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How Many States Border Mexico


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Emmalynne Savage



Mexico, with its vibrant culture, rich history, and diverse landscapes, is a fascinating country located in North America. As the 11th most populous country in the world, it shares borders with the United States to the north and Belize and Guatemala to the south. But have you ever wondered how many states actually border Mexico?


In total, Mexico is divided into 32 states and one federal district, which is home to the country’s capital, Mexico City. These states are further grouped into different regions, each with its own unique characteristics and attractions to offer.


Understanding the states that border Mexico is essential for appreciating the country’s geographic diversity and its connections with neighboring nations. From the Baja California Peninsula to the southern border and the Gulf of Mexico coastline, each region has a distinct identity and contributes to the overall cultural tapestry of Mexico.


In this article, we will explore the Mexican states that border the country, providing insights into their geography, cultural significance, and notable attractions. Let’s embark on a journey and discover the states that shape Mexico’s borders.


Baja California Peninsula

The Baja California Peninsula is located on the western side of Mexico, separated from the mainland by the Gulf of California. This long and narrow strip of land is divided into two states: Baja California and Baja California Sur.


Baja California, the northernmost state of the peninsula, is known for its stunning coastline, thriving wine region, and vibrant cities such as Tijuana and Ensenada. Its proximity to the United States makes it a popular destination for tourists seeking sun, sand, and adventure. Visitors can explore the iconic landmark of El Arco in Cabo San Lucas, indulge in delicious seafood, or go whale-watching in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.


Further south lies Baja California Sur, a state that boasts pristine beaches, dramatic desert landscapes, and a laid-back atmosphere. The capital city of La Paz is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, offering activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. The region’s crown jewel is Los Cabos, an area that encompasses both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. With luxurious resorts, world-class golf courses, and breathtaking views, Los Cabos is a haven for relaxation and indulgence.


The Baja California Peninsula is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you want to explore its stunning coastline, discover hidden coves, or immerse yourself in the unique desert ecosystem, this region offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration and discovery.


Western Border States

Along the western border of Mexico, you will find four states that share a boundary with the Pacific Ocean: Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Jalisco. Each state offers its own distinct charm and attractions, making the western border region a captivating part of Mexico.


Sonora, the northernmost state in this region, is known for its expansive deserts, rugged landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. The capital city, Hermosillo, showcases vibrant art and music scenes, while the nearby town of Puerto Peñasco attracts visitors with serene beaches and water activities. Sonora is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar, an otherworldly landscape that showcases the area’s geological diversity.


Further south, Sinaloa beckons with its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and vibrant culinary scene. The city of Mazatlán is a popular tourist destination, boasting picturesque colonial architecture, lively plazas, and lively cultural festivals. Additionally, the state is known for its musical heritage, as it is the birthplace of numerous famous Mexican musicians.


Nayarit, nestled between Sinaloa and Jalisco, is a hidden gem known for its pristine beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant surf towns. The coastal town of Sayulita has gained fame for its bohemian vibe, attracting surfers, artists, and nature lovers from around the world. Nayarit is also renowned for its eco-tourism opportunities, with the scenic Sierra Madre Occidental providing a stunning backdrop for hiking, bird-watching, and exploring indigenous communities.


Jalisco, the last state along Mexico’s western border, is a cultural and culinary powerhouse. Its capital city, Guadalajara, is the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila, and offers a perfect blend of historic charm and modern amenities. Visitors can explore the charming streets of Tlaquepaque, visit the iconic Teatro Degollado, or indulge in traditional Mexican cuisine at one of the many local restaurants.


The western border states of Mexico offer a diverse range of experiences, from rugged landscapes and pristine beaches to vibrant cities and rich cultural heritage. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or immersion in Mexican traditions, this region has something to offer for every traveler.


Northern Border States

Stretching along Mexico’s northern boundary, there are six states that make up the northern border region: Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. This region is characterized by its diverse landscapes, from rugged mountains to expansive deserts, and serves as an important gateway between Mexico and the United States.


Baja California, as mentioned previously, is located on the Baja California Peninsula and offers a unique blend of stunning beaches and desert landscapes.


Sonora, the largest state in Mexico, boasts a mix of desert, mountain, and coastal areas. The iconic Copper Canyon, a network of breathtaking canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental, is a major attraction. The state also offers opportunities to explore ancient indigenous cultures and charming colonial towns like Alamos.


Chihuahua, one of the largest states in Mexico, is home to the impressive Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range and the stunning Copper Canyon. Visitors can take the El Chepe train, one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, to explore the natural wonders and indigenous communities of the region.


Coahuila is known for its vast desert landscapes, such as the Chihuahuan Desert and the hip city of Saltillo, famous for its vibrant culture and history. The state also boasts significant archaeological sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Paquimé in Casas Grandes.


Nuevo León offers a mix of modernity and natural beauty. Its capital, Monterrey, is a bustling metropolitan city with a thriving business district and impressive skyline. The state is also home to stunning national parks, such as the Grutas de García, a system of caves, and the scenic Chipinque Ecological Park.


Tamaulipas, situated along the Gulf of Mexico, boasts beautiful beaches, charming coastal towns like Tampico, and ecological reserves. Visitors can explore the diverse marine life in the Gulf, relax on pristine shores, or indulge in delicious seafood.


The Northern Border States of Mexico are not only gateway states; they also offer a variety of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and historical sites that showcase the rich diversity of this region.


Southern Border States

The southernmost states of Mexico, which form the border with Belize and Guatemala, are Chiapas and Tabasco. These states are known for their lush tropical landscapes, ancient ruins, and rich indigenous cultures.


Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico, is a treasure trove of natural wonders and cultural heritage. It is home to jungles, waterfalls, and archaeological sites that transport visitors back in time. One of the most famous sites is Palenque, an ancient Mayan city nestled in the dense rainforest. The vibrant city of San Cristobal de las Casas showcases colonial architecture and indigenous traditions, making it a popular destination for cultural immersion.


Tabasco, located along the Gulf of Mexico, is characterized by its humid climate and fertile lands, making it an agricultural hub. The state offers opportunities to explore the mystical landscapes of the La Venta archaeological site, where giant Olmec heads stand as a testament to a long-lost civilization. Visitors can also discover the flavors of Tabasco through its famous hot sauce, made from locally grown chili peppers.


The southern border states of Mexico are a fascinating blend of history, nature, and cultural heritage. As you explore these regions, you will be immersed in the mystical allure of ancient civilizations and enchanted by the lush beauty of the tropical landscapes.


Gulf of Mexico Border States

The Gulf of Mexico, with its turquoise waters and stunning coastline, borders four states in eastern Mexico: Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Campeche. Each state offers its own unique attractions and showcases the beauty and cultural richness of this coastal region.


Tamaulipas, located in the northeastern part of Mexico, is a gateway to the Gulf. Its coastal city of Tampico is known for its vibrant port and historic center, showcasing beautiful architecture and landmarks. Visitors can explore the charming beach towns of Madero and Miramar, known for their pristine shores and delicious seafood.


Veracruz, one of the most populous states in Mexico, boasts a rich history that dates back to pre-Columbian civilizations. The city of Veracruz, its capital, is a bustling hub of culture and music influenced by Afro-Caribbean rhythms. It is also a gateway to El Tajin, an ancient archaeological site that preserves the legacy of the Totonac civilization. Additionally, Veracruz is renowned for its vibrant Carnival celebrations and delicious cuisine, especially its famous seafood dishes.


Tabasco, as mentioned earlier, is also a Gulf of Mexico border state and offers a mix of stunning coastal areas and lush tropical landscapes.


Campeche, located on the western side of the Yucatan Peninsula, is celebrated for its exquisite colonial architecture and well-preserved historical city center. The capital city, also named Campeche, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and showcases the legacy of Spanish colonization in the region. A visit to Campeche would not be complete without exploring the ancient Mayan ruins of Edzna, nestled amidst a picturesque landscape.


The Gulf of Mexico border states of Mexico provide a wealth of experiences, from exploring historic cities and archaeological sites to basking on idyllic beaches and indulging in delicious regional cuisine. Immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this coastal region and create lasting memories along the shores of the Gulf.



Exploring the states that border Mexico reveals a treasure trove of geographic diversity, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. From the Baja California Peninsula on the western side to the Gulf of Mexico coastline in the east, each region offers its own unique charm and attractions.


The Baja California Peninsula captivates with its stunning beaches, vibrant cities, and desert landscapes. The western border states, including Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Jalisco, showcase scenic coastlines, rugged mountains, and vibrant cultural scenes.


Heading towards the north, the border states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas highlight rugged mountain ranges, expansive deserts, and historic towns. These regions offer a blend of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and historical landmarks.


On the southern border, Chiapas and Tabasco enchant visitors with lush tropical landscapes, ancient ruins, and indigenous traditions. From the awe-inspiring ruins of Palenque to the vibrant city of San Cristobal de las Casas, this region is an immersion in history and nature.


Lastly, the Gulf of Mexico border states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Campeche offer stunning coastal areas, colonial charm, and a blend of historical and natural attractions.


By understanding the states that border Mexico, we gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s vastness and complexity. Each state contributes to the cultural tapestry of Mexico, showcasing its own traditions, landmarks, and natural wonders.


Whether you are seeking beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring archaeological sites, vibrant cities, or tranquil natural landscapes, the Mexican states that border the country offer a wealth of experiences. So pack your bags and embark on a journey of exploration and discovery to truly immerse yourself in the wonders of Mexico.