Television has shaped the image of Mexico as a very poor country, where drug cartels are constantly at war with each other. But in fact, this is not at all the case. Every year, more than 20 million foreign tourists come to this country to see the unique monuments and pyramids of the Maya and Aztec Indians, ancient Spanish forts, colonial palaces, try unforgettable Mexican cuisine, and, of course, relax in Mexican beach resorts, among which “shine » Acapulco and Cancun.
Mexico is located in the south of North America. Mexico borders the United States to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the southeast. In the southeast, the country is washed by the Caribbean Sea, in the east by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and in the south and west by the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Mexico consists of several islands in the Pacific Ocean, including the Revilla Gigedo group of islands and the island of Guadalupe. The total area of this state, including the islands, is 1,972,550 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 4,353 km.
From north to south, the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Occidental mountain ranges stretch across Mexico, located between the Mexican Highlands. In the south, the mountain system Sierra Madre South dominates. The highest local peak is Mount Orizaba, whose height reaches 5,700 meters.
Seismic activity is quite high in Mexico. In addition, there are many volcanoes, some of which are still active (for example, Colima and Paricutin).
The largest Mexican rivers are Usumacinta (560 km), Grijalva (480 km), Papaloapan (534 km), Coatzacoalcos (282 km).
Capital of Mexico
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. More than 9 million people now live in this city. Historians claim that Mexico City was founded by the Aztec Indians in 1325.
In Mexico, one official language is Spanish.
More than 82% of the inhabitants are Catholics, about 9% are Protestants.
According to diseaseslearning.com, Mexico is a presidential republic in which the head of state is the President (he is elected by popular vote for 6 years).
The bicameral Mexican parliament is called the Congress, it consists of the Senate (128 senators, elected for 6 years) and the Chamber of Deputies (500 deputies, elected for 3 years).
The main political parties are the Institutional Revolutionary Party, the National Action Party, the Democratic Revolution Party, the Green Party and the Labor Party.
Administratively, Mexico is divided into 31 states and one federal district, centered on Mexico City.
Climate and weather
The climate is tropical and temperate, depending on the region and altitude in relation to sea level. On the Yucatan Peninsula, the average annual air temperature is + 26-30C.
The rainy season lasts from May to October. During the rest of the year, it also rains, but much less frequently. In general, you can relax in Mexico all year round, but it depends on the destinations where tourists want to go (some destinations are better to choose in certain months).
Average air temperature in Cancun (Caribbean coast):
- January – +23C
- February – +23С
- March – +25С
- April – +26C
- May – +27C
- June – +28C
- July – +28C
- August – +28C
- september – +28C
- october – +27C
- November – +25C
- december – +24C
Seas and oceans of Mexico
In the southeast, the country is washed by the Caribbean Sea, and in the south and west by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The total length of the coastline is 9,330 km.
Average sea temperature off the coast of Cancun (Caribbean coast):
- January – +26C
- February – +26С
- March – +26С
- April – +27С
- May – +28C
- June – +29C
- july – +29C
- August – +29С
- september – +29C
- october – +29C
- November – +28С
- december – +27С
Rivers and lakes
Several fairly large rivers flow through Mexico – Usumacinta (560 km), Grijalva (480 km), Papaloapan (534 km), Coatzacoalcos (282 km). In the state of Guadalajara, at an altitude of 1524 meters above sea level, there is a freshwater lake Chapala, with an area of 1,100 square meters. km, the largest in this country.
History of Mexico
People settled on the territory of modern Mexico several thousand years ago. In the early centuries of our century, several Indian tribes lived there, including the famous Maya, who created hieroglyphic writing, a calendar and grandiose pyramids. Around the 12th century, the Aztecs arrived there.
At the beginning of the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico, led by Hernandez de Cordoba, Juan de Grijalva and Hernan Cortes. After some time, Mexico became part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and remained a Spanish colony until 1821.
In 1823, after a long war of independence, the Republic of Mexico was proclaimed. Throughout the 19th century, bloody wars took place on the territory of this country, as a result of which the Mexican states of Texas, New Mexico, and Upper California ceded to the United States.
Not without wars for Mexico and the beginning of the XX century. From 1910 to 1917, the civil war continued there. As a result, the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz was overthrown, and the Constitution was adopted, which guaranteed the separation of church and state, agrarian reform, the creation of trade unions, etc.
Since the 1950s, in Mexico, where there are very large oil reserves, an economic recovery begins. In the mid-1980s, oil prices fall and Mexico begins an economic and political crisis. Now this country is still experiencing economic problems, but the situation is quite stable.
The culture of Mexico was formed on the basis of the traditions of the Indians, and then the Spaniards had a strong influence on it. Every Mexican city or town has its own festival in honor of a saint.
At the end of February, a grandiose Carnival takes place in Mexico City, which usually lasts 5 days. All these 5 days, colorful processions with music and dances pass through the streets of the Mexican capital.
December 12 in Mexico City and in some other Mexican cities celebrate the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, with a lot of different events. In the capital’s Basilica de Guadalupe square, colorful performances take place on this day.
September 16 marks the most revered national Mexican holiday – Independence Day.
Mexican cuisine is famous all over the world. The staple foods are corn, beans, rice and vegetables. Important ingredients for preparing Mexican dishes are spices and hot chili peppers.
The diet of the Mayan Indians once upon a time consisted mainly of corn and some vegetables, spices, herbs and chili were used in the preparation of dishes. After the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, the diet of the Indians was replenished with animal meat and fish. Thanks to the fusion of the culinary traditions of the Indians and the Spaniards, modern Mexican cuisine was formed.
In the south of the country, dishes are spicier than in the north. By the way, in the south of meat dishes, tourists are usually offered chicken, and beef is more common in the north. In general, each region or city has its own special dish – “cochinita pibil” (Yucatan) and “huevos rancheros” (Sonora).
We recommend that tourists first ask what this or that dish is prepared from, because. some of them may seem very exotic to Europeans. For example, for lunch you can be served “Chapulines” (fried grasshoppers).
Tourists in Mexico are recommended to try:
- “Guacamole” – sauce with fried pieces of tortilla;
- “Tacos Tortillas” – cakes with different fillings (most often meat filling);
- “Pozole” – chicken or pork soup with corn and spices;
- “Carnitas” – fried pork;
- “Chilaquiles” – fried potatoes with tomatoes;
- “Sopes” – cornmeal patty with chicken, cheese and spicy sauce;
- “Tostados” – tortilla with chicken, beans, tomatoes, onions, cream, cheese and hot sauce;
- “Huachinango” – perch;
- “Ceviche” – raw fish with lime juice (it is added to the salad).
- “Pollo Pibil” – grilled chicken marinated in spices and wrapped in banana leaves.
Traditional alcoholic drinks are beer, tequila, “tepache” (made from pineapple), “tuba” (fermented coconut palm juice) and “pulque” (fermented agave juice with a strength of 5-8 °).
Landmarks of Mexico
In Mexico, there are now several thousand archaeological, historical and architectural sites. The most famous of them are, of course, the Mayan and Aztec pyramids. But this country also has many medieval Spanish forts, churches and palaces. The top ten Mexican attractions, in our opinion, include the following:
- Pyramid of the Sun
- Pyramid of the Moon
- Pyramid in Cholula
- Pyramids of Mitle and Monte Alban
- Mayan city of Chichen Itza
- Cathedral in Mexico City
- Palace of the Cortes in Mexico City
- National Palace in Mexico City
- Mayan city of Uxmal
- Mayan city of Palenque
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are Tijuana, Puebla, Ecatepec de Morelos, León, Ciudad Juarez, Monterrey, Zapopan, and, of course, Mexico City.
Tourists come to Mexico mainly for a beach holiday, although there, of course, there are many historical sights left from the pre-Columbian era. The most popular Mexican beach resorts are Acapulco, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Mazatlán, Costa Maya and Zihuatanejo. Acapulco and Cancun are very popular among foreigners.
Some of the best Mexican beaches are, in our opinion, the following:
- Playa del Carmen
- Puerto Vallarta
- Los Cabos
Souvenirs in Mexico (“reminder”) are probably best bought at roadside stalls and rural markets. Tourists buy ceramics in this country, a Piñata toy (an ancient game of the Aztecs), dresses, blouses, handmade blankets and carpets, leather goods (purses, wallets, belts, sandals), silver and coral products, cigars, chocolate, vanilla, various Mexican sauces, and, of course, tequila.
Some banks are also open on Sundays.
Supermarkets in Mexico City are open 7 days a week, with some of them open 24 hours a day.
Ukrainians need a visa to visit Mexico.
The Mexican peso is the official currency in Mexico. Its international designation is MXN. One peso = 100 centavos. Many hotels, restaurants and large shops accept credit cards (VISA or MasterCard, less often American Express). Where credit cards are not accepted, it says “Lo Sentimos – No Tarjetas de Crédito” (“Unfortunately, no credit cards”). Traveler’s checks are not very common.
Foreign currency can be imported and exported without restrictions, but it must be declared. Mexican pesos can be imported (or exported) for an amount that does not exceed the equivalent of 10 thousand dollars.
It is forbidden to import plants, flowers, meat, vegetables, fruits, firearms and edged weapons. Cats and dogs can be imported if they have a certificate from a veterinarian and if they have been vaccinated against rabies (this must be documented).
Items of archeology, history, art, gold, as well as rare animals and birds cannot be exported.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Mexico in Ukraine:
Address: 01004, Kiev, st. Vladimirskaya, 63
T: (044) 251-29-44
Email. mail: [email protected]
Embassy of Ukraine in Mexico:
Paseo de la Reforma 730
Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec
Delegacion Miguel Hidalgo
CP 11000, Mexico, DF
5282-4789 Email: [email protected]
065 – Ambulance
066 – Police
068 – Fire brigade
911 – All emergencies
Behind Kyiv for 8 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv it is 13:00, then in Mexico City it is only 05:00.
Tipping in Mexico is widespread, it is 10-15% of the bill (in restaurants most often 10%). The maid in the room for “tea” is given 1-2 dollars a day. Never offer a tip if you don’t like the service.
Doctors recommend tourists before traveling to Mexico to make several preventive vaccinations (for example, against typhoid fever, malaria, rabies and hepatitis A).
The crime rate in Mexico cannot be called low, however, everything is relative. So, residents of the US state of Texas are 2 times safer to rest in Mexico than to live in their own city or town (if we compare statistics on crimes for every 100,000 inhabitants).
The vast majority of foreign tourists who come on vacation to Mexico have a pleasant and interesting time, and do not have any problems. However, you should not forget about reasonable precautions.