Mexico has been blessed by nature with extraordinary places for adventure tourism by air, water, and land. Almost nine million international visitors come yearly to carry out some activity related to nature tourism. These are seven of the best Mexican adventure destinations that bring together natural beauty, challenges to overcome, and other tourist charms, ensuring a fun and enjoyable trip.
Mesoamerican Reef, Quintana Roo
This reef system – which measures 62 miles and covers four countries (Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala) – is the second-largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a wonderful place for diving, especially in the Mexican Riviera Maya, which forms part of four national parks and two biosphere reserves on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. There are countless sites for diving at different depths in the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park.
For example, there is the Cozumel National Park, the Isla Contoy National Park and the West Coast National Park of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc, as well as in the reserves of Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an. A vast number of beautiful specimens of marine fauna parade before divers’ eyes, including several species of turtles at risk of extinction, fish of all types and colors, manatees, sharks, and a wide variety of corals. All this makes diving through these reefs one of the most beautiful experiences of adventure tourism in Mexico.
Copper Canyon, Chihuahua
These ravines of the Sierra Tarahumara are more overwhelming than the Grand Canyon of Colorado and offer the possibility of practicing various adventure activities, such as hiking, horseback riding, climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, canyoning, and white water rafting. The journey on the Train El Chepe is in itself an adventure trip, crossing over bridges with abysses that will leave you breathless. The Barrancas del Cobre Adventure Park offers all the facilities to practice your favorite activity; it has zip lines, cable cars, among many others. Don’t forget to visit the Tarahumara communities, ancestral inhabitants of the mountains, with their unique cultural history.
Rafting is an exciting, adrenaline-filled sport going at full speed through the rapids of the rivers and the pleasant and refreshing contact with the water. One of the Mexican sanctuaries is the La Antigua River, passing through the Veracruz town of Jalcomulco. The river descends with variations in its level of rough water, with sectors of different degrees of difficulty for rafting. Near the river banks, there are areas for other adventure activities, such as zip lines and river trekking. Jalcomulco is located 25 miles south of Xalapa, and several operators can guide you to the best places for adventure tourism and provide the necessary equipment.
Peña de Bernal, Queretaro
Bernal is a charming Queretaro Magical Town located 36 miles northeast of Querétaro. This 945 feet high rock is the largest monolith in Mexico and is visited by elite national and international climbers. Situated in the Magical Town of Bernal, it is the third-largest monolith in the world, only behind the Sugar Loaf and the Rock of Gibraltar, and has four routes to climb. In all courses, it’s recommended to climb them with an expert guide, especially for first-timers. Other attractions include the Temple of San Sebastián and its viceregal mansions.
Valle de Bravo, State of Mexico
Paragliding originated from mountaineering when mountain climbers decided they needed something faster to descend from the summits, and it has become an adventure sport with its own personality. In Mexico, one of the best places to practice paragliding is Valle de Bravo, a town in the State of Mexico that has the ideal weather conditions for this type of flight. The Rock of Temascaltepec, located 7 miles from Valle de Bravo, is recognized as one of the world’s great destinations for these flights. Valle de Bravo has several paragliding flight schools, which teach beginners and experienced pilots the secrets and tricks of this sport.
Hot Air Balloon Rides in Guanajuato or the State of Mexico
Hot air balloon rides are a fascinating adventure that allows you to discover beautiful places from the skies with an incomparable perspective. These tours depart from several points in Mexico City, the State of Mexico, and other parts of the country. The top-rated hot air balloon rides include admiring sites such as the pyramids of Teotihuacan, Tequisquiapan, Tlaxcala, Tepotzotlan, and San Miguel de Allende.
Hot air balloon trips are driven by experienced pilots and offer shared or private rides that include a personalized certificate and toast, a worldwide tradition upon completion. The panoramic views of the majestic volcanoes Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl, Orizaba, La Malinche, and other spectacular Mexican landscapes are a unique experience from a hot air balloon.
Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas
Jungle adventure tourism enthusiasts will love the Chiapas Lacandon Jungle. This almost virgin paradise, with colossal trees, mighty rivers, and the typical heat of the humid jungle, offers many unique activities. The most popular activities include rafting, rappelling, hiking, and many other adventures. This lush territory, full of animal and plant life, is dotted with small indigenous communities, especially Choles, Tojolabales, Tzotziles, and Tzeltals, who continue to live tied to their ancient customs and traditions.
Adventure tourism is one of the fastest-growing tourism segments worldwide, and its practitioners spend more than 260 billion dollars annually. In Mexico, it’s estimated that almost nine million annual international visitors carry out some activity related to nature tourism. The possibilities of adventure tourism in Mexico are plenty, and there’s something for everyone. Plan a fun trip with friends to one of these destinations.
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