By Josh Riverside
You've worked hard all year and you finally have time to rest. Treat yourself to a piece of paradise by going on a trip to the Caribbean! Snorkel, go boating, hike, or just relax in the sprawling beaches - you can do absolutely anything you want.
The Caribbean has been a favorite vacation spot of tourists from the world over. In fact, millions of people visit the islands from the United States alone. The charm of the Caribbean lies not just on its beautiful beaches and romantic sunsets - it also has a rich history and a colorful culture that truly makes it addictive.
Also known as the West Indies, the Caribbean group of islands is actually located in the perimeter of the Caribbean Sea, very near the South American countries of Mexico and Venezuela. The Caribbean is composed of about 7,000 islands, each differing in size. The islands are grouped into the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas.
Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean centuries ago by accident, as he was trying to reach Southeast Asia (that's how the Caribbean got its West Indies name). It was then occupied by an Amerindian group called the "Carib"; this the name "Caribbean." The region was once very famous for its legendary sea pirates.
Now, most of the different Caribbean islands belong to the independent South American countries, but some are still part of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, or the United States.
Caribbean hotels and resorts are usually fully booked during peak season, so it is advisable to take care of your accommodations at least three months in advance. If you want more privacy, visit the less popular islands that offer the same first-rate accommodations. It's not a good idea to visit the Caribbean from April to December, though, as these are hurricane months. If you still want to go during this period, always check for weather updates.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.