If you're planning a trip to the Caribbean, it helps to know where you are going. Sure, the weather
in much of the Caribbean is pretty similar, but there are some regional differences you should be aware of. Unlike most of the tropical Caribbean with its palm trees and lush foliage, for example, Aruba
are desert islands; on the other hand, their southerly position also keeps them outside of the hurricane zone
. As you can see from the map, the Bahamas
aren't actually in the Caribbean -- but parts of the coast of Colombia
Also, flight times (and airfares) can vary widely depending on how far south you are heading -- an important point to ponder as you budget your time and money.
Click the map to see the full-sized version.
See the next page for an interesting historic map of the Caribbean.