Up, down, north, south, Lesser Antilles, Windward islands; it can all be a little confusing. Let’s set sail and figure out this mystery of the geographical names of the Caribbean Sea.

Which islands are in the Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles?

The West Indies are composed of the islands of the Caribbean Sea and can be divided into the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles.

The Greater Antilles are the four largest islands in the northwestern portion of the Caribbean Sea and include. It’s simple, just look at them on a map. They are called the Greater Antilles because they are so much bigger than the rest of the Caribbean islands.

 

The Greater Antilles islands include

  • Cuba
  • Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic)
  • Jamaica
  • Puerto Rico

The Lesser Antilles include the smaller islands of the Caribbean and are divided up into the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands. The Lesser Antilles chain starts in the Virgin Islands and wraps the eastern Caribbean all the way down to Trinidad and Tobago.

The Lesser Antilles islands include

  • The Virgin Islands
  • Anguilla
  • St. Martin (Guadeloupe (north part) and Netherlands Antilles (south part))
  • Saba (Netherlands Antilles)
  • St. Eustatius (Netherlands Antilles)
  • St. Barts
  • Antigua
  • Barbuda
  • St. Kitts
  • Nevis
  • Montserrat
  • Guadeloupe
  • Dominica
  • Martinique
  • Saint Lucia
  • Barbados
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Grenada
  • Trinidad & Tobago

Which islands are in the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands?

The Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands are part of the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea.

The Windward Islands are southeastern islands of the Caribbean. They’re called the Windward Islands because they’re exposed to the wind (“windward”) of the northeast trade winds (northeasterlies).

The Windward Islands include

  • Martinique
  • Barbados
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Grenada

The Leeward Islands are the northwestern islands of the Lesser Antilles. They’re called the Leeward Islands because they’re away from the wind (“lee”).

The Leeward Islands include

  • Virgin Islands
  • Dominica
  • Guadeloupe
  • Montserrat
  • Antigua
  • Barbuda
  • St. Kitts
  • Nevis
  • Anguilla

Does that clear things up a bit for you? If not here is a link to Caribbean Magazine they go into a bit more detail.

Over and out from somewhere south,
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