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The Republic of Mexico’s 31 states and one federal district covers almost 780,000 square mi (2 million square km) making it the world’s eight largest nation. The country curves from northwest to southeast, narrowing to the
Isthmus of Tehuantepecin the south and then continuing northeast to the . To the west and south it’s bordered by the Yucatan Peninsula Pacific Ocean. The lies between the mainland and Seaof Cortes , the world’s longest peninsula. Baja California ’s east coast is bordered by the Mexico Gulf of Mexicoall the way from the border to the northeastern tip of the US . The eastern Yucatan Peninsula Peninsulafaces the Caribbean Sea.
The northern border with the
is 1,947 mi long (3,141 km), the border in the south and east with US is 596 mi (962 km) and the border to the east with Guatemala is 155 mi (250 km). The coastline totals 5,785 mi (9330 km). Belize
The northernmost portion of
is covered by two different deserts. The largest is the Chihuahuan desert which covers approximately 176,700 sq mi (453,000 sq km) and is centered between the Mexico Sierra Madre Occidentaland Sierra Madre Orientalmountain ranges. The Sonoran desert covers about 86,000 sq mi (221,000 sq km) and ranges from the majority of the Baja peninsula and the northwestern portion of the mainland.
Northern and central Mexico have also have coastal plains on the east and west and two north/south mountain ranges framing a group of broad central plateaus known as the Altiplano Central. The Altiplano Central is divided into northern and central parts, themselves split by minor ranges and varies in altitude from about 3,300 ft (1,000 mt) in the north to more than 6,500 ft (2,000 mt) in the center of the country. The central plateau is mostly rolling hills and broad valleys and includes some of the best farm and ranch land in the country. The altiplano is bound on the east by the
Sierra Madre Orientaland includes peaks as high as 12, 000 ft (3,700 mt). The plain is an extension of a plain in the Gulf Coast and is wide in the north but narrows as it nears the US . portof Veracruz
South of the Altiplano Central and the two Sierra Madres, the Cordillera (mountain range) Neovolcanica runs east-west acress the country. This range includes the active volcanoes Popocatepetl (17, 800 ft; 5,452 mt) and Volcan de Fuego de Colima (13,000 ft; 3,960 mt), as well as Mexico’s other highest peaks, Pico de Orizaba (18,000 ft; 5,611 mt), Iztaccihuatl (17,300 ft; 5,286 mt) and Paricutin (9,200 ft; 2,800 mt).
The Pacific lowlands cover a narrow strip west of
. The Guadalajara Sierra Madre del Surstretches across Guerrero and to the Oaxaca Isthmus of Tehuantepecthe narrowest part of . The north side of the isthmus is part of a wide, marshy plain stretching from Mexico to the Veracruz . In the southernmost states the Pacific lowlands are backed by the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, the Rio de Grijalva basin and the Yucatan Peninsula highlands. Each of these highlands is a tropical rainforest area stretching into northern Chiapas . The jungle turns into a region of tropical savanna on the flat, low Guatemala and at the tip of the peninsula, an arid desert-like region. Yucatan Peninsula
Northwestern Mexicoand inland northern areas are drier than the rest of the country. It is hot in the summer and north winds can make inland northern chilly in winter, with temperatures sometimes approaching freezing. Inland at higher elevations, the climate is also dry and temperate, and the mountain peaks are often capped with snow. Mexico
The Tropic of Cancer cuts across
near Mexico and Mazatlan and south of the tropic it’s hot and humid all year long along the coastal plains on either side of the country. The hot, wet season runs from May to October with the hottest and wettest months falling between June and September for most of the country. Low-lying coastal areas are wetter and hotter than elevated inland ones. Though the hottest summer extremes are generally found on the coastal plains, temperatures in the Altiplano and the Plataforma Yucateca often reach higher than 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Ciudad Victoria
In the east, rainfall is high on the eastern slopes of the
Sierra Madre Orientaland on the northern side of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. On the peninsula, along the mainland Pacific coast, along the Gulf coast north of Yucatan and in the Depresion de Balsas, annual rainfall reaches 30 inches (80 centimeters) or more. Veracruz ’s highest rainfall totals are in northeastern Mexico and along the Gulf coastal plains of Chiapas with over 98 inches (250 centimeters) per year. Tabasco
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