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Zacatecas

Travel Guide North America Mexico Zacatecas

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Introduction

Zacatecas is one of the 31 states in Mexico. Zacatecas is located in North-Central Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Durango to the northwest, Coahuila to the north, Nayarit to the west, San Luis Potosí and Nuevo León to the east, and Jalisco, Guanajuato and Aguascalientes to the south.

The state is best known for its rich deposits of silver and other minerals, its colonial architecture and its importance during the Mexican revolution. Its main economic activities are mining, agriculture and tourism.

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Geography

The state has an average altitude of 2230 metres above sea level, with the capital at 2,496 metres. The state has three main geographical regions, the Sierra Madre Occidental in the west, the Mexican Plateau and the Sierra Madre Oriental. Most of it is in the Sierra Madre Occidental with highly rugged with peaks of over 2,500 metres above sea level. The mountains of the southeast and northeast are lower but there large valleys such as the Juchipila and Tlaltenango. Most of the territory has only small mesas and other areas of flat land. In the center of the state, there is a small mountain chain called the Sierra de Fresnillo, from which much of the state’s mineral wealth comes from. In the extreme northwest, there is another important mountain chain called the Sierra de Sombrerete, marked by a mountain called Sombreretillo, which is an important source of mineral wealth. Near this chain is another called the Sierra de Órganos.

No major rivers run through the state and most of the waterways run only during the rainy season. The state belongs to two basins. The south east of the state belongs to the Lerma River basin, which eventually empties in the Pacific Ocean. Rivers belonging to this basin include the San Pedro, Juchipila, Jerez and Tlaltenango. The other basin is smaller and endorheic, and does not empty into any ocean. The state has eighty dams with a total capacity of 595,337 million cubic metres. The largest of these are the Leobardo Reynoso in Fresnillo, Miguel Aleman in Tlaltenango and El Chique in Tabasco. Much of the state’s water is underground divided into twenty hydraulic zones. These are accesses with over 5,800 wells mostly for agricultural use.

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Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexico where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

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Weather

Most of the territory has a cool, dry climate, although areas in the south have more moisture, with most rain falling between June and September. The driest and coldest areas are in the northeast, known as the Salado because of its saltwater lakes.

The average annual temperature is 16 °C with most of the state being temperate. The coldest months are from November to January, with frost not uncommon. The warmest month is June. The state gets an average rainfall of 400mm per year mostly in the summer, with the warmest and wettest part of the state is along the Sierra Madre Occidental.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 10:15 on Jun 27, 16 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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