Mexico is a country between the U.S. and Central America that’s known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts and jungles.
The official name of the country is the United Mexican States.
The United Mexican States is a federal republic composed of 32 federal entities: 31 states and a “capital city” (Mexico City).
The country is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexico has 68 official languages, Spanish being the main one. The other 67 are indigenous languages that, although officially recognized, people almost never speak.
Mexico is the 10th most populous country in the world with 128 million people.
Covering almost 2 million square kilometers (over 760,000 sq mi), Mexico is the sixth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent nation in the world.
Mexico City is the capital and most populous city of Mexico. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 feet).
Mexico is a land of extremes, with high mountains and deep canyons in the center of the country, sweeping deserts in the north, and dense rain forests in the south and east.
The Pico de Orizaba sometimes known as Citlaltépetl, is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America. It rises 5,636 meters (18,491 feet) above sea level.
Mexico has a 9,330 kilometer coastline, of which 7,338 kilometers (5,797 miles) face the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California, and the remaining 2,805 kilometers (1,742 miles) front the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Mexico is known to have some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world! There are more than 450 beaches around the Mexican coastline.
Mexico’s Protected Natural Areas are 158 designated “Natural Areas” in Mexico, representing 11% of the nation’s surface area.
The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is a World Heritage Site containing most of the over-wintering sites of the eastern population of the monarch butterfly. The 56,259 hectares (139,019 acres) biosphere lies within rugged forested mountains about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Mexico City. Millions of butterflies arrive in the reserve annually.
The Copper Canyon is in fact a network of canyons which together are several times larger than the Grand Canyon. The most popular way to explore the Copper Canyon is on the “Chihuahua al Pacifico” Railway. The track passes over 37 bridges and through 86 tunnels, rising as high as 2,400 meter (7,900 feet) above sea level featuring spectacular views of the canyons below.
Cave of the Crystals or Giant Crystal Cave is a cave connected to the Naica Mine 300 meters (980 feet) below the surface in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. The main chamber contains giant selenite crystals, some of the largest natural crystals ever found. The cave’s largest crystal found to date is 12 meters (39 feet) in length, 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter and 55 tons in weight.
Mexico has 34 UNESCO world heritage sites.
Teotihuacan was an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, located in the State of Mexico 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of modern-day Mexico City, known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas. Teotihuacan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most visited of Mexico’s archaeological sites.
Located in the municipality of Tinum, in the Mexican state of Yucatán is the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, an ancient Maya city. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Mayan cities and was often referred to in later literature as a mythical city. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-most visited of Mexico’s archaeological sites.
The historic center of Mexico City is the central neighborhood in Mexico City. This section of the capital has just over nine square km and occupies 668 blocks. It contains 9,000 buildings, 1,550 of which have been declared of historical importance. The historic center of Mexico Citya is UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City is the largest cathedral in the Americas, and seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. Zhe cathedral is a medley of styles and dominates the city’s huge plaza, the Zócalo. It was built in sections from 1573 to 1813.
Nestled in the mountains of the Sierra de Guanajuato lies the beautiful colonial city of Guanajuato. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its many old colonial buildings, winding lanes, and narrow alleys. The city was founded in 1554 next to one of the richest silver mining areas of Mexico. The 16th-century mining boom led to the construction of beautiful haciendas and fine colonial buildings.
At least three great civilizations — the Mayas, the Olmecs, and the Toltecs — preceded the wealthy Aztec empire, conquered in 1519–1521 by the Spanish under Hernando Cortés. Spain ruled Mexico as part of the viceroyalty of New Spain for the next 300 years until Sept. 16, 1810, when the Mexicans first revolted. They won independence in 1821.
Mexico is rich in natural resources, like oil, silver, copper, and agricultural products.
Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. Mole poblano is widely considered as the national dish of Mexico. Mole poblano contains about 20 ingredients, including chili peppers and chocolate.
Tequila, a national liquor of Mexico, is a spirit made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.
Mexicans take sports seriously. In ancient times, losers of a ritual ball game were once put to death.
The most popular sport in Mexico is football.
In Mexico, artists can pay their taxes with artwork.
Mexico’s 34th President ruled for less than an hour, and then quit. It is the shortest presidency in the history of the world.
The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named for a Mexican state.
Yucatan, Mexico, was named after a misunderstanding. Spaniards asked the locals what was the place called. They replied “Yucatan,” which in their language means “I don’t understand you.”
San Francisco was part of Mexico until the Mexican-American War in 1848.
Mexican General Santa Anna had an elaborate state funeral for his amputated leg.