M E X I C O       


Today, Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Western Hemisphere and is rich in natural resources such as petroleum and natural gas. Tourism is important.

Near the Mayan ruin of Chichen Itza is Cancun --  is one of the top beach destinations in the world. Nearby, the island of Cozumel is a world-famous scuba diving and snorkeling spot.

The nation's capital, Mexico City, is one of the largest cities in the world. In Latin America, only Brazil has a larger population than Mexico.

Mexico is bordered by the United States on the north, the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea on the east .  Guatemala and Belize are to the south.

Mexico is crossed by two major mountain chains, the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre Oriental. The high central plateau between these two mountain ranges is where many traveled toward the center of this region.

Mexico features volcanic peaks, snow-capped mountains, tropical rain forests, and internationally famous beaches including CANCUN with its famous row of hotels on a beach of crystal blue ocean..

(Ruins showing glamorous Cancun hotels right on the beach in the background shown below)

Mexico City is an enormous metropolitan area and dominates the rest of the country's culture, economy, and politics. Nearly one-fifth of the nation's population lives in the immediate vicinity of the capital.

Mexico has a rich heritage in art and architecture and is recognized internationally for the contributions of its 20th-century mural artists, who created murals that reflected Mexico's history and culture and current social issues.

The history of Mexico revolves around the mixing of numerous cultural, ethnic, and political influences. These include contributions from several major indigenous civilizations, Spanish influences from the period of colonial rule, and a significant African heritage resulting from the slave trade of the early colonial era.

Land and Resources

Mexico is a mountainous country with a large central plateau and relatively small amounts of naturally fertile land. Much of the country has limited rainfall.

Earthquakes are fairly common in the capital city.

The Yucatán Peninsula extends northeast from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec into the Gulf of Mexico. It is a flat, low-lying region without rivers. The northwestern peninsula is dry and supports some agriculture; further south rainfall is plentiful and the peninsula is covered by tropical rain forests. The important international tourist center of Cancún is located along the eastern coast of the Yucatán.

South and east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, bordering Guatemala, are the Chiapas Highlands. Much of this region gets heavy rainfall and is covered by tropical forests. Some mountains in the Chiapas Highlands rise to more than 9,000 feet

In the far northwest of the country is the Baja California Peninsula. Stretching from the U.S. border southeast for 800 miles, the peninsula is extremely dry and mountainous, with a very narrow coastal plain. It is largely unpopulated, but has become increasingly attractive to U.S. tourists who visit coastal resorts along the northern Gulf of California and on the Pacific Ocean. At the end is Los Cabos, well known as a tourist attraction.

For more on Los Cabos, visit  mexico-guides.com

Plant and Animal Life

Much of northern Mexico is covered by desert vegetation, including mesquite, cactus, desert scrub, and some grasses. The higher regions are forested largely with hardwoods such as oak, and needle-leafed trees such as pine and fir.

Some of the animals found in Central and South Americasuch as monkeys, tapirs, and jaguarsremain in parts of southern Mexico.

Bear, deer, coyote, peccary, and mountain lion, many species of which you can see in American zoos, remain in the rugged, mountainous regions of the Sierra Madre. Environmental groups have tried to protect Mexico's endangered species, particularly marine turtles, from further exploitation and decline

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