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Being located in North America (at about 23°N and 102°W) Mexico makes up the majority of Central America. In terms of physical geography, the area east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, including the Yucatan Peninsula, (which makes up about 12% of the country’s territory) is located in Central America; in terms of geology, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt separates the northern region of the country. Geopolitically, however, Mexico is considered a North American country.

The total area of ​​Mexico is 1,972,550 km², including about 6,000 km² of islands in the Pacific Ocean (including the island of Guadalupe and the Revilla Gigedo archipelago), the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of California. In terms of area, Mexico ranks 13th in the world.

In the north, Mexico borders on the United States (the length of the border is 3141 km). East of the city of Ciudad Juarez to the Gulf of Mexico, the border runs along the meandering Rio Grande. Several natural and man-made markers define the border with the United States west of Ciudad Juarez to the Pacific Ocean. In the south, Mexico borders Guatemala (871 km) and Belize (251 km).

Mexico is crossed from north to south by two mountain ranges: the Sierra Madre East and the Sierra Madre West, which are an extension of the Rocky Mountains of North America. From east to west, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, also known as the Sierra Nevada, runs through the center of the country. The fourth mountain range, the Sierra Madre South, is located between the states of Michoacán and Oaxaca. Thus, most of central Mexico and the northern territories are located at high altitudes. The highest mountains are in the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt: Orizaba peak (5700 m), Popocatepetl (5462 m), Iztaccíhuatl (5286 m) and Nevado de Toluca (4577 m). Three large urban agglomerations are located in the valleys between these four heights: Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico City and Puebla de Zaragoza.

The northern part of the Mexican Highlands is dominated by semi-desert and desert vegetation. In the southern part, savannahs are common, where cereals and shrubs grow. In the mountains that border the highlands, deciduous and mixed forests grow. The main tree species in them are: oak, linden, hornbeam, pine, fir.

In the south of the country, in its hot and humid part, tropical forests predominate. Evergreen forests grow on the eastern slopes, while dry, mostly coniferous forests grow on the western slopes.

About 26% of the country’s area is covered with closed forests. About 13% of the territory falls on arable land, 39% — on pastures.

In the mountain forests of the Mexican Highlands, the predominant animals are: raccoon, black bear, puma, red lynx, anteater, deer, tree porcupine. In tropical forests are common: monkeys, tapir, jaguar. The largest national parks of the country are: Cumbres de Monterrey, Sierra de San Pedro Martir, Canyon del Rio Blanca, Nevado de Toluca, La Malinge and others.

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