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General information

North America


Atlantic Ocean

Points of interest

Rumrunner's Isle
Isla de Muerta
Isla de Pelegostos
Isla Cruces
Shipwreck Island
Unnamed island

Notable inhabitants

Jack Sparrow
Hector Barbossa
Davy Jones
James Norrington
Cutler Beckett
Jolly Roger
James Sterling
Henry Morgan


English colonists
French colonists
Spanish colonists
Dutch colonists


Brethren Court
East India Trading Company
British Empire
Kingdom of Spain
Kingdom of France

Behind the scenes
First appearance

The Curse of the Black Pearl

Latest appearance

On Stranger Tides

"Welcome to the Caribbean, love."
Jack Sparrow to Elizabeth Swann[src]

The Caribbean was a region consisting of the Caribbean Sea, its many islands (most of which are enclosed by the sea), and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and North America, and north of South America. The region comprised of thousands of islands, islets, reefs, and cays. The Caribbean islands were part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which consists of the Greater Antilles on the north, the Lesser Antilles on the south and east, and the Bahamas.

Many mysteries could be found within the Caribbean, from hidden fabled treasures to various legends and lore. Discoveries at the Caribbean was a sight to enchant the eye of any adventurer exploring lush jungles, volcanic caves, and vast tropical islands. But no map could prepare for the reality of a place which was more than half fantasy; no chart could mark the place where hopes end and nightmares began. Faded lines could denote either a lost island, or perhaps a sleeping Kraken. Forbidding waters could offer either death or a way back from World's End. There was a world of ghouls, gods and cursed gold that haunts the edges of the mundane realm we know. Only the brave or the foolhardy venture into this world of piracy and peril.


16th century

Soon after the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, both Portuguese and Spanish ships began claiming territories in Central and South America. Although Spain claimed the entire Caribbean, the Spanish colonists settled only the larger islands of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba.

In 1513, Juan Ponce de León searched for the legendary Fountain of Youth west of Cuba but he discovered Florida instead. In 1519, the Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés led the expedition to conquer the American mainland. Thanks to the powers of his magical sword, he destroyed the Aztec Empire.[1] He became the first governor of New Spain. His cousin Francisco Pizarro led another expedition which crushed the Incan Empire in South America.

Soon, the Spanish fleets began to carry shipments of silver and gold to Spain. Such treasures soon attracted the attention of other European countries, which hoped to establish profitable colonies of their own. By the end of the century, the English privateers began to attack the Spanish Treasure Fleets in the Caribbean.

17th century

French Squadron

The French invasion of Oxbay.

When the power of the Spanish Empire declined, the other European powers established a presence in the Caribbean. During the first half of the 17th century, England, France and Holland established their own colonies in the New World.

In 1630, a short war was fought between France and England in the Caribbean. At that time, the infamous ghost ship known as the Black Pearl terrorized the settlements in the Caribbean, but it was destroyed by the adventurer Nathaniel Hawk.[2]

The Spanish wealth attracted many pirates to the Caribbean, and the Age of Piracy began. Until 1630, the most infamous pirate nest in the Caribbean was Quebradas Costillas, but Tortuga soon became the mayor center of Caribbean piracy. Buccaneers, pirates, and privateers soon formed the Brethren of the Coast, choosing Shipwreck Cove as the place of their meetings.

Henry Morgan

Sir Henry Morgan.

In 1655, the English attempted to take Hispaniola from Spain, but their attack failed. Instead, they captured Jamaica, where they soon invited buccaneers to protect the island. The invited raiders built the city known as Port Royal, from which they launched many attacks on Spanish merchant shipping. Many notorious buccaneers like Henry Morgan chose Port Royal as their base of operations.

When the English started importing slaves from Africa to Jamaica, the buccaneering era of Port Royal came to an end. In 1687, piracy was outlawed in Jamaica. The lasting peace between England and Spain forced many former privateers to move to the Bahamas and turn to open piracy.

In 1692 Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake and partially sunk into the sea, but the remaining part was rebuilt. In 1697, Spain was forced to accept the French rule over the western third of Hispaniola. The French colony became known as Saint Dominique.

18th century

Capture of Blackbeard

Blackbeard battles the British mariners.

"This is the Caribbean, aye, sir. The Spanish Main, they call it. Pirates on the prowl here."
Roger Prescott to Jack Sparrow[src]

In 1701, a war erupted between France, Spain, Great Britain and Holland. Many Caribbean pirates were employed as privateers, but when the war ended in 1713, they turned to piracy once again. In the late 1710s, the infamous pirate Blackbeard sailed in the Caribbean, attacking and pillaging numerous ships of all nationalities. Though it was claimed that Blackbeard was killed in 1718, that was only one of his many legends.[3]

In the 1720s, the Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés rose from the dead, attempting to conquer the Seven Seas, but he was stopped by the spirit of the Aztec emperor Montecuhzoma. Both spirits were released from their prisons by the young adventurer Jack Sparrow.[4]

In the early 1730s, the infamous rogue pirates operated on the Caribbean. They openly violated the Code of the Pirate Brethren by slaughtering their prisoners, which caused the confrontation between them and the Brethren Court.[5]


Port Royal, Jamaica.

From the 1730s, Port Royal was presided over by Governor Weatherby Swann, and contained the largest British Royal Navy fort in the Caribbean: Fort Charles, from which Captain James Norrington hunted down and captured some of the Caribbean's most infamous pirates.[6]

Around this time, Jack Sparrow served as the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea, though his status as captain was partially diminished after Hector Barbossa commandeered his ship, the Black Pearl. Barbossa and his cursed crew became the scourge of the Caribbean over the next decade, raiding ports and leaving few, if any, survivors.[6] The Flying Dutchman, captained by the legendary Davy Jones, was also spotted in Caribbean waters, preying on doomed vessels and their crews, desperate to forestall the final judgement by serving aboard Jones' ghost ship.[7]

During the War of Garcia and Pierre and War Against Piracy, both the East India Trading Company and British Royal Navy have clashed with the cursed forces of Jolly Roger, the undead pirate captain who wanted to become Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea.[8]

Helm flies

War Against Piracy.

The situation in the Caribbean shifted with the arrival of Lord Cutler Beckett in Port Royal. Supreme head of the East India Trading Company, Beckett embarked on an ambitious plot to eradicate piracy from both the Caribbean and the Seven Seas as a whole.[7] He gained command over Davy Jones, and unleashed the Flying Dutchman and his own armada against the pirates of the Caribbean. This led to a confrontation between the East India Trading Company and the Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court, during which both Jones and Beckett were killed. Further, the sea goddess Calypso was released from her human bonds, perhaps yet again shifting the balance of power as the pirates fought to keep the seas free.[9]

Several years after the War Against Piracy, there would be a quest for the fabled Fountain of Youth. Those searching for the Fountain included the Spanish, the British, and the crew of the notorious pirate Blackbeard. The quest would lead to a mysterious island where the Fountain was located.[10]


Antilles Gate

The Antilles Gate.

The Caribbean were composed of three great island groups: the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles. Most of the islands were controled by some of the colonial powers of Europe, like Great Britain, Spain, France, or Holland. There were also islands controled by pirates, like Tortuga, and islands controled by the Caribbean natives, like Pelegosto.

Notable locations

Port Royal

Port Royal, the most important British colony in the Caribbean



External links

See also

Notes and references

Locations in Pirates of the Caribbean
Barbary CoastCalabarKermaSlave CoastTripoli

The Americas
FloridaMexicoNew OrleansNorth Carolina

BombayChinaHong KongIndiaNipponShanghaiSingapore

The Bahamas
AndrosNassauNew AvalonNew Providence

The Caribbean
AntiguaCubaHispaniolaIle d'Etable de PorcIsla De La AvariciaIsla CrucesIsla de Muerta
Isla de PelegostosMartiniquePadres Del FuegoPort RoyalShipwreck IslandTortugaUnnamed Island

CádizFranceGibraltarGreat BritainHolland

Other locations
Davy Jones' LockerFarthest GateIce PassageIsla Sirena


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