Veracruz formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave officially Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states that, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided in 212 municipalities and its capital city is Xalapa-Enríquez.
This state is located in Eastern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Tamaulipas to the north, San Luis Potosí and Hidalgo to the west, Puebla to the southwest, Oaxaca and Chiapas to the south, and Tabasco to the southeast. On its east, Veracruz has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.
The state is noted for its mixed ethnic and indigenous populations. Its cuisine reflects the many cultural influences that have come through the state because of the importance of the port of Veracruz.
In addition to the capital city, the state's largest cities include Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos, Córdoba, Minatitlán, Poza Rica, Boca Del Río and Orizaba.
The state is a crescent-shaped strip of land wedged between the Sierra Madre Oriental to the west and the Gulf of Mexico to the east. Its total area is 78,815 km2 (30,430.6 sq mi), accounting for about 3.7% of Mexico’s total territory. It stretches about 650 km (403.9 mi) north to south, but its width varies from between 212 km (131.7 mi) to 36 km (22.4 mi), with an average of about 100 km (62.1 mi) in width. Veracruz shares common borders with the states of Tamaulipas (to the north), Oaxaca and Chiapas (to the south), Tabasco (to the southeast), and Puebla, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosí (on the west). Veracruz has 690 km (428.7 mi) of coastline with the Gulf of Mexico.
The natural geography can be categoried into nine regions: The Sierra de Zongolica, the Tecolutla Region, the Huayacocotla Region, the Metlac River area, the Tuxtlas Region, the Central Region, the Laguna del Castillo Region, the Pueblo Viejo-Tamiahua Region and the Laguna de Alvarado Region. The topography changes drastically, rising from the narrow coastal plains to the highlands of the eastern Sierra Madre. Elevation varies from sea level to the Pico de Orizaba, Mexico’s highest peak at 5,610 m (18,405.5 ft) above sea level. The coast consists of low sandy strips interspersed with tidewater streams and lagoons. Most of the long coastline is narrow and sandy with unstable dunes, small shifting lagoons and points. The mountains are of the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Mountain ranges include the Sierra de Topila, Sierra de Otontepec, Sierra de Huayacocotla, Sierra de Coxquihui, Sierra de Chiconquiaco, Sierra de Jalacingo, Sierra de Axocuapan, Sierra de Huatusco, Sierra de Zongolica and the Sierra de Los Tuxtla. Major peaks include Pico de Orizaba (5,700 m (18,700.8 ft)), Cofre de Perote (4,282 m (14,048.6 ft)), Cerro de Tecomates (3,227 m (10,587.3 ft)), Cerro del Vigía Alta (3,055 m (10,023.0 ft)) and Cerro de 3 Tortas (2,997 m (9,832.7 ft)). The Pico de Orizaba is covered in snow year round; the Cofre de Perote is covered in winter. Major valleys include the Acultzingo, Córdoba, Maltrata, Orizaba and San Andrés.