MX Phone: 415.185.8311 or 415.185.8407

US & Canada Phone: 1 (214) 550.4898

The Metric System

Mexico uses the metric system of weights and measures (as opposed to the Imperial system, which is what Americans use). If you are not used to the metric system, it might seem intimidating at first, with all of those m's and l's, but if you spend a little time learning it, you'll realize that it's quite systematic and straight forward.

It seems everything in Mexico is measured in meters – anything long and skinny, like rope or ribbon, fabric, distance ("it's about 5 meters down the street") , height ("She's very tall – almost two meters."), and length ("The table is about 1 ½ meters long). It's helpful to remember that a meter is just a little longer than one yard.

Liters are also a very common measurement. The tip here is to think of the size of a 2-liter bottle of soda as a reference.

If you're driving, you'll need to think in terms of kilometers per hour (KMH) rather than miles per hour (MPH) To convert KM to MPH, simply multiply by .6. So, when you see a sign saying you've got 200 KM before you arrive at the beach, multiply 200 x .6, and you'll know you've got 120 miles to go. Or when you see that the speed limit is 100KM, multiply by .6 to get 60 miles per hour.

And finally, please note that the ≈ symbol in the conversions below means approximately. However, if you're the type who memorized pi eight digits out, go here for an easy to use converter that will give you exact measurements.

60 kmh = 37MPH
90 kmh = 56 MPH
110 kmh = 68MPH
1 kilo ≈ 2.2 pounds
1 metro ≈ 39 inches

4 liters ≈ 1 gallon
1 hectare ≈ 2.5 acres
1 sq. meter ≈ 11 sq. ft.
1 kilometer ≈ 0.6 mile
5 centimeters ≈ 2 inches

5 mL = 1 teaspoon
15 mL = 1 tablespoon
240 mL = 1 cup (8 oz.)
27 Celsius = 80º Fahrenheit

centimeter centímetro (sen TEE meh troh)
kilo kilo (KEE loh)
kilometer kilómetro (kee LOH meh troh)
meters metros (MEH trohs)
square meter metro cuadrado (MEH troh qua DRA tho)