NOTE: This is a guest post

A watchtower at the Mayan ruins of Palenque in Mexico
A watchtower at the Mayan ruins of Palenque in Mexico

Mexico is a large and populous country in North America: it is located to the south of the United States where it borders on Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California; Guatemala bookends the country to the south. The country has a large seaboard on both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, many beachside resorts dot its shores.

Mexico itself is an enormous place with a total area of 2 million square kilometres; population density is high with 111 million people – this makes it the 11th most populous country in the world.

Major Cities:

Mexico City is the country’s capital and its largest city with a population of over 20 million. Guadalajara and Monterrey are also very large with populations of over 4 million. Tourists tend to concentrate in major resort towns, with Cancun and Acapulco proving to be the most popular.

Climate and Geography:

A wooden raft at Agua Clara in Mexio
A wooden raft at Agua Clara in Mexio

Mexico is split into two climactic zones: north of the 24th parallel the weather is temperate and snow and colder winters occur, to the south the weather is distinctly tropical with warm weather all year round – this has made the country very popular for holiday makers during the winter months.

The terrain varies greatly over the span of the country with deserts, mountainous areas, beaches and jungles all making appearances. Mexico is home to between 10 and 12 per cent of the globe’s biodiversity with particularly high levels of reptiles and mammals. Animals such as the golden eagle and the jaguar can be found, though they are of course quite rare.

Tourists interested in exploring the interior can do so by road: the Sierra Madre mountain ranges, which are an extension of the Rocky Mountains, are a notable attraction for outdoor enthusiasts.

So Tell Me More About Mexico…

San Cristobol Church in Chiapas, Mexico
San Cristobol Church in Chiapas, Mexico

Mexico is a highly developed tourist economy which has capitalized on the growth of package holidays: resorts such as Cancun and Acapulco are packed with hotels, restaurants and other amenities that cater to tourists of all ages. The chief draw to these sites is the laidback culture, warm weather and sandy beaches. Approximately 20 million tourists visit each year.

From a governmental standpoint, Mexico is a stable democracy with a dynamic and growing population. Mexico City is a particularly vibrant metropolis which has seen significant civic improvement in the past decade. Crime is high in some areas, yet tourist areas are generally very safe.

Outside of tourism the country’s economy has developed significantly – its GDP is the 13th largest in the world and it has established its place as a large emerging nation. The country’s population and economy are expected to grow markedly in the next few decades.

Tourist Attractions:

So just what is there to do in Mexico? Here are some suggestions…

Agua Azul, Mexico
Agua Azul, Mexico

Mexico City
El Castillo
The Mayan Riviera
Chapultepec Park and Zoo
Parque Mexico and Parque España
Dia de Muertos (The Day of the Dead)

Travel Resources

Lonely Planet provides an excellent synopsis of the country, while their guide book is an exhaustive resource. Visit Mexico and Wikitravel are good general resources as well.