Lately, you may have noticed that the Mexico Tourism Board has spent a lot of resources revamping their image to reintroduce Mexico to the world. Frankly, it’s hard not to notice: advertisements on television, online and full-page ads in leading travel magazines provide almost surreal images of underwater worlds and grand panoramics from the edge of a canyon, all the while repeating Mexico’s new slogan “The Place You Thought You Knew.” This new campaign is designed to compel adventurers to take a deeper look, a fresh look, into our North American neighbor. Well, I have and like what I see. Far beyond the over-developed regions and Spring Break Meccas, this is a country of phenomenal natural beauty, rich culture & history, vibrant cities, exciting adventures, captivating wildlife and — yes — great beaches. Here are a few options to consider that to take you off the trodden-trail and offer curious travelers a unique look at a seemingly familiar destination.
Four times larger than Arizona’s Grand Canyon and reaching breathtaking depths up to 1800m, Mexico’s Cooper Canyon is simply incredible. Located in Northwest Mexico, the canyon beckons trekkers from all over the world to explore its labyrinth of gorges and valleys whose climate ranges from tropical to arid, creating a perfect environment for diverse flora and fauna. Another popular way into the canyon is via train on El Chepe (also known as Cooper Canyon Railway). Considered one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys and an engineering marvel, the train crosses 36 bridges and passes 87 tunnels along its 655 km route from Mexico’s interior to the Pacific coast. The canyons are also home to the Rarámuris, or Tarahumaras, an indigenous people who have lived there for centuries. Want to go? This 10-day Copper Canyon trip combines both a train and trekking adventure for a quintessential canyon journey.
Chiapas is a central region of the Mundo Maya (Maya World) with traditions and beliefs resembling that of the Maya of earlier centuries. This region alone is home to 12 of the 62 indigenous groups officially recognized by the Mexican government. Chiapas combines its cultural treasures with a diverse landscape of tropical rainforest and highlands; it welcomes fantastic adventure activities like whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and hiking. And wildlife viewing and birdwatching opportunities are abound in Chiapas. The region is also home to fantastic ancient Maya cities such as Palenque, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other little known, but immensely important sites of Yaxchitlan, Bomampak, and Edzná are as fascinating as they are beautiful. Explore the highlights of this captivating region on a week long Chiapas’ Maya trip.
Turtle Research in Baja
Located in the north west of the country is the world’s third longest peninsula — the Baja California peninsula. This stretch of land lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, which separates the peninsula from the mainland. Take a detour from Baja’s predictable hotspots and venture to Magdalena Bay to join conservationists in their efforts to protect sea turtles in this region on a 5-day Sea Kayaking and Turtle Adventure 5-day Sea Kayaking and Turtle Adventure”. Five species of sea turtles are found in the Baja region. All are endangered. Magdalena Bay is also home to beautiful mangroves and pristine sand dunes that lead to miles of untouched beaches.
About Adventure Life:
Adventure Life is a company of travelers with a passion for sharing the world with others. Our travel experience runs deep, from years volunteering in rural Africa and Central America, to research trips in Asia, studying in Europe, guiding in the Rockies, and just bouncing around every corner of the world. This deep experience is the reason behind our pioneering approach to travel and award winning itineraries. For nearly fifteen years we have been creating personal itineraries that immerse our travelers in the vibrant colors of a place, leaving both our guests and hosts enriched by the experience. From our beginnings as a Latin America specialist, we now offer private journeys, small group tours, and expedition voyages throughout the world. We pride ourselves on our intimate knowledge of our destinations and our dedication to sharing the world. For more information or Adventure Life reviewsvisit us on Facebook.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.