Get your printer ready for these beautiful, original Central America maps!
Central America is part of North America. It is an isthmus, a thin piece of land, that bridges North and South America and separates the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. Central America has seven countries and many islands filled with colorful tropical plants and wildlife.
Learn more about Central America’s geography, and then download three free maps to help you study this beautiful part of the world.
Central America Maps
Download our three beautiful maps to help you study Central America!
- Blank Map
- Political Map
- Physical Map
Here are some Central America map study ideas:
- Find and label the countries and their capitals on the blank map. Label the bodies of water. Research and draw in any physical elements you find interesting!
- The political map is a great study tool to identify the seven Central American countries and their capitals.
- Use the physical map to research and label some of the locations mentioned above. What mountain ranges are in Central America? What are the major bodies of water?
The Countries of Central America
Have you ever wondered how many countries are in Central America? (Despite popular belief, Mexico is not part of Central America.) Central America is comprised of seven countries:
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest of its kind in the world. It is home to a great variety of rare species of fish, coral, birds, and other sea life, and it is so big it can be seen from space!
The smallest country in Central America is El Salvador, with just over 8,000 square miles. The largest is Nicaragua, which has an area of nearly 50,000 square miles.
If you stand at the highest point in Panama, you will see the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean and the sun set in the Atlantic Ocean. Panama’s unique location between the two oceans and its east/west orientation of narrow land make this possible!
Speaking of oceans, El Salvador is the only country in Central America without a Caribbean Sea coastline.
Interestingly, the weather and temperatures in Costa Rica vary greatly. While one town can have sunny blue skies, just a few miles away it may be raining and cloudy due to the change in elevation.
Fun Facts about Central America’s Geography
- From 1904 to 1914, the United States built the 50-mile Panama Canal in Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans across the narrow isthmus. Ships previously had to travel over 7,800 miles around the entire continent of South America!
- The Pan-American Highway stretches from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina. It runs approximately 19,000 miles, passing through 14 countries. It is the longest stretch of roadways in the world! However, there is a 60-mile stretch called the Darién Gap where travelers need to take a boat, plane, or hike to continue their journey south.
- Multiple volcanoes throughout Central America give it fertile (very rich) farmland used to grow crops like bananas, corn, beans, and sugar cane.
- For such a small portion of the world’s land surface (0.5%), Central America contains more than 7% of the world’s variety of known plants and animals.
Want to learn more about the world’s ecosystems? Check out our Ecosystems Science Unit Study!
- No matter where you stand in Central America, you are less than 125 miles from the sea. From end to end, the region is 1,140 miles long. At its narrowest, it is roughly 30 miles across.
Don’t forget to download your free Central America maps!
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Learn more about the plants, animals, and landforms in Central America and other continents with these science units.