Mexico: useful information

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Mexico tour guide, travel to the country of the high lands, with all the things to know to organize holidays in the state of America.


Mexico in a nutshell

  • Capital: Mexico City
  • Area in sq km: 1,972,547
  • Population: 107,000,000 (2006)
  • Religion: Catholic majority

Where is it

mexico flag Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, Guatemala and Belize to the southeast. It is wet to the west by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and more precisely by the Gulf of Mexico and the Antilles Sea.

Mexico is mainly a country of high lands. Two ranges of reliefs, the Sierra Madre Occidental to the west and the Sierra Madre Orientale to the east, run parallel a short distance from the coasts, and delimit the internal highlands that make up the continental part of Mexico.


Further south, these two chains come together and form the Southern Sierra Madre in which large volcanic cones such as the Citlaltepetl (5700 m.) And the Popocatepetl (5452 m.) Stand out.

To the west, the California Peninsula stretches into the Pacific Ocean, while to the east, the large flat peninsula of Yucatàn stretches between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Plateau

Much of the Mexican territory is located over a thousand meters above sea level and consists mainly of the Central plateau, outlined by the Western Sierra Madre and the Eastern Sierra Madre.


Then there is a transverse volcanic chain and a mountainous region in the south extending to the limestones of Yucatán. Between the Eastern Sierra Madre and the ocean there is a flat area extending to Yucatán.

The coast washed by the Pacific Ocean is high and rocky, while south of Río Balsas are the Sierra Madre del Sur and the Sierra Madre del Chiapas, divided by the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

To the north is the narrow peninsula called Baja California. The largest Mexican river is the Río Bravo del Norte on the border with the United States of America.


Among the various rivers that flow into the Pacific are Sonora, Yaqui, Fuerte, Santiago and Balsas.

Others that instead flow into the Gulf of Mexico are the Pánuco, Tecolutla, Papaloapan, Grijalva and Usumacinta.

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The rivers of the plateau mostly flow into lakes with frequently brackish waters.

Hydrography

The only important river in Mexico is the Rio Grande, which marks a section of the border with the USA.

The largest lake in Mexico is Lake Chapala, located 1500 meters above sea level.

Climate

Mexico is crossed by the tropic of cancer. Temperatures are high.

In particular in the Yucatàn peninsula and on the slopes facing the Atlantic Ocean, the climate is hot and humid, but since this country is mostly mountainous, climatic conditions are influenced by the height of the hills.

- The warm lands along the coast from sea level up to 1000 meters high: tropical climate.

- The temperate lands in the highlands included in the two greenhouses, between 1000 and 2000 meters high: arid temperate climate.


- The cold lands in the highest part of the mountains, above 2000 meters in height: typical mountain climate.

Population

More than half of the population is made up of mestizos, mainly with mixed Spanish-indigenous descent.

The rest is made up of Amerindians and Creoles, mainly descendants of Spanish colonists, as well as a small percentage of Asians and blacks.

Time zone

In Mexico there is a time difference of 7 hours less than in Italy.

Spoken language

The official language of Mexico is Spanish. In addition, various Amerindian languages ​​are officially recognized by the government, including Nahuatl and Maya. English is also spoken in tourist areas.

Economy

Mexico's general economic situation is fairly stable, even if the country still cannot adequately take advantage of its wealth, including oil and mineral reserves, sufficiently trained manpower, tourist wealth and strategic geographical position.


In fact, the industrial system of the country is characterized by a strong presence of multinationals with foreign capital, and by a financial system, now controlled by foreign groups, with the focus on global interests, rather than those of local businesses.

The major parastatal groups, closed to foreign capital, are in difficulty due to the lack of investments, especially in the oil and electricity sector.

In agriculture the main products of Mexico are cereals such as corn, wheat, sorghum, rice, oats, barley and beans.Coffee, sugar, cocoa, bananas and pineapples come from the tropical climate zones, as well as citrus fruits that are also found in temperate climate zones, together with the cultivation of vines and olives.

The cultivation of fiber plants such as cotton, linen and agave is also important.

All these products mostly come from commercial agriculture, while there are small farmers who produce minimal quantities at the limit of survival, forced to leave the countryside for the big cities, thus increasing the number of unemployed.

When to go

The tourist season coincides with the winter months, December is considered high season in Caribbean locations such as Cancun, Riviera Maya and the Yucatàn Peninsula.

In particular November is the recommended month to visit this region, when the rains are over but it is not yet high season.

In Mexico the dry season covers the months from October-November to May, while the period that includes the months June-September are the rainiest and warmest especially in the lower areas of Mexico, and further south as Acapulco on the coast of the Pacific and in places on the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Chiapas (in the south of the country) is the rainiest state, while the northern regions are more arid.

In addition, moving from the coast inland to the mountains, there is a significant variation in temperature depending on the altitude.

Necessary documents

Italian citizens who intend to travel to Mexico must have a passport with residual validity of at least 3 months from the date of entry into the country.

In addition, the tourist card must be presented at the entrance to the country: it is issued by the airline and filled in during the flight, it must be kept during the journey and returned to customs at the time of departure.


For tourism, up to 90 days of stay, a visa is not required. If the stay is longer than 90 days, it is possible to request an extension of the period on the spot, for a maximum total stay of 180 days, at the discretion of the official in charge.

The visa is however mandatory for those who go to Mexico for reasons other than tourism, and must be requested, before departure, at the Consulates of Mexico in Italy.

Vaccinations

No vaccination is mandatory for Mexico, but for those wishing to visit the country's wetlands, antimalarial prophylaxis is recommended.

Phone

- The area code to call from Italy to Mexico is: 0052

- The area code to call from Mexico to Italy is: 0039

Electric current

The electric current is 110 volts with sockets. Therefore a transformer and a power outlet adapter are required.

Currency

The official currency of Mexico is the Nuevo Peso. For payments you can make ATM withdrawals and use credit cards, keeping in mind that not all establishments accept all brands.

How to get

plane
The "Benito Juarez" international airport in Mexico City is the most important airport in the country, and is very well connected with the cities of the United States, Canada, and other locations, including by flights of the American airlines American Airlines, Delta, Continental, which organize flights from Europe to Mexico, calling in the USA.

The airports of Acapulco and Guadalajara are also important, as well as Merida and Cancun, on the Yucatàn peninsula, which are very useful for tourists staying in the Riviera Maya.

In fact, charter flights to these locations are also organized from Italy.

Aeromexico is the Mexican flag carrier, which connects Italy with Mexico through non-direct flights.

Other airlines such as Iberia, Lufthansa, Air France, Klm, organize direct flights to Mexico City, departing from European airports.


Where to go

The attractions of Mexico are very varied and therefore you are spoiled for choice of places to spend a holiday taking a tour of Mexico, among unspoiled natural reserves, beautiful beaches, antiquities, beautiful colonial architecture and colorful parties, testimony rich local cultural traditions.

Travel tips for Mexico's language & culture (July 2020)


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