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Tropical is essentially a catch-all term for modernized Latin music emanating from the Caribbean -- places like Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic (though not the inland areas of Mexico). Salsa, merengue, and cumbia are the most popular rhythms in tropical music, although there's room for ballads as well as uptempo dance numbers. While tropical draws on traditional musical forms, its sound and sensibilities are contemporary -- it may employ electronic instruments like synthesizers and drum machines, and it is generally geared toward Latin pop radio and/or dance clubs. Tropical music also refers to a music format common in Latin music radio stations. Among the most popular tropical styles are salsa, merengue, vallenato, cumbia and bachata. .

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