Eastern Tropical Pacific

Countries included

Mexico, France (Clipperton Atoll), Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile (Rapa Nui).


Francis Staub
GCRMN point of contact

Regional Context

Importance of coral reefs

The region is bounded by subtropical gyres of the North and South Pacific and the equatorial current system of the Eastern Pacific. An additional significant oceanographic feature of the region is the eastern Pacific warm pool, located along the Central American shelf. The oceanographic dynamics of the region are strongly influenced by low-latitude trade winds, topography (i.e. shelf breaks), a shallow thermocline, and inter-annual climate variation associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). These atmospheric and oceanographic conditions create a distinct environment for the development of coral reef habitats in the region, connectivity and diversity of coral species in the region.

Keys numbers


Total area of coral reefs (km2)


Proportion of the world’s coral reefs


Countries with coral reefs


Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) (i)

(i) Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) is a biogeographic classification of the world’s coasts and shelves (Spalding et al., 2007).


Francesco Ungaro | Unsplash
Francesco Ungaro | Unsplash


Regional reports and guidelines from the Eastern Tropical Pacific

Key figures from the 2020 report

Hard coral cover

Algae cover