Mexico is a state located on the mainland of North America and occupying its southern and partly central regions. Mexico also includes the coastal islands of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. In the north is the longest, land and sea Mexican border – with the United States, or rather, with California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In the southwest, the country borders on Guatemala and Belize. See Mexico abbreviations.
From the east, Mexico is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, and from the west by the Pacific Ocean (the Gulf of California goes deep into the coastline).
The capital of Mexico is located in the city of Mexico City, which is the center of state political, economic and cultural life.
Mexico occupies a territory with a total area of 1,972,550 sq. km., the largest state is in 14th place in the world.
Mexico has a mountainous area, the country has many mountain ranges and active volcanoes. The latter make up a whole system of 350 volcanoes called Sierra Madre. In this regard, Mexico is characterized by high volcanic activity.
A ridge stretches from the eastern part of the country to the western, called the Transverse Volcanic Sierra. It is here that the highest point of Mexico is located – the peak of Orizaba with a height of 5700 m. Other highest points are also located here – the Popocatepetl volcano (5452 m.), Mount Istaxihuatl (5286 m), etc.
The Eastern and Western Sierra Madre mountain ranges, which continue the North American Rocky Mountains, traverse the country from north to south. Between them lies the Mexican Highlands, divided into two parts, called Northern (with an average height of about 1100 m) and Central (altitude 2000 m) Mesa.
On the peninsula of Baja California there is a ridge of low ridges with a length of 1430 km. In the south and southeast of the country are the mountains Sierra Madre South with an average height of 2000 m and Sierra Madre de Chiapas, whose ridges reach a height of 4000 m (we are talking about the Takuma volcano ).
Mexico is located on three lithospheric plates, the regular movements of which lead to seismic activity, one of the highest on Earth.
Mexican soils range from the sierozems of the Chihuahua and Sonoran deserts and gray-brown soils to the highly fertile red-brown, brown-red, and reddish-black southern soils. Coniferous-hard-leaved, mixed and coniferous subtropical forests grow on the territory of the country.
About 150 rivers flow in Mexico, most of which flow into the Pacific Ocean, and the rest into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Water resources are distributed very unevenly throughout the country. The largest rivers – Usumacinta, Grijalva, Papaloapan, Coatzacoalcos and Panuco carry more than half of all water resources in Mexico, and only 12% of the population has access to them.
Other large rivers are Balsas, Konchos, Tonto, etc. The largest lake with fresh water is called Chapala. Lake Texcoco is also known, partially drained due to floods. The Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its cenotes – natural wells from groundwater and rainwater.
According to 800zipcodes, the climate in Mexico is different, in the northern regions it belongs to the subtropical, in the southern – to the tropical. So, in areas located on the Mexican Highlands, it is cool: winter temperatures average about +2 °C, and summer temperatures up to +15 °C. The resort areas located on the coast please with higher temperatures. In winter, the thermometer here rarely drops below +22 °C, and in summer the weather is hot – up to +35 °C.
There are dry (from November to April) and wet (from June to September) seasons, which almost do not differ in temperature, but the amount of precipitation and air humidity are very different. This phenomenon is caused by tropical cyclones, which sometimes bring not only precipitation, but also significant destruction.
Baja California and the northern and southern highlands have a dry climate, with only 300–600 mm of rainfall per year. But the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is much more rainy, here the amount of precipitation is more than 1000 mm per year. In the southeast of the state of Tabasco, precipitation can reach 2000 mm per year. And in the north of the country and in the mountains, sometimes it even snows in winter.
Beach resorts: Acapulco, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cosumbel
Excursion cities: Guadalajara, Mexico City.
Mexican cuisine is known all over the world, many of its recipes date back to ancient times. It takes its origins in the culinary traditions of the Aztecs and Spaniards. In 2010, the recipe of the national cuisine of Mexico was included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
Products used to prepare traditional Mexican dishes: vegetables (tomatoes, onions, potatoes, pumpkin and others), meat (chicken, beef, pork, game), grains and legumes (beans, rice, corn), seafood (fish, shrimp, squid, octopus), fruits, cheese, eggs.
The most popular Mexican seasonings and spices:
- The “visiting card” of the country is chili pepper, added to national dishes.
- Salsa sauce is made from tomatoes, chili, garlic, onion, pepperoni, black pepper.
- Guacamole is a sauce made from avocados, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
- Serrano and jalaneno peppers.
- Cumin seeds.
- Avocado leaves.
Sauces are served with meat, fish, poultry, beans, eggs and other dishes.
Mexican main dishes:
Tortilla – the most popular dish, is a thin corn or wheat cake with various spices. It can be used both separately and as part of many other dishes.
Burrito is a tortilla roll stuffed with minced meat, beans, rice, tomato, avocado or cheese.
Tamalis are considered to be the national Mexican dish – a kind of “stuffed cabbage rolls” made of minced meat wrapped in corn cobs leaves. There are more than five hundred types of this dish in the country and an annual festival for the manufacture of tamales is held.
Chimichangi – an envelope of flatbread with meat and beans, poured with cheese.
Enchiladas are tortilla tubes stuffed with cheese, tomato or meat.
The Mexican dish quesadilla is quite well known in different countries. It is made from two tortillas filled with toasted cheese, meat (usually chicken), vegetables and mushrooms. Served with spicy sauce (usually salsa) and sour cream.
As a first course, spicy tortilla soup is a great success. It is a chicken broth with onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, chili and other spices. Served with grated cheese and fried tortilla pieces.
Of the meat dishes, fajita is very popular – grilled beef meat with vegetables, wrapped in a tortilla.
Another roll prepared in the country is chicharoni. Prepared from pieces of fried pork skin.
A very common seafood dish is ceviche – fresh fish marinated in citrus juice.
Tacos – This dish is made from tortillas folded in half, stuffed with minced meat, chili, beans and herbs, as well as stuffed with seafood or fruit.
Sauces, salads and various dishes are served with nachos corn chips.
For many tourists, a salad with the addition of chopped, peeled cacti will seem exotic.
As a side dish, as a rule, beans and rice are used.
Rosca de reyes is considered a famous Mexican dessert – royal bread, sweet in taste, dried fruits and a chrysalis are placed in its core, which is a symbol of the Christ Child and the onset of the fiesta.
Traditional soft drinks: hot chocolate and cocoa.
The national Mexican alcoholic drink is tequila (prepared on the basis of the blue agave fruit).