Flag of Mexico

Flag of Mexico

  • Officially » Estados Unidos Mexicanos
    • United Mexican States (English)
  • Capital » Mexico City
    • 8.855 million people
      • One of the world’s largest metropolises.
      • Largest in North America


  • 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
  • Emergency numbers » 911


  • Area: 1.96 million sq km (758,449 sq miles)
  • Neighbouring Countries: USA, Belize, Guatemala
Map of Mexico (Source » France, June 2021)

Map of Mexico (Source » France, June 2021)



  • Canadians allowed to stay up to 180 days without a visa.
  • There has numerous fascinating archaeological sites to explore.
  • A Spanish colony for much of its past, Mexico is sprawling country steeped in history and rich cultural traditions.
  • On the verge of overtourism: Mexico City (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2019)
  • Mexico is the second most visited country in North America after the USA.


  • Road Traffic » Drives on the right
  • Baja California is an overlanders’ highlight

World Rankings for Mexico

  • Ranked 140th on the Global World Peace Index 2021 (Ahead of the USA)
  • 31st  in Best Countries Overall 2021 (US News and World Report)
    • #6 in the world for Adventure 
    • #33 Best Countries Overall in 2020
  • World Economic Forum (2018)
    • 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


  • World’s largest exporter of beer
  • 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.
  • Mexico has the second-largest economy in Latin America, and is a major oil exporter.

Safety and Security

  • Violent crimes, including homicides, kidnappings, carjacking and extortions continue to increase year-after-year, nationwide in Mexico, even in popular tourist destinations.
  • Many areas are now considered unsafe red zones by various international government travel advisories.
  • Tens of thousands of people have been killed in drugs-related gang violence in the past decade.


  • From the Travel Canada web site for Canadians »
    • Legitimate police officers have extorted money from tourists or arrested tourists for minor offences or traffic violations. Travellers driving rental cars have been targeted. If this occurs »
      • don’t hand over your money or your passport
      • ask for the officer’s name, badge and patrol car number
      • ask for a copy of the written fine, which is payable at a later date

Government Travel Advice




This page was last updated on 2021.07.20 by Robert Vinet