The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are the two largest oceans in the world and occupy a combined area of roughly 104,900,000 square miles. Many nations have a coastline on one of these oceans, but several countries have coastlines on both. When considering whether a nation borders both oceans, oceanographers consider the marginal seas, gulfs, and straits. Examples of countries that border both the Atlantic and Pacific include Chile, Mexico, and Guatemala. The full list is provided below.
Located in South America, the western and southeastern edges of Chile have coastlines on the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, respectively. Chile has control over the Strait of Magellan, a navigable water body that links the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic. The nation has ports along the Atlantic Ocean, the most significant of which is Puerto Toro. Chile also has several ports along the Pacific Ocean, such as Puerto Chacabuco, Puerto Montt, and Puerto Williams.
Mexico also has coastlines on both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Located in the southern part of North America, its coastline along the Pacific Ocean is situated on the country's western edge, and its coastline with the Atlantic Ocean borders the eastern edge. More specifically, the eastern part of Mexico borders the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, which are both considered marginal seas of the Atlantic Ocean. Mexico has several ports located along coast of the Pacific Ocean, the most notable being Manzanillo, Lázaro Cárdenas, and Puerto Chiapas. In particular, Manzanillo is considered the nation's busiest port. Mexico also has a port in the Gulf of Mexico, referred to as Matanzas.
Guatemala has a coastline on the Pacific Ocean, which is situated on the southern edge of the country. Located in Central America, Guatemala also borders the Caribbean Sea, a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, which is located on the northeastern edge of the country. The port of Puerto Quetzal is the largest port along Guatemala's Pacific coast. It is an essential port for cargo traffic and as a stop-over point for cruise liners.
Nicaragua's coastline on the Pacific Ocean is situated on the southwestern edge of the country. Located in Central America, Nicaragua also borders the Caribbean Sea on the eastern edge of the country, which is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean. Bluefields is Nicaragua's only port along the Atlantic Ocean.
Costa Rica's coastline on the Pacific Ocean is located along the country's southwestern edge. The Central American country is also considered to border the Atlantic Ocean, since it has coastline along the Caribbean Sea on its northeastern edge.
Colombia's coastline with the Pacific Ocean is situated on the western side of the country. The South American country is also considered to border the Atlantic Ocean since it borders one of its main marginal seas, the Caribbean Sea. Colombia's coastline on the Caribbean Sea is situated on the nation's northern edge.
Given its massive size, Russia not only borders the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, but it also borders the Arctic Ocean. Russia is considered to border the North Pacific Ocean, and has a coastline on two of the marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. Russia has several ports along the Atlantic Ocean, the most prominent being St. Petersburg.
Like Russia, Canada borders the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, as well as the Arctic Ocean. Located in the northern part of North America, Canada borders the northern edge of the Pacific Ocean as well, as the northern edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Canada has several ports along the Atlantic Ocean, with some of the most prominent being Saint John, Corner Brook, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Given its large size, the United States (US) borders both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Arctic Ocean. Located in the middle part of North America, the US borders the northern section of the Pacific Ocean, and its ports include Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Francisco. The country also borders the northern section of the Atlantic Ocean, with ports such as Jacksonville, Key West, and Palm Beach.
Panama's coastline along the Pacific Ocean is situated on the country's southern edge. The Gulf of Panama is also close to Panama. The country is considered to border the Atlantic Ocean because it has coastline along the Caribbean Sea on its northern edge. The Panama Canal is one of the most important waterways in the region, as it links the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf of Panama, and therefore ultimately connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Construction of the Panama Canal dates back to the 19th century, when France initiated the project in the 1800s. However, the French government later decided to stop work on the project for various reasons, including a significant number of deaths among workers. The United States government later took over the project and the canal officially opened in 1914.
Located in Central America, Honduras is another nation with a coastline on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Honduras is considered to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean since it borders the Gulf of Fonseca on the southern side. In addition to bordering the Caribbean Sea, Honduras also borders one of its primary inlets, the Gulf of Honduras. San Lorenzo is one of Honduras' main ports along the Pacific Ocean. Honduras has several ports along the Caribbean Sea, a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, such as Puerto Cortés, Puerto Castilla, as well as Roatán.
Economic Significance of Coastline on More Than One Ocean
Having coastline on more than one ocean can be economically advantageous. For example, such nations have a larger exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which provides access to and rights over resources in the ocean. Additionally, bordering two or more oceans also increases the potential volume of trade that a nation could engage in due to a larger number of ports and harbors.
Which Countries Have Coastlines On Both The Atlantic And The Pacific Oceans?
A total of eleven countries have coastlines on both the Altantic and Pacific Oceans. They include Russia, Canada, and the United States.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
Your MLA Citation
Your APA Citation
Your Chicago Citation
Your Harvard CitationRemember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.