3 Things You Didn’t Know About the Western Caribbean

A common travel destination is the Western Caribbean. Consisting of the Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and many other islands, the Western Caribbean is known for being an island paradise. While full of white sand beaches and crystal clear water, the Western Caribbean has much more to offer. From traveling around the area to the local food and language, there is a lot to learn about the Western Caribbean. 

 

Travel

One of the most common ways to travel around the Western Caribbean is via a Western Caribbean cruise. These cruises bring you to several islands in the area and show you all of the fascinating and beautiful sites. However, a cruise is not the only mode of transportation between the islands. Several islands are accessible via airplane and have an airport on the island. Saba, an island in the Caribbean, is home to the world’s shortest landing strip. This can make for a challenging landing, especially during turbulent weather. However, when going from island to island most locals don’t use airplanes. They are more likely to use a boat. That said, most Caribbean locals live in Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Since those three countries are found on the two largest islands, a majority of the locals there travel by car or bike. Only two percent of the Caribbean Islands actually have people living on the island. This means that most islands don’t have a reason for cars, airplanes, or boats. 

 

Language

Since the Western Caribbean is made up of so many different islands, you might think they speak a variety of languages. However, most islanders speak English. Most of the large islands were colonized by the British, making English the main language. Even in islands colonized by other countries, English is still one of the main languages. This is simply because tourism is the largest source of income for the Caribbean Islands. However, this doesn’t stop the locals from speaking their own language. England, Spain, and France were the main colonizers of the Western Caribbean Islands. This means that many of the native islanders speak a mix of the three languages. Also called Creole, this language mixes French, Spanish, English, and other African, and West Indian languages. Many of the Caribbean Islands were first used as slave plantations. Colonizing countries would bring African and West Indian slaves to the islands and force them to work on the plantations. While they worked in the fields, they picked up some of the languages of their slave owners but mixed in some of their original, native languages too.

 

Food

The Caribbean is known for its amazing, pristine beaches and beautiful wildlife, but did you know that it’s also known for its cuisine? Caribbean food specifically is known for being spicy. Trinidad and Tobago are home to the

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chili Pepper, the hottest pepper in the world until 2013. The Scotch Bonnet is another spicy pepper native to the Caribbean. At 35 times hotter than a jalapeno, it’s what gives most Caribbean food its spice. Other than spice, Western Caribbean food also uses a lot of goats. Typically served on a skewer, you can find a goat dish in almost every restaurant within the Caribbean. A goat stew, served with lots of spices and rum, is one of the most popular dishes in the Caribbean. It is traditionally served at weddings and funerals, as well as other special events. Mentioning rum, the Western Caribbean is known for having more brands of rum than anywhere else in the world. Specifically, Cuba has the most brands of rum within any of the Caribbean Islands. They have a total of 11 brands. 

 

Each island in the Caribbean is filled with its own interesting history and facts. If you plan to take a trip be sure to do a little research. Find out some local history, cuisine, and culture. You may come across something spectacular.

 

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