X-Plane Mexico Complete Photoreal (Ortho) Scenery

PreviewDive into an unparalleled flight simulation experience with the X-Plane Mexico Orthophoto Scenery package. Crafted meticulously from Sentinel-2 imagery at Zoom Level 14, this freeware offering by Forkboy2 immerses pilots into the rich landscapes of Mexico without the conversion hassle. Fly Away S...

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Download hits
X-Plane 12 & X-Plane 11
File size
18.37 GB
Virus Scan
Scanned 18 days ago (clean)
Access to file
Free (Freeware)
Content Rating
5 star rating.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars by 4 PRO members.

Dive into an unparalleled flight simulation experience with the X-Plane Mexico Orthophoto Scenery package. Crafted meticulously from Sentinel-2 imagery at Zoom Level 14, this freeware offering by Forkboy2 immerses pilots into the rich landscapes of Mexico without the conversion hassle. Fly Away Simulation's rendition ensures seamless integration into X-Plane, promising a realistic journey from the skies above. Whether you're navigating cities or traversing rural expanses, this scenery add-on is a must-have for every X-Plane enthusiast.

Flying over mountains in X-Plane 12 after installing the Mexico scenery mod.Flight simulators, especially platforms as renowned as X-Plane, continuously strive to offer a lifelike experience to users. A pivotal element in this realism is the use of orthophoto scenery. The term "ortho" or "photoreal" essentially refers to high-quality satellite imagery, meticulously layered onto the simulator's terrain. This intricate technique provides a stunningly authentic representation of the Earth's surface, bridging the gap between virtual flights and real-world aviation.

The X-Plane Mexico Orthophoto Scenery package stands out in this domain. Thanks to the detailed Sentinel-2 imagery captured at Zoom Level 14, this package envelops the entire Mexican terrain in vivid detail. The landscapes, cityscapes, and intricate geographical features of Mexico come alive, giving pilots an unparalleled vista as they navigate the skies. Whether you're flying over bustling cities or serene countryside, this scenery promises a visually rich journey.

Originally developed by the talented Forkboy2, the initial release posed challenges. Users were required to manually transform JPG tile files into the DDS (sim) format, a task that proved time-consuming and complex for many. Recognizing the need for an improved user experience, Fly Away Simulation stepped in. This refined package comes pre-compiled, eliminating the need for extended conversions. Users can now effortlessly drag, drop, and commence their flight, all without the technical hurdles of the past.

However, potential users should note the comprehensive nature of this add-on. Due to its extensive details and high-resolution imagery, the download size is significant. To truly harness the package's potential and witness the Mexican landscapes in their full glory, a robust mesh add-on is recommended. Such additions, like AlpilotX's UHD mesh, further amplify the visual accuracy, ensuring that your flight simulation experience in Mexico is nothing short of breathtaking.

Highlight Scenic Areas

  • Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre): Vast and deeper than the Grand Canyon, this series of canyons in the Sierra Tarahumara offers a visual treat of intricate rock formations and lush greenery.
  • Tulum Ruins: Perched on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the ancient Mayan city of Tulum provides a blend of archaeological wonders and breathtaking coastal views.
  • Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl Volcanoes: These majestic volcanic peaks, located southeast of Mexico City, dominate the landscape with their snow-capped summits and rugged terrains.
  • Sumidero Canyon (Cañón del Sumidero): A deep natural canyon located north of the city of Chiapa de Corzo, it showcases the mighty Grijalva River and dramatic vertical walls.
  • Islas Marietas: A group of uninhabited islands off the coast of Nayarit, notable for its "hidden beach" and vibrant marine life.
  • Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve: Situated in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, it's the winter home for millions of monarch butterflies, offering an extraordinary spectacle of nature.
  • Hierve el Agua: Petrified waterfalls located in the Central Valleys region of Oaxaca. The mineral-rich springs have created unique rock formations that appear as cascading waters.

Best Airports to Start From

Below are some of the best airports to start from in the sim to experience the scenery package in full.

Major International Airports:

  • Benito Juárez International Airport (MMMX): Located in the capital, Mexico City, it's one of the busiest airports in Latin America. A takeoff or landing here provides a sprawling view of the city and proximity to the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl Volcanoes.
  • Cancún International Airport (MMUN): Situated on the Yucatán Peninsula, flights from Cancún offer majestic views of the Caribbean and a short flight to the Tulum Ruins.
  • Guadalajara International Airport (MMGL): The gateway to western Mexico, this airport serves the city of Guadalajara and offers expansive views of the region's varied landscapes.
  • Monterrey International Airport (MMMY): Located in the industrial powerhouse of Monterrey, it provides a blend of urban and natural scenery, making for a varied flight experience.

General/More Rural Airfields:

  • Chihuahua Municipal Airport (MMCU): Perfect for those aiming to explore the Copper Canyon, this airfield offers a more intimate starting point for the journey.
  • Tulum Naval Air Station (MMTU): A stone's throw away from the ancient Mayan city of Tulum, starting from this airfield ensures a quick aerial tour of the ruins and the coastline.
  • Puebla International Airport (MMPB): Nestled between the two volcanic peaks of Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, it’s ideal for those wanting a closer look at these natural wonders.
  • Chiapa de Corzo National Airport (MMCN): The closest airport to the Sumidero Canyon, it provides an opportunity for a spectacular low-altitude flight over the gorge.
  • Patzcuaro National Airport (MMPZ): Located near the heartland of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, it's a strategic starting point for those seeking a serene nature-filled flight.
  • Oaxaca International Airport (MMOX): As the gateway to Oaxaca, flights from here give easy access to Hierve el Agua and other regional wonders.

Understanding Ortho Scenery in X-Plane

Ortho scenery, a term derived from "orthophoto", represents one of the most transformative advancements in the world of flight simulation. At its core, ortho scenery is the application of high-resolution satellite imagery onto the three-dimensional terrain of a flight simulator. Instead of relying on generic, repeated textures or artistically rendered landscapes, ortho scenery brings real-world terrain and visuals directly into the simulator.

In the context of X-Plane, one of the leading flight simulation platforms, ortho scenery takes the realism up a notch. X-Plane's powerful rendering engine is capable of displaying these satellite images in stunning detail, allowing pilots to fly over terrain that mirrors the real world almost pixel for pixel. This not only enhances the visual immersion for the user but also aids in VFR (Visual Flight Rules) flying, where pilots navigate primarily by visual reference to the ground.

However, creating ortho scenery is not just about placing satellite images onto a simulator. Proper ortho scenery requires post-processing. This is essential to adjust for atmospheric effects, color balance, and to stitch together different images seamlessly. Properly done ortho can make features like roads, buildings, rivers, and other landmarks appear just as they would if you were flying a real aircraft over the area.

One should note, though, that while ortho scenery greatly enhances the ground visuals, it doesn't necessarily add 3D structures like buildings, trees, and other landmarks. For this reason, many simmers combine ortho with other scenery packs or add-ons that populate the world with these structures, ensuring a rich and comprehensive flying experience.

Images & Screenshots

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The archive mexico-xp12-ortho.zip has 5380 files and directories contained within it.

File Contents

This list displays the first 500 files in the package. If the package has more, you will need to download it to view them.

Filename/Directory File Date File Size
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Scenery08.24.230 B
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Having navigated the virtual skies for years, I've come across numerous scenery packs and add-ons. Every once in a while, an add-on comes along that truly elevates the flight simulation experience to unprecedented heights. The Mexico orthophoto scenery package for X-Plane is undoubtedly one such gem.

Preview screenshot

From the moment I loaded up the scenery, it was clear this wasn't just another run-of-the-mill package. The first flight took me over the Copper Canyon, and the level of detail was nothing short of astounding. It felt as though I was genuinely soaring over the terrains of Mexico, with every canyon, river, and ridge rendered in impeccable detail. The satellite imagery from Zoom Level 14 (Sentinel-2) genuinely makes a difference, providing a crispness to the visuals that I've rarely seen in other packages.

The airfields and airports, both major and general aviation, have been integrated seamlessly into the landscape. Taking off from Monterrey International felt authentic, with the bustling environment of a significant hub captured brilliantly. On the other hand, landing at a smaller field near the Sumidero Canyon provided a unique challenge, requiring a keen eye and deft touch, given the undulating terrains and the visual distractions of the scenic beauty.

One aspect where the scenery truly shines is in VFR (Visual Flight Rules) navigation. As someone who enjoys the challenges and rewards of VFR flying, the accuracy of visual landmarks and the realism of the terrain made for an enjoyable and realistic experience. The landmarks, such as the Tulum Ruins and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, are not just eye-candy – they serve as practical reference points, aiding in navigation.

Fly Away Simulation's decision to pre-compile the package into X-Plane's preferred DDS format is commendable. I recall the days of manual conversions with other packages, which often turned into a waiting game. Here, the transition was smooth and hassle-free, allowing me to jump right into the experience without any hiccups.

Of course, no scenery is perfect. While the vast majority of the package is flawlessly executed, there were occasional spots where I noticed minor discrepancies. But given the vast coverage of the entire country, these were few and far between, and in no way detracted from the overall experience.

Pairing this add-on with AlpilotX’s UHD mesh brought an added layer of depth, especially in areas with significant topographic variations. If you haven't yet coupled the two, I'd highly recommend doing so.

In conclusion, Forkboy2's creation, refined and presented by Fly Away Simulation, is a must-have for any serious flight sim enthusiast. It's evident that a significant amount of care, expertise, and passion has gone into crafting this package. For those looking to explore Mexico from the skies, with an unmatched level of detail and realism, this orthophoto scenery add-on is the ticket. Happy flying!

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe is a flight sim enthusiast who has been simming since the days of FS95. Adam writes all of the download section editorials after testing each of the files. Adam has extensive knowledge using various flight simulator packages and thoroughly tests the files before writing about them. Adam also like to fly real-world aircraft in his spare time and is training for his PPL.

Should you wish, you can contact Adam via email at adam@flyawaysimulation.com.

Installation icon.

Installation Instructions

Most of the freeware add-on aircraft and scenery packages in our file library come with easy installation instructions which you can read above in the file description. For further installation help, please see our Flight School for our full range of tutorials or view the README file contained within the download. If in doubt, you may also ask a question or view existing answers in our dedicated Q&A forum.


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