Looking for interesting facts about the Caribbean Islands? You've come to the right place! Below you can find a whole list with information about the Caribbean Islands, as well as some Caribbean quiz questions (with answers!) to train your knowledge.
Fun and interesting facts about the Caribbean Islands
1. There are more than 700 different Caribbean islands, islets, reefs and caves. The islands are divided into different island groups. What are the three major island groups of the Caribbean?
- The Lucayan Archipelago – Countries are the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands. The list of all islands is too long to put here.
- The Greater Antilles – Greater Antilles islands list: Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico
- The Lesser Antilles, with sub-island groups the Leeward Antilles (f.e. Aruba), the Leeward Islands (f.e. Antigua) and the Windward Islands (f.e. Grenada). The complete list of Lesser Antilles islands is long.
2. How many Caribbean islands are actually inhabited? Only about only 2% of the islands are inhabited!
3. Most of the inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands are descendants of African slaves who were brought to the islands by European colonial powers to work on the sugar plantation. They stayed on the islands after the slavery had ended.
4. Dominant languages in the Caribbeans are Spanish, English, Dutch, Haitian Creole and Papiamento
5. Parts of all four Pirates of the Caribbean movies (The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End and On Stranger Tides), starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, were filmed in the Caribbean.
6. Jamaica was the scene of the very first James Bond film, Dr. No.
7. The shortest runway on earth, not more than 1,300 feet long, can be found at the Caribbean island of Saba.
8. There are more churches per square mile in Jamaica (1,600 in total) than in any other country in the world. You can even find this record in the Guinness Book of Records.
9. The only foreign place that former president George Washington ever visited was Barbados. He went there with his brother Lawrence, who suffered from tuberculosis and hope the change of environment would do him good. The house they stayed at is still there. It’s been restored and can be visited.
10. The Caribbean islands are also known as the ‘West Indies’. That's because when Columbus set out to reach Asia (the Indies) by sailing west, he thought that he’d found the East Indies when he stumbled upon some islands. These islands were called the ‘Indies’ and Columbus called their inhabitants ‘Indians’. When his mistake was discovered, the Indies were renamed the West Indies to differentiate them from the real East Indies.
Caribbean trivia questions and answers
Want more fun facts about the Caribbean Islands? Here's a little quiz – with answers – to further expand your knowledge of them.
1. Where is the Caribbean region located?
The Caribbean region lies southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, east of Central America and north of South America.
2. Why are the Caribbean Islands called the West Indies?
The actual history behind it is pretty long, but it comes down to the fact that when Christopher Columbus sey out to find a sea route to India, he actually discovered the Americas by accident. He thought he'd found India, which is also why native Americans were called “Indians.
“West Indies” became the term to describe the territories discovered by Spain – and later also those by other European countries – in the Americas vs the territories in the “East Indies”, or Asia, where India was actually located.
3. Who discovered the Caribbean Islands?
Although the discovery of the Caribbean Islands, and more specifically of Dominica, is attributed to Christopher Columbus, the islands had in fact already been inhabited by indigenous tribes for centuries.
The top image is an adjusted creative commons by Ren Ladin through Flickr.