Guatemala Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Guatemala?

Overview:

Guatemala is the most northern and populous of the five Central American countries. Guatemalan coastlines cover about 200 miles on the Pacific Ocean and 70 miles on the Caribbean. The country is roughly divided into four geographic regions: the central-western highlands, the low northern plateau which is largely jungle, the southern volcanic belt, and tropical coastal lowlands. The temperate mountain regions are the most densely populated. Guatemala has 33 volcanoes, 4 within view of the city. Although most are inactive, Pacaya, about 27 miles south of Guatemala City, erupts occasionally with lavaflows to nearby localities. Fuego, about 30 miles from the city, periodically produces displays visible from Guatemala City.

Geography - note:

no natural harbors on west coast

Climate:

Guatemala City's rainy season is May through October, and its dry season November through April. Temperatures are generally moderate during both seasons, ranging from an average low of 53°F in January to 60°-85°F in April. Frost and snow are unknown, and flowers bloom year round.


Rainfall is heaviest from June through October, and the annual average is about 52 inches. Wet months can cause mildew damage to clothing, shoes, luggage, and upholstered furniture. During the dry season, days are clear and the sun is hot at midday with chilly to cold mornings and evenings. During these months it is dusty, foliage turns brown, grass and shrubs wither, and gardens must be watered.

Guatemala Use of Natural Resources

Guatemala Environment

Climate:

Guatemala City's rainy season is May through October, and its dry season November through April. Temperatures are generally moderate during both seasons, ranging from an average low of 53°F in January to 60°-85°F in April. Frost and snow are unknown, and flowers bloom year round.


Rainfall is heaviest from June through October, and the annual average is about 52 inches. Wet months can cause mildew damage to clothing, shoes, luggage, and upholstered furniture. During the dry season, days are clear and the sun is hot at midday with chilly to cold mornings and evenings. During these months it is dusty, foliage turns brown, grass and shrubs wither, and gardens must be watered.

Terrain:

mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)

Natural Resources:

petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms

Irrigated Land:

1,205 Square Miles
3,121 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

deforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Guatemala Geography

Geographic Location Central America
Total Area 42,042 Square Miles
108,889 Square Kilometers
Land Area 41,374 Square Miles
107,159 Square Kilometers
Water Area 668 Square Miles
1,730 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,048 Miles
1,687 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 1,205 Square Miles
3,121 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km
Coastline 249 Miles
400 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 15 30 N, 90 15 W
Terrain mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)
Highest Point 4,211 Meters
Highest Point Location Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m
Lowest Point Location Pacific Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Time Zone UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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