The Sierra Madre de Chiapas is a major mountain range of Central America that runs parallel to the Pacific coast, from southern Mexico northwest-southeast across the southern half of Guatemala and into El Salvador and Honduras.
Sierra Madre de Chiapas
The Sierra Madre de Chiapas is a major mountain range parallel to the Pacific coast in southern Mexico and northern Central America. It is the southernmost range of the Sierra Madre Mountain System.
The range runs from the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico, east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, northwest-southeast across the southern half of Guatemala (where it is referred to simply as the Sierra Madre), and into El Salvador and Honduras.
It is a primarily crystalline range of block mountains with a degree of volcanic activity. Most of the volcanoes of Guatemala and El Salvador, which are part of the Central America Volcanic Arc, are within the range.
The Sierra Madre de Chiapas forms the main drainage divide between the river systems of the Pacific side and the Atlantic side.
On the Pacific side, the distance to the sea is short, and the streams, while very numerous, are consequently small and rapid. But, on the other hand, on the eastern side, a number of the rivers of the Atlantic slopes attain a considerable volume and size.
A narrow coastal plain is south of the range, between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The base of many volcanic igneous peaks rests among the southern foothills in the southern region of the range.
To the north of the range are a series of highlands and depressions that separate the Sierra Madre de Chiapas from the Chiapas Plateau in Mexico, the Guatemalan Highlands, and the interior highlands of Honduras.
The species-rich and diverse Sierra Madre de Chiapas moist forests lie on both sides of the range in southern Mexico, extending into Guatemala and El Salvador.
The El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve protects some of Mesoamerica's most diverse and extensive evergreen cloud forests in southern Mexico.
Relief map depicting the Sierra Madre mountains in Central America