At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks

GloboTreks is reader-supported through affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! – Norbert

Mexico is a vibrant country with so much to offer travelers that venture across its many cities and remote destinations. With vibrant cultural events and colorful celebrations, there is so much to learn about this wonderful North American gem.

This culturally rich country is home to some of the cheapest places to travel, world-class food, astonishing sights, and an impressively long history that binds many cultures throughout the ages.

If you want to learn some fun facts about Mexico, Mexican food, and the capital city, Mexico City, these fun facts about Mexico will help you understand and enjoy so many new aspects of this wonderful country.

These are just a few of the most interesting facts about Mexico, a fascinating Latin American country that every traveler should visit at least once.

Church in Cholula, Mexico

1. Mexico Has the World’s Largest Pyramid

While many believe that the biggest pyramid in the world can be found in Egypt, if you measure pyramids by volume, Mexico’s Great Pyramid of Cholula takes the cake.

Unfortunately, Spanish conquistadors erected Catholic churches on top of existing temples, so the great pyramid is located right underneath Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Cholula church.

Yucatan Mayan Architecture

2. There is an Abundance of Pyramids in Mexico

As we now know, Egyptians weren’t the only ones building pyramids; the Mayans also built pyramids that are still visible to this day.

A fun fact about Mexico is that it is actually home to 30 pyramids, making it a destination well worth a visit for historical architecture enthusiasts. (Yes, I’m one of those!)

Among the most popular pyramids are the ones in Chichen Itza, but the ones in Palenque are also well worth a visit. It’s actually one of the best things to do in Palenque.

3. Mexico Has 68 Official Languages

Mexico doesn’t simply have one official language, but rather 68 of them, making it possibly the most linguistically diverse country in the world. Although it can make it tricky for travelers wanting to visit.

Which words and phrases do you practice for your trip? While there are many languages spoken, the most widely spoken language in Mexico is Spanish.

Woman seated on entry in Mexico

4. There are More US Citizens in Mexico Than Foreigners From Anywhere Else

Mexico sometimes gets a bad name for itself because of the number of Mexican immigrants making their way to the US. But in recent years, the roles have reversed.

More US citizens are pouring into Mexico than the other way around, and there are more US citizens in Mexico than foreigners from any other country in the world.

5. The Asteroid That Caused The Dinosaurs To Go Extinct Hit Mexico

A mere 65 million years ago, an asteroid hit Earth wiping out the dinosaur population.

In 1981, workers drilling for oil discovered the crater where the asteroid landed. It’s located in a beach town called Chicxulub located on the Yucatan coast.

The crater is 1,950 square feet wide and located underground, but visitors can still tour the area and get to know its history.

6. Mexicans are the Second Happiest People in Central America

A study proved that Mexicans are the second happiest country in Central America after Costa Rica (and 36th happiest in the world), according to the World Happiness Report. No wonder people across the world are flooding to Mexico to live a more fulfilled and happy life.

Cinco de Mayo party

7. Not All Mexicans Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a victory celebration for the Mexican Army over the French in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. While it is widely celebrated in the US, only the town of Puebla celebrates this day in Mexico.

There are festivals, music, dancing, and Mexican cuisine street foods that make it a day to remember.

Color Television

8. Color TV Was Invented by a Mexican

A Mexican inventor named Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena created the very first color image transmission system in 1940.

At the tender age of 23, he had created something that would eventually make its way onto the Voyager 1 spacecraft and around the rest of the world.

Chicen Itza, Mexico

9. Mexico is Home to the Seventh Wonder of the World

Chichen Itza is one of the most fascinating ruins in Mexico, the Seventh Wonder of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site to rival the world’s best. The ruins are located just 3.5 hours from Cancun, a destination worth visiting while in Mexico.

10. There are 132 “Magic Towns” in Mexico

Mexico has its own version of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but instead, they call them “pueblos mágicos,” which means magical town. There are 132 of these towns in Mexico, each with its unique story and reasons to visit.

11. Yucatan Got its Name from a Miscommunication

Many believe that the area of Yucatan got its name because of a miscommunication between a local and a Spanish immigrant.

The Spaniard asked the local what the area was called and the local replied with “ma’ana tikka t’ann”, which sounds pretty similar to Yucatan. But it actually means “I don’t understand you.”

Old Printing Press Letters

12. Mexico Had The First Printing Press in the New World

Casa de la Primera Imprenta de América was the first printing press set up in the new world and is located in the heart of Mexico City.

It was set up in 1539, long before a printing press made its way to the US. It’s still housed there today, and you can tour the building during your time in the capital city.

Cholula Landscape in Mexico

13. The Oldest City in North America is Located in Mexico

Cholula is said to have been settled between 800 BC and 200 BC, making it the oldest city in North America.

In comparison, Mexico City was founded in 1325 AD, well over 1000 years later. The two cities are only 78 miles apart, proving that humans have inhabited the area for thousands of years.

14. Humans Have Inhabited Mexico For Thousands of Years

While there are cities in Mexico that date back to 2000 BC, there is also evidence that humans have inhabited the area for much longer than that.

An archeological dig called Tlapacoya near Mexico City found that there is evidence of humans living in the area an incredible 22,000 years ago.

Three Kings Statue

15. Mexican Children Get Gifts on the 6th of January

Rather than getting gifts on Christmas Day, Mexican kids get gifts on Día de los Reyes Magos, which is the 6th of January. This is believed to be the day the three wise men arrived to bring gifts to baby Jesus.

This is one of the fun facts about Mexico that not too many people actually know. Having said that, many other places, like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, also celebrate this day with gifts.

16. Mexico Has the Largest University in the New World

In 1551, Charles V of Spain founded the largest university in the New World in Mexico and named it The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). That also makes it the oldest university in North America, having started a full 85 years before Harvard University.

Chihuahua dog

17. The Smallest Dog Breed in the World is from Mexico

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world and originated in the Mexican region of Chihuahua.

These tiny dogs are said to be descendants of the techichi which were an ancient dog breed that roamed amongst the Toltec civilization.

While the techichi was a barkless dog, the Chihuahua has made a voice for itself over the past few hundred years. Surprisingly, the Chihuahua is not the country’s national dog, the title of national dog belongs to the Xolo. 

18. Mexicans Celebrate Christmas for 2 Months

While most of the world celebrates Christmas over December, Mexican families celebrate Christmas right up until Candlemas which takes place on the 2nd of February.

There are nightly celebrations in people’s homes and public areas as a source of constant celebration.

Dia de los Muertos Ceramic Skulls

19. Mexicans Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead is a National Holiday and one of the biggest celebrations of the year on the Mexican calendar.

It is a celebration that was passed down from their Aztec ancestors (who occupied most of central Mexico) and has been combined with a Catholic Holiday called Allhallowtide, as 85% of the Mexican population is Catholic.

20. Mexico is Incredibly Biodiverse

In fact, Mexico is so biodiverse that it’s considered the 5th most biodiverse country in the world. Mexico is home to 12% of the world’s biodiversity, 5th to Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia, and China.

The country has an impressive seven different climate zones, and a large number of ecosystems that include cloud forests, waterfalls, large lakes and lagoons, and coral reefs.

Yellow Taxi Sign

21. There are More Taxis in Mexico Than Anywhere Else

Mexico is said to be home to the largest fleet of taxi cabs in the whole world. There are 140,000 cabs in Mexico City alone, and that is leaving out all of the apps like Uber, BlaBlaCar, and DiDi that operate in the country.

This is good to know if you are traveling to Mexico, as hailing a cab shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Underwater view of Barrier Reef

22. Mexico is Home to the Second Largest Coral Reef in the World

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second largest coral reef in the world, second to the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is located just off the coast of the Cozumel Islands.

Diving in Cozumel is one of the must-do activities while in Mexico and can be added to a long list of other fun activities in Cozumel

23. Mexico Has a Long Coastline

Mexico has an impressive 7,000 miles of beautiful coastline. No wonder it is known for its outstanding beach destinations (which is why Cancun’s budget-friendly hostels have become so sought after).

This wonderful country is one of very few in the world that has more coastal borders than it does land borders.

Resting Jaguar in Mexico

24. Mexico is Home to the Jaguar

Jaguars are a beautiful cat species that is rarely seen by human eyes. Yet they call this country home, and it’s not hard to see why.

With stunning wetlands and cenotes for them to take a dip, and thick jungle vegetation for them to hide, there’s nowhere these creatures would rather enjoy their time.

La Bufadora Blowhole in Ensenada, Mexico

25. There is an Impressive Blowhole Located in Ensenada, Mexico

Mexico is home to one of the only blowholes in the world that sprays water more than 100 feet into the air.

The blowhole has been named La Bufadora, which means “the blowhole,” and is a natural wonder that occurs in a rocky cliff face along the Punta Banda Peninsula.

You can visit La Bufadora with this quick half-day tour.

26. Mexico is Part of a Butterfly Migration Pattern That Happens Every Year

Every year, millions of Monarch butterflies migrate to and from this wonderful country.

In early November each year, millions of butterflies fly an impressive 3,000 miles from Canada to Mexico, where they will stay until March.

The Mexico Monarch Sanctuary has now been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a great place to see these delicate creatures in action.

27. The “World’s Smallest Volcano” is Located in Mexico

Cuexcomate “Volcano” is located in Puebla City, Mexico, and stands only 43 feet tall. While it has commonly been referred to as a volcano, Cuexcomate is actually a geyser that was once used to dispose of dead bodies.

At this time, it’s a completely inactive geyser and an attraction for visitors, but it is a reminder of one of many fun facts about Mexico.

28. Mexico is Located Along the Ring of Fire

The country is located along the Ring of Fire, where 75% of the world’s volcanoes are located, and most of the world’s earthquakes take place.

The country is home to 42 active volcanoes, while there are many more inactive volcanoes as well.

Jumping in a Cenote in Mexico

29. Mexico Has More Cenotes Than Anywhere Else on Earth

Cenotes are naturally occurring freshwater pools, and there are over 6,000 of them located in Mexico, most of which are located along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

These cenotes are one of the largest cave systems in the world and provide the perfect swimming location for those looking for a reprieve from the heat.

30. Mexico City (Ciudad de México) is Sinking

This is a fun fact about Mexico City that not too many people are aware of. The once Aztec capital of the world was actually built on a lake and has sunken a great deal over the years.

Mexico City has sunken 30 feet over the years and is predicted to continue sinking in years to come.

31. Mexico City Has the Third Most Museums Compared to Other Cities

There are an impressive 145+ museums in Mexico City, third only to London’s 170+ museums and Moscow’s 400+ museums.

This populous country has so much in the way of history that there simply cannot be enough museums to display it all.

Mexican Flag

32. The Golden Eagle is Mexico’s National Symbol

The golden eagle perched on a cactus while eating a snake is an important symbol to the Mexican people. Because of this, you will find the symbol located on the Mexican flag and coat of arms.

33. Chocolate’s Origins Lie in Mexico

Mexican farmers who formed part of the ancient indigenous civilizations, including the Olmec, Aztec, Toltec, and Mayan, have been growing cocoa for over 3,000 years. The word chocolate is actually adapted from the Aztec word “xocolatl.”

While in Belize, I visited a Mayan Chocolate maker to see firsthand how the Mayas used to make chocolate.

Coca Cola bottle on the street

34. More Coca-Cola is Drunk in Mexico Than Anywhere Else

In Mexico, on average, each person drinks 163 liters of Coca-Cola per year. That comes to half a liter per person per day. That’s a higher consumption of Coca-Cola than anywhere else in the world.

35. Mexico is the World’s Largest Beer Exporter

Mexico exports more beer than any other country in the world. Corona, which is produced in Mexico, is the most popular beer in the world.

Mexico exported $4.2 billion worth of beer in 2019, and the Netherlands, which is the second largest beer exporter, only exported $2.1 billion.

Mexican Dish

36. UNESCO Approves Mexican Food

In 2010, UNESCO announced that Mexican food was an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind.”

And there are not many people that could disagree with that statement, as authentic Mexican food has become loved all around the world.

Make Salsa, Not War

37. Mexico Gave the Tomato to the Rest of the World

While many think of tomatoes when they look at Italian menus, the tomato is originally from Mexico. Hernan Cortez was a Spanish explorer that brought the tomato back to Europe in 1519.

Three Mexican tacos

38. Mexican Cuisine is Based On Corn

Traditional Mexican cuisine is largely based on corn as the staple of most meals. There are 59 different varieties of corn in Mexico that come in all different colors, from red and blue to green and white.

Corn makes up an important part of the Mexican economy as Mexican farmers are widely to thank for a large portion of the world’s maize production.

Also, you can see here how to make corn tortillas like the Mayans used to.

39. Mexico is the Most Frequently Visited Country in Latin America

Considering the natural beauty and the cultural diversity of Mexico, it should come as no surprise that it is the most visited country by tourists in all of Latin America.

Now crowds of visitors flock to the United Mexican States to enjoy the beaches, sunshine, cenotes, and cultural events the country has to offer.

40. Mexican Spanish is Different from Any Other Kind of Spanish

Mexican Spanish is an adaptation of the Spanish that comes from Spain, but new words have been added, and the meaning of other words has been altered over time.

It’s fair to say that this populous Spanish-speaking country has come up with its own version of Spanish that makes it completely unique.

"Hola" Sign

These fun facts about Mexico add to what makes this Latin American country different from any other country in the world.

Its natural beauty, cultural diversity, and borders along the Caribbean Sea make it a country unlike any other. Are you ready to pack your bags and head to this festive destination?

40 Fun Facts about Mexico that Might Surprise You
Adventure Awaits


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