The continent of North America contains some of the oldest rock formations on Earth. Its geologic structure is centered around the Canadian Shield, a stable platform of Precambrian rock. To the southeast of the shield, the Appalachian and Cordillera Mountains rise. To the west, the Great Plains and the Central Lowlands are present.
North America is divided into three main regions: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It also includes some islands in the Caribbean. The political map of North America includes province and state boundaries. North America is the third largest continent in the world. The countries of the continent have similar climates, political systems, and cultures.
Before Europeans arrived, the first human populations migrated into North America, crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 10,000 years ago. This period is known as the Paleo-Indian period. This stage lasted for over 1,000 years and was followed by the Archaic and Meso-Indian periods. The Europeans then took over parts of the Americas and established colonies in the Caribbean.
The two richest nations in North America are Canada and the United States. The Caribbean and Central America are less developed and Mexico is newly industrialized. Economic integration has been promoted by the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in 1995 by five countries, including the United States. In addition to NAFTA, Canada and Central America have relations in Central American trade blocs.
French and Spanish are the two most widely spoken languages in North America. French is also spoken in parts of the Caribbean and the Netherlands. Indigenous languages like Nahuatl and Maya are also spoken in some regions of North America. English is also widely spoken in parts of the Caribbean and is the predominant language in Belize.
The major cities in North America are easily accessible by air. Direct flights from many continents connect major cities in North America. Several airlines offer flights between major hubs. Depending on your destination, you can also reach major cities by rail. However, rail travel is slower than air and can be more expensive. If you are looking to save money, consider using an air or sea transportation system. The latter option is more practical for shorter trips.
The United States and Canada have good highways. Many major highways are well maintained and have many services. In addition, cell phones are compatible and can be used in emergency situations. Most Canadian vehicle insurance is recognized in the U.S., but the same is not true of Mexico. Vehicle insurance is also limited in Mexico.