What happened in Mexico in 1519?
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He was the last Aztec emperor before they were conquered by Hernan Cortes in 1521.
Those are the beginning and ending years of the Mexican War of Independence against Spain.
When you think of Mexico, you may immediately picture the cliffs at Sumidero Canyon, El Puente de Dios in Tamasopo, or Citlaltepetl Mountain that peaks at 18,491 feet above se…a level. Alternately, you may think of sandy beaches, or recollect photos you have seen of the blazing sun setting behind the Pantanos de Centla. If natural beauty is not your thing, then you may associate this country with a vibrant nightlife, phenomenal shopping opportunities, or endless places to find adventure. However there are many layers to Mexico, and when you start to peel them away, you discover that cultural attractions are the heart-and-soul of this wonderful country. Even if you do not typically get excited over arts and cultural events, there are a few sites that are an absolutely must to visit.Also referred to as the Temple of Kukulkan, this Mesoamerican step pyramid is the centerpiece of the Chichen Itza archeological site. This pre-Columbian city was built by the Mayan civilization between the 9th and 12th centuries. El Castillo was used as a temple to god Kukulkan, an important feathered serpent deity. There are 91 steps on each side of the pyramid, and sculptures of plumed serpents extend down the entire length, creating haunting shadows when the sun hits them just right. Seeing this architectural phenomenon and exploring the rest of the ancient ruins is an activity that should not be missed.This Aztec temple was discovered in Mexico City in 1978. It was built back in the 14th century to honor the gods of war and water. Construction began in 1325 A.D., and at the time of the Spanish Conquest in 1521, it was the heart of the city's religious life. The Spaniards destroyed this important temple after their conquest of Tenochtitlan. After a carving was found in 1978, extensive excavations began. You will discover a stone pyramid with wide staircases that extend to the summit. Up top are twin temples for the two gods, which happened to be associated with human sacrifices that would have taken place on the altars of this great pyramid. Notable pieces include the stone eagle, Aztec warrior statues, and the Wall of Skulls, which was created with rows of human skulls covered in stucco.This pre-Columbian archeological site was once the ancient capital of the Zapotecs. It is believed this early city was home to more than 35,000 inhabitants. The Zapotecs believed in life after death, and the 190 tombs discovered there offer clear examples of these beliefs. Points of interest include the Ball Court, Los Danzantes, System II, the Palace, Southern Platform, Tomb Seven, and Central Building H. The jade-covered mask of the Bat god is found in Central Building H, and all the reason you need to explore this large structure.The Olmec civilization created this pre-Columbian archeological site in the present-day state of Tabasco. La Venta was a ceremonial and civic center. It boasts an elaborate series of tombs, buried offerings monumental sculptures, and altars. Complex C, also known as the Great Pyramid, was constructed primarily from clay, and the first element you see in the distance as you approach the site. In Complex A, five formal tombs were discovered with elaborate carvings, and stages in Complex B suggest that ritual drama was performed for the rulers. Points of interest include the Colossal Heads and the seven basalt altars.This Mesoamerican site has been subject to a variety of interpretations associated with different cultures. The site is made up of masonry platforms literally built into a hill. On the southern sides there are primarily ceremonial sites. The west side boasts terraces believed to be used for residential purposes. This is a large attraction with a lot to see, so you will want to take your time and explore. A few structures to make sure you check out include Calzada Mayor, Salon de las Columnas, Juego de Pelota, Escalinata, Murala, and Piramide Votiva.Evidence of ancient tribes can be seen throughout Mexico. Taking the time to visit some of these cultural sites will give you a deeper appreciation for the country and the beautiful native people inhabiting the land. If you are looking for one area with a nice selection of sites to explore, stick with Mexico City. Here you will find plenty of culturally significant sites, as well as some fantastic museums. Other popular attractions to check out include the Dzibilchaltun Ruins in Merida, Mayan Ruins of Tulum, and the Guachimontones Pyramids in Guadalajara.When visiting these sites it is important to remember that they are outside, and in most cases, there is virtually no shade. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. There are no corner cafes or street vendors selling water and snacks, so it is recommended to carry a backpack or bag with water and some type of snack. Don't rely on the cab driver either. Always have a map on hand, and have an idea of the direction you should be heading. (MORE)
The weather in Mexico varies by region and is determined by latitude and altitude. When planning a trip, it's important to plan around the seasons and the projected weather fo…recast for the area that you'll be traveling to. The weather in Mexico isn't always hot like some are inclined to believe, and planning a trip to the wrong place at the wrong time can cause your vacation to be less than satisfactory. Mexico is a large country, so learning about its climate well before it's time to pack is highly recommended.The temperature fluctuates in Mexico just like it does everywhere else. In winter, it's colder, and in the summer, it's hotter. However, the country does have two distinct seasons. The dry season is any time between October and May. Although you may think that the rain will ruin your vacation, the rainy season is the best time to see the country; this is when it will be green and the flowers and plants will be at their best. The dry season rarely sees rain, and if you're lucky enough to get a shower while you're there, it will usually be short and during the afternoon or evening hours. Many parts of the country begin to get dry and dusty, and it doesn't take long for the grass to turn brown.Mexico's hurricane season is from June through November. Although a hurricane can certainly ruin a vacation, Mexicans have been through it all before. Plans are set into motion as soon as it's determined that a hurricane will get close enough to cause problems. They can help you to evacuate if necessary, and if you decide to ride out the storm, they can help you to take safety precautions. Hurricane season is Mexico's low season. This equates to better rates on everything from airfare to spa treatments.If you'll be enjoying Mexico's Baja Peninsula, know that you'll probably be experiencing warm temperatures and dry conditions. The city of Tijuana, for example, only gets an average of 9 inches of rain per year. Los Cabos only receives an average of 10 inches per year, and if you travel south to the desert regions, you'll see even less rain. Rainfall in this area usually happens between December and March. In the Sierra Mountains, you can expect cooler temperatures and more rain.In the central part of Mexico, you can expect hot to warm days and cool nights. The warmest months of the year in cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara are April and May. The rainy season begins in May, and the temperatures start to drop. Cities at a higher altitude, like Mexico City, can be quite cold at night, even after a hot day, so pack a sweater or light jacket. The average high temperatures are around 75 F, and the average lows for central Mexico are in the 40s and 50s.Highs in southern Mexico are generally in the mid to upper 70s but can climb near to 90 F in April and May. The higher elevations will experience much cooler temperatures, and the nights in these cities will be chilly. The average lows are in the mid-50s, but during the winter months, they can dip down to the lower 40s. Southern weather includes the cities of San Cristobal de las Casas, Huatulco, and Oaxaca City. Even if traveling before the rainy season hits, you should still pack a light jacket.Understanding Mexico's climate doesn't have to be confusing. Just knowing the seasons and the area that you will be traveling to will help you to solve most of your packing dilemmas. You can find just about any kind of weather that you want simply by traveling through Mexico's different regions. Dry desserts, tropical forests, sunny beaches, and snow-capped mountains can all be found at just about any time of the year in Mexico.The Baja area of Mexico is one of the hottest spots in the country. Just across the border from Baja, Calif., is where the hottest temperature in Mexico was ever recorded. The record for the hottest temperature in Mexico stands at 125 F. (MORE)
For the past two decades, Mexico has worked hard to create a road infrastructure that supports the automobile and bus traffic. Bus travel in places like Mexico City is a popul…ar transportation choice for getting to and from your destination. Tourists who have never used Mexican bus routes should be aware of a few things before boarding to increase safety and awareness.While executive and first class buses adhere to strict rider numbers, local buses do not. Rider capacity is not enforced. Buses in Mexico City can get very crowded, especially if you are traveling during rush hour. If you are not keen on being smashed between people it may be a better idea to take a taxi cab. Riding a Mexican autobus at any time during the day is not for the faint of heart.If you are planning on riding the bus to Mexico City, leave your expensive possessions at home. Jewelry and watches may complement your outfit, but they also attract attention. When buses get crowded during the day, the thieves begin to strike. Tourists are often amazed at how quickly theft can happen. But, these local thieves are experts in taking advantage of a situation and swiftly making off with your accessories and wallet. Even if your jewelry isn't real, a thief isn't going to take the time to ask. You will still make yourself a target wearing jewelry.When taking a bus back and forth to Mexico City, make sure you bring cash if you plan to use the restroom facilities. All public bus stations have bathrooms, but they are not free. American travelers that have never used a public bathroom facility at a Mexican bus stop are often taken by surprise that they have to pay to go the bathroom. This is a common practice and you are not being swindled by an opportunist. Most bathrooms charge between three and five dollars.If you plan to use the bus in Mexico City to travel to outlying areas in Mexico the ride can get long. While there are food carts at the stations, the offerings may not be too appetizing or reliable. You definitely will not find a Starbucks. It is advised that you pack your own snack and bring your own water to stay full without getting sick.Mexico City has nearly 200 different bus companies. So, there are multiple ways to get to the nine different regions throughout Mexico at any given time, but there are plenty of opportunities to board the wrong bus. If you plan to use this method of transportation to travel outside of the city, familiarize yourself with the bus routes. Mexexperience.com is a great resource for travelers that need help finding companies with routes to get them where they want to go. Another resource is your hotel's concierge. They can actually make arrangements for you so you can feel confident when traveling in this manner.Traveling throughout Mexico City by bus is a convenient way to get where you need to go, but it is important that you know a small amount of Spanish to get by. While executive and first class companies (similar to Greyhound in the United States) are generally able to converse with passengers in English, this isn't the case with regional or local buses. Knowing a small amount of conversational Spanish will help you communicate. Always travel safe, too. Do not travel alone or at night, especially in remote areas of the city.If you are planning to spend time in other parts of the country, you may want to consider your other transportation options. For instance, if you are traveling from Mexico City to Cancun it may be a better option to consider air travel. Your travel time will be cut down tremendously. (MORE)
Mexico is the third largest country in North America by land area and the second largest by population. It encompasses slightly under 2 million square kilometers. It is border…ed in the north by the U.S., in the south by Guatemala and Belize, and on the east and west by the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, respectively. The climate ranges from desert to jungle. The inhabitants of Mexico are of mixed European and Native American ancestry, and mainly speak Spanish.The main part of Mexico consists of a plain, called the Mexican altiplano, bordered by two mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental. The altiplano has a northern region averaging 1,100 meters in elevation, and a southern region about 2,000 meters high.Other significant areas are the region along the Pacific coast with its Mediterranean climate and the Yucatan Peninsula, a tropical rain forest.The Tropic of Cancer cuts through southern Mexico and divides the country into temperate and tropical zones. Rainfall varies widely throughout the country. Desert and semi-desert conditions prevail in the Baja California peninsula and the northern altiplano, and in the state of Sonora. The southern altiplano is also relatively dry. Most of the country experiences strong seasonal rainfall variations.Mexico's latitudes make the country vulnerable to hurricanes. Hurricane season in Mexico runs June through November. Both coasts are affected by the storms, but the east coast more so than the west.Mexico has a population of 112 million, making it the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world by population. The country is diverse ethnically. Mexican national identity is based on a fusion of European (Spanish) and native American cultures.About 9.5 percent of the Mexican population self-identifies as "indigenous peoples." Some indigenous peoples have a degree of autonomy under Mexican law. The state with the highest proportion of indigenous peoples is Yucatan, where 59 percent of the people self-identify as indigenous.Mexico has 11 metropolitan areas with over a million people. The largest of these by far is Greater Mexico City, with 20 million people as of the 2010 census. The urban areas around Guadalajara and Monterrey have some 4 million people each, Greater Puebla has 2.7 million, and all other Mexican metropolitan areas have under 2 million people each.Birth rates in Mexico, as in much of the rest of the world, have declined over recent years. Between this and net emigration, the population is expected to peak in the early 2040s and then decline slowly. More people leave Mexico each year than immigrate into the country, with the U.S. being the most popular destination for emigrants.Mexico has a diverse geography, including deserts, mountains, rivers, coastline, high plains, and jungle. It supports rich and productive agriculture, and popular tourist destinations, as well as oil and mineral resources. It features a mix of urban and rural environments, and a rapidly developing economy. The country faces demographic, economic, and environmental hurdles over the coming decades.Mexico is one of the most seismically active regions of the planet. Destructive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are frequent. Mexico City itself is situated near two semi-dormant volcanoes. (MORE)
Mexico evokes images of sunny beaches, ponchos, large colorful hats, stepped-pyramids, and a vibrant culture. There is much more to Mexico than this, especially over the past …25 years. The country's economy has evolved quickly, and it is still in a state of transition. Find out more about Mexico's business environment and economic outlook in the following brief review.In 2002, South American economies suffered severe setbacks, led by Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Brazil. Mexico was relatively unaffected. However, the 2008 recession, triggered by overextended banking positions, hit the Mexican economy hard. Since then, the country has embarked on a major push to improve their infrastructure, tax rates, labor laws, banking system, and stock exchange while keeping inflation low. The goal is to strengthen the world's 13th-largest economy and significantly reduce the large income inequality that plagues the nation.Nearly 90 percent of Mexico's exports and imports are managed within trade agreements. Over 44 countries are represented in such arrangements to form an interlocking framework with the U.S., Canada, Japan, China, Europe, and several South American countries, amongst others. Although free trade agreements tend to dampen economic growth for the "poorer partners" in the group, Mexico has thrived in almost every aspect. The general policy is to form partnerships that each side develops within their best interests. The "conjoined risk/reward" strategy lets Mexico gain footholds in markets and industries as a producer, not merely a supplier of low-cost labor. This success is evident in the growing presence of Mexican companies in electronics, telecommunications, and engineering-based industries.The overarching story in Mexico for the past decade has been the horrible violence of drug cartel wars. Over 51,000 people have been killed, with the violence spreading to reporters, bloggers, schools, universities, and even tourist hotspots. As interdiction increased in Colombia and other South American countries, the Mexican cartels morphed from "movers" to "controllers." Unlike other cartel wars, this one moved into realms that were once regarded as untouchable, such as killing reporters, bombing news offices, kidnapping community leaders of anti-drug programs, and even taking schools hostage. The negative impact on the economy in terms of lost productivity and corruption is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.Carlos Slim, a Mexican magnate, founded a telecommunications company that, over time, became the dominant provider of such services in Mexico, then branched out to other countries. What propelled Slim's empire initially was being granted a monopoly in telephone services. This tendency is also present in cement, oil, banking, and other key economic sectors. It is a throwback to the days of Mexican leader Porfirio Diaz, who sought to modernize Mexico's economy by "handing out" business and industry niches for development. Recent government efforts are aimed at reducing or even eliminating these virtual monopolies, but resistance is high.Mexico was once the sixth most visited country in the world. Over the past decade, it has seen its position slip to eighth. A more damaging impact is that the average stay has dropped from almost five days to three, so that fewer visitors are spending fewer pesos in the country. The drug cartel violence is partially to blame, but also the growing disparity between rich and poor in Mexico. Protests and strikes are increasingly common, fostering an atmosphere of dissent and confrontation that does not blend well with vacations and honeymoons.As Mexico taps into its mineral resources (iron, copper, silver) and develops a multifaceted high-tech industry platform, the prospects for growth are quite strong. Pending free trade agreements with India, Australia, and Indonesia could give Mexico an unprecedented global reach. The transition from rural agriculture to urban life is still disruptive, at many levels. One example is that Mexico surpassed the U.S. as the "most overweight" country in the world, as the normally-healthy Mexican diet is now loaded with fats, sugars, preservatives, and a sedentary lifestyle, while some 18-20 percent of the population still struggles to rise above the development level of Syria. Change is not easy, and how Mexico manages its transition in the next few years could see the rise of an economic superpower or a memory of "what might have been."Mexico is poised on an exciting edge, or actually, several exciting edges. Its universities are expanding faster than those in the U.S. and Europe are. If the infrastructure upgrade is completed, then the Mexican States can finally be in constant contact, verbal and physical, in ways that the country has never had before. It could be that Mexico becomes the hub of a new economic system, a development well worth watching.Mexico City, surpassing 25 million residents, is the eighth-richest city in the world. It ranks as the richest city in Latin America. It has the most museums of any city in the world, over 160, almost all of them offering free admission on Sundays. (MORE)
If you are looking at going on a family vacation in Mexico, you definitely want to take a few things into consideration when it comes to staying safe. All-inclusive resorts ca…n be deemed safe, but this also depends on what area of Mexico they are in. If you have young children, it can be even more important to pay attention when planning your destinations, flights, and area that you will be staying, or visiting. Enjoying yourself is the most important thing, but you want to make sure that your safety is at the top of the list as well.Do not allow anyone to wander off by themselves, day or night. Sometimes when you stay at an all-inclusive resort, you may want to go shopping during the day, or go swimming at the beach. All of this is fine, but do not allow anyone to be alone. This lowers the chances of someone being injured, or something happening if they were to be by themselves.If you are looking for an all-inclusive resort that is in a good area, you might consider the Allegro Papagayo. Learning as much as you can about where you will be going is ideal. You can find a lot of information online about specific areas, resorts, and places that you should not go as well.You can use social networking sites, or even sites related to traveling, to talk to locals in Mexico. They may be able to tell you where the best places are. They can also tell you what places to avoid. They will know the most when it comes to what to expect in their area, as well as what you should do while you are there, for entertainment ideas.Try to avoid vacationing at the busiest times of the year. Not only will this limit your options in the safer parts of Mexico, but it will also make things harder when it comes to having things to do. All inclusive resorts fill up fast during the popular times of the year when it comes to traveling, so try going on vacation during the less popular months, from July to November.If you feel that the area you are traveling to, may not be the safest, or if you are just concerned about safety, you should protect yourself. You can keep a baseball bat with your, or even protect yourself with mace, which is a great idea when it comes to protecting yourself, but not seriously injuring someone.Make it a point not to leave your room after a certain time. This can help to keep everyone safe. Order dinner in, or go out for dinner before it gets dark. A lot of the time, all-inclusive resorts will have food options available, like room service, so that you do not have to go anywhere.An all inclusive resort, like the Hacienda, is a definitely a great option for family vacations in Mexico. These resorts tend to be on the higher end of nice hotels, and they make the money worth spending. When it comes to having a good time, possibilities are endless for entertainment. It's a great idea to make sure that you have an extra money stash, to be prepared for any emergencies that might come up. Enjoy yourself, be with your family, and love the scenery.If you are unsure about what areas are safest in Mexico, you can do research on crime statistics, in the areas you are most interested in. This can help you make sense of what areas are the best or worst when it comes to safety. (MORE)
Because Mexico is located atop three tectonic plates (North American, Pacific and Cocos Plates); this means Mexico is one of the most geologically active regions of Earth. Thi…s also has resulted in a varied topography, which includes the three Sierra Madre mountain ranges, the Mexican Altiplano and the flat lands around the Yucatan Peninsula. (MORE)
Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire fell before Hernan Cortes and his conquistadores, thus conquering Mexico for the Spanish crown.
It depends. Major natural disasters hit Mexico every couple of years: most of them are hurricanes which are accompanied by floods and general economic losses. Minor disasters …such as landslides, earthquakes or floods are more common but have less impact on both the economy and the people affected by such disasters. Man-made disasters such as toxic spills, fires and explosions are even less common or don't have a meaningful impact besides a couple of casualties. (MORE)