Generally referred to as the New World or Americas, North America is almost entirely in the Western Hemisphere. Land mass makes North America the third largest continent in the world, only to be surpassed by Asia and Africa. Situated in the Northern Hemisphere, North America extends south through the isthmus of Central America joining South America. Like a snake coming out of the jungles of Colombia, Panama winds its way westward to separate two large bodies of water, the mighty Pacific Ocean and the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, thus joining two great land masses, North America and South America. In reference to North America, many people consider North America starting with Mexico and going north into Canada, thus leaving the countries south of Mexico to be considered Central America. The many islands of the Caribbean are also often separated into their own region yet technically still part of North America. To the north, North America is bordered by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean.
North America or the New World was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, it is said that Italian Explorer Amerigo Vespucci who explored South America during the years 1497 through 1502 suggested that the Americas were not the East Indies. It is from Vespucci Latin name of Amerigo that the name America was applied to the New World.
North America, as of 2007, with an estimated 524 million people is forth in population behind Asia, Africa and Europe. The United States being the most populated with an estimated 301 million people. The largest city in North America is Mexico City with a population of over 19 million people followed by New York City with over 18 million people.
North America provides a stunning landscape, from the beautiful white sand beaches of the Caribbean to Volcanoes along the Pacific Rim; deserts give way to spectacular snow covered mountain ranges forming the backbone of North America. Cold Canadian tundra in the north offers a sharp contrast to the steamy jungles of Central America. Warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide a difference to the magnificent glaciers of the Pacific Northwest.
North America with a multiple of climates and terrain will leave the adventure traveler with unbelievable and numerous choices for adventures and experiences. Travelers will find North America with a large choice of vibrant cities, from the large cities of the United States to small fishing villages of Mexico.
North America offers a diverse range of cultures - both existing and past - and boasts some of the most famous landmarks in the world.