The Antilles (the same in French; "Antillas" in Spanish; "Antillen" in Dutch) refers to the islands forming the greater part of the West Indies in the
Caribbean Sea. The Antilles are divided into two major groups: the " Greater Antilles" to the north including the larger islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola( Haitiand the Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico; and the smaller " Lesser Antilles" on the southeast—comprising the northerly Leeward Islands, the southeasterly Windward Islands, and the Leeward Antillesjust north of Venezuela. The Bahamas, though part of the West Indies, are generally not included among the Antillean islands. [ Some sources, such as Encarta in Spanish, consider the Bahamas part of the Antilles. [http://es.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761555176/Antillas.html] es icon ]
In terms of
geology, the Greater Antilles are made up of continental rock, as distinct from the Lesser Antilles, which are mostly young volcanic or coralislands.
The word "Antilles" originated in the period before the European conquest of the
New World—" Antilia" being one of those mysterious lands which figured on the medieval charts, sometimes as an archipelago, sometimes as continuous land of greater or lesser extent, its location fluctuating in mid-ocean between the Canary Islandsand India.
1492arrival of Christopher Columbus's expedition in what was later called the West Indies, the European powers realized that the dispersed lands comprised an extensive archipelago enclosing the Caribbean Seaand the Gulf of Mexico. Thereafter, the term "Antilles" was commonly assigned to the formation, and "Sea of the Antilles" became a common alternate name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.
** flagicon|Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico(U.S. commonwealth)
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands(UK)
** flagicon|Sint Eustatius
Sint Eustatius(Neth. Ant.)
Saint Kitts and Nevis
** flagicon|Saint Martin|local Saint Martin (Fr.)
** flagicon|Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten(Neth. Ant.)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
U.S. Virgin Islands
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