Famed for its all-inclusive resorts and postcard-perfect beaches, Mexico is a destination frequented by tourists seeking sun, sand, and sea. However, relaxing all-inclusive vacations aren’t what Mexico is all about, and ecotourism in Mexico is an exciting and viable option for those looking to add some jalape?os to their Mexican vacation.
Despite its status as a legendary party and relaxation destination, you can get a lot of adventure ecotourism out of Mexico. Numerous outfitters are set up to indulge any kind of adrenaline rush you’re seeking, from bungee jumping and sandboarding, to canyoneering and rafting.
Conexion a la Aventura is one of the most diverse adventure outfitters in the country. Located in Chihuahua, they have some of the most spectacular sports on offer, including their “Adrenaline to 100%” group of adventures. Base jumping, skydiving, scuba diving, and parasailing are just some of the adrenaline rushes you can get knee deep into.
Ecoturismo Yucutan is another organisation that offers day and multi-day adventure tours, but the real draws are their local cuisine, nature, and archaeology tours. They’re experts in Maya history, culture, archaeology, and ecology, so you know you’ll be in the right hands to have an authentic experience.
The Tasting and Gastronomy tour includes a visit to a rum production hacienda, complete with tastings (naturally), and a visit to another hacienda for a look into the exciting and diverse gastronomy of the region, also with tastings. They also have a number of nature tours, including a day tour to Celestun National Park, where you may spot a pink flamingo or two, among the park’s 300 birds.
Archaeological sites are sprinkled heavily throughout Mexico, so put down the margarita and head out to the nearest one. Recently named a new Wonder of the World, Chich?n Itz? is a good place to start. This pre-historic Hispanic city has a multitude of designations, including UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built by the Maya civilization over two thousand years ago.
At Chich?n Itz?, visitors are able to explore this formerly powerful city, including monuments, temples, and pyramids, all with varying significance and functionality. The most recognisable site in Chich?n Itz? is El Castillo, or “the castle”, whose real name is the Temple of Kukulkan, which sits in the centre of the site and draws much of the focus in.
Located on the Yucutan peninsula, Chich?n Itz? isn’t far from the popular Cancun, and will offer a more enriching experience than, let’s say, Se?or Frog’s, one of Cancun’s more legendary establishments.
Ecotours Vallarta is perhaps the most dedicated ecotourism tour operator in Mexico. They are among the first to open an ecotourism company in Mexico, and are involved in conservation efforts, including being founding members of the NGO Ecology & Conservation of Whales.
Offering a wide variety of activities, including snorkelling, hiking, and scuba diving, Ecotours Vallarta’s really exciting opportunities are the animal-based ones. You can go whalewatching and get up close and personal with dolphins while snorkelling, go to turtle and crocodile camp, or become an ecovolunteer for the evening with sea turtles. There are also five different birdwatching expeditions to destinations full of exotic and colourful birds that are sure to impress.
Ecotourism in Mexico
While all-inclusive resorts are aplenty in Mexico, so are ecotourism opportunities. Even if lying on the beach, cocktail in hand, is the dominant goal of your time in Mexico, consider the plethora of incredible cultural, natural, historical, and ecological adventures that exist in this diverse country. Ecotourism in Mexico is sure to delight, and may even get your heart racing faster than you ever thought a trip to Mexico ever would.
Photo Credit: raelb