Central America is a region from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to Panama, geographically located on the territory of North America.
The population of the region is made up of the indigenous inhabitants of the region (Indians), the Spaniards who settled Central America during the colonization, and the Africans who have remained here since the time of slavery. The main language of the region is Spanish.
How to get there
There are no direct flights from Russia to the countries of Central America; planes fly with connections in Europe and / or the USA. When traveling to smaller countries (for example, Belize), an additional connection may be required in one of the nearby countries – in Mexico or Cuba.
Climate of Central America
This region is located in the tropical and subequatorial climatic zones. The temperature at any time of the year fluctuates from only +22 to +28 °C, at altitudes from 1000 m the temperature is 5-8 degrees lower, so Central America remains a popular tourist destination all year round.
History of the region
People began to inhabit the lands of Central America about 15 thousand years ago. Before Europeans discovered these territories, representatives of several Indian cultures lived here: the Olmecs, Mayans, Toltecs and Aztecs. After Columbus discovered America, European treasure hunters poured in here. In 1510, the Spanish conquistador Vasco de Balboa founded the colony of Panama and became its governor. And when in 1519 Hernan Cortes conquered the capital of the Aztecs, one of the richest countries in the world ceased to exist, becoming just one of the provinces of Spain. At the end of the 17th century, Britain, France and Holland entered the struggle for the territories of Central America. But when the European powers went to war with each other in 1811, an uprising broke out in the American provinces: the settlers demanded independence from Europe.
This geographical area, not being a mainland, is considered a separate part of the world, partly because of its history.
Territories united in unions, departed to one or another state. After the collapse of the First Mexican Empire in 1823, which included part of the Central American lands, for 17 years there was a separate state here – the United Provinces of Central America or the Federation of Central America. It included Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Los Altos (now these are the territories of Guatemala and the Mexican state of Chiapas).
After the civil war in 1838-40. The federation collapsed. The countries that were part of it became independent, but several more times, until the 1920s, attempts were made to unite them again into one state. They received sovereignty at different times, for example, Panama from Spain and Colombia – in 1903, and Belize from Great Britain – only in 1981.
Central American countries
According to Countryaah, Central America has the following countries:
Central America now includes 7 countries: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
- Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America (before 1973 it was called British Honduras), but Spanish is also spoken here. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula. Up to 40% of its territory is occupied by national parks and reserves, in the coastal zone there are many lakes and lagoons with stunning coral reefs. However, the ruins of the ancient Mayan cities, temples lost in the jungle and other buildings that testify to the former power of the ancient civilization brought the greatest fame to the country. The capital is Belmopan.
- Guatemala is one of the region’s most popular tourist destinations. Windsurfers (Atlantic coast), lovers of a relaxing holiday (Pacific coast) and connoisseurs of natural attractions come here: it is in Guatemala that you can see volcanic landscapes (there are 33 volcanoes in Guatemala, 4 of which are active) and Lake Atitlan, one of the deepest in the world. The most famous historical sites are the buildings of the Mayan civilization. The capital is the city of Guatemala.
- Honduras is also often visited by those who are interested in history. On its territory was one of the major centers of the Mayan civilization – the city of Copan, the ruins of which scientists discovered in the forests only in the middle of the 19th century. The remains of pyramids, temples and other places of worship have been preserved here. In addition, Honduras is a paradise for extreme sports (scuba diving, rafting, mountain trips), and the 650-kilometer Caribbean coast is famous for its magnificent beaches. The capital is Tegusilgapa.
- Costa Rica is one of the smallest countries in Central America, located in the narrowest part of the Isthmus of Panama. Costa Rica is called one of the most beautiful countries in the region: mountain ranges, emerald volcanic lakes, “cloudy” rainforests, waterfalls, silvery sand beaches, national parks and reserves that occupy a quarter of the country’s territory. The capital is San Jose.
- Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. Travelers who prefer ecotourism come here: climbing active and extinct volcanoes, traveling through the jungle and to the picturesque lagoons. Here is one of the natural wonders of the planet – Lake Nicaragua, over which the island of Ometepe literally rises, formed by two volcanoes of an ideal conical shape: Concepción and Maderas. The capital is Managua.
Visa-free entry for Russian citizens has been opened in Nicaragua and Panama.
- Panama gave its name to the isthmus connecting the two Americas, it also includes more than one and a half thousand islands. Panama captivates with its versatility: relatively small in size, it contains 11 national parks, 5 Indian reservations, 2 mountain ranges and endless beaches of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Wherever you stay – the ocean coast is always near! The capital is the city of Panama.
- El Salvador, unlike its neighbors, is little focused on tourism: after a bloody civil war at the end of the 20th century. and a major earthquake in the early 2000s, the country’s economy and infrastructure are recovering very slowly. El Salvador is often called the country of lakes and volcanoes – the main part of its area is occupied by volcanic highlands among two chains of volcanoes, of which one is active. Frequent eruptions and earthquakes cause considerable damage to the population and economy of the country. The capital is San Salvador.
In addition, some researchers rank the states of Latin America as Central America : Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Grenada, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Keats and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica.