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An archipelago in the Caribbean is called the Antilles . It consists of the Greater and Lesser Antilles . Together with the Turks and Caicos Islands (which are sometimes summarized under the term Lucayen ) they form the West Indies . The Antilles limit the Caribbean Sea to the north and east.


Caribbean - Antilles.PNG The Antilles (Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles)
Caribbean - Greater Antilles.PNG The Greater Antilles : Cuba , Jamaica , Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico .
The adjective “great” refers to these four main islands. However, the archipelago also includes many smaller islands and archipelagos. 
Caribbean - Lesser Antilles.PNG The Lesser Antilles stretch from the Virgin Islands in the north to the Venezuelan coast in the south.


The name of the archipelago is said to derive from the mythical island of Antilia , a small island in the Atlantic that is said to have been inhabited by a Christian community.

According to another theory, the name is derived from Latin (or Romance ) ante , which means "in front of" and could refer to the location of the islands "in front of" the continent.

On the Ottoman map of Piri Reis from 1513, an island is marked with antilia in Arabic script , the location behind it is assumed to be the island of Cuba.


The largest islands in the Antilles are listed below. Most sources do not include the Bahamas as part of the Antilles, only the Spanish Encarta includes them in the Antilles.

  Surname Country (status) Area (km²) population Density
[inhabitants / km²]
1 Cuba CubaCuba Cuba 105,805.5 11,224,321 101
2 Hispaniola Dominican RepublicDominican Republic Dominican Republic and Haiti
73,929.0 15,546,026 203
03 Jamaica JamaicaJamaica Jamaica 11,189.6 2,598,000 227
04th Puerto Rico Puerto RicoPuerto Rico Puerto Rico (colony of the USA) 9,099.8 3,916,632 430
05 Trinidad Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 5,008.7 1,050,000 220
06th Isla de la Juventud CubaCuba Cuba 2,237.3 84,751 33
07th Martinique Flag of France.svg France (own region ) 1,128.0 401,000 355
08th Margarita VenezuelaVenezuela Venezuela 956.8 420,000 450
09 Basse-Terre Flag of France.svg France (part of the Guadeloupe region ) 848.0 200,000 236
10 Dominica DominicaDominica Dominica 787.3 75,851 101
11 Gonave HaitiHaiti Haiti 743.0 100,000 135
12 Saint Lucia Saint LuciaSt. Lucia St. Lucia 639.8 160.145 258
13 Grande Terre Flag of France.svg France (part of the Guadeloupe region ) 586.0 210,000 358
14th Cozumel MexicoMexico Mexico 539.1 73.193 149
15th Cayo Romano CubaCuba Cuba 464.7 ? ?
16 Barbados BarbadosBarbados Barbados 462.4 276,607 642
17th Curacao Flag of the Netherlands.svg Kingdom of the Netherlands (own part of the country ) 443.1 173,400 391
18th St. Vincent Saint Vincent GrenadinesSt. Vincent and the Grenadines St. Vincent and the Grenadines 381.0 108,600 314
19th Cayo Coco CubaCuba Cuba 366.4 ? ?
20th Grenada GrenadaGrenada Grenada 322.7 105,000 260
21st Tobago Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 308.8 54.084 180
22nd Bonaire Flag of the Netherlands.svg Kingdom of the Netherlands ( special municipality in the Netherlands) 288 18,413 64
23 Aruba Flag of the Netherlands.svg Kingdom of the Netherlands (own part of the country ) 193 71,891 396
  • Islands containing the capital of the country to which they belong are shown in bold .
  • European countries are  highlighted in color  .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Antilles  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. PNUE