The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System comprises seven protected areas along Central America's northeastern coast. Hosting diverse marine habitats, including iconic sites like the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye, it is vital in preserving unique reef types, biodiversity, and habitats for threatened species.
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Landforms of Central America
The Andean Volcanic Belt, along the South American coast, is segmented into four main volcanic zones. These volcanoes, along the backbone of the Andes, are part of the Ring of Fire, an area in the Pacific Ocean basin where earthquakes and eruptions occur due to the collision of tectonic plates.
Arenal Volcano: Arenal Volcano National Park (Costa Rica) The Editor Sun, 01/20/2019 - 15:08
Arenal National Park is located in Alajuela province in northwestern Costa Rica. The park encompasses the Arenal Volcano, an active andesitic stratovolcano. It was Costa Rica's most active volcano until 2010 and one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world.
The Azuero Peninsula is in southern Panama, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Panama. Panama City, the Panamanian capital, is the main urban center on the gulf shore. The Pearl Islands are an archipelago in the Gulf of Panama.
The Caribbean Plate is a mostly-oceanic tectonic plate underlying much of Central America and the Caribbean Sea off the north coast of South America. These borders are regions of intense seismic activity, including frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Central America Volcanic Arc The Editor Thu, 10/15/2020 - 15:09
The Central America Volcanic Arc is a chain of hundreds of volcanic formations that extend from Guatemala to northern Panama, parallel to the Pacific coastline of the Central American Isthmus. These volcanic formations range from major stratovolcanoes to lava domes and cinder cones.
Cocos Island lies off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and is the only island in the tropical eastern Pacific with a tropical rainforest. Surrounded by deep waters with counter-currents, Cocos Island National Park is admired by scuba divers for its populations of large marine species.
The Cocos Plate is a tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Central America. It is named after Cocos Island, the only emergent island on the plate. It is bordered by the Caribbean, North American, Pacific, and Nazca tectonic plates.
Coiba Island, the largest in Central America, lies off the western coast of Panama in the Pacific Ocean. Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protects Coiba Island, 38 smaller islands, and the surrounding marine areas within the Gulf of Chiriqui.
The Cordillera de Guanacaste is a volcanic mountain range in northwestern Costa Rica, near the border with Nicaragua. The mountain range forms part of the southern region of the Continental Divide and contains several volcanic peaks and protected areas.
The Cordillera de Talamanca is a mountain range that lies in the southeast half of Costa Rica and the far west of Panama. The range rises from sea level on the Caribbean side to over 12,000 ft and then drops back down to the General Valley on the Pacific side.