Welcome to Mexico
Capital: Mexico City
Mexico is in the southern part of North America. It is roughly shaped like a triangle. Mexico is more than 3000 km (1,850 miles) long from northwest to southeast. Mexico is between two large seas: the Pacific Ocean in the West and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in the East. Mexico has two large peninsulas. Baja California in the northwest, and Yucatán in the southeast. In central and western Mexico are the Sierra Madre mountains. In the Sierra Madre is the Pico de Orizaba, the highest mountain of Mexico. In central Mexico there are also a few volcanoes like the Popocatépetl and the Iztaccíhuatl. The Pico de Orizaba is also a volcano. In the north of Mexico are deserts. In the south are tropical rainforests. Some rivers in Mexico are the Río Bravo (known in the US as the Rio Grande), the Río Balsas, the Río Pánuco, and the Río Yaqui.
Before the Europeans came, many Native American cultures existed in Mexico. The earliest was the Olmec culture in the south. On the Yucatán peninsula lived the Mayans. The Mayans lived in city states ruled by kings. The Mayans were most powerful between 200 and 900 A.D. Another powerful empire belonged to Teotihuacan. After Teotihuacan declined the Toltecs became powerful. The Toltec culture declined too, and it was succeeded by the Aztecs, who called their own empire Mexico. In 1519 the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés came to Mexico. Cortes allied himself with the enemies of the Aztecs. In 1521 they conquered the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan and the Aztec Empire became part of Spain. In 1810 the Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo started the Mexican war of independence. In 1821 the Spanish finally retreated and Mexico became independent.
Mexico is a country between the U.S. and Central America that's known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts and jungles. Ancient ruins such as Teotihuacán and the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá are scattered throughout the country, as are Spanish colonial-era towns. In capital Mexico City, upscale shops, renowned museums and gourmet restaurants cater to modern life.