Federal District of Mexico
Information and Tourism
If you haven't heard of Mexico's Federal District, never fear. You are sure to have come across the more familiar Mexico City. The two places are, in fact, one and the same, created in 1825 to house the federal government of Mexico.
Mexico City's location, high up in the mountains in a bowl-shaped valley, is quite extraordinary. Once upon a time, the valley consisted of nothing more than a series of lakes. Nowadays, it is packed full of urban life and big city buildings. Still, the sheer altitude of the place is enough to make you want to pull up a chair and breathe in the rarified atmosphere of this liveliest of Latin American cities.
As a visitor, you are unlikely to get round to exploring every single one of the 16 neighbourhoods that make up the Federal District. Known locally as 'colonias', the most often-visited is the Historic Centre, which as the name suggests is the oldest in Mexico City. It certainly has the largest plaza in Latin America, known as the Zocalo, and an impressive 1,500-odd buildings deemed to be of historic significance.
For years, Mexico City has been dogged by a reputation for being over-polluted and home to a hotbed of crime. There is certainly a side to the city that has encouraged the world to harbour images of hordes of heavy tequila drinkers whiling away their days in dark and smoky cantinas. It is becoming an increasingly outdated image, however, gradually being replaced by a version of Mexico City that majors more on the finer side of Latin American life, including its culture and cuisine. Mexico City is also now one of the busiest economic centres in Latin America.
Federal District Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Mexico
- Main administrative town or city: Mexico City
- Biggest city: Mexico City
- Population: approximately 9 million
- Language: Spanish
- Area: 570 square miles / 1,475 square kilometres
Map of Mexico