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America, bounded on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2 million square kilometers, Mexico is the fifth-largest country in the Americas by total area and 14th largest in the world. For the tourist, the choices available are as varied as any one country could possibly offer. Mexico welcomes over twenty million visitors every year, for good reason. Mexico is a country where you can be snorkeling on a tropical beach in the morning, exploring ancient ruins in the afternoon, sipping coffee in a quaint colonial city in the evening and receiving a massage at a chic spa the same night. Mexico�s cherished archaeological sites are fairly well spread out across the country, which makes them accessible from a number of tourist destinations. Centuries of mysteries are held within the pyramids, temples, ceremonial palaces and ancient cities.

Mexico has over 6300 miles of coastline, which contain some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Over 4000 miles of that coastline faces the Pacific Ocean and the shores of the Sea of Cortez. Many travelers get their first glimpse of the country when arriving in Mexico City, one of the most crowded cities in the world and yet one of the most sophisticated.

Spanish is the predominant language of Mexico and is the official language although English is widely spoken in the business community and at most tourist destinations.

Mexico�s weather is as varied as the landscape of this incredible country. Mexico has cool mountain climates and the tropical heat in the southern resorts. The central plateau enjoys eternal spring like weather and the deserts of the north are usually hot and dry.

Many of Mexico�s most popular cities have spring like weather year round. The southern pacific beaches, and the Cancun area are often very hot in the summer, with almost perfect weather in the spring, fall and winter. Overall Mexico enjoys a very desirable climate, which is one of the main reasons there are so many retirees, from the U.S. and Canada, are living here and totally enjoying their life in Mexico.

Mexico is the place where you can thoroughly enjoy a great meal. There is incredible variety of restaurants and the choices of cuisine available to satisfy everyone. There are traditional Mexican restaurants, French, Chinese, Argentinean, Italian, great steak houses and everything in between. Many American chain restaurants, such as Chili's, Outback Steak House, Sirloin Stockade, Tony Roma's, Ruth's Chris and Applebee's have branches in Mexico and have become popular with locals and travelers alike. Many of Mexico�s restaurants feature live entertainment in the evenings, as an added pleasure for diners. Some upscale restaurants, especially in the major business centers, have dress codes and may require a coat and tie.

Mexico has a wide variety of restaurants that serve delicious food almost anywhere you travel in the country. The quality and pricing of meals in Mexico, even in the fancier restaurants, when compared to resort prices in most countries, is usually pretty reasonable. Great food is one of the major benefits that this country has to offer to it's visitors. Fast food fanatics will also feel right at home as McDonalds, Burger King, Carl's Jr., KFC, Pizza Hut and Domino's are all well represented in Mexico.

Telecommunications system in Mexico is pretty good. The cheapest way to phone internationally is a direct call using a phone card. Mexico has an extensive cellular telephone network. The main operators are 'IUSACell' and Spain's 'Movistar' (owned by Telefonica). There are various agencies, which rent mobile telephones in Mexico. Many good hotels now have mobile phone rental agency booths in their lobby. If you have a "Tri Band" mobile phone, you can now take it with you and use it in Mexico using the GSM (Global System for Mobile) network in Mexico, provided that your telephony provider back home has enabled international roaming on your account and has a reciprocal arrangement with the operator in Mexico. High Speed internet lines (ADSL) is now widely available in most towns and cities in Mexico, which is making Internet access ubiquitous in many offices, homes and other public spaces. Just about every town and city in Mexico has at least one Internet Caf�.

Currency Exchange
Mexico Pesos (MXN) is equal to 0.0887503 USD. That means 1USD is equal to 11.2676 MXN as of July 2007. Hotels usually are able to change money at a rate that is pretty close to the official rate. There are usually private money exchange businesses (Casa de Cambio) that are easily accessible to most travelers. The exchange rate vary, just as it does in banks. Traveler�s checks are easily exchanged, which requires that you have a passport and a photo ID. If you are going to use your credit card, there are ATM machines readily available. ATMs are available in busy locations like malls or other crowed shopping areas.

Visa Requirements
Holders of an American, Australian, Canadian, British/EU Member Country, New Zealand, and Israeli passports do not need a visa to visit Mexico. You will need a tourist permit (FMT) to enter Mexico. If you are flying, your airline will furnish this for you. Keep the copy that Immigration officials give back to you at the airport in Mexico. You must have this document to leave the country. If you should lose your permit, it is possible to get a replacement through the local immigration office (INM), if there is one.

Immunization Requirements
As of now, Mexico does not require visitors to have any particular vaccinations, although you should make sure that all your normal vaccinations are up to date. The choice is a personal one and you should speak with your doctor if you are uncertain.