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Introduction to Mexico - Basic Mexico Travel Information

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Introduction to Mexico - Basic Mexico Travel Information

Map of Mexico

Courtesy of CIA World Factbook
Mexico's official name is "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" (United States of Mexico). Mexico's national symbols are the flag, the National Anthem, and the Coat of Arms.

Location and Geography:

Mexico is the southernmost country of North America. It is bordered by the United States to the North, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the East, Belize and Guatemala to the South, and the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortes to the West. Mexico covers almost 780 000 square miles (2 million square km) and has 5800 miles (9330 km) of coastline.

Government and Politics:

Mexico is a federal republic with two legislative houses (Senate [128]; Chamber of Deputies [500]). The president of Mexico serves a six-year term and is not eligible for re-election. The present president of Mexico (2012-2018) is Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexico has a multi-party system, dominated by three large political parties: the PRI, the PAN, and the PRD.

Population:

Mexico has a population of over 110 million people. Life expectancy at birth is 73 years for men and 79 years for women. The literacy rate is 92% for men and 89% for women. 88% of Mexico's population is Roman Catholic.

Weather and Climate:

Mexico has a wide array of climatic conditions due to its size and topography. Low-lying coastal areas are generally hot throughout the year, whereas in the interior, temperatures vary according to elevation. Mexico City, at 7350 feet (2240 m) has a moderate climate with pleasant summers and mild winters, and an annual average temperature of 64°F (18°C). Rainy season through most of the country lasts from May to September, and hurricane season from May to November.

Read more about Mexico's weather and hurricane season in Mexico.

Currency:

The monetary unit is the Mexican peso (MXN). The symbol is the same as that used for the dollar ($). One peso is worth one hundred centavos. See photos of Mexican money. Learn about the exchange rate and exchanging currency in Mexico.

Time Zones:

There are three time zones in Mexico. The states of Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur are on Mountain Standard Time; Baja California Norte is on Pacific Standard Time; and the rest of the country is on Central Standard Time. Learn more about Mexico's Time Zones.

Daylight Saving time (referred to in Mexico as horario de verano) is observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. The state of Sonora as well as some remote villages do not observe Daylight Saving Time. Learn more about Daylight Saving Time in Mexico.

Language:

Mexico's official language is Spanish, and Mexico is home to the world’s largest population of Spanish speakers, but over 50 indigenous languages are spoken by more than 100,000 people.

Test your knowledge of Mexico! Take the Mexico Trivia Quiz.

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