Pirate islands and their hideouts
Although the largest islands in the Caribbean were controlled by the Spanish, there are almost 1,000 other small islands in the Caribbean Sea. Perfect hideouts where pirates used to hide out
Nests of Corsairs, Buccaneers, Filibusters, etc.
The Caribbean Sea became a refuge for pirates. The riches that circulated through this sea were immense. Merchant ships transported all kinds of products and merchandise. In addition, the dream of capturing a Spanish galleon full of riches was always present, something almost impossible.
Islands and their relationship with the Pirates: Hispaniola, Tortuga, Cayman, Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas …
The Caribbean Sea was full of pirate havens. From them they could attack the ships that sailed those waters and seize the riches they were carrying.
Many of these islands are now tax havens, and are visited by modern pirates.
Pirates’ Nests in the Caribbean
Its hundreds of islands found their refuges
The immensity of the Spanish Empire of America, and its great riches, made them coveted by all kinds of adventurers. These became Pirates, Corsairs, Buccaneers and Filibusters.
The impossibility for the Spanish to control such vast territories made the pirates take refuge in strategic places.
In these places they had their shelters, arranged their ships and prepared for piracy. Since the discovery of the New World, the Caribbean Sea has been one of the world’s major centers of piracy.
Fleeing from island to island
Until they found safety
Initially Spain, was expelling them from the islands where they took refuge. But the pirates moved to other islands. If they were expelled again, they moved on to others, and so on.
For this reason, Spain, seeing it impossible to expel them completely, stopped chasing them around the islands for some periods of time.
Tortuga Island, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, etc, were some of the most famous Caribbean islands where pirates, corsairs, buccaneers and filibusters lived.
The establishment of English, French and Dutch colonies were used by pirates as repair and supply centers for their ships.
Main Pirate Islands
Safe haven for filibusters, buccaneers and corsairs.
The Filibusteros pirates were so named because of the type of ship they used.
Its shape and location, the most famous.
Tortuga Island, refuge of pirates, the Brotherhood of the Coast. Tortuga Island is located north of the island of Hispaniola in the area of present-day Haiti. It is a small island of about 180 km2, 37 km long and 7 km wide, where pirates, French, English and Dutch took refuge.
In addition, all kinds of adventurers and escaped slaves settled there. From there they attacked the ships of the Spanish fleets that sailed through the area.
Since the XVI century, it was one of the first bases of pirates and filibusters. Although the Spanish expelled them, they returned again and again.
In the end, when they managed to expel them, the pirates and buccaneers moved to Jamaica seeking the support of England. They returned years later when Spain abandoned it and they counted on the support of France.
On the island of Jamaica the main city was Port Royal and then Spanish Town.
Discovered in 1494 by Christopher Columbus on one of his expeditions, during his second voyage. The Spaniards named it Santiago, and it was a colony since 1509. It was a Spanish colony for many years, before passing into the hands of the English.
Inhabited by Arawak Indians, it was called Xaymaca (Land of waterfalls and forests). It is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. With an extension of 240 km long and less than 80 km wide.
By the Treaty of Madrid in 1670, this island, along with the Cayman Islands, passed to England. It became a hideout for pirates and buccaneers.
Its capital was Port Royal, where the ships of pirates and corsairs were supplied. A place full of pirates, adventurers, taverns and prostitutes, it was probably the largest leisure center in the Caribbean. Here the pirates and buccaneers spent their profits from their raids on ships and cities, mainly Spanish.
An earthquake destroyed Port Royal in 1692.
+ Jamaica Island
The Cayman Islands
The large number of islands made it difficult to locate the pirates and allowed them to stock up on water and food.
Islands currently famous for their tax havens. Pirates’ islands, where they felt safe.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503, on his fourth voyage to America. The Cayman Islands were a center of pirates, especially during the 17th century.
Located in the northwest of Jamaica, between Cuba and Honduras, it was a good place as a base for attacking Spanish galleons.
Initially it was occupied by the English and French, who divided the territory. In the battles for the occupation of the island, the Indians were practically exterminated.
A Spanish fleet expelled them all, and they took refuge in Tortuga Island and Hispaniola. But as in so many places in the Caribbean, they returned later and it became a base for buccaneers.
+ Caimon Islands
The Islands of the Bahamas
Bahama Islands, between the Florida peninsula and the island of Hispaniola.
It is believed to be one of the islands where Christopher Columbus landed for the first time. It is located between the Florida peninsula and the island of Hispaniola.
There are about thirty islands and more than 600 islets. After the destruction of Port Royal by an earthquake, some pirates moved to them.
Its time of splendor was when in 1713, in compliance with the Treaty of Utrecht, the English forbade pirates to enter Jamaica. These pirates looked for new refuges among the islands of the Caribbean Sea, and chose these islands of the Bahamas.
The most famous island is New Providence, which became the base and capital of pirates during the XVI-XVIII century. Nassau was their capital and was the place from where they prepared their raids, repaired and conditioned their ships. An island ruled by pirates.
+ Bahamas Islands
P. Antilles the ideal refuge for pirates.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, on his fourth voyage to America. They were one of the many islands impossible to colonize by Spain, as they did not have enough human resources due to the immensity of the New World. A century later by the English and French. However, they occupied a strategic position because they were a passing place for the Spanish galleons loaded with riches that departed from Cartagena de Indias. The riches extracted from Peru and South America were loaded in this port,
The islands of Martinique and Montserrat stand out for their rugged coastline and lush forests. An ideal place as a refuge for pirates.
+ Antilles Islands
(San Juan Bautista)
Discovered by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to America. One of the strategic places of the Caribbean.
The frequent pirate incursions, made that one of the first defensive armies of the Caribbean was created and fortified. It was one of the Spanish control points in the Caribbean. It ended up being a base for corsairs at the service of Spain when its maritime decline began.
+ Puerto Rico Island
The entrance to the Pacific Ocean
Located in the south of Chile, it was the first stop after crossing from the Atlantic. A safe place to stock up on water and fresh food. It was also a place to repair the ships that were usually damaged after such a difficult and hard voyage.
For Francis Drake it was salvation, when he was surprised by the cannons of Valdivia, which he did not expect, he sought refuge on this island. To avoid this and so that the pirates could be supplied, years later it was depopulated, and its inhabitants were taken to the mainland.
+ Mocha Island
Island of England
Cradle of pirates and corsairs
Piracy was a common practice on the English Channel coast. They were dedicated to boarding the ships that crossed it, some loaded with treasures, others with fabrics and other appreciated elements. Some nobles controlled this profitable business.
With time, Queen Elizabeth I of England favored the appearance of privateers, as a way to get rich without great problems. This departure to the sea and this practice, helped the creation of a navy, which was eventually the wealth of the country.
The most famous pirates and privateers have been English. A whole business whose wealth from robbery filled the coffers not only of pirates, but also of nobles and kings.
+ Island England