We all know that Mexico has great beaches, world class diving and awesome water sports along the country’s coast but it is en route to positioning itself as one of the top adventure destinations in the world.

This week we have been attending the Adventure Travel World Summit in San Cristobal, Chiapas and we have been learning quite a bit about adventure travel in Mexico.


Mexico is a very large country with an area of nearly 2 million square km. And while there are adventure aspects to each of the 31 states, there are 5 that the Mexican Tourism board is focusing on because they all encompass the definition of adventure travel; Physical Activity, Contact with Nature and a Cultural Exchange

1. Chiapas

Known For: being a true adventure destination with a wild landscape.


Chiapas is a destination that makes you feel like you are Indiana Jones. It is here that you can trek through the jungle and raft down a river while encountering grand Mayan Ruins such as Palenque and Tonina.

There is trekking in the highland areas around San Cristóbal and the El Triunfo Cloud Forest Reserve. Chiapas also offers kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing and zip lining. Chiapas has everything you need for an adventure destination. It has rainforests, highlands,

Location: Southern most state of Mexico on Guatemalan Border

2. Veracruz

Known For: Kayaking


Veracruz boasts the highest number of rivers in the country and every form of kayaking can be done there. Where there’s water there’s adventure and besides kayaking you can white water raft.

It is in Veracruz that you can do pretty much every adventure sport you can think of. It is here that you can climb Orizaba Peak, Mexico’s highest peak and sport climbing routes for wall climbers. There’s paragliding, mountain biking and even sandboarding.

Location: South East of the Country

3. Oaxaca

Known For: Cultural Adventure


One of the most mountainous regions of the country, Oaxaca offers all the usual adventure activities from zip lining, hiking, mountain biking and rafting. Combine that with its indigenous villages and archeological sites and it gives a stronger element of the cultural exchange point of adventure travel.

Oaxaca is known for its indigenous peoples and cultures. These cultures fared better than most others in Mexico due to the state’s isolated and rugged terrain.

Location: South West Coast

4. San Luis Potosi

Known For: Sotano De Las Golondrinas (cave of swallows)


Imagine rappelling 400 meters into a giant opening. This takes you down into one of the most beautiful chamber caverns in the world to start your spelunking adventure. If you are really nuts, why not try base jumping, yes it can be done.

Sotano De Las Golodidas has the usual adventure activities that can be found throughout Mexico as well. What are the usual activities you can do all across the country?

Mountain Biking, Hiking, Rappelling, Rock Climbing, Ultralight flights, Paragliding, river rafting and kayaking, ziplining, exploring Mayan archeological sites, jungle trekking

Location: North Central Mexico

5. Chihuahua

Known For: Copper Canyon


Have you always thought that the Grand Canyon was the largest canyon on earth? So did I!

But Copper Canyon’s actual system is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon. Days can be spent exploring this area taking on activities such as horseback riding, discovering waterfalls, hanging in the hot springs and hiking through the canyon.

It is here that some of the most extreme mountain biking can be undertaken and the usual suspects of white water rafting, rapelling, rock climbing and zip lining.

Location: Northern Mexico

The adventure activities in Mexico are endless.

For more adventure destinaions in the world, check out our latest posts Top Adventures Part 1 and Part 2

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    1. debndave Post author

      Awesome! We love it too and want to come back and travel right from the north to the south. A motorcycle adventure is in order me thinks.

  1. Ruth

    Recently, I have been seeing a lot of advertising promoting Mexico as an adventure destination. I think they are doing a good job because I got really excited about the options. It is good to know there are so many interesting and beautiful places so close to the United States. I was planning a trip to Chiapas for the end of the year but desisted since I don’t have a lot of vacation time left (want to do a proper visit). I’m going to the Yucatan and Rivera Maya instead. But there are so many places to go that I don’t even know where I want to go next…

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Ruth, you are going to love the Yucatan and Riviera Maya. There are excellent adventure options there too as well. I think all of Mexico has amazing options. These are just the 5 that have it all! Oaxaca is very close to the Yucatan as well. I remember seeing a lot of tours advertised for day trips to Oaxaca. Have a great time and it is true, wonderful to have an exciting and exotic destination so close to the US.

  2. Brett

    I never thought of any of these places listed above. Everyone always seems to just go to Cancun and Puerta Vallarta. Thank you for showing me another side of Mexico.

    1. debndave Post author

      You are right Brett. Most people only think of the Riviera Maya or the Yucatan. While they are amazing destinations, there is so much more to Mexico as well. It is a huge country.

  3. Melanie

    That Cave of Swallows looks incredible. I would love to try that. I don’t think that the base jumping is for me though;-)

    1. debndave Post author

      Haha, I think that you can take heart in the fact that you are sane by not wanting to base jump Melanie. It is a nutty sport. Although, I think that I would have an easier time trying it here because I wouldn’t be able to see the bottom. What you don’t know won’t terrify you so much! :)

  4. Laura Pérez-Arce

    There is an endless list of amazing and sacred places in México, among them the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve where the land is 97% private property and the local community built, own and operate a network of eco-lodges each with their own attractions and adventures to surprise and delight. Sierra Gorda is winner of the Geotourism Challenge held by National Geographic and Ashoka in 2009 and the 2006 Tourism Award for Tomorrow. So, explore and have an experience of a lifetime – you may not know it, but you need it! Visit the heart of Mexico.

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