Mexico

Driving Directions Mexico

MEXICO is a vast, densely populated country whose people are Spanish-speaking. It is bounded in the north by its long border with the USA. In the south, it shares a long border with Guatemala and a short­er one with Belize.

The Gulf of Mexico and the northern Caribbean Sea lie to the east, the Gulf of California to the northwest and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest

Driving Directions



Mexico is a land of stark geographical contrasts and includes most vegetational zones. It is dominated by a broad, central plateau that lies between two high mountain ranges running from north­west to southeast, the Sierra Madre Oriental in the east, and the Sierra Madre Occidental in the west.

Google maps™ Mexico


In the south, they unite to form an impres­sive range of volcanic mountains, the Sierra Madre del Sur. In this area are situated Mexico’s highest peaks, some of which are still active vol­canoes. The highest of these, Citlaltepetl, reaches a height of 5,699 meters or 18,697 feet. Mexico City, the capital, is also situated in this area.

The northern part of the country is arid semidesert where cacti and yucca, wolves and coyotes can be found. The coastal plains, lower mountain slopes and the narrow neck or isthmus of Tehuantepec support lush, tropical vegetation and are inhabited by such animals as jaguars and peccaries. Higher up the mountain slopes, temperate forests of oaks and conifers, in which may be found bears and pumas, give way to sparse Arctic vegetation at the highest altitudes. The northwest coast along the Gulf of California is swampy, humid country and lies opposite the narrow, mountainous peninsula of Baja California. Similar conditions occur in the southeast along the coast of Campeche and Yucatan, where there are many lagoons.

Mexico has few rivers or lakes of any size except the Rio Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande) which runs from northwest to southeast along the border with the USA. Much of Mexico receives relatively little rainfall, with about 75 per cent falling in the regions east of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Gulf coast and the Yucatan Peninsula. The isthmus of Tehuantepec also receives a reasonable amount of rain.

The arid and mountainous conditions mean that only about 15 percent of the land is suitable for farming, and this relies heavily on irrigation schemes. Crops include maize, sorghum, sugar cane, wheat, coffee, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, cotton, and potatoes. The most important domestic animals are goats, sheep, horses, donkeys and mules, and poultry.

Forestry is an essential natural resource, the exploitation of which is now strictly regulated. Mexico has valuable mineral reserves of industrial and precious commodities, including petroleum, natural gas, silver, and gold.

With over 6 million tourists a year visiting Mexico, tourism also makes an essential contribution to the country’s economy.

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