Discover North America
Crossroads of Ancient Civilizations and Modern Megacities

Severe and glaring continent with amazing natural wonders

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Geography

The third-largest continent of the globe is washed by the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans. From the west, the Bering Strait separates it from Eurasia, and Isthmus of Panama separates it from the south. In the northeast, the continent includes the huge Greenland island, the small island countries and territories, spread at the Caribbean Sea and the western North Atlantic.

The diverse landscape of North America includes many natural wonders. The Cordilleras in the west of the continent and the Appalachians in the east are the main mountain massifs. The highest point of the mainland — Denali Mountain (6190 meters high) reigned in the south of central Alaska. Among the plains, it is worth highlighting the Great and Central, as well as the Mississippi Lowland. Among the unique natural wonders are deep canyons: Copper — in the Mexican Chihuahua city and Big — in Arizona. Volcanic mountain massifs in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama are considered part of the Cordillera. Eruptions and earthquakes often occur here. For example, the active volcano Colima (Mexico) has been active more than 40 times. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Greenland are bare rocky deserts partially hidden under thick glaciers.

In total, there are 25 rivers on the continent. The main one is the Mississippi. Together with the tributary of the Missouri River, it forms the third-largest river system in the world (6,275 kilometers). Lower in the rating of the mainland's long rivers is Yellowstone (1,114 kilometers), which flows in the Rocky Mountains of the national park of the same name.

The five largest bodies of water (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario) comprise the largest freshwater system in the Great Lakes. And, for example, the Crater Lake (USA) is known for its deep blue color and incredibly clear water.

The weather conditions in North America are various. The mainland is located in all climatic zones of the planet, from the Arctic - in the north, to the subequatorial — in Central America and the Isthmus of Panama.

The continent is usually divided into three main regions: Anglo-America (Canada, USA), Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, El Salvador, Mexico) and the Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Cuba, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica).

Countries

Altogether, the continent has 23 states and 23 dependent territories. The largest country in North America is Canada, and the smallest is Grenada. The leading state in terms of the number of inhabitants and standard of living on the continent is the United States. The poorest country is Haiti.

Anglo-American region

The United States of America is a highly developed country with impressive nature and bustling metropolitan areas. “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” — this quote from the hymn characterizes it as well as possible. It is imbued with the spirit of freedom, the symbol of which (the most famous statue in the world) is located on a deserted island in Upper New York Bay. The patchwork state of 50 states amazes with its contrasts: heavenly sunny California, cutting-edge New York, business Illinois, cowboy Texas and desert Nevada. Here are located the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. The northern states of the country and Alaska attract lovers of ski slopes. And every movie fan wants to come to Hollywood.

Canada is a country occupying the northern part of the continent. It has more lakes than any other state. Despite the rather harsh environmental conditions, with tundra and arctic deserts, the whole world knows that Canadians are the most polite and helpful people. And the infrastructure for disabled people is incredibly developed here. In the capital, there is a magnificent Parliament building, Toronto has the highest building of the Northern Hemisphere CN Tower, and Vancouver was awarded the honorary title of the best city in the world several times.

Central America region

In the north, Costa Rica borders with Nicaragua and Panama in the southeast. This is the only neutral and safe country in Latin America that has abandoned all power structures except the police. Everything is unusual in Costa Rica: if the beaches then exotic and with black sand, if the reserve then from tropical cloud forests that occupy a third of the entire territory, and if volcanoes and mountains, then they are of incredible height.

Mexico is a connecting country that flows smoothly from Central America to the United States. The largest Hispanic state is filled with a mixture of vibrant distinctive cultures. Mexico is a vacation on gorgeous beaches, tequila and spicy burning traditional cuisine, secluded bays with cliffs, the Riviera Maya and the Kukulkan pyramids, reminding of the existence of an ancient civilization. You cannot imagine this country without the sound of mariachi and maracas, and all the local citizens without the original sombrero, but always with tacos or burritos.

Guatemala hid in the rainforests among other countries of Central America. At the foot of its volcanoes live descendants of the Mayan tribes and other Indian tribes that have preserved their pagan traditions and rites. The tropical rainforests of the country are mystically shrouded, where live amazing representatives of flora and fauna and grows an immense amount of exotic fruits. Among these jungles, a modern capital is comfortably located, with glass skyscrapers and wide avenues with ancient estates from the time of colonization. But one of the main problems of Guatemala is the high crime rate. Therefore, do not wander in areas remote from the center, not accompanied by a local guide.

Nicaragua is located between Costa Rica and Honduras. Due to the large number of volcanoes, the main attraction and magnet for extreme sports is the descent along the frozen lava or the ascent to a steaming vent. On the unique Ometepe island, standing on two such fire-breathing "dragons", a real cult of scooters and mopeds is widespread. A large number of parrots and hummingbirds live in the country's tropical forests, and a dangerous bull shark is found in the freshwater lake of the same name. It also grows high-quality tobacco and some of the finest coffees.

El Salvador is a small Central American country. It is not famous for its hiking trails, as the amount of negative news and stereotypes frighten travelers. But its bright orange sunsets, golden beaches, and coffee plantations adorn many benevolent places of this state. Strolling between varicolored murals, colorful churches, and tempting establishments, you can plunge into the real atmosphere of a tropical resort.

Panama is the Isthmus connecting North and South America, Costa Rica, and Colombia with the Las Americas Bridge. The sleeping Volcan Baru is the highest point in the country and a popular tourist destination. And the capital perfectly combines the ancient ruins of Panama Viejo, modern skyscrapers, and sandy beaches.

Belize is located between Mexico and Guatemala and quite often suffers from devastating hurricanes. In the west of the country, in the jungle region, are the ruins of the ancient cities of the Mayan civilization. Its main attractions are the second-largest coral reef and the Green Hills butterfly farm.

Honduras is a banana republic in the literal and figurative sense. It takes the second place in the world in the export of this fruit, but the state of its economy leaves much to be desired. But it is here that every summer, there is an amazing phenomenon of "fish rain" that attracts tourists.

Caribbean region

The countries of the Caribbean (West Indies) are washed by the bright blue sea of ​​the same name, which turns its states into paradises of relaxation. The Bahamas is a magnet for all travelers who seek solitude with nature. Pineapple plantations and picturesque beaches, with many separate villas with pools and access to the sea, turn the country into a luxurious, lazy, and picturesque resort.

Jamaica is a sunny and carefree island with African flair. It gave the world the best runners and reggae rhythms. And its Blue Mountains can boast of plantations of one of the best varieties of coffee.

Cuba is primarily associated with retro styling and vintage cars that remember the times of Che Guevara. It completely "soaked in rum" and "smelled of cigars." However, Cuba is not only a tourist destination but also a medical center with a low-cost treatment and quality services.

Dominican Republic is a careless, cheerful, sociable and charming country with endless sandy beaches on the island of Haiti. It was here that the film "Jurassic Park" was shot. The metro operates in the capital, and every local citizen believes in the lottery.

Dependent territories

All of them are quite diverse and contrasting. The largest island not only of North America but of the whole world is Greenland. This autonomous territory under Danish rule is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The fiords and powerful glaciers that form the basis of the island are dotted with colorful houses that shimmer under the bewitching arctic lights.

Bermuda are overseas coral islands of Great Britain, located in the Atlantic Ocean. They are known all over the world thanks to the mysterious triangle of the same name, where the abyss is easy to trace. All 150 islands have absolutely no freshwater reservoirs.

Curacao is the largest Dutch island where you can meet pink flamingos, unusual cacti, try real liquor, and admire the coral.

Puerto Rico is an integral part of the USA, with the largest species of sea turtles and characteristic blue paving stones. It was the Puerto Rican observatory Arecibo discovered the first planet outside our solar system.

Population

About 565 million people live on the continent. The Caribbean islands and lands near the Great Lakes are the most densely populated. The United States population is nearly 57% (321.2 million) of North America’s total population. And this number is constantly increasing due to the expansion of megacities. The most underpopulated territories are in Greenland, in the desert West and the northern regions.

The population of the continent is mosaic not only in density, but also in its ethnic composition. There are three main groups — whites, mestizos, and Afro-Americans. The minority in North America are Asians and Native Americans (Indians).

Three languages predominate in the largest countries of the continent (USA, Canada, Mexico). In the USA — English, Mexico-Spanish, and in Canada — English and French. In the Caribbean, Spanish is the main language, and English is rarely heard. On dependent territories, the main language is the language of the state to which the lands belong.

The most common religion of the continent is Christianity (82.7%). Mexico ranks second in the world in the number of Catholics, giving way only to Brazil. Non-religious and atheists account for 13.3%. The remaining population (4.1%) professes Hinduism, Islam, Rastafari (in Jamaica), and African-American religions (Santeria and Voodoo).

Attractions

North America is a continent where everything gleams with diversity. Islands with the best beaches and coral reefs, canyons, volcanoes, waterfalls, incredible glaciers and fjords — and this is only a small part of natural beauties. And the variety of cultures of the countries inhabiting it, offers masterpieces known to the whole world and treats with the most delicious dishes. Here, any traveler will find a lazy relaxation and extreme hobbies. And the number of attractions will not make you bored.

The best time to visit North America

This continent of the Earth is closest to the pole and, at the same time, is located in all climatic zones, except for the equatorial. The Arctic climate in Alaska and northern Canada is characterized by very short summers with temperatures from 0 to +16 °C and prolonged winters when frosts reach -40 °C.

The temperate zone covers the largest part of the continent — the north of the USA and the south of Canada. Its western region is famous for a significant amount of precipitation in the form of snow (from 2000 to 3000 millimeters). A significant difference in temperatures in summer and winter is manifested in the central sector (from +16 to +24 °C in the summer and from -8 to -32 °C in the winter). Monsoons predominate in the eastern part. Here, summers are quite warm, and winters are comfortable.

The subtropical climate is the main one in the north of Mexico and the south of the USA. Mixed forests and foothills of the Cordillera make the region multifarious. Deserts are concentrated in the central part of the subtropics, which is why the climate here is very dry. But closer to the east, they smoothly move into the steppes. In this area, summers are very hot, with temperatures above +32 °C, and winters are warm (up to +24 °C).

Central America characterizes by the tropics. Here humid forests coexist with hot savannas and deserts. In summer, the temperature varies from minimum +8 °C to a maximum +32 °C.

The subequatorial belt occupies a small area in the part of the Isthmus of Panama. Here the heat stands year-round with temperatures above +20 °C.

What should a tourist do in North America

  • Admire the most vigorous and impressive Niagara Falls.
  • Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, soaring above the river at an altitude of 70 meters in North Vancouver.
  • Try tequila in Mexico with salt and lime.
  • Celebrate New Year at Times Square in New York.
  • Become a spectator of the original Broadway musical.
  • Resound to the trance reggae rhythms in Jamaica.
  • Catch the eruption of geysers in Yellowstone Park.
  • Fish the sardine during the fish rain in Honduras.
  • Admire the famous Golden Gate Suspension Bridge in San Francisco at dawn.
  • Go to the active volcanoes Augustine and Wrangell in Alaska.
  • Enjoy the fiery-pink sunset on the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica.
  • Freeze from the incredible beauty of the bright-orange and endless Grand Canyon.
  • Do bungee jumping from the CN Tower in Toronto.
  • Visit the ancient city of Chichen Itza, the inhabitant place of the Mayan civilization.
  • Take a photo at Cloud Gate or the “mirror bean” in Chicago's main park.

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