Geography of Mexico City


México City lies in the center of Mexico, the epicenter of the nation both geographically and historically. Mountains rise up beside the city on its high altitude plateau. The city is about 7300 feet (2225 meters) above sea level which makes the air thin and affect people who are not assimilated with headaches and light-headiness. The surrounding valley, known as the Valley of Anáhuac, is a lake basin with no outlets which has created some issues with run-off. Complex cannels and waterways were created first by the Aztec and further developed by the Spanish to accommodate the growth of the city. The time of day in México City corresponds to GMT -6, and daylight-savings time is observed in summer.

The temperature of the city averages at 18 degrees C (64 degrees F). This temperate climate is again due to the high altitude of the city. April and May tend to be hot and dry with the rainy season beginning in June ending around October. Mornings tend to be clear with rain clouds gathering in the afternoon during the summer months. February to May tend to be the warmest months. For more information on weather and updates, go to .

México City's traditional layout and orientation has always extended from north to south, the north being associated with the area surrounding the Villa de Guadalupe and the south with the Ajusco volcano, the Tlalpan neighborhood and the pass that leads to Cuernavaca.

The city is officially divided into 16 delegaciones, also known as boroughs. The boroughs are sub-divided into colonias or neighborhoods. Here is a brief break-down of areas within México City:

  • Centro Historico is the historic center was originally the old Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and still holds many historic structures.
  • Chapultepec is located close to the center, here is the Chapultepec Park, main hotel zone, the zoo and many other touristy attractions.
  • Polanco is one of the wealthiest residential areas with expensive boutiques, restaurants, night clubs and hotels.
  • Zona Rosa is an important business and entertainment district. Also known for being the major gay zone in the city.
  • Coyoacán is located south of the city and is home to the University. This is a free-spirited Bohemian area.
  • Condesa and Roma is the Mexican version of SoHo with plenty of trendy restaurants, bistros, clubs, pubs and shops.
  • San Angel located south of the city, this area is famous for its cobblestone streets, historic center and trendy shopping and restaurant area.
  • Xochimilco is an area that exemplifies early Mexico. Full of canals, the area is an important flower-growing neighborhood south of the city.
  • Santa Fe is the financial and business district west of the city. The largest mall in the city is located here.
  • Del Valle and Narvarte is a residential, business and shopping area.
  • Tlalpan and Pedregal were outlying towns that merged into the city. Still preserves it's historic center, a wealthy residential area and a medical zone.

Update 6/09/2008

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