Geography in Spanish: 137 Lovely Landforms to Ridge the Gap (2022)

Explore the world with our guide of 137 geographic landforms in Spanish.

If you love nature or simply enjoy a good hike, you’ll surely want to know how to say landforms in Spanish. From mountains to the sea, this guide will take you on a journey through all the most common (and even some you may not be familiar with!) land formations so you can talk about the world like a true cartographer.

Knowing landform vocabulary in Spanish will be incredibly helpful even if you’re not an outdoorsy person. You’ll be able to talk about anything from valleys to volcanoes, helping you describe places and events much more accurately.

Plus, there are plenty of popular idioms and phrases in Spanish that involve landforms, so you’ll be that much closer to understanding all the Spanish idioms!

Read on to learn how to say over 130 different landforms and geography in Spanish.

How do you say “landforms” and “water bodies” in Spanish

The first thing you’ll want to know is how to say “landforms” and “water bodies” in Spanish. While the translation for “water bodies” is pretty straightforward, you may find the translation for landforms pretty amusing: los accidentes geográficos. While this may sound a bit strange, the “accidents” part refers to how they were formed inadvertently by the elements! Let’s take a closer look:

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
LandformsLos accidentes geográficosaksiˈðɛ̃ntes xeoˈɣɾafikosac-see-den-tess heh-oh-gra-fee-cos
Water bodiesLas masas de aguaˈmasas̬ ðe ˈaɣwama-sas deh ah-goo-ah

The most common landforms and bodies of water in Spanish

Unless you’re a geographer, you probably haven’t heard of all the landforms and bodies of water in this article. After all, we’ve included over 130 different geographic terms, so you know exactly how to talk about landforms. So, if you’re dying to explore the world, keep reading to learn more about land and water geography in Spanish!

Coastal and oceanic landforms in Spanish

It’s hard not to picture a beautiful beach when you think of Spanish-speaking countries like Spain, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. However, there are many different types of coastal and oceanic geography, so you can go beyond knowing only how to say beach in Spanish. Get ready tolearn to make your vocabulary even more descriptive!

Geography in Spanish: 137 Lovely Landforms to Ridge the Gap (1)

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
ArchipelagoUn a​​rchipiélagoaɾʧiˈpjelaɣoar-chee-pee-eh-la-go
AtollUn atolónatoˈlõnah-toe-lon
AyreUn ayreˈai̯ɾeah-e-reh
Natural archUn arco naturalˈaɾko natuˈɾalar-co na-too-ral
Barrier islandUna isla barreraˈis̬la βaˈrɛɾaees-la bah-reh-ra
BayUna bahíaβaˈiabah-eh-ah
BeachUna playaˈplaʝaplah-ya
Raised beachUna terraza costeratɛˈrasa kosˈtɛɾateh-rah-za cos-teh-ra
BightUn ancónãnˈkõnan-con
BlowholeUn bufaderobufaˈðɛɾoboo-fa-deh-ro
ChannelUn canal naturalkaˈnal natuˈɾalcah-nal nah-too-ral
CapeUn caboˈkaβocah-bo
CliffUn acantiladoakãntiˈlaðoah-can-tee-la-doe
CoastUna costaˈkostacos-ta
Continental shelfLa plataforma continentalplataˈfoɾma kõntinɛ̃nˈtalpla-tah-for-ma con-tee-nen-tal
Coral reefUn arrecife de coralareˈsife ðe koˈɾalah-reh-see-feh deh co-ral
CoveUna ensenadaɛ̃nseˈnaðaen-seh-na-da
DuneUna dunaˈðunadoo-na
EstuaryUn estuarioɛsˈtwaɾjoes-too-ah-ree-oh
GulfUn golfoˈɡolfogol-fo
InletUn graoˈɡɾaograh-oh
IslandUna islaˈis̬laees-la
IsletUn isloteis̬ˈloteees-lo-teh
IsthmusUn istmoˈistmoees-tmoh
LagoonUna lagunalaˈɣunalah-goo-na
Mid-ocean ridgeUna dorsal mediooceánicaðoɾˈsal meðjooseˈanikador-sal meh-dee-oh-oh-seh-ah-nee-ca
Oceanic basinUna cuenca oceánicaˈkwɛ̃nka oseˈanikacoo-en-cah oh-seh-ah-nee-ca
Oceanic trenchUna fosa oceánicaˈfosa oseˈanikafoh-sa oh-seh-ah-nee-cah
PeninsulaUna penínsulapeˈnĩnsulapeh-neen-soo-la
River deltaUn deltaˈdɛltadel-ta
Salt marshUna marisma salinamaˈɾis̬ma saˈlinamar-is-ma sa-lee-na
Sea caveUna cueva marinaˈkweβa maˈɾinacoo-eh-va ma-ree-na
SeamountUn monte submarinoˈmõnte suβmaˈɾinomon-teh soob-ma-ree-no
ShoalUn banco de arenaˈbãnko ðe aˈɾenaban-co deh ah-reh-na
ShoreUna riberariˈβɛɾaree-beh-ra
SoundUna sondaˈsõndason-da
SandpitUn cordón litoral koɾˈðõn litoˈɾalcor-don lee-toe-ral
StraitUn estrechoɛsˈtɾeʧoehs-treh-cho
StrandflatUn strandflatsˈtɾãndstrand-flat
StackUn farallónfaɾaˈʝõnfa-ra-yon
Tidal marshUna marismamaˈɾis̬mama-rees-ma
Tide poolUna poza de mareaˈposa ðe maˈɾeapo-za deh ma-reh-ah
Volcanic arcUn arco volcánicoˈaɾko βolˈkanikoar-co vol-ca-nee-co
Wave-cut platformUna rasa marealˈrasa maɾeˈalra-sa mah-reh-al

Erosion landforms in Spanish

Erosion landforms are those that were formed by “wear and tear” on the earth, usually by air or water. These are some of the most important landform types to learn, as erosion landforms include major formations like canyons, valleys, and caves.

Geography in Spanish: 137 Lovely Landforms to Ridge the Gap (2)

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
BadlandsLas tierras baldíasˈtjɛras̬ βalˈdiastee-eh-ras bal-dee-as
ButteUn butteˈbut̚teboo-teh
CanyonUn cañónkaˈɲõnca-nyon
CaveUna cuevaˈkweβacoo-eh-va
CuestaUna cuestaˈkwɛstacoo-es-tah
FjordEl fiordoˈfjoɾðofee-or-do
GullyUn barrancobaˈrãnkoba-rahn-co
MesaUna mesaˈmesameh-sa
PotreroUn potreropoˈtɾɛɾopo-treh-ro
RidgeUna crestaˈkɾɛstacres-tah
ValleyUn valleˈbaʝeva-yeh

Fluvial landforms

Fluvial landforms are those formed by running water. After reviewing the following table, you will be able to say river in Spanish as well as stream, rapids, and other helpful formations made by water.

Geography in Spanish: 137 Lovely Landforms to Ridge the Gap (3)

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
BayouUn bayoubaˈʝou̯bah-you
BenchUn planoˈplanoplah-no
ConfluenceUna confluencia fluvialkõmˈflwɛ̃nsja fluˈβjalcon-floo-ehn-see-ah
Drainage basinUna cuenca hidrográficaˈkwɛ̃nka i̯ðɾoˈɣɾafikacoo-en-ca ee-dro-grah-fee-ca
FloodplainUn terreno inundabletɛˈreno i̯nũnˈdaβleteh-reh-no een-oon-da-bleh
LeveeUn diqueˈdikedee-keh
MarshUna ciénagaˈsjenaɣasee-eh-neh-gah
MeanderUn meandro meˈãndɾomeh-an-dro
RapidsUn rápidoˈrapiðorah-pee-do
RiverUn ríoˈrioree-oh
River islandUna isla fluvialˈis̬la fluˈβjalees-la floo-vee-al
SpringUn manantialmanãnˈtjalma-nan-tee-al
StraitUn estrechoɛsˈtɾeʧoes-treh-cho
StreamUn riachuelorjaˈʧweloree-ah-choo-eh-lo
Stream poolUna pozaˈposapo-za
SwampUn pantanopãnˈtanopan-tah-no
WashUn arroyoaˈroʝoah-ro-yo
WaterfallUna cascadakasˈkaðacas-ca-da

Impact landforms in Spanish

Impact landforms are some of the most exciting types of landforms as they all share one thing in common: they were formed by aliens. Well, not actual aliens, but extraterrestrials. Extraterrestrial matter, if you will.

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
CraterUn cráterˈkɾatɛɾcra-ter
Impact craterUn cráter de impactoˈkɾatɛɾ ðe ĩ̯mˈpak̚tocra-ter deh eem-pac-toe
Complex craterUn cráter complejoˈkɾatɛɾ kõmˈplexocra-tehr com-pleh-ho
Simple craterUn cráter simpleˈkɾatɛɾ ˈsĩmplecra-tehr seem-pleh
Impact crater lakeUn lago de cráterˈlaɣo ðe ˈkɾatɛɾla-go deh cra-tehr
Central peak craterUn cráter de pico centralˈkɾatɛɾ ðe ˈpiko sɛ̃nˈtɾalcra-tehr deh pee-co sen-tral

Mountains and glacial landforms in Spanish

If you love a good hike, then you’re undoubtedly looking forward to learning how to say different types of mountains in Spanish. You’ll also want to explore the stunning glaciers in the Southern Cone, as the national parks in Patagonia will surely leave you breathless!

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
CrevasseUna crevassekɾeˈβassecreh-vas
CirqueUn glaciar de circoɡlaˈsjaɾ ðe ˈsiɾkogla-see-are deh seer-co
GlacierUn glaciarɡlaˈsjaɾglah-see-are
Glacier caveUna cueva glaciarˈkweβa ɣlaˈsjaɾcoo-eh-va glah-see-are
HighlandUn altiplanoaltip̚ˈlanoal-tee-plah-no
HillUn cerroˈsɛroseh-ro
InselbergUn monte islaˈmõnte ˈis̬lamon-teh ees-la
MoulinUn molino glaciarmoˈlino ɣlaˈsjaɾmo-lee-no glah-see-are
MountainUna montañamõnˈtaɲamon-tah-nyah
Mountain passUn paso de montañaˈpaso ðe mõnˈtaɲapah-so deh mon-tah-nyah
NunatakUn nunataknunaˈtaknoon-ah-tack
Pyramidal peakUn pico piramidalˈpiko piɾamiˈðalpee-co pee-ra-me-dal
SummitUna cimaˈsimasee-ma

Volcanic landforms in Spanish

You may think of Hawai’i and its stunning fruits when you think of volcanic landforms, but did you know that most of Latin America is a highly volcanic region? In fact, Chile is the country with the most geological activity in the world, second only to Indonesia. With over 2,000 volcanoes in Chile alone, you’ll surely find some volcanic vocabulary in Spanish very helpful.

Geography in Spanish: 137 Lovely Landforms to Ridge the Gap (4)

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
CalderaUna caldera volcánicakalˈdɛɾa βolˈkanikacal-deh-ra vol-cah-nee-ca
Cinder coneUn cono de escoriaˈkono ðɛ ɛsˈkoɾjaco-no deh es-coh-ree-ah
Complex volcanoUn volcán complejobolˈkãn kõmˈplexovol-can com-pleh-ho
LavaLa lavaˈlaβala-va
Lava domeUn domo de lavaˈdomo ðe ˈlaβadoh-mo deh la-va
VolcanoUn volcánbolˈkãnvol-can
CryovolcanoUn criovolcánkɾjoβolˈkãncree-oh-vol-can
DiatremeUn diatremadjaˈtɾemadee-ah-teh-ma
DikeUn diqueˈdikedee-keh
Fissure ventUna fisura volcánicafiˈsuɾa βolˈkanikafee-soo-ra vol-cah-nee-ca
GuyotUn guyotɡuˈʝotgoo-yot
HornitoUn hornito volcánicooɾˈnito βolˈkanikoor-nee-toe vol-cah-nee-coh
KīpukaUn kipukakiˈpukakee-poo-kah
Lava LakeUn lago de lavaˈlaɣo ðe ˈlaβala-go deh la-va
Lava tubeUn tubo de lavaˈtuβo ðe ˈlaβatoo-bo deh la-va
MaarUn maarmaˈaɾmar
Pit craterUn cráter de subsidenciaˈkɾatɛɾ ðe suβsiˈðɛ̃nsjacrah-ter deh soob-see-dee-ehn-see-ah
Resurgent domeUn domo resurgenteˈdomo resuɾˈxɛ̃ntedoh-mo reh-soor-hen-teh
Shield volcanoUn volcán en escudobolˈkan ɛn ɛsˈkuðovol-can ehn es-coo-doe
StratovolcanoUn estratovolcánɛstɾatoβolˈkãnes-tra-toe vol-cahn
Somma volcanoUn volcán sommabolˈkãn ˈsõmmavol-cahn soh-ma
Volcanic coneUn cono volcánicoˈkono βolˈkanikocoe-no vol-cahn-e-co
Submarine volcanoUn volcán submarinobolˈkãn suβmaˈɾinovol-cahn soob-ma-ree-no
SupervolcanoUn supervolcánsupɛɾβolˈkãnsoo-per-vol-cahn
Volcanic craterUn cráter volcánicoˈkɾatɛɾ βolˈkanikocra-ter vol-ca-nee-co
Volcanic fieldUn campo volcánicoˈkãmpo βolˈkanikocam-po vol-cah-nee-coe
High islandUna isla volcánicaˈis̬la βolˈkanikaees-la vol-ca-nee-cah
Volcanic plugUn tapón volcánicotaˈpõm bolˈkanikota-pon vol-ca-nee-co

Bodies of water in Spanish

Last but not least, we have bodies of water. With so many fun activities to do on a lake, ocean, or even hot spring, you surely already have a favorite body of water that you’re dying to learn! Here are some of the most common bodies of water in Spanish for you.

Geography in Spanish: 137 Lovely Landforms to Ridge the Gap (5)

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciation
BogUna turberatuɾˈβɛɾatoor-beh-ra
CanalUn canalkaˈnalca-nal
DamUna presaˈpɾesapreh-sa
DepresionUna depresiónðepɾeˈsjõndeh-preh-see-on
HarborUn puertoˈpwɛɾtopoo-air-toe
Hot springUnas aguas termalesˈaɣwas tɛɾˈmalesah-goo-as ter-ma-les
LakeUn lagoˈlaɣola-go
LagoonUna lagunalaˈɣunala-goo-nah
MangroveUn manglarmãnˈɡlaɾman-glar
OceanUn océanooˈseanooh-seh-ah-no
PondUn estanqueɛsˈtãnkees-tan-keh
PuddleUn charcoˈʧaɾkochar-co
ReservoirUn embalseɛ̃mˈbalseem-bal-seh
SeaUn marˈmaɾmar
SinkholeUn cenoteseˈnoteseh-noh-teh
WetlandsUn humedalumeˈðalooh-meh-dal

Phrases or idioms that contain landforms in Spanish

If you’ve been studying Spanish for a while, you probably already know that Spanish speakers love using idioms and phrases in everyday speech. If you’ve just mastered well over a hundred various types of land and water geography words, why not learn a few idioms that include some of your shiny new vocab?

EnglishSpanishIPAPronunciationMeaning
To cry a sea of tears.Llorar un mar de lágrimas.ɟʝoˈɾaɾ ũm ˈmaɾ ðe ˈlaɣɾimasyo-rar oon mar deh la-gree-masTo cry a river.
Faith can move mountains.La fé puede mover montañas.la ˈfe ˈpweðe moˈβɛɾ mõnˈtaɲasla feh poo-eh-deh mo-ver mon-ta-nyasFaith is so strong it could move mountains.
If the mountain won’t come to Mahoma, then Mahoma will go to the mountain.Si la montaña no va a Mahoma, Mahoma va a la montaña.si la mõnˈtaɲa ˈno ˈβa a maˈoma | maˈoma ˈβa a la mõnˈtaɲasee la mon-tah-nyah no va ah ma-oh-ma ma-oh-ma va ah la mon-tah-nyahIf you’ve been waiting for someone who hasn’t come, it’s best to go out and look for them instead.
If the river makes noise, it means it’s carrying water.Si el río suena, es que agua lleva.sj ɛl ˈrio ˈswena | ˈɛs ˈke ˈaɣwa ˈʝeβasee elle ree-oh soo-eh-na es keh ah-goo-ah yeh-vaWhere there's smoke, there’s a fire.
Treat the mountain like your girlfriend: trust her, but don’t trust her.A la montaña, como a la novia, con confianza, pero sin confianzas.a la mõnˈtaɲa | ˈkomo a la ˈnoβja | kõn kõmˈfjãnsa | ˈpɛɾo sĩn kõmˈfjãnsasah la mon-tah-nyah co-mo ah la no-vee-ah con con-fee-ahn-za peh-ro seen con-fee-ahn-zaYou have to always be careful when hiking on a mountain.
There is no sea man who couldn’t drown.No existe hombre de mar que no se pueda ahogar.ˈno ɛkˈsiste ˈõmbɾe ðe ˈmaɾ ˈke ˈno se ˈpweða aoˈɣaɾno ex-ees-teh om-breh deh mar keh no seh poo-eh-da ah-oh-garEven the most experienced sea men could drown.
Who sows wind reaps tempests.Quien siembra vientos, recoge tempestades.ˈkjɛ̃n ˈsjɛ̃mbɾa ˈβjɛ̃ntos | reˈkoxe tɛ̃mpɛsˈtaðeskey-ehn see-em-bra vee-ehn-tos, reh-co-heh tem-pes-ta-dessYou reap what you sow.

Continue working on your Spanish like erosion on a valley

You know what they say, “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.” Even if the Spanish translation for landforms suggests that they’re accidents, who could say that the stunning mountains of Chile, the forceful rapids of Costa Rica, or the serene cenotes of Mexico are anything but perfect?

Think of nature anytime you worry about your Spanish not being perfect. Imperfection isn’t a sign of failure but rather a sign of time and effort. So, don’t let your imperfections in Spanish keep you from practicing. Just keep going at it, and—much like the wind eroding away at a valley–you’ll notice drastic changes after repeated efforts.

We hope you enjoyed this blog! If you did, make sure to check out the rest of our awesome Spanish study resources to keep improving. We publish new (and free!) content all the time, so make sure to bookmark our page and check back for more!

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated: 09/28/2022

Views: 6630

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.