Mexico, officially the United Mexican States is a federal republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost two million square kilometers (over 760,000 sq mi), Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the eleventh most populous and the most populous Spanish speaking country in the world and the second most populous country in Latin America. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty one states and a federal district, its capital and largest city.
From the rocky beaches of the Pacific coast to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, plus all the quaint pueblos in between, Mexico is a large and diverse country that offers something of interest to nearly every visitor. If you're considering taking a trip to Mexico, you might have several reasons for doing so. Whether you're looking to spend a few peaceful days in a large beachfront resort, or travel through small towns, visiting ancient ruins and sampling the piquant local fare, Mexico is ready to welcome you.
Mexico's coasts attract visitors looking to relax and enjoy a sunny beachfront vacation. Large resorts line many of Mexico's beaches, offering a laid-back getaway to sand- and surf-seeking travelers. Choose from the calm, sandy beaches of the Mexican Riviera that line the Gulf of Mexico, where you can splash in the surf or partake in some snorkeling or jet-skiing, right from the shore. Or, opt for a trip to Mexico's western coast and stay in a resort perched atop the rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where you can enjoy fishing trips and scuba diving in the deep, cool waters.
Mexican cuisine isn't just about tacos and tamales. Visit the inland cities of Puebla and Oaxaca to sample different varieties of mole, a sauce made with toasted chilies and chocolate. In the coastal regions, sample local seafood dishes, such as snapper Veracruz style, a meal made with whole snapper prepared with tomatoes, chilies and olives. Head down to Baja California to sample Mexico's finest wines and visit the home of the fish taco.
Home to strolling mariachis and several world-famous artists, Mexico welcomes visitors looking to immerse themselves in the country's vibrant culture. Find a local nightclub or concert hall in any sizable Mexico City and catch a performance by a rumba or norteno band. Visit the artists' colony of San Miguel de Allende to watch artisans in action as they create their handicrafts. Or head to populous Mexico City to visit art museums filled with work by some of Mexico's finest artists, including Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
History buffs can step back to the days when the Mayans ruled Mexico. Visit the ruins of two Mayan cities in the Yucatan Peninsula at Tulum and Chichen Itza, and walk among the stone pyramids that once housed some of Mexico's earliest residents.