Caribbean Tourism


Both the main islands were sighted by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493, but no colonies were established by the Spanish because the islands were inhabited by the Caribs (who are now virtually extinct); it was not until 1635 that French settlers arrived.

Because of their wealth from sugar, the islands became a bone of contention between Britain and France; other French islands, Dominica, St Lucia, Tobago, were lost by France in the Napoleonic wars. The important dates in the later history of the islands are 1848, when the slaves were freed under the influence of the French ‘Wilberforce’, Victor Schoelcher; 1946, when the islands ceased to be colonies and became Departments; and 1974, when they also became Regions.

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Although called Ouanalao by the Caribs, the island was renamed after Christopher Columbus’ brother, Saint-Barthélémy when discovered in...