Do you want to learn fun facts about Mexico? I made this list for you!
Mexico is a vast and diverse country with a wealth of culture and traditions, an immense and diverse territory whose highest peak, the Pico de Orizaba, reaches 5.636 mt. (18491 ft)
In this post, I will share 39 fun facts about Mexico that I have researched. Did I miss anything? Please let me know
There are so many interesting facts about Mexico, that I am also trying to include in all my articles on this site, which is, in fact, dedicated to Mexico’s culture, food, and traditions, besides its best places to visit.
In this brief but complete post, I want to give you an overview of the most interesting facts about Mexico to offer an introduction to Mexican culture while entertaining you.
39 Fun Facts About Mexico
1. Mexico Is the 11th Most Populated Country.
Mexico has around 130 million people, ranking 11th in the world’s list of the most populated countries and the 14th largest country by land area
2. Mexico Is Home to Many Unesco World Heritage Sites.
In Mexico, there is our state and Pazcuaro, including Chichen Itza, the historical center of Puebla, San Miguel de Allende, and the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, a hot spring in San Miguel de Allende; the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, and the historical center of Queretaro, among others.
3. It Does Snow in Mexico.
Most people think about beaches and sunny days when they think about Mexico. In reality, it’s such a big country with a lot of diversity in terms of climate and natural landscapes.
The Pico de Orizaba is the tallest mountain in Mexico and one of the places where it snows in Mexico. It’s a dormant volcano that reaches 5,636 meters (18,491 ft) above sea level.
4. Mexico Is Not the Real Name of the Country.
The real name is Estados Unidos de Mexico, and includes 31 States’ plays. Mexico City, locally known as CDMX, is no longer part of the State of Mexico.
Yes, one of the 31 states is called Estado de Mexico and includes the beautiful Valle de Bravo, Tepotzotlan, and the famous Teotihuacan Site, among others.
5. Mexico Has Its Own National Symbols.
The national symbols of Mexico are the flag, the coat of arms, and the anthems.
6. Mexico Is Also Known for Its Delicious and Diverse Cuisine (Which Is Not Taco Bell).
Mexico’s national dish is the Mole, a rich sauce made of different kinds of spices, nuts, and chocolate, among other ingredients.
The second iconic dish is Chile en Nogada, the most famous Puebla food because it represents the Mexican Flag and it is eaten during the anniversary of Mexican Independence in September.
7. Mexican Cuisine Is More Than Tacos.
Mexican popular dishes include tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, chilaquiles, gorditas, guacamole, to name a few…
8. Grasshoppers Are a Culinary Delicacy in Mexico.
If you walk around the market in Oaxaca, you can find grasshoppers for sale among the local culinary delicacies. So adventurous foodies, that’s all yours!
9. Americans Make Up Mexico’s Largest Demographic of Immigrants.
According to the San Diego Tribune, the American community in Mexico is the largest ex-pats community.
The demographic of American immigrants includes individuals from various backgrounds, such as retirees, expatriates, and professionals, who have chosen to live in Mexico for reasons such as lower cost of living, better weather, or cultural affinity.
10. The Most Popular Sport in Mexico Is Football (Soccer).
Soccer was introduced to Mexico by British miners who went to Mineral del Monte in Hidalgo Mexican State, with the mining company that bought the mines in the area.
11. Mexico Hosted the Football World Cup in Both 1970 and 1986.
Also, Mexico has competed in 16 of the 21 total World Cup tournaments since the inaugural tournament in 1930. However, it has never been able to win a World Cup, according to this source.
12. Mexico City Hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1968.
13. Chocolate Originally Comes From Mexico.
Also, hot Chocolate was largely consumed in pre-Hispanic times and considered a sacred drink among the Aztecs.
14. Xoloitzcuintli, a Hairless Breed of Dog, Is the National Dog.
15. The Chihuahua Is the Smallest Dog in the World.
Not many know that it’s actually named after the Mexican state where they originated.
16. The National University of Mexico Is the Oldest in North America.
The National University of Mexico was founded in 1551 by Charles V of Spain.
Unfortunately, it has been closed during the dictatorship for a while, making Harvard the oldest operating university, but The National University of Mexico has been around for longer.
17. Monarch Butterflies Travel From Canada to Mexico Every Year.
They are in colonies of about 20 million at speeds between 80-120 nautical miles per day, depending on the wind and other weather conditions. They settle in the Oyamel fir tree forests in the Michoacan and Valle de Bravo Mexican states.
18. The Border Between Mexico and the United States Is the Second-Longest Border in the World.
Only the U.S.-Canadian border is longer.
19. Mexico City Is Built Over the Ruins of a Great Aztec City, Tenochtitlán.
But it’s also built on a lake, meaning that there is water underneath the city, and for this reason, it’s literally sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches a year.
20. The Most Popular Pre-Colombian Civilization Is Mayan.
However, few people know that the first great civilization in Mexico was the Olmecs (1400-300 B.C.), who established many cities along the eastern coast of Mexico, now the States of Veracruz and Tabasco.
They are famous for their huge sculpted Heads, which can be found in the Anthropology Museum in Xalapa, and worshipped a mysterious, unnamed god that was part human and part jaguar.
21. There Are More than 62 Recognized Original Indigenous Languages Spoken in Mexico.
Although Spanish is de facto the official language in Mexico, and Mexico has the greatest number of speakers of Spanish in the world.
It is considered a linguistically very complex country with more than 62 recognized indigenous languages, 330 dialects, and some immigrant languages of lesser importance. (source)
22. Hernar Cortez Was Welcomed as a Returning God by the Aztecs.
When Spanish Conqueror Hernan Cortés arrived in 1519, the Aztecs believed he was their returning god, Quetzalcoatl, and offered him hot chocolate, considered the gods’ drink.
23. Chocolate Was Born in Mexico.
The Aztecs and Mayans first cultivated the cacao plant thousands of years ago. They typically enjoyed it as a drink and used the beans as currency.
24. Some of the Most Consumed Products Come From Mexico.
Chocolate, corn, and chilies were introduced to the world by Mexico.
25. The Largest Pyramid in the World Is in Mexico.
The Great Pyramid of Cholula in the Mexican State of Puebla is the largest and largest monument ever constructed.
26. Mexico Is the Most Populated Spanish-Speaking Country in the World.
27. One of the Seven Wonders in the World Is in Mexico.
The Chichen Itza Mayan site in Mexico was named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
28. Puebla Is the City of the 365 Churches.
During the colonial era, Hernán Cortés vowed to build 365 churches in Puebla—one for each day of the year.
No one is exactly sure if all of these churches were built, and it’s clear that not all of them have survived, but both Puebla and the nearby town of Cholula are indeed full of churches.
29. 5 de Mayo Is Not Officially Celebrated in Mexico
The 5 de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico to commemorate the Mexican victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on 5 de Mayo de 1862.
Not sure why it’s celebrated in the US as well…I want to think that it started as a celebration of the Mexican immigrants, and it just expanded. Or just an occasion to get together and drink the day away.
30. Mexico City Is Sinking.
Mexico City was founded by the Spaniards over the ruins of Tenochtitlan in 1521, making it the oldest city in North America, and not San Agustin, Florida, which was founded in 1585.
However, the city has been built over a lake, which weakens its foundation, which is why some suburbs with many wells continue to sink 18 to 24 inches each year.
More precisely, Mexico City was constructed on islands that were originally part of a vast lake.
During the 16th century, Spanish colonizers commenced draining the lake, forcing the inhabitants to depend on subterranean aquifers as a source of water.
As a result of constant utilization, the city began to sink since the aquifer was being depleted faster than it could be refilled, and the clay layers supporting the city were contracting and rupturing.
31. Mexico Has 10-12% of the World’s Biodiversity.
This interesting fact about Mexico makes it the fourth country in the world regarding biodiversity rate. Among the wildlife that you can easily appreciate are the spider monkeys, guacamayas, and whales in Baja California.
32. Frida Kahlo Is One of the Most Renowned Mexican Artists in the World.
Known for her original self-portraits but also for her tragic and controversial life, she was born in the neighborhood of Coyoacan, in Mexico City in 1907 and married the famous muralist Diego Rivera.
However, he once said he was the husband of Frida Kahlo and not the other way around, referring to the fact that she became even more famous than him.
33. The Day of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos, Is One of the Most Celebrated Mexican Holidays.
It is only a coincidence that it falls around the same time as Halloween, but it has a completely different meaning as the pre-Hispanic culture believed that on that day, the souls of their dead would come back to earth to pay a visit to family and friends.
That’s why there is a tradition to prepare altars with all sorts of food and flowers to celebrate the reunion.
The best places to see the grand celebrations of the Day of the Dead are Oaxaca, in the homonymous state, and Pazcuaro, in the state of Morelia.
34. Mexico Is Home to the World’s Smallest Volcano!
The Cuexcomate Volcano sits just outside Puebla and is only 43 feet tall. How cute is that!?
35. According to the CIA, Mexico Has the Second-Largest Catholic Population.
…and yet Mexico is one country that allows same-sex marriage and same-sex adoptions, marketing itself as a gay-friendly destination.
36. Mexico Is One of the Most Popular Countries in the World for Tourism.
According to the World Population Review, Mexico is the 7th most visited country in the World.
37. Mexico Is the World’s Largest Beer Exporter.
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38. Mexico Is Home to the Largest Salt Mine in the World.
It’s located in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, a notorious destination for the Gray whale Watching
39. Mexico’s National Bird Is the Eagle.
The golden eagle is the official Mexico National bird, also represented in the Mexican Flag.
🌸 Another interesting fact about Mexico is that Mexico’s National Flower is the Dahlia.
Essential Facts About Mexico
Geographical location: Mexico is the southern country of North America and the third-largest country in Latin America after Brazil and Argentina.
Official Name: Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Mexican United States)
Official Language: Spanish (de facto), over 66 local languages, and more than 300 dialects.
Government: Federal presidential constitutional republic
Currency: Mexican Peso. 1 USD = 19 MXN at the present time
Borders: On the north side, the Mexican frontiers border with The United States of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas for a total of 3,141 km. In the south, Mexico shares borders with Guatemala for 962km and Belize for 250 km.
The tallest mountain in Mexico is Pico de Orizaba 5.636 mt in the state of Veracruz.
Total area almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi)
Largest Lake: Lake Chapala
Total Population: 108,701,000
Capital city: Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico – CDMX) – with a population of almost 12 million people and a maximum elevation of 3,930 m (12.890 ft) ( about 2300 in the city center)
Second biggest city: Guadalajara, the capital city of the Jalisco State.
The biggest prehispanic civilizations: The Mayas, located in the south of Mexico in what is nowadays called the Yucatan Peninsula, and Chiapas. Aztecs, in the central and northern regions. Olmecas, in Veracruz and Tabasco.
National Day: 16th September
Religion: 83% Roman Catholicism
Country Number/Prefix: +52
Country Code: MX
Books About Mexico
I have included this section in case you wish to know more about Mexican culture and society. Of course, the list is not limited to these few. These books and authors are the most popular, but I will add more as I read them.
The Labirynt of Solitude – Octavio Paz
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
The Diary of Frida Khalo – Carlos Fuente
Aura: A Novel – Carlos Fuente
Massacre in Mexico – Elena Poniatowska
Mexico: A Novel – James A. Michener
Slavery Inc: The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking – Lydia Cacho
Sidewalks – Valeria Luiselli
Do you have books to suggest? Please be my guest and write on…
Before You Go…
Here are some useful posts that you may be interested in!
- 35 Mexico Travel Tips You Need to Read Before Traveling
- The 39 Best Places to Visit in Mexico
- How Much Cash to Bring to Mexico
- What Is Mexico Known For? 51 Famous Things About Mexico
- How Not to Get Sick in Mexico: 5 Tips on How to Stay Healthy