The Caribbean Sea is a body of water and suboceanic basin of the western Atlantic Ocean. The entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the West Indies and adjacent coasts, are collectively a region that is known as "The Caribbean."
Landforms of the Caribbean
The Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina is located in the western sector of the Caribbean Sea and belongs to the Republic of Colombia. The entire collection of 10 or so small coral atolls was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The Caribbean Plate is a mostly oceanic tectonic plate underlying much of Central America and the Caribbean Sea off the north coast of South America. These borders are regions of intense seismic activity, including frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Ciénaga de Zapata (Zapata Swamp) is located within the Zapata Peninsula on the southern coast of Cuba. Both a National Park and Biosphere Reserve, it is one of the largest and most important wetlands in the Caribbean region with a marine borderline.
The Grenadines are a chain of islands and islets located between Grenada and St. Vincent in the Lesser Antilles, noted for its beautiful scenery, spectacular beaches and diverse marine habitats. Its cultural heritage is a result of the blending of African, Carib, East Indian, Portuguese and European influences.
Hispaniola is the second largest and most populated island in the Caribbean region. It is located within the Greater Antilles and is divided politically into two separate sovereign nations: the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Saint Martin is an island in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. It lies at the northern end of the Leeward Islands group in the Lesser Antilles. The southern third of the island is tied historically and administratively with the Netherlands, the northern two-thirds with France.
Jardines de la Reina is an archipelago off the southern coast of Cuba. Cuba's second largest archipelago, it is formed by more than 250 virgin coral islands and numerous cays. Both a marine reserve and national park, the island group is one of Cuba's largest protected areas.
La Soufrière is an active stratovolcano on the island of Saint Vincent, the largest island of the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, that lies within the Lesser Antilles in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. The latest explosive eruptions occurred in 2021.
The Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc forms the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Plate. This subduction process formed a number of volcanic islands, from the Virgin Islands in the north to the islands off the coast of Venezuela in the south.
The La Hotte Biosphere Reserve is located in southeastern Haiti, includes six mountain peaks, and encompasses both terrestrial and marine areas. The region is considered a biodiversity hotspot due to the wide variation in climate, which ranges from humid to subtropical dry.