Central America

In terms of landmass, Central America — at 202,000 square miles — accounts for only 0.1 percent of the Earth's surface. But as part of the Mesoamerican hotspot, the tiny subcontinent boasts 7 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Its southern countries (Costa Rica and Panama) are the most biodiverse, followed by the northern countries (Guatemala and Belize) and then the central countries (Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador). Central America is a land of contrasts — including high mountain ranges and populated valleys — and geological volatility — from active volcanoes and earthquakes.

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