City Planning in the Islands and a Virgin Gorda Sunset

Have you ever wondered why most of the population centers in the Caribbean are located on the lee, or west side of the island? Not all, but most follow this pattern.

Georgetown, Grand Cayman – Oranjestad, Aruba – Kralendijk, Bonaire – St. Georges, Grenada – Bridgetown, Barbados – Castries, St. Lucia – Fort de France, Martinique – St. John’s, Antigua – Basseterre, St. Kitts – Cruz Bay, St. John…all follow this design.

I know what you’re thinking, “Hey genius, they do that because it’s the calm side of the island, sheltered from the constant trade winds.” This is true, but I think island settlers put their main cities on the lee side for another reason.


Just look at this photo of a Caribbean sunset on the island of Virgin Gorda in the BVI. Absolutely stunning. The vivid colors slowly transitioning into each other all the way to the horizon and the distant black islands create a rip like border that separates the day’s last yellows and the deep purple of the sea. Magical.

Yes this boat looks as if it will never float on the waves again, but I’m sure it doesn’t mind as long as it can take in inspiring vistas like this on a daily basis.

You tell me what you would do if you were in charge of picking the location of the main settlement on an island and you could look at sunsets like this nightly. Something tells me you would be looking for a safe harbor on the leeward side.

Thank you to Jordana Wright of Jordana Wright Photography for the amazing photo.

Have a great weekend Castaways.

Cheers to seeing your own island sunsets.


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About the Author:

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty.


  1. cassius wright June 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm


    Thanks for the plug, and glad you like the picture, but where is it? it doesn’t seem to be on my machines, no matter what browser i use!
    lol 🙂

    Cassius Wright
    Co-Owner, Jordana Wright Photography

  2. cassius wright June 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    lolz now its there, beats me

  3. mm
    RumShopRyan June 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks for the comment Cassius! You guys do great work, keep it up. Cheers!

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