times, the Caribbean has been a favorite place for
American visitors. In the past 50 years, tourism to
the area has increased greatly, and today millions
of U.S. citizens visit the islands every year.
Originally named the West Indies by explorers
seeking a sea route to India, the Caribbean is the
region of tropical islands in the Caribbean Sea
situated between North and South America and east of
Central America. The islands extend for nearly 1,700
miles from Cuba in the west to Barbados in the east.
Most of the islands in the Caribbean belong to one
of 13 independent countries. In addition, several
islands and groups of islands in the Caribbean are
part of or dependent upon France, the Netherlands,
the United Kingdom, or the United States. If you
plan to rent a car, be aware that most jurisdictions
of the Caribbean drive on the left. The only places
where you drive on the right are Aruba, Cuba,
Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique,
and the Netherlands Antilles.
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