Caribbean Leeward Islands – Overview

Caribbean Leeward Islands

“The Caribbean is a natural wonderland of tiny beach covered coral atolls and mountainous islands exuding rich and colorful cultures. Embark on an adventure to a paradise of thriving Caribbean nightlife, first rate cuisine and spectacular white powder beaches.”

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The Leeward islands are situated in the Caribbean, they form a major part of a line of land masses called the Caribbean Lesser Antilles which widen out in the north. Most of the Leeward islands are volcanic with a few that are flat coral structures.

The Caribbean Leeward Islands are named due to the prevailing winds blowing north and they consist of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Martin, the British and United States Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saba and Saint Barts.

Leeward islands map

 

St Barts is a small volcanic island around 8 square miles with a population of just under 9,000. It is 160 miles east of Puerto Rico and south of the Virgin islands. The highest point is Morne Vitet at 286 metres above sea level.
The capital and attractive natural harbor on St Barts is Gustavia. Here you will find a small number of shops including some up-market boutiques, restaurants, a Gustavia-St-Bartsluxury hotel and often a number of super yachts berthed in the port. Gustavia has three forts built in the 17th century to protect the harbor: Oscar (formerly called Gustav Adolf), Karl Fort and Gustav Fort.

Antigua the largest of the British Leeward Islands: 14 miles long and 11 miles wide and about 108 square miles in total. It’s highest point is Boggy Peak (1,319 feet) in the south western corner of the island and the finest views can be seen from the famous lookout at Shirley Heights. The population of the island and it’s dependency Barbuda is around 68,000 and the capital town is St. John’s on the sheltered west coast.

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Anguilla is located in the Caribbean Leeward island group a few hundred miles to the east of Puerto Rico. It’s close neighbors include the British Virgin Islands to the west and north west (Virgin Gorda and Anegada are nearest) and St Maarten / St Martin to the south. Anguilla is a flat coral and limestone island of around 35 square miles (16 miles long and 3 miles wide).

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St Kitts and Nevis have lush rain forests with beautiful hidden waterfalls to explore.

Guide to Caribbean Islands

Guide to Caribbean Islands

St-Kitts

Rain Forest at St.Knitts island

Rain Forest at St.Kitts island

Nevis is a conical island dominated by Nevis Peak which stands 985 meters (3,200 feet) above sea level. The volcano is considered dormant and last erupted in 1692. The interior of the island is mostly scrub following massive deforestation in the 17th and 18th centuries to make way for sugar plantations.

Saint Martin is 37-square-mile island in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico. Ringed with white-sand beaches, has been living with a split personality since 1648, when it became the smallest parcel of land to be peaceably shared by two countries: France and the Netherlands. Visitors to St. Martin / St. Maarten discover more than thirty exceptional beaches, rolling hills, celebrated restaurants and lots of duty-free shopping. In addition to lively casinos and colorful markets, the island offers fascinating art galleries and interesting historical sites.

Scuba Diving in Saint Martin is fantastic. Here, you’ll see healthy, vibrant reef systems, dynamic wrecks, canyons, lava tubes, picturesque swim-thrus, and a wide variety of life. Sharks, spotted eagle rays, turtles, and massive lobsters are regulars, and we also have seasonal encounters with dolphins and occasional visits from humpback whales. There are great opportunities for macro photography as well, with flamingo tongues, nudibranchs, fireworms, and a variety of other small aquatic life.

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