Mexico City, Mexico Meeting Planning Overview
As Latin America's largest metropolis, Mexico City offers visitors a unique experience, combining the glitz and glam of a thriving cosmopolitan city with the cultural and historical legacies of Mexico's rich past. Mexico City is not only Mexico's political, economic and cultural capital, but also the country's business capital, boasting over 17 conference centers, 160 museums, 25 historical buildings and over a dozen hotels fit for accommodating all types of events, meetings, expos and festivals.
Mexico is the Latin American commercial leader in free trade agreements with other nations. The country's commercial and corporate core is Mexico City, home to a wide variety of national and international institutions, companies, and professionals, creating a growing demand for event space. The city has two airports in the vicinity, Mexico City International Airport and Toluca International Airport, as well as a vast network of highways that connect to all points in the country, and a sophisticated public transportation system, making this destination highly accessible.
Mexico City has hosted a number of impressive conventions and expos of international caliber, including the 2008 International AIDS Conference in the country's largest business center, Centro Banamex. With up to 20,000 hotel rooms distributed among 131 meeting hotels, Mexico City is an ideal destination for groups of all sizes. Many of the hotels are designed to accommodate large-scale meeting groups. For example, the InterContinental Presidente Mexico City offers 17 meeting areas (with its largest holding up to 1,200 people), featuring high-speed Internet, technology, and a gym and fitness center.
Not only does it have the most museums of any city in the world, Mexico City ranks fourth on the list for number of theaters, after New York, London and Toronto. It is also home to four World Heritage Sites.
About Mexico City, Mexico / Additional Info
The rich and extraordinary natural beauty of Mexico City seduced the city's first settlers, the Mexicas, also referred to as Aztecs, in 1325. The Mexicas had traveled for centuries from the north, in search of a prophecy announced by one of their gods before establishing their new home. They found what they were looking for on a large island in the middle of a lake: an eagle atop a nopal cactus devouring a snake, an image that can now be seen on Mexico's national flag. It was there in the middle of the lake that the Aztecs developed their new empire, Tenochtitlan, a modern city with sophisticated agriculture connected by a system of water canals. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Tenochtitlan grew, housing a population of up to 200,000 inhabitants per square kilometer. The remains of this modern empire can be seen in Mexico City's National Anthropology Museum, as well as in the Historic Center where what is left of Tenochtitlan's Major Temple remains.
Between the years 1519 and 1521, Tenochtitlan's glory would crumble at the hands of the Spanish conquistadores. Hernan Cortes massacred the inhabitants of the city. Those that survived died soon after from diseases brought by the Spanish, like smallpox. Hernan Cortes had Tenochtitlan's wealthy supply of gold melted and shipped back to the throne of Spain, along with the Aztecs' economic currency, cacao beans, or chocolate.
After the conquest, Mexico City's new inhabitants were quick to establish a new order, inviting Mexico's first viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza in 1535, and moving Mexico's new municipal powers from Coyoacan to Mexico City. Henceforth, Mexico City's architecture and city layout would replicate examples from the Old World, with French-style avenues and Baroque-styled buildings. Mexico City's transformation from pre-Hispanic city into the capital of New Spain is still visible in its various neighborhoods, and especially in the city's Historic Center and the neighborhood of Coyoacan.
A city that has faced constant growth and development, Mexico City has become fertile ground for the arts and culture. With art galleries, museums, theaters and parks scattered about the city, the capital has become a hub of expression and opportunity, attracting people from all over Mexico and all over the world to its diversity.