Mexico is the southernmost country in North America. Officially known as the United Mexican States, Mexico has borders with the United States, Guatemala, and Belize, as well as having coastlines along the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. This country covers an area of 761,610 square miles (1,972,550 square km), making it the thirteenth biggest country by area. Mexico has an estimated population of 123 million, making it the 11th most populated nation on the planet. Mexico is a major economic power and has the 15th highest nominal GDP in the world.

The nation has close ties with the United States and has a particularly rich history, ranking as the top American nation for the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and being home to major historical civilizations like the Aztecs and Mayas. Spanish settlers arrived on Mexican soil in 1521, claiming the area as part of New Spain. Mexico remained under Spanish control for three centuries, achieving independence in 1821. The capital city of Mexico is Mexico City, which is also the largest city in the country. Scroll down for more information on the largest cities in Mexico. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Mexico City

Mexico City
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Mexico City, also known as the City of Mexico, is by far the largest city in Mexico. It's also the nation's capital and is the most populous city in all of North America. Mexico City covers an area of 573 square miles (1,485 square km) and has an estimated population of 8.9 million, with over 20.9 million living in the surrounding Greater Mexico City urban area.

Mexico City is the oldest capital city in all of the Americans and is one of just two capital cities to have been founded by indigenous Native Americans. The city was first constructed by the Aztecs in the 14th century and known as Tenochtitlan. It went under Spanish control in the years to follow and eventually became a federal district when Mexico achieved independence.

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© disq/

Once known as Ecatepec de Morelos, Ecatepec is the second largest city in Mexico. This city is located in the State of Mexico, which is situated just outside Mexico City. Ecatepec covers an area of 61.84 square miles (160.17 square km) and has an estimated population of 1.6 million.

Due to its close proximity and transport links with Mexico City, many people who live in Ecapetec commute into the capital for work each day. The city's name comes from an Aztec language word meaning 'windy hill'. Ecatepec is one of the biggest suburbs on the planet.

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Located in the Mexican state of Jalisco in the western central part of the country, Guadalajara is the third largest city in Mexico. It covers an area of 58 square miles (151 square km) and has an estimated population of 1.46 million people, with over 5 million in the surrounding metropolitan area.

This city is the second most densely-populated municipality in all of Mexico, second only to Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl. It is a major transportation, economic, and business hub for the Bajio region of central Mexico. It's also a big cultural city, considered to be the birthplace of mariachi music, as well as being a host city for many unique annual events and festivals.

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Also known as Puebla de los Ángeles and Puebla City, Puebla is the fourth largest city in Mexico. It is the capital city of the Mexican state of Puebla in the southern part of the country and covers an area of 206.3 square miles (534.32 square km). Puebla has an estimated population of 1.4 million, with 2.4 million in the full municipality area.

Puebla was founded in 1531 due to the need for a new city located between the port of Veracruz on the eastern coast and the capital of Mexico City. Pueblo is a major educational hub, being home to several high-ranking colleges and universities. It's also a leading industrial center.

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5.Ciudad Juarez

Ciudad Juarez
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Located in the northern state of Chihuahua on the Mexico-United States border, Ciudad Juárez is the fifth biggest city in Mexico. This city covers an area of 124.01 square miles (321.19 square km) and has an estimated population of 1.3 million, with over 2.5 million in the surrounding metropolitan area.

Ciudad Juárez, often simply known as Juárez is situated on the Rio Grande and has close links with the nearby American city of El Paso, Texas. Alongside El Paso, Ciudad Juárez is part of the second biggest metropolitan area on the border. The city features four different border-crossing points, including the famous Bridge of the Americas.

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5 of the Largest Cities in Mexico

  • Mexico City, Photo: poladamonte
  • Ecatepec, Photo: disq/
  • Guadalajara, Photo: skylarkstudio/
  • Puebla, Photo: Michal Rezny/
  • Ciudad Juarez, Photo: ablokhin/
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of simonovstas -

More Ideas in Mexico: Izamal

The country of Mexico contains thirty-five towns that thought to be magical. One of these magical towns is Izamal, located only forty-five minutes away from Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula. According to requirements stated by the government of Mexico, for a town to be considered as magical, it must be a small town that has rich historical tradition. The town must also be located near other sites that are of interest to tourists or large cities, the local must be willing to develop the project, and the town must be accessible with good roads and highways.

Visitors simply need to walk into the town of Izamal to find out just what makes it a magical town. Most likely, the first thing that guests to the magical town will notice that just about everything in the town is painted a shade of yellow, from the colonial buildings to the massive convent to the market. Perhaps the next couple things that visitors will notice are the iron lamp posts providing the town with a tranquil ambiance and the cobblestone streets.

The town of Izamal is a magical town filled with three distinct cultures: the present day, the colonial, and the ancient Maya Izamal. It is a town that is also a monument of pride, history, and color that can be experienced in its buildings and streets. Gastronomy, music, and art surround guests in this magical town in Mexico.

Known as the “City of Hills,” Izabal is situated right in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, and is possibly Yucatan’s oldest city. Spaniards conquered the city long ago, and the monks gave Izamal its religious distinction in their desire to convert the native people to Catholicism. Visitors will find that the people of Izamal, to this very day, are devoted to their faith and the Immaculate Virgin.

Izamal is considered to be a gem of a colonial city, with its colonial lamp posts, cobblestone streets, and nearly every building painted a egg-yolk hue of yellow. Quaint, tranquil, and clean, the magical town is a great place to simply walk around. There is plenty of people-watching, horses and carriages, plazas and parks, colonial buildings, and Maya pyramids. Visitors can spend some time at the Government Palace and view the large model located in its outdoor corridor. This model displays the entire town of Izamal, as well as the large number of Maya pyramids scattered about the town and the surrounding area.

To the north of Izamal is Kinich Kakmo, a Maya archaeological site and the most significant of the Maya pyramids in the area. This largely unrestored pyramid looks very much like a symmetrical hill. Visitors who climb to the summit of the pyramid will be rewards with stunning views of the surrounding scenery. A visit to the Conejo, Itzamatul, and Kabul are also worthwhile.

One of Izamal most important sights is the Franciscan convent constructed over one of the pyramids of the Maya. In 1993, Pope John Paul visited the convent, and that visit has become one of the city’s claims to fame. There is even a statue in the courtyard of the Pope.

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More Ideas in Mexico: Cozumel

Cozumel is the place in the country of Mexico that receives the first rays of sunshine of the day. It’s network of Mesoamerican reefs spreads across more than 22 kilometers, framed by pristine white sand beaches. Cozumel is considered to be a excellent place for diving, thanks to the area’s remarkable marine biodiversity. A varied and rich assortment of marine fauna live in the underwater gardens of the reef banks. Divers can explore seven different fascinating reefs.

In addition to its dreamy, amazing landscapes, Cozumel offers a broad array of ecotourism activities, including zip lines, windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming with dolphins, surfing, fishing, and snorkeling. There are also opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, bicycling, riding motorcycles, and golfing. There’s also more fun to be had aboard the Atlantis Submarine, which offers visitors a chance to go under the sea, or visitors can explore the San Gervasio Archaeological Zone or the Chankanaab National Park.

The waterfront promenade of Cozumel is another great way to spend some time during a visit. Walking along the promenade, visitors can enjoy the lookouts and beautiful sculptures, while also taking in the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Ocean. The Diver’s Monument at the waterfront promenade is a symbol of the amazing and emblematic life underwater that conquers the senses of anyone who dares to explore the underwater world, requiring them to carry an oxygen tank in order to survive the depths of the ocean.

Visitors can take a walk through Cozumel’s central square in the evening, and meet both fellow tourists and locals alike as they enjoy a churrito or ice cream. Relax on a bench beneath the palm trees, along with the royal poincianas that offer their green leaves and orange flowers as a frame for the square’s historic buildings to one side, while visitors can enjoy the sight of the Caribbean Sea on the side. Children will particularly enjoy playing in the fountain and its singing water streams that rise up from the fountain floor. Galleries and shops offer a number of unique options for souvenirs or gifts.

Cozumel in Mexico was the home of the Ixchel, the Goddess of Love and Fertility, according to legend. Several temples were constructed to worship the Goddess Ixchel, and it’s said the she sent the swallow, her favorite bird, in gratitude. Hence, Cozumel got its name from the swallow, as the name means “Land of Swallows.”

Visitors, especially history and archaeology buffs, can also explore the San Gervasio Mayan ruins during their stay in Cozumel. These ruins are located on the island’s largest permanent freshwater mantle, which enabled the ancient inhabitants to survive without a scarcity of water. This site was also a part of the region’s extensive commercial network, and is representative of how the inhabitants integrated with the surrounding nature. The site’s white footpaths communicate the various set of architecture in the territory that have collected steps of pilgrims for centuries. The nearby ruins of El Cedral, a sacred site representing the Mayan’s first settlement on the island, are also worth a visit.

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More Ideas in Mexico: Chichen Itza

The sacred site of Chichén Itzá was one of the greatest centers of the Mayan civilization on the Yucatán Peninsula. Throughout the site’s almost one thousand year history, a number of different groups of people have left their own mark on Chichén Itzá. The artistic works and stone monuments reveal the vision of the world held by the Toltec and the Mayans. The combination of Mayan techniques in construction and newer elements from the central region of Mexico make the site of Chichén Itzá one of the Yucatán’s most significant examples from the Mayan-Toltec civilization. Several of the city’s buildings still remain, such as El Castillo, the circular observatory that goes by the name of El Caracol, and the Warriors’ Temple.

The city of Chichén Itzá was founded near two natural cenotes, or cavities, during the Classic time period. These natural cenotes close to the city gave it its name which means "at the edge of the well of the Itzaes." The cenotes also allowed the people of the Mayan-Toltec civilization to be able to tap into the water underground in the area.

The dates during which Chichén Itzá was inhabited vary according to information in local accounts. One account in a manuscript provides a date range from 415 to 435 A.D., while other accounts state the year 455 A.D. The town that arose around the area known as Chichen Viejo had already contained several significant monuments of a great amount of interest, such as the Temple of the Deer, the Temple of the Panels, Chichan Chob, Akab Dzib, the Church, and the Nunnery. These important monuments were built between the sixth century and the tenth century, and were constructed in the characteristic style of the Mayans, which was popular then in both the southern and northern areas of the Yucatán Peninsula’s Puuc hills.

The second Chichén Itzá settlement, and the one that is considered most important to historians, dates back to the migration of the Toltec warriors during the tenth century. These warriors migrated from the plateau of Mexico to the south. According to the information from the most common version of the story, Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, or known as Kukulkan as his name was translated by the Maya, was the King of Tula. He reportedly took control of the city of Chichén Itzá between the year 967 A.d. and the year 987 A.D.

After the conquest of the Yucatán Peninsula, a new style of construction arose out of the blending of Toltec and Maya traditions, which symbolized the phenomenon of acculturation. The city of Chichén Itzá serves as a clear example of this fusion. Specific examples that illustrate the fusion of traditions include the Caracol, the circular observatory that gets its name from its spiral staircase, and the El Castillo, which known also as the Temple of Kukulkan. Terraces surround the El Castillo, and are the site of the city’s major complexes of monuments, including the Jaguar Temple, the Temple of the Warriors, the house of Eagles, and the Great Ball Court.

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