60 Second Geography-Central America


 

60 Second Geography – Central America

Central America is the remarkable bridge of land that links the North and South American continents. Geographically situated as part of North America, Central America’s cultural heritage places it geopolitically closer to South America. These mostly sub-tropical and tropical nations have had historically difficult histories, but since the end of the cold war have made amazing strides in developing their tourism infrastructure and today represent some of the best locations for travel in the western hemisphere.

  • Geographically situated between North and South America, the eastern coastal lowlands of Central America border the Caribbean and are the most densely populated areas. The more mountainous central highlands are volcanic in origin and the Pacific coast of the land mass is known for its beaches and drier climate zones.
  • The extensive and varied colonial history accounts for the varying American dialects of Spanish and English the people of Central America speak. Belize, a former colony of the United Kingdom speaks predominantly English. In many rural areas, visitors will still hear native Amerindian languages spoken.
  • Eco-tourism is a vital part of the emerging tourism infrastructure in Central America. Many of the world’s most endangered species of plant and animal life are found only here.
  • Some countries, notably Nicaragua and El Salvador, are recovering from decades of civil strife. Their emergence onto the international tourism scene is viewed as a very positive development on the road to economic recovery.
  • Cultural tourism is very strong in Central America, especially in Guatemala.
  • English speaking Belize claims the world’s second largest ocean reef and many pristine diving locations. Community based eco tourism is a large part of the government’s economic policy.
  • Costa Rica’s well developed tourism infrastructure is considered a model for many of the other countries. It’s long established democracy and land ownership laws have propelled it to the top position in international tourism in Central America.
  • Panama is a nation with a variety of holiday attractions, from its rain forests to the many offshore islands that surround the country.
  • The spectacular scenery of Lake Nicaragua in Nicaragua is highlighted by a series of volcanic islands. The country is becoming a retirement haven for US citizens, much like Costa Rica before it.
  • In the Honduras, the Bay Islands offer strong diving facilities. The Mayan site of Copan is an important archeological center for the study of the early meso-American civilizations.

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