The Leewards stretch for several hundred miles in a roughly north to south direction and include at least 14 sizeable islands. They are culturally and politically diverse, with eleven different governments; some are still colonies, others are independent. In the north, St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Barts, Barbuda, and Antigua are geologically older islands that have been worn down over time. Their peaks are too short to attract enough rain for rain forest growth. Less rainfall means more coral, and around Antigua and Anguilla some of the few coral reefs on the leeward side of the islands can be found. In the north, Guadeloupe and Dominica are younger islands with taller mountains, rain forests, and dramatic topography.
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