The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America and north of South America islets, reefs and cays. Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea: the Greater Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago on the north and the Lesser Antilles and the on the south and east. They form the West Indies with the nearby Lucayan Archipelago, which are considered to be part of the Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland, Belize, Nicaragua, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and the Guianas are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.