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Mexico History

When asked by King Carlos V of Spain to describe the topography of Mexico, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes wadded up a piece of paper and handed it to the King. Indeed, Mexico has an extremely diverse and jumbled geography, encompassing nearly every geological formation found in the Western Hemisphere.

According to National Geographic, if you were to “flatten” the topography of Mexico to sea level, its territory would cover all of Asia.

The country covers l,972,552 sq. km – one quarter the size of the continental U.S. Much of it is rugged and mountainous. Sixty percent of the country’s landmass is the “mesa central” or central plateau. This highland area is bordered to the east and west by mountain ranges (Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental, respectively), and to the south by a row of towering, widely spaced volcanoes. The country stretches across 17 degrees of latitude and 30 degrees of longitude. That means it stretches all the way from California to Florida.


It has 13,358 kilometers of border, just under 9,656 km of coastline, and is touched by four major bodies of water: the Sea of Cortes, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean.

So, that’s a lot of lands to explore. For Americans living in Mexico, there are settings as diverse as the Yucatan and Baja California Peninsulas, the ancient lands of Oaxaca and Puebla, the Pacific Riviera resorts, 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and 30 centuries of Mexican culture and history to become acquainted with. That’s a huge undertaking for most US and Canadians who are exploring overseas living. Choosing Mexico can help!