When you think of the Caribbean, you are more than likely thinking of its gorgeous beaches and turquoise waters, but there is so much more than that too. Here are fascinating and surprising facts about the Caribbean that we bet you didn’t know about.
1. There are 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
2. Only 2% of the Caribbean islands are inhabited.
Did you know there are about 7,000 islands that make up the Caribbean and about 100 of these are inhabited. One of our other favorite facts about the Caribbean islands is that 700 of these islands belong to the Bahamas.
3. The Caribbean is home to the shortest runway in the world.
The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (SAB) is on the former Netherlands Antilles island of Saba and it features the shortest commercial runway in the world. The airport’s runway is just 1,312 feet, or 400 meters long.
4. Jamaica has the highest concentration of churches in the world.
Although Jamaica is famously associated with Rastafarianism, Jamaica is actually 64% Christian. There are 1600 churches within 10,999 square kilometers, which means there are more churches per square kilometer in Jamaica than any other nation in the world.
5. The Caribbean only has two seasons.
The Caribbean is made up of two season, dry and rainy. The dry season, runs from mid-December through to mid-April, which is usually the best time to visit the Caribbean. The wet season runs between mid-April to mid-December and also is known to be hurricane season, which is usually at peak in June.
6. The Cayman Islands actually have more registered businesses than people.
The main industry in the Cayman Islands is financial services.
7. Three million indigenous Caribbean people vanished in just 50 years.
When Haiti was known as Hispaniola, there were three million Taino people on the island. Due to the smallpox epidemic, warfare, starvation and inter-marriage with Spanish invaders, that population disappeared. Interestingly enough, many Puerto Ricans have distant ancestry with Taino DNA.
8. The smallest shared landmass in the world is in the Caribbean.
The island of St. Maarten/St. Martin is only 87 km and is the smallest inhabited island on Earth. and it is shared by two nations. The northern half, Saint-Martin, is French run and the southern half, Sint Maarten, is Dutch and one of the four countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
9. Three Caribbean Islands are part of the European Union.
Martinique, Saint Martin and Guadeloupe are all territories of France and are represented in the EU. They all use the Euro as well.
10. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean
Cuba is 111 square kilometers and is larger than all the other Caribbean Islands combined. 75% of the Caribbean population lives between Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
11. The Caribbean has a ‘Boiling Lake.’
The Boiling Lake is located on Dominica in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Caribbean. Located over 2,600 feel above sea level, this body of water is a fumarole, an opening in Earth that releases steam and gas. While it’s possible to hike there, it is hard to reach as it is a very muddy trek to get there and not something recommended to do on your own.
What are your most favorite facts about the Caribbean? Share them below!