NORTH AMERICA FROM A-Z
A fact about each country in North America.
and other facts about the continent.
Click on highlighted word for more information
North America is the 3rd largest of the 7 continents.
It is made up of 23 countries including Canada, Greenland, Mexico, United States,
and all the countries of Central America and the island countries and dependencies of the Caribbean.
AIS FOR ARCHAEOLOGY, ANTIGUA/BARBUDA, & ARUBA
ARCHAEOLOGY in North America includes several
periods - the
Paleo-Indian Period, the
Archaic Period, and the
Formative Period. The continent has many archaeological sites.
Teotihuacan in Mexico was once the largest urban center in North America. Excavations are ongoing at
Palenque in Mexico.
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado has more than 4,000 known archaeological sites. The prehistoric city of
Cahokia in Illinois is the largest prehistoric urban center of the Mississippian Culture.
Chaco Canyon in New Mexico has ancient roads, rock art, and prehistoric stairways.
L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland is the site of a Norse or Viking settlement in North America. The
Serpent Mound in Ohio is the largest surviving example of a prehistoric effigy mound in the world.
Tulum in Mexico is believed to have been a fort built to watch the sea and has monumental architecture. The
Archaeological Institute of America is the oldest and largest archaeological organization in North America.
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA are islands in the Caribbean.
Special attractions include a Sugar Plantation, National Park, Bird Sanctuary, and museums. The eruption of Montserrat caused many to settle here.
Oranjestad, is an island in the Caribbean and is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Special attractions include, museums, water activities, a national park, and many
BIS FOR BAHAMAS, BARBADOS, BELIZE, & BIRDS
Nassau, is an island off the east coast of the United States.
Special attractions include museums, a national park and the largest known underwater cave system in the world.
Bridgetown, is an island in the Caribbean and is only 22 miles long.
Special attractions include a cathedral, museum, 17th century garrison, flower forest, caves, national parks, and a wildlife reserve.
Harrison's Cave is a crystallized limestone cavern with streams, waterfalls, cascades, and deep pools.
Carlisle Bay is home to shipwreck dive sites.
Bridgetown and its garrison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Belmopan is in Central America and has the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere and 3 or 4 atolls.
Special attractions include a cathedral, national parks, and
Mayan Ruins. The
Great Blue Hole is a giant
submarine sinkhole and part of the
Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Nearly 6,000 species of
BIRDS are found in North America. Some countries have
National Bird. Some of the birds are very
rare. Some countries have
C IS FOR CANADA, CENTRAL AMERICA, COSTA RICA, CUBA, & CURRENCY
Ottawa is the largest country in North America and the 2nd largest country in the world.
Special attractions include festivals, museums, historical sites, parks, forts, islands, lighthouses, planetariums, and sports events. Canada is home to
Niagara Falls, a famous group of massive waterfalls. The country has many
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Canada has
10 Provinces and 3 Territories.
CENTRAL AMERICA is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. It is considered a subcontinent and consists of the 7 states of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
COSTA RICA, capita
San Jose is in Central America.
Special attractions include
National Parks, an active volcano,
museums, and a cloud forest. The country has 4
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Costa Rica has
Havana, is the largest Caribbean Island.
Special attractions include museums,
caves, and underground rivers. Cuba has many
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country is made up of
Each country in North America has its own form of
CURRENCY. The official currency in Canada is the
Canadian dollar. Mexico and several other countries use the
peso. The United States uses the
DIS FOR DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, DAMS, DESERTS, & DINOSAURS
Roseau, is an island nation and is known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean.
Special attractions include Carnivals, Fort Shirley, Rainforests, Rivers, and Waterfalls.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to the volcanicaly heated, steam-covered
Boiling Lake and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, capital
Santo Domingo, is in the Caribbean and is considered a sportsmans paradise.
Special attractions include Museums, Churches, a Botanical garden, a Zoo, and an Aquarium.
Cave diving is popular.
Ciudad Colonial is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country is divided into
DAMS are located throughout North America. Many of them are
nuclear powered. The
Chicoasén Dam in Mexico is the tallest dam on the continent.
Solar Power and
Wind Power are also used.
North America has 5 major
DESERTS. The largest desert is
The Great Basin Desert in the United States. The lowest desert in North America is
Death Valley in California, USA.
A variety of fossils have been found in
many areas of North America including those of
DINOSAURS. There are dinosaur
digs , and
EIS FOR EARTHQUAKES AND EL SALVADOR
EARTHQUAKES are common in North America and often occur along the west coast of the continent which is part of the
Ring of Fire. The
United States has experienced many large earthquakes including the largest earthquake recorded in North America, magnitude 9.2, which occurred in Alaska in
March 1964. The countries of
Mexicohave also experienced a number of large earthquakes. One of the most devastating earthquakes in the history of the Americas, magnitude 8.0, occurred in Mexico City in
September 1985 with a foreshock, magnitude 5.2, and aftershocks 7.5, and 7.1. A large earthquake, magnitude 7.2, occurred off the coast of El Salvador in
November 2016. The most recent earthquake in North America, magnitude 4.11, occurred in Baja Calfornia, Mexico, in
Southern Arizona Seismic Observatory helps monitor seismic activity.
US Geological Survey and
FEMA have information about earthquakes.
EL SALVADOR, capital
San Salvador is the smallest country in North America and the only country in Central America without a coastline on the Caribbean sea.
Special attractions include cathedral, museums, and beaches.
Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country is divided into
FIS FOR FLAGS, FLOWERS, & FORESTS
GIS FOR GREENLAND, GRENADA, GUADELOUPE, GUATEMALA, & GLOBAL POSITION
Nuuk, is the largest island in the world.
Special attractions include Glaciers, Norse Ruins,
archaeological sites, and Museums. The
Ilulissat Ice fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The northern tip of Greenland is only 441 miles from the
North Pole. Greenland has several
St. George is an island in the Caribbean and is the smallest independent country in western hemisphere.
Special attractions include Museums, Old Forts, Waterfalls, and National Park. Grenada is known as the "Island of Spice" because of the production of
nutmeg and mace.
Basse-Terre a French overseas territory and part of an archipelago of 9 islands in the Caribbean.
Special attractions include museums, open-air market, and colonial architecture.
the core area of the
Guadeloupe National Parkand the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve were designated as an international biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
Guatemala City, has many
Special attractions including volcanoes, rain forests and
ancient Mayan sites. The ruins of
Tikal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guatemala has
The GLOBAL POSITION of North America is approximately 70-170 degrees west longitude and 10-85 degrees north latitude. The northern part of the continent lies within the
Arctic Circle. Part of the
equator passes through
Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil and these countries have land in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. The continent includes Central and Middle America and islands in the Caribbean.
Landforms include mountains, plains, and deserts.
Each country has its own
GOVERNMENT Many countries belong to
HIS FOR HAITI, & HONDURAS
Port au Prince is the western part of the Hispanola island in the Caribbean.
Special attractions include Forts, Carnivals, Cloud Forests, Waterfalls, Parks, A Cave system, and coral reefs. A species of
hummingbird makes their home in this country. The largest sea sponge,
Elephants Ears, are in Haiti.
Tegucigalpa, is one of the least developed countries in Central America.
Special attractions include cathedrals, a basilica, a National Park,
Citadelle la Ferrière, a mountaintop fortress, and the nearby ruins of
Sans-Souci Palace, the baroque former royal home of King Henry I. Honduras has 2
UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
IIS FOR INSECTS & ISLANDS
JIS FOR JAMAICA & JAZZ
KIS FOR KIDS & KILOMETERS
Many aspects of life in North America focus on KIDS. With so many amusement parks, zoos, beaches, water parks, and museums; it has never been harder to choose where to travel with your kids in North America but
here are a few. Here is a Geography Lesson of North America
KILOMETERS are used to measure distance in all countries. Exceptions are the United States and the road network of the United Kingdom where the statute mile is the official unit used. Only
three countries in the world do not use the
metric system of measurement.
LIS FOR LAKES, LANGUAGE & LIGHTHOUSE
North America has many
LAKES. Canada and the United States have more large lakes than the rest of the world. The
Great Lakes of North America is the largest expanse of freshwater in the world.
Lake Superior in Canada/US is part of the Great Lakes and the second largest lake in the world in term of surface area.
Canada has about 2 million lakes, and
Great Slave Lake is the longest and deepest lake in North America.
Lake Nicaragua is one of largest lake in the world. The 2nd largest thermally active lake in the world,
Boiling Lake, is in Dominica.
At the time of the first European contact, American Indian
LANGUAGES were spoken in North America. Each country now has its own
language. English is the dominant language in the United States, but there is a sizable Spanish speaking population. Canada is
officially bilingual with both English and French being spoken. Both countries have a diversity of races and ethnic groups speaking hundreds of languages. Spanish is the dominant language in Latin America except for Belize, where English is the official language. Greenlandic, Danish, & English are spoken in Greenland. Some of the most widely spoken languages in Mexico, aside from
Yucatec Maya, and
Mesozmerican languages are the languages indigenous to
LIGHTHOUSES are located off the coasts of North America.
Sambro Island Lighthouse, Nova Scotia, Canada, is the oldest lighthouse in North America. It was first lit in 1758 and it became automated in 1988.
Boston Harbor, Massachusetts dates back to 1716 and was the first lighthouse to be built in what is now the United States. The oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world is
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse on Bermuda. Some lighthouses are publicly accessible.
MIS FOR MEXICO, MONTSERRAT, MOUNTAINS, & MUSIC
Mexico City, is part of Latin America.
Special attractions include Historic Sites, Cathedrals, Silver Mines, Museums, and archaeological sites.
Baja California is part of Mexico.
Mexico has the largest number of World Heritage Sites of any country in the Americas and the 7th most in the world.
Revillagigedo Archipelago a group of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean is the most recent UNESCO site in Mexico. The country has s
Montserrat is an island in the Caribbean Sea and an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The
Soufrière Hills volcano is an active, complex stratovolcano with many lava domes forming its summit. After a long period of dormancy, the volcano became active in 1995, and has continued to erupt ever since. Its eruptions have rendered more than half of Montserrat uninhabitable, destroying the capital city, Plymouth, and causing widespread evacuations.
MOUNTAINS are located throughout North America, and
mountain climbing is a popular activity. Major
mountain ranges include
The Rockies, The
Sierra Nevada, the
Alaska Range, and the
Appalachians in the United States, and the
Canadian Shield in Canada. The United States has many mountains with
peaks above 14,000 feet, and the highest peak in North America is
Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Most of the major Central American mountains are volcanoes and there are many
mountain peaks including
Volcán Tajumulco in Guatamala,
Cerro Chirripó in Costa Rica, and
Cerro Las Minas in Honduras.
Each country of North America has its own special
MUSIC. Many countries have a
National Anthem. There are more than 2,500
music festivals in North America. Music in
Latin America has a variety of styles and instruments. Chinese music in North America is promoted by the
Chinese Music Society.
NIS FOR NICARAGUA, & NATIONAL PARKS
OIS FOR OBSERVATORIES, OCEANS, & ORGANIZATIONS
OBSERVATORIES and Planetariums are located in
Central America, and the Caribbean, and
The United States.
There are astronomy clubs in
United States, and
Mexico. Canada and the United States have
Several OCEANS surround North America. The
A href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Ocean">Atlantic Ocean is to the east, the
Pacific Ocean to the west, and the
Arctic Ocean to the north. The
Caribbean Sea lies to the southeast of the continent, and the
Beaufort Sea to the northeast. NOAA provides information about why the ocean is
Many countries in North America are members of
International Organizations including the
World Health Organization, the
United Nations, and the
World Trade Organization.
PIS FOR PANAMA, PUERTO RICO, & POPULATION
Panama City is part of Latin America. The
Panama Canal is located at the southern tip of the country and stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Special attractions include museums, Botanical Gardens, a zoo, and a rain forest. The country has several
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Panama is divided into 8
PUERTO RICO is an island in the Caribbean.
San Juan, the capital, is the 2nd oldest city in the Americas.
Special attractions include a deep submarine canyon, water sports, underground river system, and whale watching. The country has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites -
La Fortaleza and
San Juan National Historic Site. Puerto Rico has 5
North America has a
POPULATION of over 500 million people. The United States has the largest population in North America and Greenland has the smallest. Barbados is the most densely populated country in North America, and Greenland is the least densely populated country in the world. New York is the most populated city in North America. Canada and the United States have a tremendous diversity of races and ethnic groups.
Q IS FOR QUEEN & QUIZ
R IS FOR RIVERS & ROYALTY
SIS FOR ST. KITS/NEVIS, ST. LUCIA, St. VINCENT, & THE GRENADINES, & SPORTS
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS are islands in the Caribbean and are separated by a two mile channel.
Special attractions include Historic Sites, Exotic Gardens, Water Sports, an amusement park, wildlife, petroglyphs, a National Carnival, and a Music Festival.
ST. LUCIA is an island in the Caribbean.
Special attractions include the only drive in volcano in the world, a sulphur springs, National Rainforest, cultural treasures, and a Nature Reserve. It is home to the rarest snake in the world, the
St. Lucia Racer snake.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES are islands in the Caribbean.
Special attractions include volcanoes, waterfalls, petroglyphs and rock carvings, a salt pond, and the best black sand beaches in the world.
SPORTS that are known are played in North America.
Baseball is considered the National Sport in the United States.
Hockey is the official National Sport of Canada.
Charreada are National Sports in Mexico.
TTRINIDAD & TOGAGO & TREES
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO are islands in the Caribbean. This is one of the most prosperous countries in the Caribbean because of petroleum and gas production.
Special attractions include waterfalls, botanical gardens, Zoo, cave system, national park, marine park, forts, nature center, and a bird sanctuary.
North America has a variety of
TREES. According to the United States Department of Agriculture there are over 900 tree species in 81 plant families native to North America. Many countries have a
National Tree. The National tree for the United States is the Oak, for Mexico the Cypress, for Canada the Maple, and for Belize the Mahogany. Many
Birch Trees are native to North America. The
American Beech is native to the eastern United States and extreme southeast Canada. Famous trees include the
Methuselah tree- estimated to be 4844-year-old.
Pando Tree, also known as the Trembling Giant, is a clonal colony of a single quaking aspen.
Moon Trees are trees grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit around the m during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. Of the 500 seeds, 420-450 were successfully germinated and the seedling were planted at various state forestry locations and government buildings in Alabama.
UIS FOR UNESCO & UNITED STATES
VIS FOR VEGETATION, VIRGIN ISLANDS & VOLCANOES
WIS FOR WATERFALLS, WEATHER, WEBCAMS, WILDLIFE, & WONDERS
Most of the
WATERFALLS in North America are in the United States.
Yosemite Falls in California, USA, is the highest waterfall in North America and one of the highest in the world.
WEATHER in North America varies greatly.
Weather events includes heat waves, cold waves, snow, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The
Yukon holds the records for the coldest temperature recorded in North America. One of the hottest places on earth is
Death Valley, California.
WEBCAMS are located throughout North America.
North America is home to a wide variety of
WILDLIFE. There are many
endangered species, and there are
special programs to help them. The most endangered mammal is the
WONDERS of the World are in North America including
Modern Wonders and
Natural Wonders. Forgotten Wonders include The Aztec Temple in Mexico City,
The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, In New York, USA. Other Forgotten Wonders are The Mayan Temples im Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras and
The Temple of the Inscriptions Palenque Ruins, Chiapas Mexico
XIS FOR XMAS
YIS FOR YMCA, YOUTH HOSTELS & YUKON
There are over 200
YMCA organizations in North America. The first YMCA in North America was started in
YOUTH HOSTELS are located in most of the countries of North America.
There are also many Elder Hostels now known as
YUKON is one of Canada's 3 territories.
Special attractions include Parks, Wildlife, Casinos, Museums, and Historical Sites. Gold was discovered near
Dawson City in 1899.
ZIS FOR ZONES & ZOOS
Thank you to all the people who made the webpages I linked to.