|MEXICO - GEOGRAPHY|
When asked by King Carlos V to describe the topography of Mexico, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés wadded up a piece of paper, and handed it to the King . Indeed , Mexico has an extremely diverse and jumbled geography, encompassing nearly every geological formation found in the Western Hemisphere.
The country covers 761,603 square miles (1,972,552 sq.km.) one quarter the size of the continental U.S. Much of it is rugged and mountainous. Sixty percent of the countrys landmass is the "mesa central" or central plateau. This highland area is bordered to the east and west by mountain ranges (Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental, respectively), and to the south by a row of towering , widely spaced volcanoes. The country stretches across 17 degrees of latitude and 30 degrees of longitude.
Mexico has 8,300 miles of border, over 6,000 miles of coastline, and is touched by four major bodies of water: