Mexico Travel Facts

By | May 12, 2022

Based on map by DigoPaul, Mexico is located in North America, bordered by the United States to the north and Belize and Guatemala to the south. Ancient pyramids and places of worship, fantastically beautiful beaches, deserts and pine forests – Mexico has many exciting sides. However, when traveling across the country, travelers should always pay attention to their safety and current safety instructions from the authorities.

Capital City Mexico City
Size 1,972,550 km²
Resident 124,574,795
Official Language Spanish, various indigenous languages
Currency Mexican peso
Time Zone UTC-5 to -8
Telephone Area Code +52

Fast facts to know

  • Mexico is the fourth largest auto exporter in the world.
  • Around 83 percent of the population is Catholic.
  • The country’s national drink is tequila.
  • Lucha Libre is the very popular Mexican wrestling.
  • Day of the Dead is one of the country’s most important holidays.
  • There is an underwater museum off the coast of Cancún.
  • Around 33 percent of Mexico’s population suffers from obesity.
  • Mexicans love tacos.
  • The dahlia is the national flower of Mexico.
  • Waiters only bring the bill when you ask for it.
  • Almost all streets within cities are one-way streets.
  • Especially in Mexico City, traffic is chaotic.
  • A passport that is valid for at least 6 months and a tourist card are required to enter Mexico.
  • Mexico has a high crime rate.
  • Safety instructions from the Federal Foreign Office should be observed.
  • Mains voltage 110 volts, the sockets for two-pin flat plugs (like in the USA).
  • Photographs of archaeological sites without a flash, natives don’t like being photographed, no photos of police and military installations.
  • Mexicans are very social and love their traditional fiestas more than anything.
  • Hurricane season in Mexico runs from May to November.
  • Malaria, Zika virus, dengue fever, diarrheal diseases, etc. are common diseases, prevention against typhoid and hepatitis is recommended.

Exciting cities in Mexico

  • Mexico City
  • Guadalupe
  • Puebla
  • Acapulco
  • Patzcuaro
  • Guanajuato
  • Oaxaca
  • tlacotalpan
  • Campeche
  • San Miguel de Allende
  • Tequila in Jalisco
  • Taxco in Guerrero
  • Izamal
  • Tlalpujahua

History of Mexico

  • First settlement about 20,000 to 22,000 years ago.
  • 1500 to 900 BC first traces of agriculture.
  • 100 to 900 AD Mesoamerican Civilizations.
  • Maya, Olmec, Toltec and Aztec cultures follow.
  • Around 1500 AD the Aztecs are the dominant people in Mexico.
  • 1517 Spaniards reach Yucatan.
  • Overthrow of the Aztec Empire and subjugation of the Maya by the Spanish.
  • Mexico becomes the Viceroyalty of New Spain and an important Spanish possession due to its gold and silver wealth.
  • 1810 Declaration of Independence from Spain, followed by a long war.
  • 1821 final independence.
  • 1823 Mexico became a republic.
  • In 1845 Texas was annexed by the USA.
  • 1846 US invasion leads to the Mexican-American War.
  • 1848 Defeat of Mexico followed by ceding of what would later become the US states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.
  • 1861/62 Debt crisis leads to partial occupation by France, the United Kingdom and Spain.
  • Expulsion of the French with the help of the USA.
  • 1910 Long dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz leads to the Mexican Revolution.
  • Mexico gained great importance as a country of exile for Europeans during fascism.
  • During World War II, Mexico remained neutral until 1941 and then fought on the Allied side.
  • 1945 Mexico becomes a founding member of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and, in 1948, the Organization of American States.
  • Between the 1940s and 1970s, Mexico experienced a strong economic boom.
  • Today still characterized by ongoing drug wars.

Climate & travel weather in Mexico

  • Northwest: subtropical climate with wet winters.
  • South: distinct dry (Dec-May) and wet (June-Nov) seasons.
  • Tropical cyclones threaten from June to November.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • October-May.
    • Northwest: also suitable for the summer months.

Ideas for trips in Mexico

  • Chichen Itza
  • Cenote Diving
  • Tulum
  • Train ride through the Copper Canyon
  • Teotihuacan ruins
  • Mayan city of Palenque
  • Sanctuary of Monte Alban
  • Floating Gardens of Xochimilco
  • Las Pozas Natural Park
  • Pyramid of El Tajin niche
  • Mayan city of Uxmal
  • Spot gray whales off the coast of Baja California
  • Enjoy gorgeous white sandy beaches

Food & Drink in Mexico

  • Cuisine is colourful, spicy and varied.
  • Finger foods such as quesadillas or buñuelos are very popular.
  • Chili peppers and herbs belong in almost every dish.
  • Most important food: corn.
  • Well-known and popular specialties: enchiladas, tostada, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas.
  • Incidentally, chili con carne does not originally come from Mexico.
  • Beans are also very popular and often served.
  • Chocolate belongs in many savory dishes.
  • Salsas are popular and very common – whether raw, cooked, mild or hot, they usually contain chilies.
  • Delicatessen: Chayotes, Nopales.
  • More exotic ingredients: pumpkin blossoms, prickly pear leaves, agave, banana leaves.
  • Breakfast is usually rich.
  • Lunch only from 2 p.m., often just as a snack.
  • Dinner not before 9 p.m., mostly rich.
  • For sweet desserts, there are sweet puddings or paleta (Mexican ice cream).
  • Fish and seafood are also popular dishes along the Pacific coast.
  • Good local beers: Bohemia, Carta Blanca, Corona.
  • Popular aperitifs: piña colada, margarita.
  • Good local wines.
  • Fresh juices and fruit stands are widely available and highly recommended.
  • Tap water, ice cream, drinks cooled with ice cubes, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruit should be avoided.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Chiles en Nogada (stuffed chili peppers in walnut sauce).
    • Pozole (corn stew with pork, chili, onions).
    • Tortillas (corn flat cakes with savory meat and bean mixes).
    • Mole Poblano (Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Sauce, Nuts, Chili Peppers, Tomatoes).
    • Guacamole (paste made from pureed avocados, tomatoes, coriander, lime juice, chillies).
    • Pescado a la Veracruzana (fish fillet with tomato, caper, chili, green olive sauce).
    • Huevos rancheros (fried eggs on tortillas with chili sauce and bean mash).
    • Huevos a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs with tomato and chili).
    • Cabrito (grilled or roasted goat meat).
    • Caldo Tlalpeño (chicken, onion, chilli and avocado broth).
    • Carne Asada (thin, fried beef slices).
    • Chicharrones (crispy baked pieces of pork rind).
    • Chilaquiles (tortilla pieces with cheese, tomato sauce, onions).
    • Cochinita pibil (Yucatec wild boar dish).
    • Huachinango a la Veracruzana (redfish in a spicy tomato sauce with capers and olives).
    • Pechuga en Nogada (chicken breast in nut sauce).
    • Poc-Chuc (Yucatec pork marinated in orange juice).
    • Pollo Asado (spicy fried chicken).
    • Tamales (corn balls steamed in corn husks and filled with meat and chili).

Particularly scenic

  • Mount Pico de Orizaba
  • National Parks:
    • Sierra San Pedro Martir
    • Constitution of 1857
    • Sumidero Canyon
  • Waterfalls of Agua Azul & Misol-Ha
  • Island of Cozumel
  • Nevado de Toluca volcano
  • Celestún Biosphere Reserve
  • Caribbean coast of the Riviera Maya

Mexico Travel Facts