Central America Map: Regions, Geography, Facts & Figures

Central America is a subregion of North and South America, situated between Mexico and South America. It is a region of great cultural, linguistic, and ecological diversity, with seven countries that share a common history and geography. These countries are Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The entire area is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich historic heritage, and diverse cuisine. With its warm climate and beautiful beaches, Central America is a popular tourist destination. Overall, Central America is a fascinating region with a lot to offer visitors from around the world.

Test your continent knowledge with our Central American geography quiz on the Panama Canal!

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History of Central America

The history of Central America is rich and complex. The region was home to several ancient civilizations, including the Maya and Aztec empires, which left an important legacy of art, science, and architecture. During the Spanish colonization period, Central America was divided into many small countries, which struggled for independence and sovereignty. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many countries gained independence from Spain and developed their own political, economic, and social systems.

Geography of Central America

Central America is an isthmus that connects North and South America. It is located between the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The region is known for its mountain ranges, including the Sierra Madre in Mexico, the Andes in South America, and the Central American Volcanic Arc, which runs through several countries.

The Caribbean islands of the West Indies, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, are sometimes included in the definition of Central America’s political map, as well as Haiti. The region has a great variety of ecosystems, from rainforests to deserts, and from coral reefs to mangrove swamps.

What Are the Highest Elevations in Central America?

The highest elevations in Central America are found in the mountain ranges that run through the region. The highest peak is Volcán Tajumulco, located in Guatemala, which rises to 4,220 meters above sea level.

Other high peaks include Cerro Chirripó in Costa Rica, Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic, and Pico Turquino in Cuba. The region also has several active volcanoes, such as Arenal in Costa Rica, Masaya in Nicaragua, and Pacaya in Guatemala.

Tourist Attractions in Central America

The map of Central America contains several popular tourist destinations, known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and ancient ruins. Some of the top tourist attractions for arts, adventure sports, and cultural immersion include:

  • Panama Canal: The Panama Canal is a man-made canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is considered one of the greatest engineering feats in history.
  • Guatemala City: Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala and is known for its colonial architecture, museums, and art galleries.
  • San Salvador: San Salvador is the capital of El Salvador and is known for its vibrant nightlife, shopping, and restaurants.
  • Nicaragua: Nicaragua is a popular destination for surfing, hiking, and exploring its many volcanoes.
  • Costa Rica: Costa Rica is known for its stunning beaches, national parks, and eco-tourism.
  • Belize: Belize is a popular diving destination, known for its beautiful coral reefs and marine life.
  • Honduras: Honduras is home to the ancient Maya ruins of Copán and is a popular destination for adventure tourism.
  • Major Cities: Central America is home to many bustling metropolises, including Panama City, San José, Tegucigalpa, Managua, Belmopan,
  • Waterways and Lakes: You can find many impressive bodies of water in Central America, apart from the adjacent oceans such as the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, such as the San Juan River, Tipitapa River, and more.
Maya Pyramid in Tikal
Image Source: Getty Images

People Also Ask...

If you're inspecting Central America maps, you may have some queries about the region. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this portion of the world map, along with their answers.

Is Mexico Part of North or Central America?

Mexico is part of North America. It is located directly to the north of Central America and is bordered by the United States to the north and Belize and Guatemala to the south. It is the third largest country in Latin America after Brazil and Argentina.

What 7 Countries Make Central America?

The seven countries that make up Central America are Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. This region is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse cuisine. Its warm climate and beautiful beaches make it a popular tourist destination. Mexico, on the other hand, is part of North America and is located to the north of Central America.

What Is the Largest Country in Central America?

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America in terms of land area, covering approximately 130,373 square kilometers. It is located in the heart of Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Nicaragua is known for its beautiful lakes, volcanoes, and beaches, as well as its rich history and culture.

Country Maps: Central America

Note: Central America is geographically part of North America.

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