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Puerto Rico Geography

Puerto Rico    Geography Top of Page
Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic
Geographic coordinates: 18 15 N, 66 30 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total:  9,104 sq km

land:  8,959 sq km

water:  145 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 501 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone:  200 NM

territorial sea:  12 NM
Climate: tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: mostly mountains, with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point:  Cerro de Punta 1,338 m
Natural resources: some copper and nickel; potential for onshore and offshore oil
Land use: arable land:  4%

permanent crops:  5%

permanent pastures:  26%

forests and woodland:  16%

other:  49% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 390 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; hurricanes
Environment - current issues: erosion; occasional drought causing water shortages
Geography - note: important location along the Mona Passage - a key shipping lane to the Panama Canal; San Juan is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean; many small rivers and high central mountains ensure land is well watered; south coast relatively dry; fertile coastal plain belt in north


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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