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Central America and the Caribbean


Geography of Central America

Central America is generally considered part of the continent of North America, but is often referred to as its own region. Central America is a narrow isthmus that is bordered by North America and the Gulf of Mexico to the north and by South America to the south. To the east of Central America is the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean is to the west. There are seven countries that are considered part of Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Central America was the home of many Native Americans prior to Europe colonizing the region. The majority of the area was colonized by Spain. Spanish is still the most common language.

The Caribbean Islands are another region that are considered part of the continent of North America. They are located in the Caribbean Sea to the east of Central America. The largest four Caribbean Islands are Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.

Central America: 43,308,660 (Source: 2013 CIA World Fact book)
Caribbean: 39,169,962 (Source: 2009 CIA World Fact book)

202,233 square miles (Central America)
92,541 square miles (Caribbean)
Map of Central America
Click here to see large map of Central America

Major Biomes: Rainforest

Major cities: Bordering Bodies of Water: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Straits of Florida

Major Geographical Features: Sierra Madre de Chiapas, Cordillera Isabelia Mountains, Sierra Maestra Mountains, Lucayan Archipelago, Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles, Isthmus of Panama

Countries of Central America

Learn more about the countries from the continent of Central America. Get all sorts of information on each Central American country including a map, a picture of the flag, population, and much more. Select the country below for more information:

Costa Rica
El Salvador

Countries of the Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda
Bahamas, The
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
  (Timeline of Cuba)
Dominican Republic
Netherlands Antilles
Puerto Rico
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Virgin Islands

Fun Facts

There once was a country called Central America. Today it is divided up into Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

The Panama Canal allows ships to cross Central America from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. The canal is a manmade construction that traverses 50 miles across the country of Panama.

Central America was home to the Mayan Civilization, one of the great civilizations of the historic world.

The largest country by population in Central America is Guatemala (14.3 million 2013 estimate). The largest in the Caribbean is Cuba (11.1 million 2013 estimate).

The Caribbean contains around 8% of the world's coral reefs (by surface area).

Coloring Map

Color in this map to learn the countries of Central America.

Central America Coloring Map of countries
Click to get a larger printable version of map.

Other Maps

Satellite Map
(click for larger)

Central American Countries
(click for larger)

Geography Games:

Central America Map Game

Other Regions and Continents of the World:

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