Geographical use of the
There are some specific rules for using the with geographical nouns.
Do not use the before:
names of most countries/territories: Italy, Mexico, Bolivia; however, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the United States
names of cities, towns, or states: Seoul, Manitoba, Miami
names of streets: Washington Blvd., Main St.
names of lakes and bays: Lake Titicaca, Lake Erie except with a group of lakes like the Great Lakes
names of mountains: Mount Everest, Mount Fuji except with ranges of mountains like the Andes or the Rockies or unusual names like the Matterhorn
names of continents (Asia, Europe)
names of islands (Easter Island, Maui, Key West) except with island chains like the Aleutians, the Hebrides, or the Canary Islands
Do use the before:
names of rivers, oceans and seas: the Nile, the Pacific
points on the globe: the Equator, the North Pole
geographical areas: the Middle East, the West
deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas: the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest, the Iberian Peninsula