How to Say Bordering Countries in Spanish: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to learning a new language, one of the most important aspects is understanding how to express geographical relationships. If you’re looking to expand your Spanish vocabulary and enhance your conversational skills, it’s essential to know how to say “bordering countries” in Spanish. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the formal and informal ways to refer to neighboring nations in Spanish, providing tips, examples, and even touching on regional variations. So let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say Bordering Countries in Spanish

In formal settings, such as academic or professional contexts, it’s crucial to use the appropriate terminology. Here are some formal phrases that accurately express the idea of “bordering countries” in Spanish:

  1. Países limítrofes: This is the most common and formal way to say “bordering countries” in Spanish. The phrase “países limítrofes” is widely accepted across Spanish-speaking countries.
  2. Países fronterizos: Another formal expression, “países fronterizos” is often used interchangeably with “países limítrofes” to convey the same meaning.
  3. Países vecinos: Although more commonly used to mean “neighboring countries,” the phrase “países vecinos” can also be used as a formal alternative for “bordering countries.”

Example: En el proyecto de ley se estudiarán las relaciones comerciales con los países limítrofes / fronterizos.

Informal Ways to Say Bordering Countries in Spanish

In less formal or casual conversations, you may want to opt for more colloquial expressions to refer to bordering countries. Here are some informal alternatives:

  1. Países de al lado: This informal phrase literally means “the countries next to” and conveys the idea of “bordering countries” in a casual manner.
  2. Países que lindan: Using the verb “lindar” (to border), this expression is another informal way to talk about neighboring nations in Spanish.
  3. Países que comparten frontera: While slightly more formal than the previous options, this phrase can still be considered an informal way to say “bordering countries.”

Example: México y Estados Unidos son países que lindan.

Regional Variations

Spanish is spoken in various countries, each with its own linguistic variations. While the previously mentioned phrases are widely understood and used throughout the Spanish-speaking world, there are also regional variations to describe bordering countries. Let’s explore a few:

Mexico and Central America:

In Mexico and Central American countries, it’s common to use the word “colindantes” to refer to bordering countries. Here’s an example:

Example: Belice y Guatemala son países colindantes.

South America:

In South American countries like Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, it’s more common to utilize the term “países limítrofes” to express the idea of bordering countries. For instance:

Example: Uruguay tiene varios países limítrofes, como Argentina y Brasil.


In Spain, the phrase “países fronterizos” is widely used to denote bordering countries. Here’s an example:

Example: Portugal y Francia son países fronterizos de España.


Congratulations! You now have a comprehensive understanding of how to say “bordering countries” in Spanish. Remember, when seeking to express this concept formally, you can use phrases like “países limítrofes” or “países fronterizos.” For informal or casual conversations, options like “países de al lado” or “países que lindan” work well. Additionally, keep in mind the regional variations for specific Spanish-speaking countries. Practice using these phrases in context, and before you know it, you’ll confidently discuss bordering countries in Spanish!

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