Location within the Caribbean
|• Total||14,364 km2 (5,546 sq mi)|
|• Density||274.9/km2 (712/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 (AST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−3 (ADT)|
The Lesser Antilles (Spanish : Pequeñas Antillas; French : Petites Antilles; Papiamento : Antias Menor; Dutch : Kleine Antillen) is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. Most form a long, partly volcanic island arc between the Greater Antilles to the north-west and the continent of South America. The islands form the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Together, the Lesser Antilles and the Greater Antilles compose the Antilles (or the Caribbean in its narrowest definition). When combined with the Lucayan Archipelago, all three are known as the West Indies.
The islands of the Lesser Antilles are divided into three groups: the Windward Islands in the south, the Leeward Islands in the north, and the Leeward Antilles in the west.
The Windward Islands are so called because they were more windward to sailing ships arriving in the New World than the Leeward Islands, given that the prevailing trade winds blow east to west. The trans-Atlantic currents and winds that provided the fastest route across the ocean brought these ships to the rough dividing line between the Windward and Leeward Islands.
The Leeward Antilles consist of the Dutch ABC islands just off the coast of Venezuela, plus a group of Venezuelan islands.
The Lesser Antilles more or less coincide with the outer cliff of the Caribbean Plate. Many of the islands were formed as a result of the subduction of oceanic crust of the Atlantic Plate under the Caribbean Plate in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone. This process is ongoing and is responsible not only for many of the islands, but also for volcanic and earthquake activity in the region. The islands along the South American coast are largely the result of the interaction of the South American Plate and the Caribbean Plate which is mainly strike-slip, but includes a component of compression.
Geologically, the Lesser Antilles island arc stretches from Grenada in the south to Anguilla in the north. The Virgin Islands and Sombrero Island are geologically part of the Greater Antilles, while Trinidad is part of South America and Tobago is the remainder of a separate island arc. The Leeward Antilles are also a separate island arc, which is accreting to South America.
The Lesser Antilles are divided into eight independent nations and numerous dependent and non-sovereign states (which are politically associated with the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, and the United States). Over one third of the total area and population of the Lesser Antilles lies within Trinidad and Tobago, a sovereign nation comprising the two southernmost islands of the Windward Island chain.
|Name||Subdivisions|| Area |
| Population |
(1 July 2005 est.)
| Population density |
|Antigua and Barbuda||Parishes||440||85,632||195||St. John's|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Parishes||261||42,696||163.5||Basseterre|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Parishes||389||110,000||283||Kingstown|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Regional corporations||5,131||1,299,953||253.3||Port of Spain|
|Name||Sovereign State||Subdivisions|| Area |
| Population |
(1 July 2005 est.)
| Population density |
|British Virgin Islands||UK||Districts||153||27,000||176.5||Road Town|
|Saint Barthélemy||France||Paroisses (parishes)||21||7,448||354.6||Gustavia|
|United States Virgin Islands||United States||Districts||346||108,448||313.4||Charlotte Amalie|
|Nueva Esparta||Venezuela||Municipalities||1,150||491,610||427.5||La Asunción|
|Federal Dependencies of Venezuela||Venezuela||Federal dependencies||342||2,155||6.3||Gran Roque|
Several islands along the north coast of Venezuela and politically part of that country are also occasionally considered part of the Lesser Antilles. These are listed in the section below.
The main Lesser Antilles are (from north to south to west):
Islands north of the Venezuelan coast (from west to east):
The Antilles is an archipelago bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the south and west, the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east.
The Leeward Islands are a group of islands situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean. Starting with the Virgin Islands east of Puerto Rico, they extend southeast to Guadeloupe and its dependencies. In English, the term Leeward Islands refers to the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles chain. The more southerly part of this chain, starting with Dominica, is called the Windward Islands. Dominica was originally considered part of the Leeward Islands, but was transferred from the British Leeward Islands to the British Windward Islands in 1940.
The Windward Islands, also known as the Islands of Barlovento, are the southern, generally larger islands of the Lesser Antilles, within the West Indies. They lie south of the Leeward Islands, approximately between latitudes 10° and 16° N and longitudes 60° and 62° W. The name was also used to refer to a British colony in these islands, existing between 1833 and 1960 and consisting of the islands of: Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Grenada. The island of Dominica was traditionally a part of the Leeward Islands until 1940, when it was transferred from the Leeward Islands colony to the Windward Islands.)
The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British territories historically established in the Anglo-Caribbean: Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Some definitions also include Bermuda, the former British Guiana and the former British Honduras although those territories are not usually considered part of the geographical West Indies. Before the decolonization period in the later 1950s and 1960s the term was used to include all British colonies in the region as part of the British Empire. Following the independence of most of the territories from the United Kingdom, the term Commonwealth Caribbean is now used.
The Caribbean Basin is generally defined as the area running from Florida westward along the Gulf coast, then south along the Mexican coast through Central America and then eastward across the northern coast of South America. This region includes the islands of the archipelago of the West Indies. Bermuda is also included within the region even though it is in the west-central Atlantic, due to its common cultural history created by European colonization of the region, and in most of the region by the presence of a significant group of African descent.
Caribbean Star Airlines was an airline based in Antigua and Barbuda. It operated scheduled passenger services in conjunction with Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) to destinations in the eastern Caribbean. Its main base was VC Bird International Airport, St John's.
The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago.
The 2005 Caribbean Cup was the thirteenth edition of the Caribbean Cup hosted by Barbados and won by Jamaica. In all 30 countries participated.
Antilles Crossing is an underwater 20 gigabit per second (Gbit/s) fiber optics ring network connecting several nations and overseas territories of the Caribbean Sea.
The Southern Caribbean is a group of islands that neighbor mainland South America in the West Indies. St. Lucia lies to the north of the region, Barbados in the east, Trinidad & Tobago at its southernmost point, and Aruba at the most westerly section.
The scaly-breasted thrasher is a species of bird in the family Mimidae found in the Caribbean Lesser Antilles. It was formerly united with the pearly-eyed thrasher in Margarops but now is again placed in the monotypic genus Allenia.
The Caribbean bioregion is a biogeographic region that includes the islands of the Caribbean Sea and nearby Atlantic islands, which share a fauna, flora and mycobiota distinct from surrounding bioregions.
The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.
The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is a regional standards body for the Caribbean Community CARICOM bloc of countries.
The Caribbean Link for Guiding is a consortium of 21 Girl Guide Associations from throughout the Caribbean. These include associations from independent countries as well as from British Overseas Territories, coordinated by Girlguiding UK. It was created in 1958.
The 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship qualification tournaments took place in 2010 to qualify national teams for the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
Following are links to lists of islands of the Americas which relates to all islands associated with South America and North America, including those of the Caribbean.
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