To be honest, it is bigger than you would have thought. Of course, if based on this traditional Mercator map (like the one below). That purple country south of the USA looks tiny. It might seem it is about the same size as Sweden or twice as small as Alaska.
We all know that map projections are very deceiving. In fact, Mexico is the 13th largest country in the world, over 4 times larger that Sweden and 15% larger than Alaska despite what Mercator map says. In Australian terms it is about the same size as Queensland.
I have found that most travelers visiting Mexico underestimate distances within the country. Hence this post.
Let’s put thing in perspective. Traveling from Tijuana, in the northwestern corner, to Cancún on the far eastern side on Mexico, would be the same as flying all the way from Ireland to Istanbul. Yes, indeed. Crossing Mexico is the same as crossing all Europe.
I know that size does matter. Especially when you are planning a trip abroad. I understand perfectly that you can spend one month in Italy visiting its open-air museums (i.e. its cities). I know that a full month spent in India will seem like too little if you intend to visit a fraction of its 35 World Heritage sites listed by UNESCO. Consider that not only Mexico is larger than Italy in size, but it is the 7th country with more World Heritage sites (34 in total).
So when I hear from fellow travelers that are wishing to spend one week and they head to Cuba or Guatemala for two weeks, I just wish they could take a look to a map and see how many sites you’d be missing out with only 10 days in Mexico. Ok, ok… I am biased because I love Mexico… but, remember, size does matter.