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Old 08-09-2013, 04:21 PM
344 posts, read 1,051,396 times
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I'm trying to learn more about Mexico (as you might have noticed by my other threads in this Mexico forum). I realized I don't know much about the differences between the coasts.

I'm from the US, and there are distinct differences between the coasts, and I've been lucky enough to travel and live on both. I'd say the west coast has more open space, milder climate, far less humidity, almost no snow except inland and at higher elevations, etc. More evergreen trees, bigger mountains in general. The pacific ocean tends to be colder than the atlantic, the cities tend to be on a "grid" structure more because they're newer, whereas east coast cities have more winding roads, the cities on the east coast tend to have better mass transit on average and are more walkable (on average). etc. etc. etc.

What about Mexico? I know absolutely nothing. How would you describe and compare the two coasts of Mexico (pacific and atlantic), and any area i might have left out like the Yucatan if you care to add about that...

This can be in terms of climate, geography, ocean/beach, people, mood/feel, how developed they are (maybe one coast is far more rustic and less developed?i don't know), prices, ANYTHING.

Thanks!! Any general thoughts would be fascinating to read.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:20 PM
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First thing to remember is Mexico is not on the Atlantic, its either on the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea. It makes a big difference because both are extremely warm bodies of water year round. One obvious difference is the Gulf coast of Mexico deals with a lot more coastal pollution due to offshore oil drilling and shipping activity. So almost every coast side town until you get to Cancun is really not what it could be. Towns like Tampico and Veracruz are business/shipping towns first, but still do a decent tourist trade in their beach areas mostly with Mexican vacationers. Other than Manzanillo there really is no town on the Pacific coast like this. Pacific coast towns have long been drawing vacationers and much of the draw has been to foreigners. Mazatlan still does a brisk domestic travel business in summer, but otherwise all the towns you have heard of were built with drawing the international traveler in mind. On the other side of Mexico this really only applies to Cancun and its now developed neighborhood into the Riviera Maya.

Further to remember is Mexico didn't develop from the coasts in. It developed more from the inside out. The population has for many centuries been more numerous in the highlands than the coasts. Air travel was the real driver of coastal development.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:32 PM
Location: Philadelphia
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With the exception of far north Baja (like Tijuana), the Pacific is just as warm as the Gulf and Caribbean in Mexico, although Cabo's waters in winter (while still warm) are cooler than Cancun's winter waters, or the winter waters of Veracruz or Mazatlan. This is simply because Cabo is further north.

Veracruz (Gulf of Mexico):

The thing about the Gulf Coast of Mexico is, while there are some crystal-clear areas, most of the beaches look like this. The ocean is warm year-round thanks to the tropical climate, but the beaches aren't any more impressive than the beaches of Mississippi, otherwise.

Compare that to these places below.

Cabo San Lucas (where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez):

La Paz (Sea of Cortez):

Mazatlan (Pacific):

Playa del Carmen (Caribbean Sea):
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