Geography of Mexico

The high degree of geographic and geological complexity found in Mexico result in a territory conformed by a great variety and diversity of ecosystems, among them forests, jungles, volcanoes, coasts, deserts and great mountain ranges.

The definition of the major geographic zones is highly influenced by the rough topography typical of the Mexican landscape. Great mountain ranges bisect the country : the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental in a north-south
axis; the Sierra Madre del Sur, which runs through the southwest as an extension of the
Sierra Madre de America Central. These three chains are linked by the so-called "volcanic axis", formed by a great number of active volcanoes and which include some of the highest peaks in Mexico such as the Pico de Orizaba, the Popocatepetl and the Iztaccihuatl, all very popular among climbers around the globe.

The north is home to the driest and most arid area in the country, conformed by the states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Durango and Sonora. Deserts and plains in this area present the highest temperatures (above 43o C in daytime) and the lowest rates of rainfall in the country. Accordingly, only flora and fauna that adapts to this extreme conditions can be found in this part of the country, such as cactus, snakes, foxes and armadillos. Larger animals such as deer, mountain lions and wolves are hard to find as they have been displaced by development to the most remote regions.

The states of Baja California Sur and Norte are being effectively detached from the continental tectonic plate by the San Andreas fault, a geological fact that also affects the state of California in the U.S. This gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortes, enjoys such diversity in marine life that it contains a third of all water mammal species that can be found in the oceans, and is also a popular tourist spot because it is frequently visited by whales and dolphins.
The west coast of the country, along the Gulf of Mexico, is a vast plain that contains all the costal states : Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, and the peninsula of Yucatan, which divides the Gulf of the Caribbean Sea. Abundant marine life and great formations of coral reef present in the coasts of Yucatan and Quintana-Roo, make this area a favorite destination for those inclined towards diving and snorkeling.

The historic central area of the country is occupied by Ciudad de Mexico, the capital city, and the states of Mexico, Michoacan, Guerrero, Puebla, Morelos and part of the state of Nayarit. The area enjoys a pleasant and cool climate throughout most the year since it is surrounded by the "volcanic axis" formed by various peaks that are snowcapped for as long as five months every year.

The Pacific coast in Mexico, with virgin beaches and great tourist centers, represents an ideal destination for the visitor. This coastal plain offers the famous beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Mazatlan and Ixtapa, where hot and humid weather is to be expected from May through September, followed by the hurricane season.
The south east of Mexico is home to the state of Chiapas, rich with natural resources due to the fact that it is flanked by the mountain range known as the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, and that it also contains the thick jungle called the Lancandona, the largest in the country and the home of thousands of species of tropical plants and animals such as the cockatoo, the ocelot, the jaguar, and several kinds of monkeys and parakeets.


Articles for Geography of Mexico

Centla Swamps
One of the most important ecosystems in our country is, beyond a doubt, the Tabasco wetlands known as ‘Centla Swamps’, a marshy region inhabited by Olmeca and Mayan cultures around 1,000 A.D. Read More>>


Hurricane Karl and its Devastation
This meteorological phenomenon began as a low-pressure system near the northern coast of Venezuela on September 11, 2010; it kept moving Read More>>


Isthmus of Tehuantepec
The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is the shortest route to cross the country between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Its name originated from the city of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, in the State of Oaxaca, of Nahuatl origin, it means “jaguar hill”. Read More>>


La Yesca Dam
Hydroelectric dam La Yesca is located 105 kilometers northeast of Guadalajara, between the States of Jalisco and Nayarit. Its construction will create 10,000 jobs and cost 767 million dollars. Read More>>


Mexico's 10 most beautiful caves
A heavenly show is exhibited when the waterfall gets hit by sunlight, creating a breathtaking rainbow surrounded by the exuberant flora that covers its walls. Read More>>


The “Baluarte Bicentenario” Bridge in Mexico
The “Baluarte Bicentenario” Bridge (or Bicentennial Stronghold Bridge) is located in the mountainous area called "The Devil's Backbone" and is part of the works and memorials that Read More>>


The British Petroleum (BP) and the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
April 20, 2010, was the beginning of what could be one of the biggest ecological disasters in history. There was an explosion on the Read More>>


The Marías Islands
An enigmatic place and unknown to many, the archipelago of the Islas Marías, located in the Mexican Pacific 69 miles away from the Nayarit Read More>>


The Worst Earthquakes in Mexico
Since we are located in a great seismic zone of the world (the San Andrés Fault in Baja California, Mexico´s location in the fire belt of the pacific and the country´s distribution among Read More>>


Page: 1 of 1 (9 articles returned)
Subscribe and share

The War of Reform, History of Mexico

Mexico’s War of Reform, also known as the Three Year War, occurred from December 17, 1857 to January 1, 1861. This armed conflict
Read More>>


5th of February, Commemoration of the Constitution’s Promulgation

The 1917 Constitution is the result of a long historical process that started even before the Mexican Revolution. The Political
Read More>>


The Cristero War

The Cristero War is also known as Cristiada. It was an armed struggle between the Government and the Church from 1926 to 1929. If was fought
Read More>>


Miguel Hidalgo, Mexican Independence

Miguel Hidalgo is one of the most recognized characters in the movement for Mexico’s Independence. His full name was Miguel Gregorio
Read More>>


The Most Important Natural Disasters Occurred in Mexico

Climatic change is currently a recurrent topic. The phenomenon is the result of centuries of human activity, mainly the transformation and
Read More>>