Want to know some fun facts about Mexico? You’ve come to the right place!
Mexico is an enchanting and vibrant country that’s bursting with excitement and fun. Known for its food and drink, you will also find gorgeous white sand beaches, clear blue skies, exciting culture and fascinating history.
Anna and Tom spent a year exploring Mexico and loved every second, so we’ll dive into some of the most interesting and lesser-known aspects of this fascinating country, unveiling a treasure trove of fun facts that showcase Mexico’s remarkable charm and allure.
So, buckle up and join us as we delve into the mesmerizing magic of Mexico and uncover what makes it such an unforgettable destination!
- Interesting Facts about Mexico City
- 1. A City in the Sky
- 2. Mexico Has Floating Gardens
- 3. The Angel of Independence
- 4. Mexico City is Sinking
- 5. Museums Galore
- 6. The City Has Green Lungs
- Interesting Facts About Mexico.
- 7. Mexico Has its Own Music: Mariachi
- 8. Mexico Has its Own Wrestling – Lucha Libre
- 9. It’s Home to the Oldest University in North America
- 10. Mexico Has 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
- Mexican Food Fun Facts
- 11. We Have Mexico to Thank for Chocolate!
- 12. Avocados are Important in Mexico
- 13. Tamales’ Ancient History
- 14. Edible Insects
- Fun Facts about Mexican Culture
- 15. Mexicans Celebrate Girls 15th Birthday – Quinceañeras
- 16. The Day of the Dead Celebrations
- 17. Mexican Cinema is a Must Experience!
- 18. Mexico Has Art Based on Bizarre Dreams -Alebrijes
- Interesting Facts About Mexico
- 19. Mexico’s Natural Wonders: Cenotes
- 20. Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- 21. Mexico’s Copper Canyon
- 22. Chichen Itza has a Unique Feature
- Looking for Mexico travel tips? Check out these posts:
Interesting Facts about Mexico City
We will begin with some fun facts about the lively metropolis city of Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. with a rich history and unique character.
This city is tucked away in a valley surrounded by majestic mountains. Its history dates back to Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. Nowadays, Mexico City is a super cool mix of old and new, combining ancient history with a modern, cosmopolitan vibe.
With tons of great architecture, first-rate museums, and lively marketplaces where you can find a little bit of everything, there is a tonne to see and do in Mexico City. And, oh, the food! From finger-licking street eats to fancy dining experiences, this city has it all.
1. A City in the Sky
One of the highest capital cities in the world, México City was built on a high plateau and is situated 7,350 feet (2,240 meters) above sea level.
Mexico City is located right in the middle of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, a hilly area created by the collision of tectonic plates and that’s why it’s elevated.
There are several impressive peaks in this region, including several imposing volcanoes like Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl.
Visitors may need some time to adjust to it, but it does provide the city with its own and stunning natural background.
2. Mexico Has Floating Gardens
Did you know Mexico City had floating gardens? Not only that but floating gardens you can enjoy food and drink on?!
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely something you want to visit when you’re in Mexico City. As one of Mexico City’s most popular attractions, you can enjoy a colorful boat ride through the canals and explore the unique floating gardens called chinampas.
Enjoy some Mexican foods or snacks and listen to the musicians play mariachi music while traveling from boat to boat.
If you’re looking for a fun way to do this, this tour includes a cruise along the canals of Xochimilco on a boat as well as a visit to the popular Frida Kahlo museum.
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3. The Angel of Independence
Have you heard about the Angel of Independence in Mexico City?
It’s this super cool monument that celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain. Standing tall at around 148 feet (45 meters), this iconic landmark features a column topped with a golden statue of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. You can’t miss her with her huge wings spread out, looking all triumphant and stuff!
Locally known as The Angel, can be found on the bustling Paseo de la Reforma. It’s a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike. People love hanging out around it, taking selfies, or just admiring its beauty. It’s usually busy when celebrations are taking place too!
4. Mexico City is Sinking
You might be surprised to learn that Mexico City is actually sinking! That’s right – some parts of the city are sinking at a rate of up to 9 inches (22 cm) per year.
But why’s that happening? Well, Mexico City was built on an ancient lakebed, which makes the ground beneath it pretty soft and unstable. On top of that, there’s a whole lot of groundwater extraction going on to quench the city’s thirst, and that only makes things sink even faster.
As you stroll around the city, you might spot some wonky buildings or uneven streets, all thanks to this slow-motion sinking situation. Although it’s undoubtedly unfortunate for the city’s infrastructure, it’s also an amazing sight to see in person.
5. Museums Galore
Mexico City is an absolute dream for anyone who loves museums! No kidding, the city is home to over 150 of them, so you’ll always have something interesting to explore. Whether you’re into art, history, science, or culture, these museums have got you covered.
Some places to note are the National Museum of Anthropology, where you can be amazed by relics from the Aztec era, and the Frida Kahlo Museum, which gives you an up-close-and-personal look at the life and work of the legendary artist. For contemporary art enthusiasts, make sure to visit the Museo Tamayo and Museo Jumex – their collections are seriously impressive!
With such a fantastic variety of museums, it’s a good idea to allocate enough time for exploration – you might even find yourself coming back for more!
6. The City Has Green Lungs
Let me tell you about this amazing spot in Mexico City called Chapultepec Park. Picture a huge green oasis right in the heart of the city – that’s Chapultepec! It’s often called the “green lungs” of Mexico City and for good reason. This massive park (even bigger than Central Park in New York!) helps clean the air and gives city dwellers a much-needed break from all the hustle and bustle.
Chapultepec Park isn’t just about trees and grass, though. It’s also home to some pretty cool attractions, like a castle, a zoo, and several museums (including the famous National Museum of Anthropology). You’ll find locals enjoying the park, whether it’s for a weekend picnic, a morning jog, or just a leisurely walk.
It’s the perfect spot to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature right in the middle of the urban jungle!
Interesting Facts About Mexico.
If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, you’ll soon discover all the wonderful places this country has to offer.
With it being such a vast country, there is plenty to learn. Now that you have enjoyed some fun and interesting facts about the country’s capital city, let’s dive into some fun and interesting facts about Mexico.
7. Mexico Has its Own Music: Mariachi
If you know anything about Mexico, you have probably heard of Mariachi music. It’s one of Mexico’s most iconic and beloved musical traditions. This lively, upbeat music style has its roots in Western Mexico, specifically the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Michoacán.
Mariachi music has been around for centuries, with its origins dating back to the Spanish colonial period. The bands usually feature a mix of instruments, like violins, trumpets, and a couple of unique Mexican guitars called the vihuela and the guitarrón.
Nowadays, you can find live Mariachi music all over Mexico. A great spot to catch Mariachi bands in action is at Garibaldi Square in Mexico City, where musicians gather to play their tunes and serenade the visitors.
So, if you’re ever in Mexico, make sure to take some time to enjoy the unique and infectious sounds of Mariachi music. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget!
8. Mexico Has its Own Wrestling – Lucha Libre
This wildly popular form of wrestling has been a major part of Mexican culture since the early 20th century. Lucha Libre, which translates to “free fight,” is all about high-flying acrobatics, intense action, and some pretty wild costumes. Think colorful masks, capes, and skin-tight outfits – it’s like a real-life superhero showdown!
What makes Lucha Libre so unique and entertaining is the mix of athleticism, storytelling, and theatricality. Wrestlers, or “luchadores,” are known for their dramatic moves and high-energy performances, often taking on larger-than-life personas that keep the crowd on the edge of their seats.
You can catch a match across Mexico with matches being held almost every week!
9. It’s Home to the Oldest University in North America
Did you know that the oldest university in North America is actually in Mexico? It’s called the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM for short, and it’s been around since 1551 – that’s way before Harvard was even a thing!
This prestigious university, located in Mexico City, has a seriously impressive history and has produced loads of important thinkers, scientists, and artists throughout the years.
One of the coolest things about UNAM is its incredible campus, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site! It’s filled with eye-catching murals, sculptures, and unique architectural designs that’ll make you want to snap pics left and right.
The university is known for its vibrant student life and tons of cultural events, so there’s always something happening on campus.
10. Mexico Has 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
Mexico is actually one of the countries with the most World Heritage Sites – pretty impressive, right? There are currently 35 of these incredible places scattered all over the country, showcasing Mexico’s rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty.
Some of the most famous and jaw-dropping sites include:
- Chichen Itza: Is the most famous Mayan ruin known for its iconic pyramid
- Teotihuacan: An archaeological wonder featuring massive pyramids from a mysterious pre-Aztec civilization. The best way to see this is via a hot air ballon! Trust me!!!
- The historic center of Mexico City: You’ll find beautiful colonial architecture mixed with ancient Aztec ruins
- Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve: Think lush jungles, crystal-clear lagoons, and diverse wildlife.
So, if you’re a fan of history, culture, and natural wonders, Mexico is definitely the place to be! For us, visiting Chichen Itza is a MUST-DO when in Mexico. Click the button below to find out more.
Mexican Food Fun Facts
Mexican food is an explosion of flavors and textures that’s loved all around the world. Combining indigenous ingredients with Spanish culinary influences, dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and tamales have become global favorites.
So let’s learn some fun facts about this wonderful cuisine!
11. We Have Mexico to Thank for Chocolate!
Did you know that chocolate, everyone’s favorite sweet treat, was actually invented in Mexico?
It all started with the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, like the Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs, who were the first to discover the delicious potential of the cacao tree. Instead of the creamy chocolate bars we know today, these folks enjoyed a bitter, frothy drink made from ground cacao beans, water, and spices – it was called “xocoatl.”
Over time, cacao became super important in Mesoamerican culture, even being used as currency and in religious rituals. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, they fell in love with this unique beverage and brought cacao back to Europe. From there, chocolate went through quite a transformation, with sugar and milk being added to create the sweet, silky treats we adore today.
So, next time you’re enjoying a piece of chocolate, take a moment to appreciate its fascinating origins in Mexico.
12. Avocados are Important in Mexico
Mexico is the world’s top producer of avocados! Yup, Mexico grows more of these delicious green gems than any other country. In fact, they’re responsible for about a third of the global avocado supply, which is pretty mind-blowing when you think about it!
Avocados thrive in Mexico’s mild climate and fertile soil, particularly in the states of Michoacán and Jalisco. This popular fruit plays a big role in Mexican cuisine and culture, with dishes like guacamole and avocado toast taking center stage on many tables.
So, if you’re a fan of creamy, buttery avocados, you’ve got Mexico to thank for that heavenly goodness. Ironically, very few Mexican taco types actually have avocados or guacamole in them!
13. Tamales’ Ancient History
Tamales are a scrumptious Mexican dish with a rich history. A transitional tamale is made of corn dough (masa) and filled with ingredients like meats, cheese, veggies, and even sweet fillings like fruit or chocolate. The tamale is then steamed, and when it’s time to eat, the wrapping is removed, revealing the delicious, steamed goodness inside.
Tamales date back thousands of years to pre-Hispanic times when they were prepared by the Aztecs, Mayans, and other Mesoamerican cultures. These ancient civilizations used tamales as portable food for their warriors, hunters, and travelers, making them a practical and nourishing meal option.
Not only did Mexico give the world Tamales, but they also created the largest one ever made. it’s a real record-breaker! In 2010, a team of chefs in Mexico whipped up a massive tamale measuring an incredible 1.49 miles (2.4 kilometers) long! It was made to celebrate the Day of the Candelaria, a Mexican holiday where it’s customary to share tamales with family and friends.
14. Edible Insects
Now, before you say “no way,” hear me out. Eating insects has been a part of the local cuisine for centuries in Mexico. It dates back to pre-Hispanic times. These little critters are actually packed with protein, making them a sustainable and nutritious food source.
Some popular insects in Mexican cuisine include:
- Chapulines (grasshoppers) – Often seasoned with lime and chili and served either as a topping for tacos or as a tasty snack.
- Escamoles (ant larvae) – a delicious and delicate dish after they’re sauteed with butter and spices
- Maguey Worms – Usually found in Mezcal bottles, these can be fried and enjoyed with a squeeze of lime!
So, if you’re feeling adventurous while in Mexico, give these edible insects a try! You might just discover a whole new world of flavors and textures. Plus, you’ll be joining in on an ancient culinary tradition that’s not only tasty but also eco-friendly – now that’s something to chew on!
Fun Facts about Mexican Culture
Mexican culture is a unique blend of indigenous, Spanish, and other influences. Here are some fun facts that highlight the richness and diversity of Mexican culture:
15. Mexicans Celebrate Girls 15th Birthday – Quinceañeras
Hey, let’s chat about a special Mexican tradition that’s all about celebrating a milestone in a young girl’s life: the quinceañera! This beautiful and festive event marks a girl’s 15th birthday, symbolizing her transition from childhood to young womanhood.
Quinceañeras are usually elaborate affairs, filled with music, dancing, and delicious food. The birthday girl, known as the “quinceañera,” is typically dressed in a stunning gown, making her feel like a princess for the day. One of the highlights of the party is the “vals,” or waltz, where the quinceañera shares a memorable dance with her father and other significant male figures in her life.
The quinceañera is a beautiful tradition that showcases the importance of family, community, and cultural heritage in Mexican society.
16. The Day of the Dead Celebrations
The Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos celebrations is one of Mexico’s most fascinating and colorful traditions. Celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd, this unique holiday is a time to honor and remember loved ones who have passed away. But don’t be fooled by its name – the Day of the Dead is actually a vibrant and joyful celebration of life!
Families come together to create beautiful altars, or “ofrendas,” adorned with flowers, candles, food, and other offerings to welcome the spirits of their departed relatives. One of the most iconic symbols of this holiday is the “Calavera,” or sugar skull, which is often brightly decorated and used to embellish the ofrendas.
While Dia de los Muertos is celebrated everywhere, Oaxaca is the most famous place. The streets come alive with parades, music, and elaborate costumes, as people dance and sing in a lively atmosphere that embraces both the living and the dead.
The Day of the Dead is a perfect example of Mexico’s rich cultural heritage, blending pre-Hispanic traditions with Catholic influences. It’s a truly unique experience, reflecting the deep respect and love Mexicans have for their ancestors and reminding us all of the importance of celebrating life and cherishing our memories.
17. Mexican Cinema is a Must Experience!
Mexican cinema is a dynamic and diverse world full of incredible talent and captivating stories. Over the years, the Mexican film industry has produced groundbreaking movies and launched the careers of some truly remarkable directors.
Directors Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro (One of my favorite directors of the horror genre!) have made their mark on the global stage, each earning multiple international awards, including Oscars.
It’s not just these well-known directors that define Mexican cinema – there’s a wealth of talent and creativity at every level, from independent filmmakers to mainstream blockbusters. The country’s rich history, cultural diversity, and social issues provide a compelling backdrop for storytelling that resonates with audiences worldwide.
18. Mexico Has Art Based on Bizarre Dreams -Alebrijes
Let’s talk about alebrijes, the vibrant and whimsical creatures that have become a beloved part of Mexican folk art. Alebrijes are colorful, fantastical sculptures of animals or mythical beings, usually made from paper mache or wood.
These imaginative creations are known for their intricate patterns, vivid colors, and the playful combination of different animal features, resulting in truly one-of-a-kind pieces.
The history of alebrijes dates back to the 1930s when an artist named Pedro Linares fell ill and experienced vivid, bizarre dreams filled with strange creatures. Inspired by these visions, he began creating alebrijes, and the art form quickly caught on.
Today, you can find these captivating creatures in various parts of Mexico, particularly in Oaxaca, where talented artisans have taken the tradition to new heights, carving intricate wooden alebrijes by hand.
Interesting Facts About Mexico
19. Mexico’s Natural Wonders: Cenotes
Let’s talk about one of Mexico’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders: cenotes. These stunning natural formations are found primarily in the Yucatan Peninsula and are essentially freshwater sinkholes created by the collapse of limestone bedrock. The crystal-clear, turquoise waters of cenotes make them a true paradise for swimmers, snorkelers, and divers alike.
Cenotes hold a special place in Mexican culture, as they were considered sacred by the ancient Maya civilization. The Maya believed that these underwater caverns were portals to the underworld and used them for ceremonial purposes, such as offerings and rituals.
Visiting a cenote is a must-do when you’re in Mexico, as they offer a truly unique and unforgettable experience. You can swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in the pristine waters, discovering the stunning underwater world filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and diverse marine life.
In addition to their breathtaking beauty, cenotes also provide a fascinating glimpse into Mexico’s geological and cultural history.
We LOVE cenotes and have written about them a bunch of times. Check out some of our favorite spots:
20. Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
One of Mexico’s most important and visited religious sites: the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Located in Mexico City, this stunning basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, who is said to have appeared before an indigenous man named Juan Diego in 1531.
The story goes that the Virgin left her image imprinted on Juan Diego’s cloak, which is now displayed inside the basilica, attracting millions of pilgrims and visitors every year.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe presents a chance to experience the fusion of history, religion, and architecture.
Whether you’re drawn by religious devotion or simply curious about its significance, the basilica serves as a powerful testament to the deep-rooted spirituality and cultural heritage that unites the people of Mexico.
You can check out this tour below which takes you to the Basilica as well as to the popular site of Teotihuacan.
21. Mexico’s Copper Canyon
Let’s talk about Mexico’s breathtaking Copper Canyon, a hidden gem that should definitely be on your travel bucket list.
Located in the Sierra Madre Occidental in the state of Chihuahua, Copper Canyon, or “Barrancas del Cobre” in Spanish, is a series of massive canyons that are even larger and deeper than the famous Grand Canyon in the United States.
One of the most unique aspects of Copper Canyon is the incredible variety of landscapes it offers – from high desert plateaus to lush, subtropical forests.
The best way to experience Copper Canyon’s breathtaking beauty is by taking the famous Chihuahua al Pacífico Railway, or “El Chepe,” which winds through the rugged terrain, crossing 37 bridges and traversing 86 tunnels along the way. This scenic journey offers awe-inspiring views and a thrilling sense of adventure, as you explore the canyon’s remote and untamed wilderness.
22. Chichen Itza has a Unique Feature
Let’s investigate Chichen Itza, one of the most well-known and impressively preserved ancient Mayan city, which is located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit location for history fans and interested tourists alike because it is a superb example of Mayan culture. Among its many impressive structures, the iconic El Castillo, or the Temple of Kukulcan, stands out as Chichen Itza’s most unique feature.
This massive step pyramid, which was built with precise astronomical alignments, offers a captivating spectacle during the spring and autumn equinoxes: as the sun sets, the pyramid’s architecture casts a series of triangular shadows, creating the illusion of a serpent slithering down its steps.
This fascinating display is a testament to the advanced knowledge and skill of the ancient Maya, making Chichen Itza a truly awe-inspiring and unforgettable experience.
As we’ve seen through all these amazing fun facts, Mexico is a truly captivating country with a diverse and fascinating mix of history, culture, natural beauty, and innovation.
There’s always something new and fascinating to discover in this magnificent country, whether you’re touring the historic remains of Chichen Itza, savoring the mouth-watering flavors of Mexican food, or taking in the breathtaking scenery of Copper Canyon.
So if you’re planning your trip to Mexico, make sure to come back to these fun facts and all the unforgettable experiences Mexico has to offer. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!