation the skeletal remains of tiny sea animals.

    The islands of the region are divided into three main groups—the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles. The Bahamas is an archipelago or a group of 700 islands north of the Caribbean Sea. People inhabit only about thirty of the Bahamian islands. South of the Bahamas are the largest islands of the Caribbean, called the Greater Antilles. The Greater Antilles include Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Hispañola. The largest islands of the Greater Antilles have rugged mountains and lush, thick rain forests. Hispañola is home to two nations: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most of the rest of the Caribbean islands form an arc that stretches from Puerto Rico to the coast of South America. These islands are known as the Lesser Antilles.



    Download this lesson as Microsoft Word file or as an Adobe Acrobat file

    Mr. Donn has an excellent website that includes a section on the Caribbean. 

    Largest Islands of the Caribbean

    RankIslandArea (sq. kilometers)Area sq. miles)Country or Countries
    2Hispanola76,47929,529Haiti, Dominican Republic
    4Puerto Rico88963435United States
    5Trinidad48271864Trinidad and Tobago
    6North Andros Island34391328Bahamas
    7Isla de la Juventud 2237864Cuba
    8Great Inagua Island1543596Bahamas
    9South Andros Island1447530Bahamas
    10Grand Bahama Island1373530Bahamas
    11Great Abaco Island1144442Bahamas
    13Isla Margarita1020394Venezuela
    15Cayo Romano 777300Cuba
    17Gonâve 743287Haiti
    19Saint Lucia616238Saint Lucia
    21Little Abaco Island559216Bahamas
    22Eleuthera 518200Bahamas
    23Acklins Island497192Bahamas
    24Long Island448173Bahamas
    25Curaçao 444171Curaçao
    27Cat Island389150Bahamas
    28Cayo Coco370143Cuba
    29Saint Vincent345133Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    30Cayo Sabinal 335129Cuba
    Caribbean Sea
    The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. The entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the West Indies, and adjacent coasts are collectively known as the Caribbean.
    A cay (also spelled key) is a small, sandy island formed on the surface of a coral reef.


    Previous: The Caribbean: A New World Next: The Indentured Servants of the Caribbean
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