Greater Antilles

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Greater Antilles
Waters Caribbean Sea
archipelago West Indies
Geographical location 21 ° 59 ′  N , 79 ° 2 ′  W Coordinates: 21 ° 59 ′  N , 79 ° 2 ′  W
Map of Greater Antilles
Main island CubaCuba Cuba

The Greater Antilles are a group of islands in the Caribbean .


Together with the Lesser Antilles , the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas , the Greater Antilles form the West Indies .

The adjective “large” refers to the four major islands (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico), but the archipelago includes a large number of smaller islands and archipelagos. Together, the four main islands make up about 90% of the area of ​​the Caribbean islands .

Geologically, they have a similar structure to the Central American mainland, made of slate, gneiss and old igneous rocks as well as young mussel and coral limestone in the north.

Caribbean - Greater Antilles.PNG
Caribbean - Lesser Antilles.PNG

Greater Antilles (left) and Lesser Antilles (right)


The name Antilles for these islands is first recorded in writing by the Spanish humanist Petrus Martyr von Anghiera in 1493 . It is possibly derived from the legendary island of Antilia , which was suspected to be in the Atlantic during the Middle Ages , or from the Latin ante "before", since the islands are offshore from Central America .

Islands and archipelagos

location Group / main island Political status Islands
LocationCuba.svg CubaCuba Cuba Island nation Cuba (island)
Archipelago de Sabana
Jardines del Rey
Archipelago de Camagüey
Archipelago de los Canarreos
Jardines de la Reina
LocationCayman Islands.svg Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg Cayman Islands British overseas territory Grand Cayman
Little Cayman
Cayman Brac
LocationJamaica.svg JamaicaJamaica Jamaica Island nation Jamaica (island)
Pedro Cays
Morant Cays
Port Royal Cays
Navassa Island in its region.svg Flag of Navassa Island (local) .svg Navassa American territory Navassa
LocationHispaniola.svg Hispaniola and surrounding islands Island state of HaitiHaitiHaiti  Hispaniola (western part)
Ile de la Tortue
Île de la Gonâve
Île Grande Cayemite
Ile à Vache
Island state of Dominican Republic (eastern part of Hispaniola) Dominican RepublicDominican Republic  Hispaniola (eastern part)
Cayos de Siete Hermanos
Isla Beata
Isla Saona
LocationPuertoRico.svg Puerto Rico ArchipelagoPuerto RicoPuerto Rico  island state associated with the USA Puerto Rico (island)
Mona and Monita
Caja de Muertos
Culebra Archipelago: Culebra , Culebrita and 22 other islands

The islands off the east coast of Puerto Rico are also known locally as the "Spanish Virgin Islands". In this respect, along with the Virgin Islands , they can also be geographically assigned to the Lesser Antilles .

See also

Web links

Commons : Greater Antilles  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files