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Centralamerican Cordillera Mountains

Published: 31.5.2010
Central-American Cordillera Mountains are characterized with high placed table lands, including several peaks of volcanic origin. They are starting from Sierra Nevada on borders with Mexico and Guatemala, passing as one ridge up to South America.

The highest peak of Central American Cordillera Mountains is Cerro Chirripo died out volcano (3820 m), situated inside Cordillera di Talamanca volcanic mountain range, in south-east part of Costarica and Panama. Except this peak, you can find there the other known volcanos, such as Irazu (3432 m), Blanco (3578 m) or Cerro Pando (3420 m). In Honduras, Cordillera Mountains reach in Montagne de Selque (2590 metres above sea level), whereas Nicaragua section is rather lower (up to 2000 m). To quite popular tourist targets of these areas of Central America (these states are sometimes ironically titled as „Banana Republics“) are ranked, for instance, Cerro Chirripo (the highest peak of Central-American Cordillera Mountains). You have the chance to see, at favourable weather conditions, two oceans, i.e. the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean as well. Anyway, modelling of local terrain was influenced by glacier covering in old Tertiary Formations, which caught the highest parts of the mountain range, whereas the glaciers left there gigantic moraines and glacier lakes.

Cordilera BlancaCosta RicaCerro Chirripo

The nature of Central-American Cordillera Mountains is very different. Thousands of various sorts of fauna and flora are living there. So, for instance, in Panama, you can find, in one Cerro Chirriponational park only, approx. 800 sorts of birds, in another park, situated in Costarica territory, more than 2000 sorts of plants were counted on one square kilometre. The flora could be divided into four basic types, in accordance with the altitude, where the plants are situated: tropical rain virgin forests (up to the altitude of 850 metres above sea level), the belt of everlasting green leafy woods and coniferous trees (850 -1650 m above sea level), foggy forests with hundred percent humidity (over 1650 m above sea level), and finally, a belt of Alp vegetace, Volcan Irazuincluding mosses and dwarfish bushes (over 3300 metres above sea level). As far as the fauna is concerned, the jaguars, toed-sloths, armadillos, deers, tapirs and many sorts of monkeys, present the survey of great animals representants. However, big problem of Central America is continuous felling of trees in virgin forests. Separate states are doing their best, in order to enlarge the surfaces of protected areas and national parks, such as, for instance, 27% of Costarica territory has a status of National Park or reservation.

Tropical climate, which is typical for Central America, is manifesting with high temperatures and frequent precipitations. Year seasons are not stipulated with temperature periods, but with Cerro Chirripoprecipitation quantities. So, since April till November, rain season dominates, it is local winter. And local summer, it is dry period of the year. The precipitations are very heavy, reaching in some places 6000 mm in a year. In plains (up to 10000 metres of the altitude), dominate big heats, reaching in average 29 - 32° C. On the contrary, in an altitude over 3000 m above sea level, the temperature is decreasing to 0° C. OwingDe Boqueron to high precipitations, the whole Central America is rich on water flows. You can find there picturesque lakes, such as moraine lakes below Chirripo peak or inundated crater of Poas volcano. The biggest lake of Central America is those of Lago Nicaragua. From theere, Conception active volcano and lower Madera volcano are erecting. An interesting notice. you can meet there air-fresh shark. This fish is not to be found in any other place of the world.

The inhabitants of Central America Republics present heterogenous mixture of  races. You can meet there Creoles (half-breeds). The Indians were original inhabitants, however, they were subsequently pushed back in reservations. Since  time period of Spanish colonial empire, numerous percentage of whites are living there (the Spaniards, Italians), but on race-mixture were also participated the Chinese and the other Asian nations.

Text: J. Štantejský

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš

Photo: marksmith227, Jorge Esteban Segura, Mario Alexis Gonzáles, jkulessa, Jorge Esteban Segura, elisa43, Magaly Rojas Méndez, Nao Iizuka

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