- Officially: United Mexican States
- Capital: Mexico City
- 8.855 million people
- One of the world’s largest metropolises.
- Largest in North America
- 8.855 million people
- Population 116 million
- Language Spanish (English is widely spoken, especially in larger centers)
- Religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 75 years (men), 80 years (women)
- Currency: peso MXN)
- Time Zones: Mexico spans four time zones. Eastern Time is GMT−5, Central Time is GMT−6, Mountain Time is GMT−7, and Pacific Time is GMT−8. In all states except Sonora, clocks move forward an hour in March and back an hour in November.
- Electricity: 120 volts, 60Hz. Standard plugs have two flat blades. Plugs with two flat blades and a round pin are also used.
- International dialling code: +52
- Internet domain: .mx
- Emergency numbers: 911
- Area: 1.96 million sq km (758,449 sq miles)
- Maps: Open Street Maps | Google
- Neighbouring Countries: USA | Belize | Guatemala
- A Spanish colony for much of its past, Mexico is sprawling country steeped in history and rich cultural traditions.
- There has numerous fascinating archaeological sites to explore.
- Mexico has the world’s largest Spanish-speaking population.
- Family is at the core of everything in Mexico, taking precedence over work.
- Mexicans are warm, congenial people who are known for being helpful with a strong community spirit.
- Mexicans are known for their laid-back approach to life. The flip side is that getting things done can take some time.
- There’s an element of machismo in interactions between men and women, sometimes bordering on sexism by Western standards. Although women are revered as mothers, men are the dominant decision-makers in the family.
- Women pat each other on the forearm or shoulder when they meet. It’s best for men to wait for women to offer their hand first. A kiss on the cheek is customary among friends.
- If you’re invited to someone’s home for dinner, never take red or yellow flowers because they’re associated with the Day of the Dead.
- Mexicans will often arrive late for social occasions, but it is considered rude to arrive any more than half an hour late to a dinner hosted at the home of a Mexican.
- If you want to take a pet to Mexico, they must be vaccinated and have a health certificate issued by a vet in your home country just before you leave.
- There are wide discrepancies in wealth – and poverty and unemployment are widespread.
- Mexico is very bureaucratic, which is a source of frustration for travellers and locals alike. Getting almost anything done usually requires a capacity to tolerate delays and reams of paperwork.
- Outside tourist traps, the cost of living is low, so much so that many expats enjoy a better quality of life than they did back in their home country.
- The News is a popular English-language daily that’s published in Mexico City. There are few English-language radio stations.
- Mexico has the second-largest economy in Latin America, and is a major oil exporter.
- Many Mexicans have sought to cross the 3,000-km border with the US in search of a job and better life.
- Tens of thousands of people have been killed in drugs-related gang violence in the past decade.
- On the verge of overtourism: Mexico City (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2019)
- Mexico is the second most visited country in North America after the US.
- Road Traffic: Drives on the right
- Baja California may be an overlanders paradise
Mexico’s World Rankings in 2018 (WEF)
- Roads quality: 47th
- Innovation capability: 50th
- Life expectancy: 55th
- Quality of vocational training: 59th
- Property rights: 85th
- Judicial independence: 110th
- Freedom of the press: 120th
- Reliability of police services: 138th
Safety & Security
- While violent crime often makes international headlines, this is often linked to the illegal drug trade and rarely affects travellers.
Government Travel Advisory