This island country is portrayed as the “Little Britain” of the Caribbean because of its long association as a British colony. On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state under the Commonwealth realm. Its people, are predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is ranked as a leading tourist destination. Forty percent of the tourists come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island.
We visited Bridgetown in 2014 as part of our trek to Roraima and Angel Falls.
Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans. The country gained independence from Britain in 1978. It has towering mountains, lush green forests and winding rivers. Plus, there are no chain resorts and limited nightlife. In fact, commercial development of any kind is extremely sparse. Dominica tend to attracts the adventurous eco-tourist. Despite the deepening of the island’s main port to accommodate large cruise ships, Dominica is adamant in its preservation and conservation of local forestry and wildlife, more so than any other islands in the region.
We visited Roseau, Boiling Lake, Kalinago Barana Aute, Champagne Beach in 2014 as part of our trek to Roraima and Angel Falls.
Haiti’s land is mountainous. The country lies in the path of many hurricanes and in 2008 faced destruction from four tropical storms. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living in poverty. About two-thirds of the population live off subsistence farming and are vulnerable to the frequent storms, which destroy their crops and erode the land.
In 2010, thousands of people were killed and the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince was destroyed in a 7.0 earthquake.
We visited Labadee in 2001 when we cruised from Florida to Haiti and US Virgin Islands with Royal Caribbean.
The country is very diverse with mountains, rain forests, beautiful white-sand beaches, and 1,500 islands. Panama is a narrow land bridge, or isthmus, connecting North and South America. The Panama Canal, built by the United States after Panama’s independence from Colombia in 1903, joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The canal allows boats to sail between the two oceans without having to go all the way around the South American continent. In 1999, Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal. Panama has a dollarized economy whose major natural resources are its rain forests, beaches, and oceans. It is a strong draw for tourism.
We visited Panama City in 2017 as part of our month-long South America trip.
The Bahamas consists of 700 islands. Only about 30 of them are inhabited by people. New Providence, one of the largest islands and the location of the capital, is home to 70 percent of the country’s population. The territory came under British rule in 1718 and would remain that way until 1973 when the Bahamas gained its independence. Today the spot is a popular destination for tourists, over five million people visit each year to check out the country’s wildlife and culture.
We visited Freeport and Nassau in 1995 when we cruised from Florida to the Bahamas with Carnival Cruises.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island country that is the southernmost nation of the West Indies in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence from Britain in 1962 and became a republic in 1976. Unlike most of the English speaking Caribbean, the economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals, much of the nation’s wealth is derived from its large reserves of oil and natural gas. It is recognized by the World Bank as a high income economy.
We visited Port of Spain, Point Fortin and La Brea Pitch Lake in 2014 as part of our trek to Roraima and Angel Falls.
US Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands is an unincorporated organized territory of the United States of America between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico. It was formerly known as the Danish West Indies. Together with the British Virgin Islands, to the northeast, the territory forms the Virgin Islands archipelago. The islands’ natural resources are sun, sand, sea, and surf.
We visited St. Thomas in 2001 when we cruised from Florida to Haiti and US Virgin Islands with Royal Caribbean.
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