If you like warm weather, sandy beaches and a cold rum drink, then look no further than the Caribbean. Generally, the Caribbean islands are more developed, expensive and not ideal for budget travel, but if you can afford it the beaches are amazing! If you like all of that plus some lively jungles, local grown coffee, ancient Mayan ruins, and you are on a tighter budget, then you need to check out Central America.
All of the nations in this region share a legacy of colonialism which can be seen in the architecture, culture, language, religion and ethnicity of these societies. Central America was colonized by the Spanish and gained independence in the 1820's. The Caribbean was controlled largely by the Spanish, British, Dutch, French and Americans. Many natives perished under colonial rule, but they were replaced by millions of slaves brought from Africa to work in the sugar/rum plantations. In 1804 Haiti was the first nation to gain independence, through a slave rebellion. The newest island nation is St. Kitts and Nevis, 1983. Although it appears small on a world map, this area between the continents is packed with a variety of different cultures, languages, and climates