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The Geography of Mexico

It's difficult to think of another country that corrals together such a diversity of geographical features as Mexico. The North American landmass tapers to give shape to Mexico - a sweeping tail that cuts across the Tropic of Cancer, supporting desert, swampland, jungle and volcanoes. Consequently it's also one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet.

At Mexico 's arid northern border with The United States first and third world's meet. It's also cactus country. Travelling south two vast mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre Oriental, rise to form the backbone of the country. To the east they are flanked by the coastal plains of the Gulf of Mexico, and to the west the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean.

The mountains level to form the central highlands, home to over half the country's population and one of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City. South of the capital a string of volcanoes stretches the width of the country, peaking at Popocatépetl which went beyond its nickname of 'the smoking mountain' to erupt in1997.

Further south the state of Chiapas marks a lush tropical border with Guatemala, before flattening to form the limestone tropical savannah of the Yucatán peninsula - famed for its azure waters and coral reefs.

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