Caribbean Sea, Belize

Photograph by Wolcott Henry

Surf frosts the sparkling surface of the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Belize in Central America. Sometimes called the American Mediterranean for its location between two continental landmasses, the 1,063,000-square-mile (2,753,000-square-kilometer) body of water is named after the Carib Indians, the dominant peoples in the region when Europeans arrived in the 15th century.