|CHAPTER I: THE LAND OF NEW SPAIN [p.15]
THE land of New Spain is similar to Spain, and the hills, valleys, and plains are nearly of the same manner, except that the mountains are more terrible and rugged, in so much so that no one can climb them without infinite labor, and there is a mountain range, which so far as one knows, extends for more than two hundred leagues. There are in this province of New Spain great rivers and springs of very good sweet water, extensive woods on the hills and plains of very high pines, cedars, oaks, and cypresses, besides live oaks and a great variety of mountain trees. In the interior of the province there are very pleasant slopes, and near the coast there are mountains that run from sea to sea.  The distance from one sea to the other is, for the least part, one hundred and fifty leagues, in another one hundred and seventy, in another it exceeds two hundred, and in another it is about five hundred, and higher up 2 the distance is so great that no one knows the number of leagues, because the Spaniards have not seen it, nor will finish exploring it from now on to a hundred years, and every day new lands are discovered.
In this province are found mines of gold, silver, copper, tin, steel, and iron. 3 There are many kinds of fruits similar to those of Spain in appearance, although to taste them they have neither the same perfection of flavor nor of color. It is quite true that many are excellent, and as good as those of Spain could be, but this is not generally the case. The fields are most agreeable, and full of a most beautiful herbage that grows to the [height of the] middle of the leg. The soil is very fertile and abundant, producing everything sown in it, and in many places gives two or even three crops to the year.