Car Hire in the Caribbean - Travel Guide
The Caribbean (also known as the West Indies or the Antilles) is one of the world’s most desirable places to travel to thanks to its gorgeous warm temperatures, sparkling blue seas and white sandy beaches. This region around the Caribbean Sea actually takes its name from the Carib tribe of Indians who once lived there, but Caribbean culture has been mostly fashioned by the African slaves and Indian indentured labourers who were brought over many years ago. It is a distinctive culture which has given the world joyous forms of art such as calypso, reggae and soca music, a delicious if starchy range of foods and all sorts of interesting characters including some brilliant sportsmen and writers.
The biggest and most unique Caribbean country is Cuba with its Spanish speaking population and communist government. Puerto Rico is also Spanish speaking but considered to be part of the United States. Another country within the Greater Antilles archipelago is the large and beautiful Dominican Republic.
One of the larger Caribbean islands is Jamaica and this wild and mountainous island has been pivotal in the formation of Caribbean culture. Jamaica gave the world one of its most recognised musicians, the reggae singer songwriter Bob Marley, and if you happen to travel to the island you should go and see the Bob Marley museum. Car hire in Kingston is the best way to do so. Reggae is such a cornerstone of Jamaican culture that its football team is known as the Reggae Boys. Jamaica has produced many wonderful athletes over the years such as the cricketers George Headley and Michael Holding, and today Usain Bolt is the Olympic champion and world record holder for sprinting.
Arguably the most vibrant Caribbean island is Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago is the heartland of Soca and Calypso music and has produced great performers such as David Rudder, the Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener. The country has the most spectacular carnival to be found outside of Brazil and the mixed Indian and Black population there makes for a fascinating and effervescent culture in Trinidad and Tobago. It is also the home of the world record holder for cricket’s highest individual batting score and the ‘Prince of Port of Spain’ Brian Lara is without doubt one of the most talented and artistic players ever to have played the game. As in Jamaica, the ‘Trinis’ have called their football team the Soca Warriors.
The other Caribbean islands are split up into various groups. The Leeward Islands consist of St Maarten, The British Virgin Islands, The U.S Virgin Islands, Saba, Martinique, St Kitts, Barbuda, Antigua, Nevis, Anguilla, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Marie-Galante, Les Saintes, Redonda, St Eustatius and La Desirade. The Windward Islands are Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent, Martinique and the Grenadines. The small island of Barbados is not part of either of these groupings.
Politically the Caribbean region also consists of the South American countries of Guyana and Suriname, while Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands are associate members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) without actually being in the Caribbean region.