Anguilla, British territory in the northernmost part of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean; 96 km2, 13,500 residents (2011). The territory consists of five inhabited islands, of which the island of Anguilla is the largest. The capital is The Valley with approximately 500 residents The population is by far predominantly of African descent and speaks English. Anguilla is the Spanish word for eel, and it describes the elongated shape of the coral island. Sandy beaches, coral reefs and a dry climate attract tourists, while traditional occupations, livestock farming and a little farming are of less importance. However, lobster is still caught in the coral reefs for export, and sea salt is produced by natural evaporation. Offshore companies are of growing importance to the economy.
Anguilla became an English colony in 1650 as part of the Leeward Islands. From 1882 it formed a colony with Saint Kitts and Nevis. The colony was administered from Saint Kitts, which met with great resistance in Anguilla. Shortly after independence from Britain in 1967, Anguilla declared its independence from the other two islands, leading to a crisis and a brief British military intervention in 1969. In 1971, Anguilla came directly under British control, and in 1982 the island gained internal autonomy with its own police force and elected governor.
Aruba, an island in the Caribbean with its own territorial status within the Netherlands, near the coast of Venezuela; 180 km2, 101,484 residents (2010). The island was formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, but was separated as an autonomous territory in 1986.
Aruba is a flat, wind-blown rocky island, whose landscape is characterized by large boulders, cacti and individual deciduous trees. The location near the equator causes the temperature to be almost constant all year round; the climate is dry and drinking water is obtained by desalination of seawater. On the west side is the capital Oranjestad (28,294 residents).
The ethnic distinctiveness of the majority of the residents is attributed to the mixture of the native Caribbean Indians with especially Spanish and Dutch immigrants. The cultural mosaic also includes several other nationalities that have settled on the island. Dutch is the official language, but also Spanish and English are heard, as is Papiamento, which mixes the European languages with local dialect.
When the oil refinery at San Nicolas on the eastern tip was built in 1929, it was the world’s largest, and it was the island’s most important workplace and economic backbone, until it closed in 1985. A small part of the refinery has since been reopened. Now the economy depends mainly on tourism, especially from Europe and Canada, but also from the United States and Venezuela.
Until the 1800’s. was Aruba military territory with a ban on civilian settlement on the island. Slavery was abolished in 1863. In 1954, Aruba, along with five other islands in the West Indies, became an autonomous state, the Netherlands Antilles, under the Kingdom of the Netherlands, see Netherlands.
In the 1980’s, a strong separatist movement emerged, based primarily on economic but also historical and racial conditions, and on January 1, 1986, Aruba resigned from the federation. Independence was scheduled for 1996, but the economic prospects following the closure of the oil refinery led the people to decide to remain within the Kingdom of the Netherlands as an autonomous part.
Medium-sized map shows all the islands of the Caribbean, each identified by name. Good for school projects and printing.
Caribbean – Caribbean Travel Map
Presents an artistic map outlining the basic configuration of the islands. Peruse the alphabetical index for individual map views.
Caribbean – Eastern Region Map
View a map that focuses on the eastern Caribbean island nations, from Haiti to Trinidad & Tobago. Map is also interactive.
Caribbean – Magellan Map
View a colorful map detailing the various islands that make-up the Caribbean Basin.
Caribbean – Maps.com
Find Caribbean Basin views, Columbus’ route map and a hurricane-tracking chart. Also link to maps of each country or territory.
Caribbean – WorldAtlas.com
Find a profile of the area, maps of area islands and countries, select facts and figures, and regional flags.
Caribbean – WorldAtlas.com
Access a clickable map of the islands and find information about countries, including profiles, facts and map collections.
Caribbean Atlas – InfoPlease.com
Medium-sized, color map spans the entire Caribbean region and offers local islands’ profiles, and details on accommodations and dining.
Caribbean Basin Map
Provides a wide view of the entire Caribbean Basin with island nations and regions clearly indicated.
Presents a color-coded satellite-image enhanced map of the West Indies. Locate islands and place names.
Curacao – Travel Guide Map
Offers a simple to use map of the Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela.
Netherlands Antilles – National Geographic Map Machine
Find out which islands make up these autonomous Dutch territories. Click on the map for a larger, more detailed view.
Saba & St. Eustatius
Check out these stylistic outline maps of these obscure island nations and easily locate key populated areas and landmarks.
St. Vincent & The Grenadines – Caribbean Travel Map
Eye-friendly map of this island that tends to be a favorite among yacht sailing enthusiasts.
Turks & Caicos – Caribbean-On-Line
Peruse a compact guide to this chain of islands known for its coral reefs and white sand beaches. Includes an active forum and book deals.