Cardinal points of a compass in Spanish

How do you say the points of a compass in Spanish?

The four main cardinal points of the compass are:

  • norte (north)
  • este (east)
  • sur (south)
  • oeste (west)

Oeste (west) and Este (east) are very similar in spelling so can understandably be confused at the beginning.

Occasionally you will see Oriente instead of East and Occidente instead of West.

Then we have the points that are in between the main ones:

  • noreste (northeast)
  • sureste (southeast)
  • suroeste (southwest)
  • noroeste (northwest)

Sometimes you will hear sudeste (instead of sureste) and sudoeste (instead of suroeste) which are also correct.

Now, if you want to get even more precise you can add in the following:

  • nornoreste (north-northeast)
  • estenoreste (east-northeast)
  • estesureste (east-southeast)
  • sursureste (south-southeast)
  • sursuroeste (south-southwest)
  • oestesuroeste (west-southwest)
  • oestenoroeste (west-northwest)
  • nornoroeste (north-northwest)

If that didn’t make you dizzy then you deserve a medal!

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