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MexicoCity Travel Guide

by our Mexico expert Paul Baderman
 
Paul BadermanMexico’s capital is one of the most populous in the world (21m inhabitants) and at 13,000ft one of the highest - so a gentle day or two acclimatisation can be good before plunging into the city’s intense and varied life. Built by the Aztecs using Dutch-style land reclamation from a lake, it was greatly extended by Cortez as part of the Spanish Conquest. It is now the richest city of Latin America, though with pollution and slum problems alongside. Mexicans love a fiesta and the city has many; notably a five-day ‘Carnaval’ to rival Rio’s, a whole series before, over, and after Christmas, and a remarkable Day of the Dead in November when remembrance turns into festivity. The city also loves sport having been the only Latin-American country to host the Olympics (1968), the Aztec Stadium hosted the World Cup Final (1986), and, approve or not, it has the largest bull-fight arena in the world seating 50,000. The cosmopolitan population - boosted by the city’s international financial importance - ensures an exceptionally wide range of culture and cuisine to a multi-starred level. Equally, every district has its ‘mercado’ open market, which provides both bargains and entertainment. Outside the city, Teotihuacan (about an hour away) is arguably the best set of pre-Columbian civilisation remains on the continent while snow-capped Popocatepetl (about 40 miles) is a majestic spectacle - a still active volcano that erupted in June 2011.
 

Mexico Facts

National Flag: Mexican Flag
Language(s): Spanish
Currency: Mexican peso
Dialling Code: +52
Time Zones: Mexico City : GMT - 6
Baja Calif Norte : GMT - 8
Nayarit : GMT - 7
Sinaloa : GMT - 7
Sonora : GMT - 7
Tourism Website:
http://www.visitmexico.com

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