Located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, the Caribbean is home to some of the most beautiful ocean views in the world. The region is made up of more than 700 islands and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per year.
The Caribbean terrain across the islands differ differs between regions this affects the climate. Some islands such as Aruba have quite a flat terrain of a non-volcanic origin. The weather in Aruba is still tropical but not as extreme and has a fairly constant temperature.
Other islands such as Puerto Rico possess a more mountain-like terrain, and fall into the tropical climate zone. The main causes of Puerto Rico's rainy season, which stretches from April to November, are the Cordillera Central Mountains. The rocky mountain range causes variation in wind speeds, temperature and rainfall - this is due to the channelling effects they have on the atmosphere.
The Caribbean islands are renowned for their diverse ecosystems, which include many marine plants and wildlife. Coral reefs across the islands are particularly densely inhabited, and contain a vast amount of coral specimens and fish.
As the Caribbean offers diversity in natural and uninhabited destinations, it is no surprise that the region has become a relative hot spot for ecotourism. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in tourists visiting undisturbed natural areas of the Caribbean Islands.
Locations such as the St Lucia Nature Trails provide beautiful views across the island when hiking through the steep hills, while the island of Barbados is renowned for its endless unspoilt beaches which are still relatively isolated considering they are a popular travel destination.
May sees the beginning of the rainy season with rain falling mostly as late showers, and is heavier on the mountains and north-east facing coasts. In summer, hurricanes can hit the Caribbean, although Trinidad & Tobago are too far south to be affected.
Last updated: 24 March 2014