Guatemala is bounded to the north and west by Mexico, to the northeast by Belize and (along a short coastline) by the Gulf of Honduras, to the east by Honduras, to the southeast by El Salvador, and to the south by the Pacific Ocean.Yucatán Peninsula, a limestone platform shared with Mexico and Belize.Sierra los Cuchumatanes to the west rises to elevations in excess of 10,000 feet (3,000 metres).Eastward, the lower sierras of Chamá, Santa Cruz, Chuacús, Las Minas, and the Montañas del Mico are separated by deep valleys that open eastward on a narrow Caribbean shoreline.Among these are three continuously active volcanoes: the growing summit of Santiaguito (8,202 feet [2,500 metres]) located on the southern flanks of Santa María (12,375 feet [3,772 metres]); Fuego (12,582 feet [3,835 metres]); and Pacaya (8,371 feet [2,552 metres]).The highest peak is Tajumulco (13,845 feet [4,220 metres]).
The name of the country means "depths." It was so named by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage because of the deep waters at the mouth of the Tinto o Negro River off the Mosquito Coast.
From the base of the volcanic row, at an elevation of about 1,500 feet (450 metres), the Pacific coastal plain gradually slopes south to sea level at the shoreline of the ocean.
The plain extends east-west for a distance of about 150 miles (240 km) and is one of the country’s richest agricultural areas.
Extensive flooding takes place during the rainy season.
Motagua River and west-flowing Cuilco pass in opposite directions through a structural trough that serves as the boundary between the volcanic terrain of southern Guatemala and the sierras of its midsection.