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Understand

Mexico noframe
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Capital Mexico City (Distrito Federal)
Currency Mexican peso (MXN)
Population 106,202,903 (July 2006 est.)
Electricity 127V/60Hz
Time Zone UTC −6 to UTC −8

Mexico is one of the most popular tourist countries on earth (over 20 million foreign visitors last year). Much of the tourist industry is centered around the beach resorts as well as the altiplano in the central part of the country. Visiting the northern interior allows visitors to get off the beaten path a bit. American tourists tend to predominate on the Baja peninsula and the more modernized beach resorts (Cancún, Puerto Vallarta), while European tourists congregate around the smaller resort areas in the south like Playa del Carmen and colonial towns San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Climate

Mexico uses the metric sytem for all measurements. All weather forecasts will be in celsius (°C).

Varies from desert-like regions on the northwest part of the country (cities like Hermosillo, Ciudad Juárez, or Los Cabos); and temperate in the northeastern part (cities like Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Acuña), but note that much of the northern Mexican territory gets rather cold during the winter with average day time highs from 8°C (39F) to 12°C (59F), overnight lows average around -4°C (24F) and snow is sometimes frequent in certain northern places like (the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and northern Tamaulipas) but can also occur at higher altitudes in the temperate forests in the central part of Mexico. Also, northern Mexico gets very hot during the summer with sudden violent storms in the afternoon, with heavy rain and hail, also an isolated tornado can occur with these storms but rarely, and the temperatures during the day can quickly exceed 39°C (100F). The Bajío region is semiarid (cities like Aguascalientes, León and Zacatecas); and temperate forests in the central part of the country {Mexico City, Toluca}, and tropical rain forests in the south and southeast regions like (Chiapas, Cancún). The region stretching from Guadalajara to Morelia enjoys what many consider one of the best climates in the world, with daily high temps in the high 70s and 80s (21°C to 26°C) year round. During hurricane season, hurricanes are common in the coastal cities specially those near the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Landscape

High, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; temperate plains with grasslands and Mezquite trees in the northeast, desert and even more rugged mountains in the northwest, tropical rainforests in the south and southeast {Chiapas, Cancún} semiarid in places like {Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosí} and temperate coniferous and deciduous forests in the central part of the country {Mexico City, Toluca}.

Holidays

  • January 1st
  • January 6th: The Three Wise Men day, celebrating arrival of the Three Wise Men to see and bring gifts to baby Jesus.
  • February 2nd: The Candelaria Virgin Day, celebrated in many places around the country (not an official holiday)
  • February 5th: Constitution Day(1917)
  • February 24th: Flag Day (not official)
  • March 21st: Birth of Benito Juárez (1806). 2006 was the bicentennial year.
  • May 1st: Labor Day.
  • May 5th: The Battle of Puebla against the French army, 19th century. (Not an official holiday)
  • September 1st: Dia del Informe. Although no longer official, it is still important as it is the day in which the Mexican President addresses to the Nation of the progress his administration on a yearly basis. Every President makes six Informes
  • September 16th: Independence day (celebrates the start of the fight for the independence from Spain in 1810, achieved until September 27th, 1821).
  • October 12: Discovery of America (Descubrimiento de America)(not an official holiday)
  • November 2nd: Day of the dead (Not an official holiday)
  • November 20th: Revolution day (1910)
  • December 12th: Virgin Mary of Guadalupe Day. Unless is not official, is one of the most important Mexican Holidays
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve (Not an official holiday, but usual full non working day or only half day)
  • December 25th: Christmas
  • December 31st: New Years Eve (Not an official holiday, but usual full non working day or only half 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.

Time

  • Mexico uses the 24-hour clock system for time keeping.

Mexico observes daylight savings time (DST) the same way as the USA did pre-2007, from first Sunday in April to last Sunday in October. This now includes the tropical regions of southern Mexico as well. Note there will be several weeks each year when the U.S. is on DST, but Mexico is not. The state of Sonora south of Arizona, does not observe DST since Arizona doesn't have it either.

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