Mexico Destinations Travel Guide

Flag of Mexico

Language: Spanish

Currency: Peso (MXN)


Description of Mexico

Mexico, whose official name is the United Mexican States, is an American country located in the southern part of North America. Its capital is Mexico City. Politically it is a democratic, representative and federal republic composed of 32 federative entities (31 states and the federal capital). The Mexican territory has an area of ​​1,964,375 km², making it the fourteenth largest country in the world and the third largest in Latin America. It is bordered on the north by the United States of America along a 3155 km border, while on the south it has a border of 958 km with Guatemala and 276 km with Belize, the coasts of the country border on the west with the Pacific Ocean and to the east with the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, adding 9330 km, making it the third largest American country on its coasts.

Mexico is the eleventh most populous country in the world, with an estimated population of more than 124 million people in 2017, most of which have Spanish as their mother tongue, which the state recognizes as a national language along with 67 indigenous languages own of the nation. In the country around 287 languages ​​are spoken, due to the characteristics of its population, it is the most populous Spanish-speaking country, as well as the seventh country with the greatest linguistic diversity in the world.

The human presence in Mexico dates back to 14,000 years before the present. After thousands of years of cultural development, the Mesoamerican, aridoamerican and oasisamerican cultures arose in the Mexican territory. The current territory of Mexico was the main center of the greatest civilizations of the Aztec people and, in part, of the Mayan people, the two most important civilizations of pre-Columbian America. After almost 300 years of Spanish domination, Mexico began the struggle for political independence in 1810. Subsequently, for nearly a century the country was involved in a series of internal wars and foreign invasions that had repercussions in all areas of life of the Mexicans. During a good part of the 20th century (mainly the first half) a period of great economic growth took place within the framework of a policy dominated by a single political party.

According to the World Tourism Organization, Mexico is the main tourist destination in Latin America and the eighth most visited in the world, this is due in large part to the 32 cultural or natural sites that are considered by UNESCO as World Heritage. However recent criminal activity put many tourists at risk. Struggle with orginized crime has been a problem for the Mexican government. In macroeconomic terms, by gross domestic product (GDP) it is the fourteenth world economy and the eleventh by parity of purchasing power (PPP); on a regional scale, it is the second economy in Latin America and the fourth in the continent. According to the 2015 UN Human Development Report, it has a high human development index of 0.762, and ranks 77th in the world, which has made great strides alongside countries such as Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand and South Africa, considered the fact that in 1980 it had a human development index of 0.598.Mexican is also one of the countries with the greatest diversity of climates in the world, considered one of the 12 megadiverse countries of the planet, it is home of the 10-12% of the world's biodiversity and is home to more than 12,000 endemic species.


Travel Destinations in Mexico

Frescoes with colorful depictions of a Mayan life survived at this ancient archeological site of Cacaxtla.

Ancient pyramids of Cantona archeological site seem to rise right from the Mexican desert.

Cascadas de Agua Azul are a series of splendid water cascades located 125 km Northeast of San Cristobalck, Chiapas.

Cempoala is an ancient archeological site located 44 km (27 mi) North of Veracruz in the state of Veracruz in Mexico.

Cenote Cho Ha is underground pool surrounded by beautiful geological formations in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

Cenote Dzitnup is an underground pool in the Yucatan limestone formed after natural geological processes.

Magnificent ruins of Chichen Itza are located in Yucatan peninsula. It is largest and one of the most impressive Mayan city states.

Copper Canyon in the Mexican state of Chihuahua gets its name from a green color walls that look like a copper at a distance.

Mayan city of Coba is famous for numerous religious buildings including the highest pyramid constructed by the Mayan civilization.

Whether you like to explore ancient ruins, dive in the reefs or just bask in the sun, Cozumel has it all.

Massive Cueva de la Boca outside of Mexican city of Monterrey is a famous roosting home for thousands of bats.

El Tajin is a major Mayan city those remains are located in a magnificent condition in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

Ek Balam or 'Black Jaguar' is a Yucatec- Maya city located just 30 km North of Valladolid in Yukatan peninsula Mexico.

Impressive ruins of an Aztec city of Malinalco is harmoniously combined with surrounding picturesque jungles.

Monte Alban is an impressive site of ancient Mayan ruins in a Mexican province of Oaxaca.

Museo Frida Kahlo is a former house of the famous Mexican artist on the outskirts of Mexican capital Mexico City.

Museo Leon Trotsky is a former house of Russian- Jewish revolutionary who was killed here by the orders of Stalin.

Nonoch Nah Chich in Quintana Roo state of Mexico is one of the largest flooded underground caves.

Paquime or Casas Grandes is an ancient archeological site in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico constructed before the arrival of Columbus.

Palenque that is located in Yucatan peninsula is one of the largest and mysterious of Mayan city states.

Paricutin Volcano started erupting in the early twentieth century and covered human structures. Some are still visible today.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is a large nature preserve that protects diverse Mexican ecosystem.

Mysterious ruins of Teotihuacan still puzzle many historians with its origins, purpose of symbolism in its construction as well as life style of its residents.

Tula is an ancient archeological site situated 85 km North of Mexico city in the Mexican state of Hidalgo.

Tulum is an ancient Mayan city in Yucatan peninsula in Mexico that served as a harbor for trade.

Mayan city of Uxmal is famous for its unique architecture as well as great preservation state of the buildings.

Valladolid is a pleasant small town with Spanish architecture, small streets and several parks.

Xcaret Underground River is a natural geological formation that was worshipped by ancient Mayans as the entrance to the Underworld.

Xochicalco is a ancient Mayan archeological site situated 40 km Southwest of Cuernavaca in the Mexican state of Morelos.


Tips while you travel in Mexico:

- avoid marshy areas and take insect repellant. Insects might transfer several deadly diseases in addition to causing discomfort

- check weather conditions before visiting

- if you plan to camp in the jungle protect your equipment and food from water and moisture

- wear pants and water- resistant boots to reduce chance of a snake insect bite

- drink plenty of bottled water, prevent dehydration



January 1: New Year's Day
January 6: The Three Wise Men day, celebrating arrival of the Three Wise Men to see and bring gifts to the baby Jesus (not an official holiday).
February 2: The Candelaria Day ("Day of the candles"), celebrated in many places around the country (not an official holiday)
February 5: Constitution Day (1917)
February 24: Flag Day (not official)
March 21: Birth of Benito Juárez (1806)
April 30: Kid's Day
May 1: Labor Day
May 5: Cinco de Mayo, the Battle of Puebla against the French army, 19th century (not an official holiday)
May 10: Mother's Day
May 15: Teacher's Day
September 1: Presidential Address Day
September 15: Grito de Dolores
September 16: Independence Day (celebrates the start of the fight for the independence from Spain in 1810, achieved until September 27, 1821)
October 12: Day of the Race (not a public holiday)
November 2: Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) (not a public holiday)
November 20: Mexican Revolution Day (1910)
December 12: Virgin Mary of Guadalupe Day. Not a public holiday, but is one of the most important Mexican holidays
December 24: Christmas Eve (not a public holiday, but normally a full non-working day)
December 25: Christmas
December 31: New Year’s Eve (not a public holiday, but normally a full non-working day)
Easter is widely observed nationwide, according to the yearly Catholic calendar (the first Sunday after the first full moon in Spring). Actual non-working days may shift to the Monday before the holiday, so check an up-to-date calendar. Visitors from the U.S. may be surprised to notice that the despite Cinco de Mayo being an important part of the cultural identity of Mexican-Americans, it is not regarded as a major holiday in Mexico, and hardly celebrated by Mexicans outside the state of Puebla.


Visa to Mexico

According to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores), certain foreign nationals who intend to stay in Mexico fewer than 180 days for the purpose of tourism or 30 days for business can fill out a tourist card at the border or upon landing at an airport after presenting a valid passport, for US$22. If arriving via air, it is included in the price of the fare. This service is available to citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela (see official list here). Permanent residents of the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and Schengen area countries are also eligible for visas on arrival regardless of citizenship.

The Mexican tourist card is a Forma Migratoria Múltiple (Multiple Immigration Form), or FMM. It has a perforation that divides the card into two parts, of which the right side asks for some of the same information requested on the left side. At entry, after reviewing your passport and filled-out FMM, the immigration officer will stamp your passport and the FMM, separate the FMM along the perforation and give the right side of the FMM back to you with your passport. Keep the FMM together with your passport at all times. It is your responsibility to make sure the right side of the FMM is returned to the Mexican government at time of departure so that the bar code can be scanned, thus showing that you left the country on time. For example, if you are flying with Aeromexico, they will ask for your passport and FMM at check-in for your flight home, then staple your FMM to your boarding pass. You are expected to then hand the boarding pass together with your FMM to the gate agent as you board your flight. If you lose your FMM during your visit to Mexico, you may be subject to substantial delays and fines before you can leave the country.



There are several hypotheses about the origin of the country's name, including those based on toponymic legends. According to one legend[9], Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and patron of the country, had a secret name "Metzli" or "Meshi". In this case, the toponym "Mexico" would mean "place of Mesha" or "land of war".

Another hypothesis is that the name "Mexico" is derived from the fusion of the Aztec words mētztli ("moon") and xīctli ("navel") and thus means "place in the center of the moon", which may allegorically refer to the location of Tenochtitlan in the middle of the lake. Texcoco.

Another hypothesis says that the name of the country is derived from Mektli, the goddess of the agave.

The last two versions were rejected by the American linguist Francis Karttunen. In her opinion, the final form "Mēxihco" differs in vowel length from both intended components. The 16th-century Spanish missionary and linguist Bernardino de Sahagún noted in his writings that the toponymy of the Aztec languages ​​is full of mysticism, and, in turn, gave a mystical interpretation: Mexico can mean "the center of the world" and in many writings it is presented as a place where everyone flocks water currents that cross Anahuac ("world" or "land surrounded by seas") - in particular, in the drawings in the Codex Mendoza.


Physical and geographical characteristics

Being located in North America (approximately 23° north latitude and 102° west longitude), Mexico makes up the majority of Central America. In terms of physical geography, the area east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, including the Yucatan Peninsula (which makes up about 12% of the country), is located in Central America; in terms of geology, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt separates the northern region of the country. Geopolitically, however, Mexico is considered a North American country. The California Peninsula (1200 km long) in the west of the country is separated by the Gulf of California.

The total area of ​​Mexico is 1,972,550 km², including about 6,000 km² of islands in the Pacific Ocean (including the island of Guadalupe and the Revilla Gigedo archipelago), the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of California. In terms of land area, Mexico ranks 13th in the world.

In the north, Mexico borders on the United States (the length of the border is 3141 km). East of the city of Ciudad Juarez to the Gulf of Mexico, the border runs along the meandering Rio Grande. Several natural and man-made markers define the border with the United States west of Ciudad Juarez to the Pacific Ocean. In the southeast, Mexico borders Guatemala (871 km) and Belize (251 km).

The climate of Mexico is tropical and subtropical. The level of precipitation is 300-600 mm/year and less. In most populated areas of the southern part of the highlands, including Mexico City and Guadalajara, the average annual rainfall is 600–1000 mm/year. The thermometer in areas north of the 24th parallel, located above 2500 m above sea level, ranges from + 2 ° C in winter to + 15 ° C in summer; at the same time, on the coast towards the south, the temperature is constant and does not fall below +20°C. The average annual temperature in the coastal plains and the Yucatan Peninsula ranges from +24°C to +28°C.

Mexico is crossed from north to south by two mountain ranges: the Sierra Madre East and the Sierra Madre West, which are an extension of the Rocky Mountains of North America. From east to west, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, also known as the Sierra Nevada, runs through the center of the country. The fourth mountain range, the Sierra Madre South, is located between the states of Michoacán and Oaxaca. Thus, most of central Mexico and the northern territories are located at high altitudes. The highest mountains are in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt: Orizaba Peak (5700 m), Popocatepetl (5462 m), Istaxihuatl (5286 m) and Nevado de Toluca (4577 m). Three large urban agglomerations are located in the valleys between these four heights: Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico City and Puebla de Zaragoza.

Water resources
On the territory of Mexico there are several dozen fairly large lakes and reservoirs.


History of Mexico

Evidence of human presence in Mexico dates back at least to the 2nd millennium BC. In the middle of the first millennium BC. sedentary cultures develop in central and southern Mexico.

In the XII-V centuries. BC On the territory of Mexico, the Olmec culture flourished, which had a significant impact on the formation of later classical civilizations. These civilizations flourished in the 4th-9th centuries; these were the cultures of Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Totonac, Toltec, Maya. Mayan achievements include hieroglyphic writing, advanced architecture and decorative arts, extensive knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, and an accurate calendar. In the XII century, the Aztecs appear in Central Mexico; having conquered many tribes living there, they created a powerful empire.

In 1517, a purposeful exploration and conquest of Mexico by Europeans began. The Spaniards sent three expeditions to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The first in 1517 was led by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, the second in 1518 by Juan de Grijalva, and the third in 1519 by Hernán Cortés, conqueror of the Aztec empire. In 1522, the Spanish emperor Charles V approved the latter as captain-general and governor of the conquered lands, transferring 64,750 km² of land with 100,000 Indians to his possession.

In 1528, the power of Cortes was limited, an audience was sent to Mexico - an administrative-judicial collegium, reporting directly to the king. In 1535, Mexico became part of the newly created Viceroyalty of New Spain. From 1521 to 1821 Mexico remained a colonial possession of Spain. Its economy was based on the exploitation of the Indians, forced to work on the lands taken from them and in the mines. The economy of New Spain was subordinated to the interests of the metropolis, its most important industry was the extraction of precious metals.

The dissatisfaction of various segments of the population with discrimination and political lack of rights, on the one hand, and the events on the European continent, the struggle of the English colonies in North America for independence, the penetration of progressive ideas into Latin America, on the other, caused the peasant unrest of 1810, which led Mexico to a ten-year war for independence. . Among the leaders of the rebels, the priests Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and José Maria Morelos stood out - both were captured and executed. At the end of the war, the liberation movement was led by Agustín de Iturbide.

On August 24, 1821, the representatives of the Spanish crown and Iturbide signed the Treaty of Cordoba, which recognized the independence of Mexico in accordance with the provisions of the Plan of Iguala. On September 27, the liberation army entered Mexico City, and on September 28, the “Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire” was promulgated in the capital. On May 18, 1822, the people and garrison of the city of Mexico City proclaimed Iturbide the Mexican emperor, and he ascended the throne under the name Agustin I (Augustine I). In March 1823, the empire fell and Mexico became a republic.

In 1835, the Mexican state of Texas begins the War of Independence. As a result of the decisive battle lost by the Mexicans in 1836, the Republic of Texas achieved secession, and soon (in 1845) entered the United States.

In 1841-1848, the Republic of Yucatan existed on the peninsula of the same name, which announced its separation from Mexico. In 1845, an uprising broke out in California, the rebels announced the creation of their own government and were executed. At the end of the war, the liberation movement was led by Agustín de Iturbide.

In the spring of 1846, US troops invaded Mexican territory. By the fall of 1847, the Americans had captured a vast area and the capital, Mexico City. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed on February 2, 1848, put an end to the war. Upper California, New Mexico and parts of the lands of other states went to the USA; this amounted to more than half of the entire area of ​​Mexico.

In 1854-1860. there is a bourgeois revolution and a civil war between Mexican conservatives and liberals led by Benito Juarez. The conflict ended in an unconditional victory for the latter.

In 1861, Britain, France and Spain, supported by Mexican conservatives, intervened in Mexico. In 1862, their coalition broke up, but French troops remained in Mexico. Her army occupied a number of states and entered Mexico City. The country was declared an empire headed by the monarch, Maximilian I. Since only a small minority of Mexicans supported the invaders, in 1867 Napoleon III, having more ambitious plans in Europe and fearing US intervention, withdrew French troops from Mexico. In 1867, the forces of Maximilian I were defeated, and he himself was convicted and shot.

In 1876, having made a coup, General Porfirio Diaz came to power, who ruled the country for more than 30 years; The reverse side of the economic successes of his reign was high social tension. In 1910, a civil war began, ending with the adoption of the Constitution of 1917. The 1920s were marked by revolutionary caudilism, especially when Plutarco Calles was in power.

In 1934, Lázaro Cárdenas became president, famous for the nationalization of property owned by foreign oil companies. In the 1940s, an economic boom begins, ending with a crisis in the 1980s caused by falling oil prices. In the mid-1980s, the country moves to neo-liberal reforms. In 1994, the Zapatistas rebelled against neo-liberalism. As a result, investors began to be wary of investing their money in an unstable region, which led to a new financial and economic crisis in the same year.

In 2000, elections were held in Mexico that ended the long-term hegemony of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP), the victory was won by the representative of the MHP, Vicente Fox. But on July 1, 2012, the PRI candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, was again elected president of the country, who took office on December 1, 2012.

Since the 2000s, armed clashes between drug cartels and the official authorities of the country have intensified.



The president
On July 10, 2006, another presidential election was held in Mexico. Felipe Calderón, the candidate of the ruling National Action Party, won with 14,981,268 votes (35.88%). For his main rival, the leader of the opposition Revolutionary Democratic Party Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 14,745,262 voters (35.31%) voted.

In September 2006, the Federal Electoral Tribunal of Mexico recognized Felipe Calderon as the elected president. The new president took office on December 1, 2006 for six years.

On July 1, 2012, the next presidential elections in Mexico were held, which were won by Enrique Peña Nieto (who took office on December 1, 2012).

On July 1, 2018, Andres Manuel López Obrador, a candidate from the coalition “Together we will make history (Eng.)”, was elected President of Mexico (inaugurated December 1, 2018).

Bicameral Congress - the Senate (128 seats, elected for a 6-year term) and the Chamber of Deputies (500 seats, elected for a 3-year term).

Political parties
Labor Party (PT) - communist/left socialist
National Revival Movement - Left Socialist

Left center
Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) - social democratic
Civil movement (former Convergence) - socialist

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) - broad centrist

Right center
New Alliance Party (PNA) - neoliberal
The Ecological Green Party (PVEM) is a conservative environmentalist
National Action Party (PAN) - conservative

Far right
Nationalist Front of Mexico (FRENAMEX) - continues the tradition of the Tecos far-right movement

Foreign policy
The main principles of Mexico's foreign policy are respect for international law and the legal equality of states, recognition of the sovereignty and independence of states, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, the peaceful settlement of conflicts and the promotion of collective security through participation in international organizations. Traditionally, Mexico's foreign policy has been shaped by leftist, pro-revolutionary, and nationalist interests. Demonstrating independence from United States foreign policy, Mexico supported the Cuban government in the 1960s, the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua in the late 1970s, and left-wing revolutionary groups in El Salvador in the 1980s.



The population is 133,140,936 as of December 2018. Self-name - Mexicans (Spanish mexicanos).

Annual increase - 1.1% (emigration rate - 0.4%, fertility - 2.3 births per woman).

Average life expectancy: 73 years for men, 79 years for women.

Age composition: from 0 years to 14 years - 28.7%, from 15 years to 64 years - 64.9%, 65 years and older - 6.4% (for 2010).

Ethno-racial composition: Caucasians - 67 million, mixed - 48 million, Indians - 15 million, Africans - 5 million.

Religions: Catholics - 76.5%, Protestants - 4.9% (including Pentecostals from the Assemblies of God - 1.4%), atheists - 3.1%, Jehovah's Witnesses - 1.1% (1.91% on 2011), undecided - 13.8%, other religions - 0.3% (according to the 2000 census).

Several thousand Mexicans are Orthodox Christians under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America.

Languages: 92.7% of the population speak only Spanish, 5.7% speak Spanish and some Amerindian language, and 0.8% speak only the local Amerindian language (2005 estimate).

Literacy: 92% male, 89% female, overall literacy 91% (2004 est.).

The level of urbanization is 77% (in 2008).

Infection with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) - 0.3% (2007 estimate). The total number of people infected with HIV is 200 thousand people (30th place in the world).

Administrative division
Mexico is administratively divided into 31 states (Spanish: estados) and one federal district (Spanish: Distrito Federal), collectively called federal entities (Spanish: Entidades federativas).

According to the Constitution of 1917, the states are free and sovereign, and they are free to govern themselves according to their own laws. Each state has a constitution that cannot conflict with the federal constitution, which covers matters of national jurisdiction. States may not enter into alliances with other states or any independent nation without the consent of the entire federation, except for protection and security agreements necessary to ensure the security of border states in the event of an invasion.

Municipalities. The states are divided into municipalities. There are 2,448 municipalities in Mexico (not counting the 16 districts of Mexico City).



Mexico is an industrial-agrarian country, one of the most economically developed in America. Oil, natural gas (one of the leading places in America), iron ore, sulfur, ores of antimony, mercury and graphite are extracted.

Mexico is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of fluorspar. In the manufacturing industry, the most developed are ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, mechanical engineering, chemical and petrochemical, cotton, and food and flavor industries.

Oil refining is underdeveloped; As one of the world's largest oil exporters, Mexico imports petroleum products.

Agriculture is dominated by crop production: corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beans, cotton, coffee, fruits, tomatoes. Developed logging.

From January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Mexico is, depending on the territory and industry, from 172.87 pesos ($8.47) to 222.67 pesos ($10.91) per day in the main part of the country and 260.34 pesos ( $12.76) per day along Mexico's border with the United States, which has a special economic status, the Northern Frontier Free Zone, which consists of municipalities bordering the United States.

International trade
Mexico is part of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), created in 1994-2008. As a result, in 1993-2013, Mexico's exports to the United States increased from $49.5 billion to $277.7 billion, and to Canada from $3.3 billion to $25.5 billion. And the value of imports over this period increased from the US from $50.8 billion to $216.3 billion, and from Canada from $0.8 billion to $5.4 billion.

Exports ($357 billion (in 2011)): electronic equipment, cars and parts for them, oil and oil products, gold and metals.

The main recipients are the USA (71%), Canada (6.5%), China (2.1%), Colombia (1.7%), Germany (1.6%).

Imports ($280 billion (in 2011)): industrial equipment, cars and car parts, aviation equipment, electronic equipment.

The main suppliers are the USA (57%), Canada (9%), China (4.9%), Germany (2.6%), Brazil (2.3%).


Drug business

In Mexico, the production and trade of drugs are widely developed. The country is the main transit hub for the shipment of drugs to the United States.

Mexican drug cartels have been around for decades. Until the 1980s, Mexico's role was to transit drugs from Colombia to North America, but its own production gradually began to expand. Mexican drug cartels intensified after the collapse in the 1990s of the Colombian drug cartels - Medellin and Cali. Drug cartels in their activities are assisted by many government agencies in Mexico. In conflicts with the official authorities of the country, not only police officers, but also army officers take part on the side of drug cartels.

In terms of the structure of the drug business, Mexico differs markedly from the countries of the Andean Triangle. It ranks fourth in Latin America in terms of total production of plant-derived drugs and is far ahead of other countries in the production of synthetic drugs. Along with Colombia, Mexico occupies a leading position in the region in the cultivation of opium poppy and the production of heroin.

Currently, Mexico is the main foreign supplier of cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine to the US, and Mexican drug cartels dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the US.



Pre-Columbian era
From the pre-Columbian era, samples of the lyric and epic poetry of the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica have come down to us.

Conquest and colonial period
The first examples of proper Mexican literature are the chronicles of the conquista. The most prominent representatives of this genre were the conquistadors Hernan Cortes and Bernal Diaz del Castillo, the monks Bernardino de Sahagun, Toribio Motolinia and Juan de Torquemada.

The most notable of the works written in the first decades of the Spaniards' stay in what is now Mexico is Bernardino de Sahagún's General History of the Affairs of New Spain, to which he devoted his entire life. This work is written in Nahuatl and Spanish and includes a description of the Maya civilization.

The first work of fiction in Mexican literature was Bernardo de Balbuena's poem "The Splendor of Mexico" (1604).

In the 17th century, three figures stand out among the representatives of the so-called "learned poetry": Carlos Siguenza y Gongora, the poetess Juana Ines de la Cruz and Juan Ruiz de Alarcón.

By the end of the 18th century, with the brewing of protest against the colonial regime of Spain, the tendency of self-affirmation found expression in such works as the poem "Rural Mexico" (1781) by R. Landivar and "The Ancient History of Mexico" (1780-1781) by Francisco Clavijero.

The period of the war of independence and the formation of the Mexican state in the XIX century
Representatives: revolutionary classicism - A. Quintana Roo (1787-1851); romanticism and costumbrism - M. Acuña (1849-1873), G. Prieto (1818-1897), M. Paino (1810-1894), L. Inclan (1816-1875), J. T. de Cuellara (1830-1894) ), J. M. Altamirano (1834-1893), José Joaquin Fernandez de Lisardi (1776-1827).

Literature of the late XIX-XX centuries
Representatives: modernism - Salvador Diaz Miron (1853-1928), Manuel Gutierrez Najera (1859-1895), M. H. Oton (1858-1906), Amado Nervo (1870-1928); naturalism - J. Lopez Portillo y Rojas (1850-1923), F. Gamboa (1864-1939), E. Frias (1870-1925), A. del Campo (1868-1908); realism - Mariano Azuela (1873-1952), Martin Luis Guzman (1887-1976), Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes (1897-1966), Jose Ruben Romero (1880-1952), Agustín Yañez (1904-1980), H. Mansisidor (1895-1956); poetry - R. Lopez Velarde (1888-1921), Enrique Gonzalez Martinez (1871-1952), C. Pelliser (1897-1977), Javier Villaurrutia (1903-1950); cultural philosophy - Jose Vasconcelos (1881-1959), Alfonso Reyes (1889-1959), Antonio Caso (1883-1946), Samuel Ramos (1897-1959).

Contemporary Mexican Literature
Representatives: Juan Jose Arreola (1918-2001), Juan Rulfo (1918-1986), Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012), Fernando del Paso (1935-2018).

Mexican poet and essayist Octavio Paz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990.

The most popular sport is football. The 1968 Summer Olympics were held in Mexico City. The country has hosted the FIFA World Cup twice (1970, 1986) and will host it in 2026 jointly with the US and Canada.