What are the states in Mexico

Mexico's geography & diverse landscapes

Mexico is one of the largest and most biodiverse countries on earth.

The main reasons for this are the diverse geography of Mexico and the varied climatic conditions. The country forms the transition between North and Central America, is surrounded by two oceans and is located where two tectonic plates meet. All of these are natural features that were involved in the formation of the Mexican land mass and that still influence or even change the shape and topographical and climatic conditions of Mexico today.

From north to south, from east to west, you will find all kinds of landscape, climate and, subsequently, vegetation zones. Deep green jungle alternates with mangrove swamps, cloud forests, steppes and deserts.

Geographical location of Mexico and adjacent areas

The United States of Mexico extends between 32 ° and 14 ° north latitude and between 88 ° and 117 ° west longitude. About 88 percent of the land mass is attributed to the North American continent, the remainder belongs to Central America. With an area of ​​1,972,550 km² (land and sea included) Mexico is around five and a half times the size of Germany. After Brazil and Argentina, Mexico is the third largest country in Latin America. From north to south Mexico extends over 3,000 km, from east to west between 210 and 2,000 km. Mexico borders the United States of America to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the south. The remaining state borders are natural borders - in the west with the Pacific, in the east with the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, which results in a total sea coast of 12 540 km.

Contrasting landscapes in Mexico

Geographically and geologically, Mexico is a very contrasting country. However, more than half of Mexico is mountainous. The core of this is the central mountain range, which is divided into several basins, bordered by mountain chains and their gorges and rich in lakes, sand dunes, alluvial land, salt steppes and oases. From an economic point of view, particularly important deposits of natural resources are also located here.

The Sierra Madre in northeastern Mexico

In the west, the Sierra Madre Occidental forms the border with the highlands, which on average reach heights of 1,800 m and is characterized by huge gorges, the so-called "barrancas", with depths of up to 1,500 m. To the east, the Sierra Madre Oriental closes with an average height of 2,100 m, both of which then drop off steeply to the coastal plains. In the southeast, in the “La Junta area”, the two Sierra Madres to the Sierra Madre del Sur and the volcanic belt of the country, also called Sierra Nevada, come together. There are numerous volcanoes, the highest peaks in Mexico, lakes, swamps, thermal springs and fertile grain areas. The highest mountain in the country is the volcano Pico de Oricaba or Citlaltépetl with a height of 5,700 m, followed by the currently active Popocatépetl with 5,462 m and the Iztazzíhuatl with 5,286 m.

The isthmo de Tehuantepec, the isthmo de Tehuantepec, joins the strongly rugged mountains of the southern Sierra Madre, which is the narrowest part of the country between the two seas Pacific and Gulf of Mexico and the transition from North to Central America. In the south follows the highlands of Chiapas, which have only been developed more intensively in the last few decades. In the southeast is the Yucatán Peninsula, the youngest part of Mexico. Here you will find the so-called “cenotes”, karst formations that show up as caves, grottos or collapsed dolines, but also wonderful coral reefs or mangrove swamps. In front of the Yucatán is the island of Cozumel. This region is very important especially for tourism.

The North Pacific region of Mexico

The North Pacific region includes the elongated Baja California peninsula, the Sonoran plains, and the sea channel of the Gulf of California, which is enclosed on both sides. The whole area is very dry, with sandy coastlines, deep bays and some lagoons. The southern part, on the other hand, is much more fertile and is used for growing fruit or vegetables. Baja California is criss-crossed by a mountain range about 1,500 m high, Sonora, in contrast, offers wide, flat valleys. The Pacific coast also has long, fine sandy beaches, but these are repeatedly broken through by cliffs. Along the Gulf coast you will find numerous lagoons and swamps, but also long dreamy beaches or sandbanks, which are only criss-crossed by gentle hills.

Discover the diverse landscapes on a great Mexico tour!