About Mexico (country)
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: “Estados Unidos Mexicanos”), is located at the southern part of North America. It’s a federal constitutional republic comprising 31 states, as well as Mexico City, which is a special federal entity that serves as the country’s capital.
Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers, it is the 5th largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th in the world and, with an official population of 124.9 million people, Mexico is the 10th most populous nation and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world.
About Mexico City
Mexico City (Spanish: “Ciudad de México”) is the capital of Mexico and its metropolitan area is the most populous in the Americas with almost 24 million inhabitants. It is located in the Valley of Mexico at an average altitude of 2,240 meters above the sea level. The city is divided into 16 municipalities.
In the next link you can find a Mexico City map with administrative divisions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipalities_of_Mexico_City#/media/File:MX-DF-Divisi%C3%B3n_pol%C3%ADtica.svg
Climate, weather and air-quality
Mexico City has a subtropical highland climate due to its tropical location but high elevation. The lower region of the valley receives less rainfall than the upper regions of the south.
During June the city is at the beginning of the rainy season, presenting a daily mean temperature of 19.4 °C, an average high of 25.3 °C and an average low of 13.5 °C, with a relative humidity of 69%. When visiting Mexico City in June you should expect sudden changes in weather conditions at any given time.
The expected weather behavior in a June day is: clear skies or partly cloudy from morning to midday with a fresh and comfortable temperature, sunny conditions at early afternoon with a temperature close to the maximum high, cloudy at the afternoon with a high probability of precipitation from moderate to heavy when getting closer to sunset and cold weather during night with high relative humidity.
Air pollution in Mexico City is a great concern for its inhabitants and visitors. This is the result of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, mostly diesel emissions, due to the location of the city at a high altitude. For this reason the city receives high levels of ozone and various other types of photochemical smog. There is a constant air quality monitoring and any advisory can be checked at http://www.aire.cdmx.gob.mx/default.php (in Spanish)
During the summer months the average air quality at Mexico City is at its best compared to the rest of the year due to the frequent heavy rains and storms that occur in Mexico City.
Spanish is Mexico’s de facto national language since it is spoken by the vast majority of the population (98.5%). Officially the Mexican government recognizes 68 national languages, 63 of which are indigenous, including around 350 dialects of those languages along with Spanish.
Every foreigner visiting Mexico should be prepared for interacting with the local population in Spanish since only 13% of the population speaks English, which is the most spoken foreign language in the country.
- GMT-5: Mexican Central Time Zone (Includes Mexico City and most of the country)
- GMT-6: Pacific / Mountain Time Zone (Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Sonora)
- GMT-7: Northwestern Time Zone (Baja California)
Law enforcement in Mexico City is provided by two primary agencies; the Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City (Spanish: “Secretaría de Seguridad Pública de la Ciudad de México – SSP”), who provides uniformed or preventative police, and the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico City (Spanish: “Procuraduría General de Justicia de la Ciudad de México – PGJ CDMX”) police force (known as Judicial Police) who investigate local offenses.
At the city you will also find agents of the Federal Police (Spanish: “Policía Federal - PF”) who are in charge of guard and patrol federal infrastructures such as government buildings, bus stations, airports, federal highways, etc. They are in charge of investigating and preventing federal offenses.
Tourism and Cultural information
Mexico City Downtown
The Mexico City Downtown (Spanish: “Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México”), also known as the Centro or Centro Histórico, is the central neighborhood in Mexico City. It lies in the borough of Cuauhtémoc, has just over nine square km and occupies 668 blocks. It contains 9,000 buildings, 1,550 of which have been declared of historical importance; most of these historic buildings were constructed between the 16th and 20th centuries. This site is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The borough of Xochimilco is located at the southeastern part of the city. Xochimilco is best known for its canals, which are left from what was an extensive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico. These canals, along with artificial islands called chinampas, attract tourists and other city residents to ride on colorful gondola-like boats called “trajineras” around the 170 km (110 mi) of canals. This canal and chinampa system, as a vestige of the area's pre-Hispanic past, has made Xochimilco a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The borough of Coyoacan was created in 1928 and is named after the old village of Coyoacan, where the borough government is seated. The urban sprawl of Mexico City reached the borough in the mid-20th century, turning farms, former lakes and forests into developed areas, but many of the former villages have kept their original layouts, plazas and narrow streets and have conserved buildings from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. This has made the borough of Coyoacan, especially its historic center, a popular place to visit on weekends.
The south of Mexico City, offers many options for cultural tourism such as museum, venues and theatres, also you can enjoy of their eclectic gastronomy. Some interesting sites to visit at Coyoacan are: UNAM Main Campus (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Viveros of Coyoacan (a nursery garden), Anahuacalli museum, Azteca Stadium and Coyoacan Downtown. In the next link you can find some suggestion about places that could be of your interest:
Main Campus National Autonomous University of Mexico:
- Contemporary Art Museum: https://muac.unam.mx/acerca-de-nosotros?lang=en
- Frida Khalo Museum: https://www.museofridakahlo.org.mx/en/the-blue-house/
- Anahuacalli museum: http://museoanahuacalli.org.mx/en/frontpage/#Inicio
- Visit Mexico, federal touristic agency site (In English)
- Mexico City government touristic agency site (In English)
Emergency phone numbers
Emergency services in Mexico City can be accessed by dialing 911. There is no charge to access this service from mobile phones or landlines. Be advised that the staff responding the phone calls will probably only speak Spanish.
There is also Locatel 24-hour hotline which provides access to a wide range of resources and support lines. For using this service you will need to dial 5658 1111 and ask to be transferred to the appropriate line (línea), some useful lines are:
- Línea IAPA - Support for drug users and their families
- Línea INVEA - To confirm the identity of administration officials or inspectors visiting homes or buildings
- Línea Mujeres - Support for women’s empowerment at home and in the workplace, mental and reproductive health, dealing with domestic violence
- Línea No Discriminación - To report sexual, racial, social, or other forms of discrimination
Although dialing 911 or Locatel is an easy method for contacting emergency or support lines, you can dial directly these if convenient. Here are listed some of this phone numbers:
- Rescue and Emergency Medical Squad (ERUM): 5588 7418
- Fire Department (Central HQ): 5768 3477
- Judicial Police: 5685 0636
- Tourist information and assistance (Spanish/English bilingual): 078 or 01 800 0089090
- Animal control – (can be contacted in the event of a dog bite): 5796 4260
- Civil Protection – Prevention and guidance in the event of emergencies or natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, fires, gas leaks): 5683 2222
- Traffic information, roadside assistance and accidents: 074
In case you have a problem regarding your Multiple Immigration Form (FMM - “Forma Migratoria Múltiple” in Spanish) you will have to contact the National Institute of Migration (INM – “Instituto Nacional de Migración” in Spanish). The INM office in Mexico contact information is below:
- Address: Av. Ejército Nacional 862, 1er. Piso Col. Los Morales Sección Palmas Polanco, C.P. 11540, Miguel Hidalgo, México, Ciudad de México.
- Phone: 5387 2400
- Schedule: Monday to Friday: from 09:00 to 13:00
Prior to visiting Mexico remember to:
- Search for the contact information of the diplomatic mission (Embassy or Consulate General) of your country in Mexico City.
- In case, your country does not have a diplomatic mission in Mexico be sure to have the contact information of the closest to Mexico.
- Contact your mobile carrier for specific information about coverage, dialing, mobile internet data use and roaming when being in Mexico.
- Standard Voltage: 127 V
- Standard Frequency: 60 Hz
- Standard Amperage: 15 A
The power plugs and sockets you will find in Mexico are type A and B (Mainly used in the US, Canada and Japan too), being type A the most common socket. Type B plug/socket is like type A but with an additional prong/hole for grounding; you will need an adapter to use type B plug with type A socket. If your appliances and electronic devices are not equipped with these plugs you will have to use a Type A/B adapter.
You can use your electric appliances in Mexico without any problem if the standard voltage in your country is between 110 and 127 V; be careful if you use appliances from Japan since the standard voltage there is 100 V. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 220 - 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia), you need a voltage converter in Mexico.
If the frequency of your appliances or electronic devices differ from the used in Mexico it is advised to not use them.
Remember that, if the label with the specifications for an appliance states 'INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz' it can be used in all countries in the world without using a converter but, it would still need an adapter if the plug is not compatible with the ones available in Mexico