Outdoor Adventures Await Mexico Travelers
Mexico is an exceptional country of contrasts: verdant jungles, white-sand beaches, arid mountains and impressive ruins of ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Whether you’re traveling through the Yucatan Peninsula or exploring the majestic Copper Canyon, Mexico promises intrepid travelers an exciting range of outdoor adventures.
The nation’s rugged interior terrain and miles of stunning coastline offer much to discover, from amazing marine life and coral reefs to some of the world’s most epic mountain biking.
For travelers itching to take their vacation to the next level, Mexico offers world-class scuba diving amid freshwater cave systems, live coral reefs and shipwrecks. Some of the best scuba diving sites can be found along the Caribbean and Atlantic coast, where you can explore the crystal clear waters of ancient cenotes – a maze of underwater caverns that reach up to 50 miles. Other popular dive spots include Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, the latter of which hosts a diverse range of aquatic life, including the 50-foot long whale shark, the world’s largest fish.
Veracruz is widely considered Mexico’s Mecca for whitewater rafting. One of the great things about this vacation destination is that travelers can choose a whitewater excursion based on their skill level. Be prepared for some adrenaline-pumping fun as you tackle Class II-IV rapids among the region’s most beautiful and jaw-dropping rivers, including the Rio Pescados, the Rio Actopan and the Rio Antigua. Try and plan your visit during peak rafting season, August to November, when the waters are running high.
Seasoned surfers have been traveling south of the border for decades to ride Mexico’s stellar waves. Beyond the massive swells of Puerto Escondido (recommended for more experienced surfers), a great place to sharpen your skills is the small but charming fishing village of Sayulita, just 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. Sayulita Bay has plenty of breaks that cater to beginner and intermediate wave riders, and the area is brimming with top-notch instructors as well as surf camps that offer week-long packages.
The Copper Canyon — locally known as Barranca del Cobre — ranks among the planet’s largest and deepest canyon systems, boasting more than 200 interconnected gorges. This spectacular natural wonder in the state of Chihuahua is especially suited to extreme two-wheeled adventure, thanks to its miles of twisted single track that wends through deep forests, desert landscapes and Tarahumara Indian villages. Several tour companies feature mountain biking adventures to the Copper Canyon, where you can test your mettle on a heart-pumping 7,000-foot drop as you descend from Creel to Batopila.
Conquer your fear of heights on a zip-line tour, where you can experience the thrill of a lifetime as you zoom high above beautiful landscapes while screaming with glee. Mexico’s larger tourist destinations including Cancun, Los Cabos and Playa del Carmen feature some incredible zip-line adventures that offer a bird’s eye view of dense jungle canopy, desert canyons and other amazing scenery. Some tours even offer the chance to fly like Superman with arms outstretched, or soar high above the treetops upside down.