By definition, this region covers Central and Northern America, including the Caribbean. The variations in this northern part of the Western Hemisphere are enormous. As a result, we have a very fascinating part of the world to travel in. Unfortunately, I have paid very few visits to North America. I have in fact only been to three of 23 independent countries: Canada, United States and Cuba.
In addition, my visits were concentrated in time and space. One week in New York City and four days in the big cities in eastern Canada. The big exception was my tour of Cuba. Sure, I did get many impressions from, say, New York, but the Big Apple is far from average North America. Most of my impressions of the United States and Canada are prejudiced, based on meeting Americans abroad, and not least reading about the countries, watching movies and so on. The rest of the Caribbean is a recurring element on my annual bucket lists.
There are 23 independent countries in this world region, of which I have visited the three listed above. Click the links to access all posts from each country.
The rest are, in addition to Mexico in the north, situated in two sub-regions – continental Central America (seven countries) and the Caribbean island states (12).
I have not been to Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
There are also 27 dependencies and other areas, ranging in size from Greenland to tiny islands like Sint Eustatius.
Map of North America. Sandalsand has been to countries marked with a green colour, and not the yellow countries. (Map source: Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (user Bosonic dressing))
Posts from North America
Manhattan's skyscrapers are essentially concentrated in two areas, the Financial District in the south of the island and Midtown. The latter is...
It was a lovely Saturday morning in late April when we started on a walk through some of the quieter districts of Manhattan. It turned out to be...
This is a full day in New York, filled with captivating things to see and significant lessons to be learned. There is no way you can avoid following...
Join us on a walk from the quiet residential streets on the Brooklyn Heights across the Brooklyn Bridge with the skyscrapers ahead, right into the...
Thinking of New York, what comes to mind? I would say the Manhattan skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. I will in a series of...
The colossal statue in New York's harbour has for 130 years served as a beacon of freedom and democracy. The UNESCO World Heritage List...
This photo gallery is from a journey to Cuba in 2003. Consult the map page for details. Discover all Cuba entries on...
A journey full of hassles, stripped memories and concluding remarks of my three weeks in Cuba. Those are the key words of this last chapter from...
Located right in the middle of Cuba this town was central in the Spanish development of the island. And they left their traces. The UNESCO World...
A most wonderful town and surroundings rich in slave history. This is chapter four of my Cuban experience. This is one of six articles from a visit...
Cuba was built on slavery and Spanish power. The sugar cane growing area outside the wonderful town of Trinidad is at the heart of it. The UNESCO...
"Trinidad and Valle de los Ingenios on Cuba" are no. 460 on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Read the full story here. ...
Traveling in Europe made me understand that America has an island mentality: No one exists except us. There’s a whole other world out there, but most Americans – all they know is America, the marketing plan. (will.i.am)
A fact sheet
Its first human populations reached North America during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 40,000 to 17,000 years ago. This is Wikipedia’s introduction to this region.
Map and numbers
- Area: 24,709,000 km2
- Population: 579,024,000 (2016)
- Population density: 22.9/km2
- Nominal GDP: $21.2 trillion (2016)
- PPP GDP: $24.4 trillion (2016)
- Per capita GDP: $41,830 (2016)
- Countries: 23 sovereign states
- Dependencies: 23 non-sovereign territories
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. Some considers it to be the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It borders to the north the Arctic Ocean, to the east the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast South America and the Caribbean Sea.
North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of the earth’s land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. This is the third largest continent by area, after Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 565 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world’s population, if nearby islands (most notably the Caribbean) are included.
Its first human populations reached North America during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 40,000 to 17,000 years ago. The so-called Paleo-Indian period lasted until about 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Archaic or Meso-Indian period). The Classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. What is called the Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, and the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect different kinds of interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants.
European influences are strongest in the northern parts of the continent while indigenous and African influences are relatively stronger in the south. Because of the history of colonialism, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French and societies and states commonly reflect Western traditions.