The Caribbean (also Caribbean Islands, Caribbean or Caribbean) is the area, which consists of the Caribbean Sea and the ocean near the Bahamas. The area is known for the large number of islands that lie there. The name of the area comes from the Caribbean, an Indian tribe that lived in the area at the time of the arrival of the Europeans. In colonial times, the area was referred to as the West Indies or the West, a name that still refers to Christopher Columbus' misunderstanding that he had reached the Indies. The area is part of North America, only the islands belonging to Venezuela and Colombia and the three Guyanas are counted as South America.
The coast of the islands in the Caribbean are referred to as the Caribbean coast; the coast of the three Guyanas was called the 'Wild Coast' in colonial times, but is now called the Atlantic Coast.
Many countries in the Caribbean are united in the Caricom. About 70% of the population of the islands speak Spanish, the other major languages are French, English and Dutch.