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Mexico has been blessed by nature with exceptional locations for adventure tourism by air, sea and land. Almost nine million international visitors come annually to conduct activities related to nature tourism. These are seven of the best Mexican adventure destinations that combine natural beauty, challenges to be overcome and other tourist attractions, guaranteeing a fun and enjoyable trip.
Mesoamerican Reef, Quintana Roo
This reef system — measuring 62 miles and spanning four countries (Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala) — is the second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a wonderful spot for diving, particularly in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, which is part of four national parks and two biosphere reserves on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. In the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park there are countless dive sites at different depths.
For example, there is Cozumel National Park, Isla Contoy National Park, and the West Coast National Parks of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun, and Punta Nizuc, and in the Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an Reserves. A large number of beautiful specimens of marine fauna parade before the eyes of divers, including several species of endangered turtles, fish of all species and colors, manatees, sharks and a variety of corals. All of this makes diving through these reefs one of the finest adventure tourism experiences in Mexico.
Copper Canyon, Chihuahua
More majestic than Colorado’s Grand Canyon, these canyons of the Sierra Tarahumara offer opportunities for a variety of adventure activities such as hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, canyoning and white water rafting. Riding the El Chepe train is an adventure in itself, crossing bridges with precipices that will take your breath away. The Barrancas del Cobre Adventure Park offers all the facilities to practice your favorite pastime; It has, among other things, zip lines, cable cars. Don’t forget to visit the Tarahumara communities, indigenous people of the mountains, with their unique cultural history.
Rafting is an exciting, adrenaline-pumping sport that involves 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, which flows through the city of Jalcomulco in Veracruz. The river descends with varying levels of rough water, with sections of varying difficulty for rafting. Near the river banks there are areas for other adventure activities such as ziplining and river trekking. Jalcomulco is 40km south of Xalapa, and several tour operators can guide you to the best spots for adventure tourism and provide the necessary equipment.
Pena de Bernal, Queretaro
Bernal is an enchanting magical town of Queretaro, located 36 miles northeast of Queretaro. This 945 foot rock is the tallest monolith in Mexico and is visited by elite national and international rock climbers. Located in the magical town of Bernal, it is the third tallest monolith in the world, behind only Sugar Loaf and the Rock of Gibraltar, and has four climbing routes. All courses recommend climbing them with an experienced guide, especially for beginners. Other attractions include the Temple of San Sebastián and its Viceroyal Villas.
Valle de Bravo, State of Mexico
Paragliding evolved from mountaineering when climbers decided they needed something faster to descend from the peaks, and it has become an adventure sport with its own personality. In Mexico, one of the best places for paragliding is Valle de Bravo, a city in the state of Mexico that offers ideal weather conditions for this type of flight. The rock of Temascaltepec, 11 km from Valle de Bravo, is considered one of the world’s best destinations for these flights. Valle de Bravo has several paragliding schools that teach beginners and experienced pilots the secrets and tricks of this sport.
Hot air balloon rides in Guanajuato or in the state of Mexico
Hot air balloon rides are a mesmerizing adventure that allows you to discover beautiful places from the air with an unrivaled perspective. These tours depart from multiple points in Mexico City, the state of Mexico, and other parts of the country. Top rated hot air balloon rides include amazing sights like the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Tequisquiapan, Tlaxcala, Tepotzotlan and San Miguel de Allende.
Hot air balloon rides are operated by experienced pilots and offer shared or private rides that include a personalized certificate and toast, a worldwide tradition upon completion. The panoramic view of the majestic volcanoes Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl, Orizaba, La Malinche and other spectacular Mexican landscapes is a unique experience from a hot air balloon.
Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas
Jungle adventure tourism lovers will love the Chiapas-Lacandon Jungle. This almost untouched paradise with colossal trees, mighty rivers and the typical heat of the humid jungle offers many unique activities. The most popular activities include rafting, abseiling, hiking and many other adventures. This lush area teeming with wildlife is dotted with small indigenous communities, particularly the Choles, Tojolabales, Tzotziles and Tzeltals, who continue to hold on 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 annually. It is estimated that nearly nine million international visitors engage in nature tourism-related activities in Mexico annually. Adventure tourism options in Mexico are diverse and there is something for everyone. Plan a fun trip with friends to any of these destinations.
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