Pacific Coast

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The Pacific Coast is very similar to the Lowlands in some geographical areas, as it is characterized by altitudes below 300 m above sea level and was originally covered by tropical forest. Therefore his flora and the original fauna has been very similar to the one of Petén, apart from own species of the Pacific Ocean. The coastal plain spreads over 700 km from northwest to southeast, initiating in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, to get to the western coast of El Salvador, where it becomes very narrow due to the presence of the Sierra del Balsamo. The Pacific Coast’s north limit is bounded by the presence of a chain of more than 40 volcanoes, whose activity has contributed to the high fertility of alluvial soils. The southern slopes of the volcanic chain is known as Bocacosta or Piedmont, which reaches 1,000 meters above sea level and is characterized by high rainfall, which exceeds 2,000 ml per year. For this reason, the main areas of production of cocoa were located at the zones of Soconusco, Suchitepéquez and Izalco. In this region was also important the presence of rivers, which served as territorial borders. Of their natural resources the presence of mangroves is also relevant, what facilitated the settlement of the most ancient populations of the whole Mayan area.