Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Western Hemisphere and is rich in natural resources. The nation’s capital, Mexico City, is one of the largest cities in the world. Mexico is bordered by the United States on the north, the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea on the east, and Guatemala and Belize on the south. It a diverse topography and climate and is crossed by two major mountain chains, the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre Oriental. Mexico features volcanic peaks, snow-capped mountains, tropical rain forests, and internationally famous beaches. Mexico City is an enormous metropolitan area and dominates the rest of the country’s culture, economy, and politics. Nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population lives in the immediate vicinity of the capital. Mexico City is also a central hub for Mexico’s transportation network.
Mexico and the United States share a border that is 1,900 mi long, much of which is formed by the Río Grande. This proximity has prompting several million Mexicans to move north to the border region or to the United States itself. It has also affected the culture of both Mexico and the United States, fostering the development of a number of communities along the border that mix the cultures of both nations.
The people of Mexico reflect the country’s rich history. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the early 16th century soon led to widespread intermarriage and racial mixing between Spaniards and Native Americans. As late as the early 19th century, Native Americans accounted for nearly two-thirds of the population in the region.
Mexico is popular with travelers for its sunshine, blue seas teeming with fish and coral, crystal-white beaches, lofty mountains and volcanoes, jungles full of exotic wildlife, collectible folk art and the breathtaking remains of ancient cultures. And some go for a less lofty reason: Mexico can be cheap, though you may have to get out of the popular resort areas to enjoy big savings.
Mexico is a large country with diverse landscapes. Much of the northern part of the country is on a high plateau and is made up of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts. Two mountain chains - the Sierra Madre Occidental, to the west, and the Sierra Madre Oriental, to the east - extend for a good length of the country. Mexico also incorporates arid coastal plains and the Yucatan's thick tropical jungle. Washed by the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of California and the Caribbean Sea, the country has a long and alluring coastline.
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