64 Super Interesting Facts About Mexico to Know 

If you are interested in reading some super interesting facts about Mexico, I have got you covered here. You see, for the last 2.5 years I have been living in Mexico and during that time I have traveled to 13 different states and tried to explore and learn about my new home as much as I can. 

After 7 years of living in Mexico, you can apply for Mexican citizenship and take a naturalization exam which entails answering a series of random questions about Mexican history, culture, etc. I am always boring my partner and our friends with random stuff I have learned about Mexico so I figured, why not compile all of these cool facts about Mexico into a blog post?

Interesting facts about Mexico
Interesting facts about Mexico

Table of Contents

64 Super Interesting Facts About Mexico 

Mexico is a wonderful country that is often misunderstood and overlooked. Without further ado, let’s look at 64 super interesting facts about Mexico.

As I discover more interesting tidbits, I’ll keep adding them here.

Key Facts About Mexico 

First thing first, let’s start with the key facts that give an overview of Mexico. 

  • Mexico has a population of 129,084,597 people as of March 2024

  • Mexico City (CDMX) is the capital of Mexico and has a population of 22,505,315

  • The main national language of Mexico is Spanish, though over 67 other official languages exist as well as more than 300 dialects.

  • Mexico is the 13th country in the world with a surface area of approximately 1,972,550 square kilometers. (That’s almost three times the size of Texas!)

  • The currency of Mexico is the Mexican peso (MXN)

  • The solitary jaguar is considered the national animal of Mexico

  • Dahlias are the national flower of Mexico and were declared as such in 1963

  • Mexico’s “official” name is “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” (United Mexican States) and
    the country is made up of 32 different states. 
  • The land border between Mexico and the United States of America is the second-largest in the world after the border between the United States and Canada

  • Mexico borders the United States to the North and Guatemala and Belize to the south

  • Campeche state and the Yucatan state are considered the safest states in Mexico

  • If you move to or travel through Mexico as a foreigner (“extranjero”) in Mexico, you are going to be called a gringo/gringa, wherever you are from 
Interesting facts about Mexico
Checking out Chacchoben ruins in the state of Quintana Roo

Nerdy but Cool Historical Facts About Mexico

Many US states were once part of Mexico 

Did you know that Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, most of New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma once belonged to Mexico? Mexico and the United States fought over these regions in the two-year-long Mexican-American war.

Mexico eventually conceded and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in the city of Santiago de Queretaro. In doing so, they handed over almost half of their territory to the US, with the US paying $15 million US dollars for damages. 

Exploring Chacmultun in the Yucatan

The Yucatan was once its own independent country 

Before the Spanish colonization of Mexico, the Yucatan was its own independent country. It became independent once again between 1841 and 1848 before joining the United Mexican States again during the Caste War. (You can read more facts about the Yucatan here)

A war once started over pastries

In Mexico today, you will find amazing pastries, croissants, and types of bread that would rival what you find in France. This is largely due to a French presence and influence in the country during the 19th century. 

Between 1838 and 1839, a brief altercation broke out between Mexico and France after a French pastry chef living in Tacubaya, close to CDMX claimed that the Mexican Army had damaged his restaurant. The French demanded payment of a large sum in compensation, sent a fleet, and destroyed fortresses in Mexico to get their point across. 

Never mess around with the French and their croissants! 

Interesting facts about Mexico
Interesting facts about Mexico

There are more than 200 Mayan ruins in Mexico 

Chichen Itza may be the most famous Mayan ruin, however, it is far from the only one. In fact, it is estimated that there are more than a whopping 4,000 Mayan ruins spread out all over Central America. There are over 200 ancient Mayan cities in Mexico alone.

Most Mayan cities are found around the Yucatan peninsula and in the state of Chiapas. Each one has a unique history and played an important role in the Mayan Empire.

The ruins of Mayapan just an hour south of the city of Merida are what remains of the “last” great Mayan city which is where King Kukulkan and his people fled to after abandoning Chichen Itza. The Ezdna ruins in Campeche date back to 700 BC and were once a major commercial and political hub for the Maya, as were the Uxmal ruins and the cities along the Puuc route.

Standing in front of the largest pyramid in the world in Cholula, Puebla

The world’s largest pyramid is in Mexico 

People usually assume that the largest/tallest pyramids in the world are the pyramids in Giza, Egypt but that is not true.

The Quetzalcóatl Pyramid of Cholula de Rivadavia in Puebla state, Mexico is both the largest pyramid in the world and the largest monument ever constructed. It is 54 m (177 ft) tall, and its base covers an area of nearly 45 acres. 

Hernan Cortes was revered as a God 

When the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico in the early 20th century, Montezuma and his people believed him to be the serpent God Quetzalcoatl. They greeted him with hot chocolate but later realized he wasn’t someone with their best intentions in mind… 

Merida Cathedral is the oldest in Mexico

The Catedral de San Ildefonso in Central Merida is the oldest cathedral in Merida and one of the oldest in the Americas. It dates back to the 16th century and was built using materials quarried from the destruction of Mayan shrines and temples. 

Chocolate was invented in Mexico

Did you know that chocolate was invented in Mexico? The first cacao plants were found here and the Olmec, one of the earliest civilizations in Latin America, was the first to turn the plants into a hot cocoa beverage.

Today there are several chocolate museums scattered throughout the country where you can learn all about the history of chocolate and its importance in Mexican culture. Mexican chocolate and hot chocolate are unlike anything you will have tried elsewhere and are well worth sampling or purchasing as a souvenir from your trip.

Mexico facts
The grand Pok a Tok ball court in Chichen Itza is the largest in Mesoamerica

The largest Pok a Tok ball court is in Chichen Itza

Pok-a-Tok is a ballgame that used to be played by the Ancient Mayans. You will see the sunbleached remnants of Pok-a-Tok ballcourts at various Mayan ruins across Mexico and Guatemala.

The game was very challenging and players were required to hit a hard rubber ball through the stone hoops mounted high on the walls without using their hands. They would usually hit the balls with their hips.

To add to the pressure, sometimes the losing teams would be sacrificed! The Pok-a-Tok court at Chichen Ita is the largest in Mesoamerica but you will see these in a lot of Mayan cities across the Yucatan.

A questionably green cenote in Chichen Itza

Some cenotes were used for sacrificial rituals

Many Mayan cenotes were used for spiritual purposes, others (like the Homun cenotes) were simply used for swimming and leisure and others were used for human sacrifices.

The Ancient Mayans would throw young children and adult men into the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza, as well as precious stones and jewels to appease the Gods and as an offering to Xibalba.

El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza at sunrise

On certain days of the year, a serpent can be seen in Chichen Itza

One of the most interesting facts about Chichen Itza is that the shadow of a serpent can be seen slithering down the Temple of Kukulcán twice a year. (In Spring and in Autumn),

This phenomenon is known as “The Equinox” and a number of spiritual festivities take place at the site on this day. Even though the Ancient Mayans were considered very advanced for their time, many archeologists are still baffled about how they managed to construct El Castillo so that this serpent shadow (said to represent the serpent god Kukulkan) appears twice yearly.

The Mayan city of Dzibilchaltun, just north of Merida, sees a similar equinox every Spring and Autumn when the sunlight shines through the famous Temple of the Dolls, and is said to mark the start of the agricultural season.

Nobody knows who founded Teotihuacan 

The Pre-Colombian city of Teotihuacan is one of the world’s oldest historical sites and one of the most popular day trips that you can take from Mexico City. However, much of the city’s background is a mystery. 

Teotihuacan is believed to date back to around 500BC. The Aztecs settled here and gave the settlement its current name Teotihuacan meaning “place where the Gods were created” but when they arrived, it had already been abandoned for centuries.

Political Facts About Mexico 

  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (“AMLO”) is the current president of Mexico. His term will be up in September 2024

  • The next General Presidential Elections in Mexico will take place in June 2024 with Claudia Sheinbaum, Xóchitl Gálvez, and Jorge Álvarez Máynez competing

  • Claudia Sheinbaum, who works in office with AMLO is the current favorite to win the next Mexican Elections which means that the country could soon see its first female president!

  • Pedro Lescourine, the 34th President of Mexico was only in office for an hour before he retired.

  • You cannot buy alcohol in the days leading up to an election – either in stores or in bars. Foreigners and tourists are not exempt from this and prosecutions apply to people who break the rules.

  • Mexico has only just started rebuilding passenger train networks after Ernesto Zedillo, a former corrupt president, disbanded and sold them all 

Cultural Facts About Mexico

Itzalapapa has the most street art in Latin America 

In recent years, the sprawling East Mexico City barrio of Itzalapapa has been recognized for being not only the neighborhood with the most street art in Latin America but also the neighborhood with some of the most street art in the world. This comes after more than 9,000 murals were painted in the area as part of a beautification initiative because Itzalapapa is one of the most dangerous and impoverished areas in the capital. 

Tequila is the official national drink of Mexico

There are tons of Mexican drinks that the country is known for, but none are more famous than tequila, the country’s “national drink” and one of the top three best-selling liquors in the world. 

Tequila is a “product of designated origin” and can only be produced in certain parts of the country. Specifically, tequila production is only permitted in the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. 

However, more than 95% of the country’s tequila is produced in the namesake Jalisco village of Tequila. 

Mexico City has more museums than any other world city 

Okay, this one is a little bit iffy, but many sources state that Mexico City is the city with the most museums in the world with approximately 175 different museums. However, there is some debate as to whether Paris or London snag the title as being the city with the most museums.

Either way, Mexico City is up there in the top three and you won’t be short of historical, cultural, and art museums to visit. Some of the best spots to add to your radar are: 

  • The National Anthropology Museum

  • Museo Mural Diego Riviera

  • The Templo Mayor Museum

  • Palacio de Bellas Artes

  • Museo Nacional de las Culturas del Mundo 

Millions of monarch butterflies migrate here every year 

Did you know that millions of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico from Canada and the US each year in search of warmer climates? There are a couple of places across the country where you can see them in their natural habitats. 

The Sierra Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacan and the El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico state are two of the most popular. 

Mexican food is UNESCO-protected

When you mention Mexican food, most people think of burritos, fajitas, and tacos. However, Mexican cuisine goes way beyond that.

You could spend a month in Mexico and barely scratch beneath the surface of what the country has to offer food-wise. In fact, Mexican cuisine, with its complexity of flavors and cooking techniques, is actually UNESCO-protected.

UNESCO recognized Mexican food as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2010.

Interesting facts about Mexico
Tucking into a mouthwatering, slow-cooked cochinita pibil in the Yucatan state

Food dishes and specialties vary across the country

Regional cuisine in Mexico varies significantly from state to state. For example, Sinaloa and Northern Mexico are known for their “carne asada” and barbecued meat dishes while Jalisco is known for its birria and “torta ahogadas” (drowned sandwiches).

Yucatan cuisine is quite unlike anything served anywhere else in Mexico and a lot of dishes follow the same traditional cooking methods and recipes that were used by the Ancient Maya millennia ago.

For example, cochinita pibil is a beloved Yucatecan dish. To create it, marinated pork is cooked slowly underground in a pib. 

A pib is essentially just a hole in the ground with stones and wood at the bottom. The meat is cooked for many hours and when it is ready, it is so tender and juicy that it just falls apart perfectly in your mouth.

Interesting facts about Mexico
Glancing out from the doorway of an old pyramid in Mayapan

Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day 

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. In fact, it is not a widely celebrated holiday in Mexico at all. 

Mexican Independence Day falls on September 16th. It celebrates Mexico’s independence from the Spanish in 1810.

Mexicans don’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a big holiday in the United States (or at least, a welcome opportunity to eat your bodyweight in tacos and beer). So, it may come as a surprise to hear that the holiday is not really celebrated in Mexico.

The 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo) marks the anniversary of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. In the Puebla state capital of Puebla de Zaragoza, this is celebrated with parades and street parties but elsewhere in the country, it is just business as usual, and Cinco de Mayo isn’t really celebrated.

Interesting facts about Mexico
Interesting facts about Mexico

There are 35 UNESCO sites in Mexico 

There are 35 UNESCO-protected sites in Mexico. This means that Mexico is the country with the most UNESCO sites in all the Americas, as well as the country with the 7th most in the world! 

There are 27 cultural UNESCO sites here, 6 natural sites, and 2 mixed sites. The first site to be indoctrinated was the Historic Center Of Mexico City And Xochimilco in 1987. 

The latest was the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: Originary Habitat Of Mesoamerica in 2018. Perhaps one of the most notable UNESCO sites in Mexico is the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, one of the new seven wonders of the world. 

There are variations between Mexican Spanish and Spanish in Spain

The official language of Mexico is Spanish and indeed, if you try to learn Spanish as per what is spoken in Spain ready for your trip here, people will understand you. However, Mexican Spanish is different from Spanish spoken in Spain. 

Pronunciations of a lot of words are very different. Similarly, Mexican Spanish includes a lot of colloquialisms and slang words that simply do not exist in Spain, and vice versa.

Even words that are used on a day-to-day basis sometimes differ in Mexico and in Spain. Let’s look at a few examples. 

In Spain, corn (as in corn on the cob) is known as maíz. In Mexico, this is an elote.

Green beans in Spain are judías verdes. In Mexico, they are known as ejotes. 

Lime is known as a lima in Spain, whereas in Mexico, it is a limón.

The list goes on and it is vast. No, it is not just restricted to Mexican fruits and vegetables either! 

Some parts of Mexico experience cooler climates 

Travel to Mexico comes with the image of lounging by a pool or sinking your toes into the sand on a beach somewhere like El Cuyo, Tulum, or Cancun. But there is far more to Mexico than just tropical coastal areas and beach towns.

Some parts of the country do actually get very cold, particularly during the winter months. Nearly two-thirds of Mexico is made up of highlands and plateaux with climates that are comfortably temperate most of the year. 

Mexico City sits at an elevation of 2,300 meters, Guadalajara sits at an elevation of 1,589 meters and San Miguel de Allende sits at 1,900 meters. If you happen to be in Mexico during the hot, humid summer months, traveling to these areas provides some welcome respite from the intense heat.  

Mexican cuisine is vastly different from Mexican food anywhere else

If you have tried Mexican food in the United States, in Europe, or in Asia, you have not tried Mexican food. Mexican food that is prepared and sold outside of Mexico is drastically different from the real thing. 

Ok, some taco trucks and restaurants in California and the Southern US states that are operated by Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans do serve very good food. But generally, a taco con asado served in the US nowhere near resembles one served in the Yucatan. 

Everything has been modified to suit a Western palate. You may travel to Mexico thinking that you love Mexican food, and you may fall in love with what you find when you arrive. But it will not be the Mexican food that you thought you knew. 

Many rare and endangered animal species live in Mexico 

A lot of majestic, rare, and endangered animals live in Mexico. Jaguars, pumas, and ocelots all live in the jungles of Mexico near ruins like Chacchoben and Calakmul.

Another unusual and lesser-known wild cat that you can find here is the margay. It is a small and cute cat that resembles a domestic cat. 

In fact, there have been instances where a margay has been mistaken for a domestic cat! They are actually friendly in demeanor. 

Mexico is a great place for birdwatching 

fun facts about Mexico
fun facts about Mexico

Mexico is among the world’s most biodiverse nations. Nearly 1,000 species of birds call this beautiful country their home. 

Even if you are not someone that considers yourself to have a particular interest in birdwatching, having chance encounters with migratory birds in Mexico is spectacular. You will often be strolling by the coast and see pelicans flying overhead or hanging out on fishing boats. 

Perhaps one of the most beautiful species found here is the flamingo. If you visit Celestun in the western Yucatan or Rio Lagartos in the north, you will see thousands of these gorgeous birds. 

Approximately 30,000 flamingos call the Ría Celestún biosphere their home from November to April. Then, they move east towards Rio Lagartos. Both locations offer boat tours through the mangroves so that you can view flamingos, crocodiles, and other animals. 

You cannot drink the water in Mexico 

fun facts about Mexico
fun facts about Mexico

You cannot drink water in Mexico. Period. 

It is not just that you as a foreign person cannot drink it because your stomach isn’t used to it. The locals don’t drink it either.

The water in Mexico is purified at the source. However, the water can sometimes become contaminated on its journey to your tap. 

Mexicans will generally order huge multi-liter bottles of water which they will have delivered to their homes by truck. 20-liter (5.3 US gallon) bottles delivered to houses are known in Mexico as ‘garrafones’. You’ll find bottles of 500 ml, 1 liter, or 2 liters in Mexican stores.

Most expats in Mexico are American 

fun facts about Mexico
fun facts about Mexico

In 2020, there were approximately 1.1 million expats living in Mexico. Of those, 700,000 were from the United States.

That’s a significant chunk! There are actually more Americans moving to Mexico than Mexicans moving to the United States… 

Expats from a diverse range of countries make up the remaining 400,000 expats. Some parts of the country have become expat hotspots. 

In some cases, this has caused excessive gentrification and a rise in the cost of living. Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, Mérida, Tulúm, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun are all expat hotspots.

People still speak Mayan 

fun facts about Mexico
fun facts about Mexico

The Maya language still exists and is still spoken today. In certain parts of Mexico, including the Yucatan, you will often visit museums and archaeological sites and find that the signs are in English, Spanish, and Mayan. 

There are 32 variations of Mayan that descend from Yucatec Mayan. Approximately 700,000 speak Yucatec Maya in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo. 

Around 5 million people across Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala speak variations of it. Tzotzil Maya and Tzeltal Maya are dialects spoken in Chiapas. K’iche’ Maya is spoken in Guatemala. Many people of Mayan descent still wear their traditional Mexican dress.

Mexico City is sinking every year 

Facts about Mexico
Facts about Mexico

Due to a geological phenomenon called subsidence, Mexico City is sinking by 20 inches a year. 

Scientists first noticed Mexico City was sinking in the early 1900s. 

At that time, it was sinking at a rate of roughly 8cm a year. By 1958, that had jumped to 29cm a year. 

But why is this happening? The city was built on a lake bed and centuries of water drainage from underground aquifers have caused the ground to start to crack, compress, and sink the city. 

Scientists have stated that this damage is irreversible and that there is nothing that they can do to stop it. 

Women don’t change their names when they marry in Mexico

facts about Mexico

When you get married in a western country, it is usually the tradition for the woman to change her surname to take the name of her husband. Of course, there are also those who prefer to break tradition and do things the other way around – by having the man take the woman’s surname.

In Mexico, nobody changes their name after marriage. The woman retains her original surname and the man retains his.

If the couple chooses to have children, the kids will have a double-barrelled name. They will take both the surname of the mother and the surname of the father.

When you fill in official forms and documents in Mexico, you may be asked for your maternal and paternal names. This is why.

There are 68 native languages spoken in Mexico

Few people realize how many different indigenous peoples live in Mexico. However, the country is home to 68 different indigenous groups, each of which has its own cultures, traditions, customs, and languages.

68 different indigenous languages are spoken across the country. Furthermore, they are divided into 350 different linguistic variants.

This means that indigenous Mexicans belonging to a certain indigenous group in one part of the country may not be able to fully understand and communicate with people from the same indigenous group in another part. Nahuatl, Maya, Otomí, Mixteco, Zapoteco, Totonaco, Chol, and Mazateco are among the best-known indigenous languages.

Mexico is one of the world’s largest coffee producers

One of the lesser-known facts about Mexico is that the country is the world’s largest producer of organic coffee, as well as one of the largest producers of coffee on the whole. Much of Mexico’s coffee is produced in Chiapas, Veracruz, and Oaxaca.

If you travel to the southern state of Chiapas, it is possible to visit some plantations around Ocosingo and the Sierra Madre mountains in the south, close to Comitan. Mexican Chiapas coffee has a strong, distinct taste and you will note that a lot of cafes across the country choose to stock it.

Some people still believe in witch doctors and healers

In a lot of parts of Mexico, people believe in alternative methods to modern medicine. Catemaco in Veracruz, for instance, is a village known for witchcraft. People will travel across Mexico to obtain advice from a spiritual healer or to participate in a cleansing ritual.

In Chamula in Chiapas, a lot of people cannot afford modern medicine. Because many of them have not received a formal education, they also do not believe in it.

In the San Juan Chamula church, you will see dozens of people praying to request healing from their ailments. Many unique practices are observed here.

For instance, people will drink an abundance of coca cola or other fizzy drinks and force themselves to burp. They believe that burping expels evil and any sickness from within. Sometimes chickens are sacrificed as part of the praying ritual.

Mexican children don’t open their Christmas gifts on the 25th of December

Christmas is a big deal in Mexico, like in many other Catholic and Christian countries around the globe. However, the majority of Mexican children open their Christmas gifts on the 6th of January, rather than the 25th of December. This day is known as the Three Kings Day (El Dia de Los Reyes).

The day is named in honor of the Three Kings that visited Jesus in Bethlehem shortly after his birth, bringing with them gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Aside from it being on a different day, Three King´s day is celebrated in a similar way to Christmas Day in the west.

Houses are decorated with a nativity scene in advance of the festive season and families gather to eat dinner together and play games. A special dessert bread known as Rosca de Reyes is eaten on this day.

Frida Kahlo’s ashes are at Casa Azul

Casa Azul
Casa Azul

Frida Kahlo´s house Casa Azul is one of the most popular things to do in Coyoacan, Mexico City today. This was the house where she was born in 1907, then lived with her partner Diego Riviera, and eventually died in 1954.

Kahlo is one of the most famous Mexican artists of all time. Few people realize that her ashes are also located at Casa Azul. Frida rests inside a pre-Colombian urn that you can see inside the house when you tour her property.

Much of Chiapas is autonomous

Zapatista control approximately a third of the land in Chiapas. Tourists must pay a small fee to enter certain autonomous villages (e.g. Zinacantan).

Mexico has the only paranormal museum in Latin America

One of the more obscure things to do in Merida is to visit the city’s paranormal museum. The museum contains more than 500 objects sourced from across the world that are supposedly possessed. It is the only one of its kind in Latin America.

The meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs crashed into Mexico

The meteor that crashed into the earth 66 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs (and actually 80% of all animals) crashed into Chicxulub in the Yucatan. You cannot see the impact site as it is underwater.

However, today there is a Sendero Jurrasica in its place. This is an educational site that you can walk through to learn about the different species of dinosaurs that once existed.

Life-sized models of dinosaurs are scattered around the impact site. Chicxulub today is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Yucatan.

There are more than 6,000 cenotes in Mexico

Cenotes (freshwater sinkholes) were created when the Chicxulub meteor crashed into the earth and weakened its surface. Today, there are more than 6,000 of them in Mexico, mostly concentrated around the Yucatan peninsula.

Some cenotes are little more than holes in the ground. If you travel to the states of Campeche, the Yucatan, or Quintana Roo, you don’t have to venture far to reach a cenote.

Veracruz has a village of witches

The city of Catemaco is best known for its witchcraft. Both white and black magic is performed by the brujas and brujos (witches and wizards) here and people who believe will often travel across Mexico for exorcisms, cleanses, and other treatments.

Every year, a witchcraft festival is hosted here and people from across the world travel to Veracruz to visit. It is known as Noche de Brujas and the next event is scheduled for March 2023.

Archeologists are still finding new Mayan ruins

New Mayan ruins are still being uncovered. Some of the existing Mayan cities have not been fully excavated.

As many Mayan cities were reclaimed by the jungle after they were abandoned, who knows what other secrets and treasures still await beneath the surface? In May 2022, construction workers near Merida accidentally stumbled upon the ruins of an ancient city that they believe to be known as Xiol.

Excavation work is still ongoing today. The site is scheduled to open to the public at the end of 2022. Even renowned ruins such as Ek Balam, which feature on most people’s Yucatan itineraries, were not discovered until the 1980s.

The “yellow city” of Izamal pueblo magico in the Yucatan state

Mexico has 177 Pueblo Magicos

Pueblo Magicos are special towns and villages that have been recognized for their contribution to Mexican culture, their unique gastronomy, and their natural beauty. There are currently 177 Pueblo Magicos in Mexico and the list is ever-expanding so there are likely to be more towns added in the future.

Huasca de Ocampo in Hidalgo, Tepoztlan in Morelos and Real de Catorce in San Luis Potosi were three of the first pueblos magicos. Izamal and Valladolid are popular Yucatan pueblo magicos in Southern Mexico.

In Jalisco, Tlaqquepaque, the birthplace of Mariachi, is a popular Pueblo Magico to visit on a day trip from Guadalajara. In Sinaloa, you can visit the pueblo magico of El Fuerte, the fictional hometown of Zorro.

Virtually every Mexican state boasts several pueblo magicos.

The barrio magico program acknowledges charming districts within cities 

Following the popularity of the pueblo magico program, Mexico also introduced the concept of “barrio magicos”. These are especially charming neighborhoods in various Mexican towns and cities, designed to increase awareness of what each of these areas has to offer. 

There are currently 21 barrio magicos in Mexico City alone.

Caesar salad was invented in Tijuana

Did you know that Caesar salad was invented in Mexico? Italian chef Caesar Cardini operated a number of restaurants across Mexico in the first half of the 20th century.

He allegedly whipped up the first-ever Caesar salad in history on the Fourth of July of 1924. Cardini was called up to his restaurant in Tijuana where people had crossed the border in huge numbers looking to avoid the restrictions of Prohibition for their Fourth of July celebration.

This caused the restaurant to run out of ingredients almost entirely. Never deterred, Cardini worked with what little he had. From there, the famous Caesar salad was born!

Cool street art on the wall of a building in Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas

Final thoughts on these interesting facts about Mexico

Did you enjoy reading these facts about Mexico? Are you aware of any other interesting Mexican facts?

As I mentioned, I have been living in Mexico for several years now with my Mexican partner, and I like to learn as much about the country as possible both in preparation for the naturalization exam and for my own curiosity. I will continue to expand on this list as I discover more interesting things.

In the meantime, you may also enjoy reading about these Mexican superstitions or Mexican traditions.

Safe travels and enjoy Mexico! Buen Viaje! Melissa xo

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

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