Anyone who thinks of the Caribbean will undoubtedly first think of pirates, white sandy beaches and rum, but the islands have a long, interesting history and a rich culture that some feel is unparalleled. The region is named for the Carib people who were present in the Lesser Antilles when Christopher Columbus came across the archipelago in 1492. Columbus actually thought he had reached the west of India, which is where the islands get their other name – the West Indies.
The islands are made up of the Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles island groups. The Greater Antilles are Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, The Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico all of which have a reputation the world over for their laid back attitude and oft times hedonistic approach to eating, drinking and smoking – Havana in Cuba and Kingston in Jamaica are particularly famous for the latter.