Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
The Caribbean Sea is part of the Atlantic Ocean, it washes the shores of Central and South America, as well as more than 60 islands. The islands of this region are divided into three groups: Bahamas, Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles. Together, they cover an area of approximately 245 thousand square kilometers. Culturally, the Caribbean has a unique blend of local traditions and colonial heritage. They are also known for their warm climate, in which the average temperature does not drop below 23 degrees, even in the cold season, and the richest marine fauna. In view of this, it is not surprising that the Caribbean is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially among the inhabitants of the American continent. The development of the tourism industry has had a significant impact on the welfare of local residents and indirectly contributed to the growth of the population on the islands. Today, some of the Caribbean states in terms of the number of people living there significantly exceed many European countries. Let's find out which Caribbean islands are the most populated.
Ranking of the most inhabited islands in the Caribbean
|Ranking of the most inhabited islands in the Caribbean||10||Barbados||286 thousand people||439 km²|
|9||Bahamas||375 THOUSAND PEOPLE||13 878 km²|
|8||Martinique||376.4 thousand people||1,128 km²|
|7||Guadeloupe||382.7 thousand people||1,628 km²|
|6||Trinidad and Tobago||1.36 MILLION PEOPLE||5,128 km²|
|5||Jamaica||2.89 MILLION PEOPLE||10,991 km²|
|4||Puerto Rico||3.19 MILLION PEOPLE||9 104 km²|
|3||Dominican Republic||10.77 MILLION PEOPLE||48 671 km²|
|2||Haiti||10.98 MILLION PEOPLE||27,750 km²|
|1||Cuba||11.48 million people||110 860 km²|
10th place – Barbados
Barbados belongs to the Lesser Antilles, it is located northeast of Venezuela. The population of the island, with an area of 431 square kilometers, is about 286 thousand people. The earliest Barbados settlers were Indians, as evidenced by tools and other ancient artifacts discovered by archaeologists. Since the 17th century, the islands have become a British colony, sugar and tobacco were grown here using the labor of slaves brought from Africa. In 1966, Barbados gained independence. The economy of the state is still based on the production and export of sugar, approximately 80 percent of all arable land is allocated for reed plantations. The local industry is mainly represented by the consumer industry and the production of computer components. The country's capital, Bridgetown, serves as a major center for the provision of offshore financial services. The tourism sector plays a very important role in the life of the island: at least 300 thousand tourists come here every year, mainly from the USA and European countries. Barbados is considered an excellent place for surfing and other types of water activities, besides, the country has a developed infrastructure with a large number of comfortable hotels. An interesting fact – the position of the official ambassador of culture of the island is occupied by the world famous singer Rihanna.
9th place – Bahamas
The Bahamas archipelago includes about 700 islands, of which only 30 are inhabited, it is spread over an area of 250 thousand square kilometers. The number of residents is a little less than 400 thousand people. For a long time, the Bahamas were under the control of Great Britain, then Spain, which had a significant impact on local culture and architecture. The state is almost completely dependent on tourism, its budget is replenished mainly thanks to the millions of guests who come here on vacation. This popularity is largely due to the proximity of the islands: the distance from them to the coast of Florida is about three hundred kilometers. Cultural and financial life is concentrated on New Providence Island, where the capital Nassau is located. In the 18th century, the island played the role of a pirate haven, but today it is a well-maintained resort and a busy seaport. Civilization in the Bahamas coexists with wildlife sanctuaries, pristine beaches with white sand, as well as a rich fauna of coastal waters. Tourists have access to a huge variety of entertainments, from underwater fishing and yachting to elite casinos. Bahamian real estate is highly regarded among American celebrities, in particular, Johnny Depp, David Copperfield and many other show business stars own mansions on the islands.
8th place – Martinique
Martinique is a small volcanic island with an area of just over 1,100 square kilometers. It belongs to the territory of France, being considered its overseas department. Martinique is home to 376.4 thousand people, a significant part of the working population is involved in the service sectors related to tourism. Agriculture is also developed here, in particular, the cultivation of bananas, pineapples for export, and the production of rum. Most of the products are supplied to France and to nearby Guadeloupe. Nevertheless, the tourism industry is the main source of filling the state budget. More than half a million guests visit Martinique every year. There are luxury Creole-style hotels for their accommodation, each of them offers an extensive entertainment program for every taste and budget. The main cultural attractions of the island are concentrated in the capital Fort-de-France, which residents call Little Paris for its colonial architecture with narrow streets and an abundance of cafes. Most of all Martinique is to the taste of fun lovers, as it is known for its noisy and vibrant carnivals, not inferior in their number even to Cuba.
7th place – Guadeloupe
The state of Guadeloupe, like Martinique, is a French overseas region. It is located in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea and consists of two large and four small islands, covering a total area of over 1600 square meters. The population is 382.7 thousand people. During colonization, Guadeloupe's economy was built exclusively around export goods: sugar cane, rum, bananas, coffee, and so on. Only in the last century did other areas of agriculture and light industry begin to develop, although the country is still dependent on imports of French food. Like other islands in the Caribbean, Guadeloupe is a popular tourist destination, hosting about 350,000 people every year. Up to 9 percent of the working-age population is involved in this area. Bas-Ter is considered the most beautiful island, it is also the most developed in terms of hotel infrastructure. It also has a National Natural Park – a biosphere reserve with an area of 17 thousand hectares. The capital of the state, which bears the same name as the island, boasts surviving examples of ancient architecture: palaces, churches and a 17th century military fort.
6th place – Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago, in addition to the two large islands of the same name, includes many small islets. The total area occupied by the state is 5128 square kilometers. It is located near Venezuela, in the southern region of the Caribbean Sea. The country was inhabited about seven thousand years ago, in the 18th century it fell under the rule of Spain, then for a long period it became a colony of Great Britain. The local population exceeds 1.36 million. Three different cultures coexist on the territory of the state: Christian, Muslim and Hindu. Economically, Trinidad and Tobago thrives on oil production and has a petrochemical industry. In addition, today the islands have an excellent infrastructure for beach recreation, all types of water sports and tourist entertainment are available. But most often they come here for the sake of ecological tourism, since the local flora and fauna are amazingly diverse. For example, the island of Trinidad is home to more than 40 species of hummingbirds, and in the whole country you can see 600 species of butterflies, 400 species of birds and about a hundred species of mammals.
5th place – Jamaica
The island of Jamaica covers an area of almost 11 thousand square kilometers, it is located 144 kilometers south of Cuba. It is inhabited by 2.89 million people. The island has a rich history, with a special role played by pirates who made Port Royal their unofficial capital. The city remained the largest center of Caribbean piracy until the earthquake of 1692, which plunged it under water. Nowadays, Jamaica lives off agriculture, industry and, of course, tourism. Bananas, coffee, sugar cane, citrus fruits, the famous Jamaican rum “Apple ton” are exported. The tourism industry has been developing since independence in 1962. Visitors have a lot to see here: colonial-style planter estates, pirate forts, lush festivals. And this is not to mention the rich nature of Jamaica with its rivers and picturesque waterfalls. The local culture is most associated with music, as it was here that the reggae style was born, reflecting the views of the local religious movement of Rastafarianism. Another, already more modern symbol of the country is the eight-time Olympic champion in running Usain Bolt.
4th place – Puerto Rico
The country, with an area of just over 9 thousand square kilometers, includes the large island of Puerto Rico and numerous small reef islands. The population is 3.19 million inhabitants. The state has a complex political status, it belongs to the United States, and selectively obeys American laws, but at the same time it has self-government and its own constitution. Throughout its history, Puerto Rico has experienced Spanish colonization and the American-Spanish War of the late 19th century. The country's modern economy, in particular industry, as well as import and export channels, is highly dependent on US capital. The island is very popular with tourists from America, annually visited by up to five million guests, most of whom are cruise ship passengers. There is an intensive development of the hotel and entertainment infrastructure. Many tourists are attracted by the unique nature of Puerto Rico: more than two hundred species of living creatures that live here are not found anywhere else in the world. In addition, the island is known for its festivals, carnivals and music. It is believed that this is where the reggaeton style originated, as a mixture of reggae, hip-hop and other genres.
3rd place – Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island of Haiti and a number of smaller islands. The area of the country reaches 48.7 thousand square kilometers; in total, 10.77 million people live in it. The Dominican Republic has a developed mining industry (controlled by the United States), the cultivation of crops such as sugar cane, tobacco, coffee and cocoa, and tourism. The latter, thanks to a stable political environment and tax incentives, has become the most promising sector of the island nation's economy. Now the country is visited by four million people per year. Historic sites are concentrated in Santo Domingo, the oldest city built by European colonialists in the Western Hemisphere. Also in the Dominican Republic there are hundreds of kilometers of landscaped sandy beaches, a complex of waterfalls in the interior of the island and the unique system of underwater caves Padre Nuestro. In winter, tourists come to see a particularly interesting event: the seasonal migration of thousands of whales swimming near the Dominican coast.
2nd place – Haiti
Haiti occupies about a third of the island of the same name, on the rest of which is the Dominican Republic. Also, the country with a total area of 27,750 square kilometers includes several more islands, including the famous Tortuga, which served as a haven for pirates of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Haiti has 10.98 million inhabitants. It is the poorest state in the Western Hemisphere, where up to 80 percent of people are forced to live below the poverty line. Natural disasters and coups d'etat seriously affected the country's economy. Most of the working population is engaged in agriculture, but its development is complicated by the peculiarities of the island's landscape and the primitiveness of the tools. In addition, extensive deforestation has resulted in frequent landslides and soil erosion. Of the products grown in Haiti, exports are mainly sugarcane, coffee and mangoes. Tourism is still in its initial stage, only two resorts can offer a comfortable stay: Ibo and Kiona. Most often, divers come to Haiti who want to try their hand at underwater karst caves.
1st place – Cuba
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean Sea; in addition to it, the state's territory also includes the island of Juventud and many small islets. The country covers 110,860 square kilometers. The population reaches 11.48 million, of which 75 percent live in urban areas. Over the past hundred years, Cuba has had to go through political and economic upheavals associated with the dictatorial regime of Batista, the revolution that followed and the establishment of a socialist system. For some time, the country received financial support from the Soviet Union, which, however, turned into a long embargo from the United States, which undermined the Cuban economy. Only in our time is the state experiencing a certain rise due to the inflow of money from international tourism, the development of infrastructure and construction of modern buildings has begun. Beautiful nature, snow-white clean beaches and relatively affordable cost of rest attract millions of tourists to Cuba every year. Most of the country's attractions are located in Havana. There you can see unusual, vibrant architecture that combines several styles at once, admire the many rare Soviet cars on the streets, watch the process of making the best Cuban cigars and take part in one of the famous music carnivals.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.