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February 8, 2013updated Aug 21, 2013

5 Incredible Mexican Adventures

By Chris Boyle

Two Divers under the sea

From the mountainous southwestern state of Chiapas to the verdant jungles of Veracruz in the east, Mexico offers a diverse and exciting range of excursions to unleash your inner adventurer.

Get ready to saddle up, rev your engine and dive in—you won’t find these elite adventures anywhere else.

INTO THE DEEP

Mexico Diving

For elite explorers looking to take their vacation to the next level, Nautilus Explorer—a charter company based out of British Columbia, Canada— creates diving itineraries that cater to the experienced diver.

One of their most popular tours takes guests 220 miles south of Cabo San Lucas to the Revillagigedo Archipelago, made up of four volcanic islands famous for their up close and personal encounters with giant manta rays. Thanks to their great distance from the mainland, the islands host a diverse range of marine life within their surrounding turquoise waters, from pelagic fish like yellowfin tuna to majestic humpback whales and whale sharks. Of the journey’s eight days, you’ll spend six diving, and tour three different remote islands. In an unforgettable night snorkel, you’ll swim with the silky sharks who hunt under the ship’s deck lights. During the day dives, groups of just 10 or 11 divers are submerged at a time to ensure maximum exposure to these gentle giants, as well as the white tip reef, Galapagos and hammerhead sharks that also inhabit these waters. While onboard, you’ll enjoy the comfort of spacious staterooms, each equipped with its own private facilities, and amenities like an ondeck hot tub, premium wines and spirits and fresh, innovative Mexican and American cuisine.

OFF ROAD ADVENTURES

Offroad Biking Adventure

Against the stunning backdrop of Valle de Bravo, you can learn to ride like a pro with Motorrad Explorer’s Off Road Survival School.

The facilities and curriculums are world class, with both basic and advanced course offerings available for riders of all skill levels. As Mexico’s leading adventure motorcycle touring company and Dual Sport riding school, with a fleet of late model BMW GS motorcycles, you’re in expert hands as you embark on a guided, dual sport or enduro motorcycle tour that takes you through breathtaking backcountry roads. Your professional guide will meet you at the airport and whisk you off to an action-packed, adrenaline-pumping vacation with highlights like paragliding, mountain biking, wakeboarding and even horseback riding to round out your crash course in motorcycling. When you’re not riding or flying high, you’ll unwind in a world class boutique hotel and savor gourmet cuisine.

CONQUER KAYAKING

Waterfall

With its extreme landscape of mountains and rivers, Mexico is a kayaker’s paradise, offering some of the world’s best rivers in Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Morelos.

Go beyond the basics of kayaking and challenge yourself with a two-to-five day intermediate or advanced course at the Kayak School Mexico, where you can learn pro-level manuevers like playboating (special techniques for still water) and creeking (rafting with higher slopes, including the most difficult rapids and waterfalls). Courses are taught by world class instructors (including Rafa Ortiz, the first kayaker to represent Mexico at the World Freestyle Championship in Australia), so you can kayak with confidence—even as you hurtle down a churning waterfall.

RIDING HIGH

A Group Of People Riding on a horse

Experience an authentic taste of the Mexican way of life in a totally new way with a one-of-a-kind horseback riding vacation in Mexico state.

Over the course of a week, your expert guides will lead you through charming colonial towns like Valle de Bravo before you ride through blissfully untouched countryside, offering insights into the country’s history and culture along the way. Your route follows ancient horse trails that weave through woods, meadows, lakes and rivers and move from 5,500 to 12,000 feet above sea level to allow riders to experience a wide range of Sierra Madre Occidental’s native species. Fulfill childhood cowboy fantasies by watching the wranglers in action as they groom and saddle the horses before the next ride, or take a more laid back approach and enjoy a siesta in a hammock, margarita in hand. Your picnic lunch is served around a campfire, with plenty of traditional botanas, tortas and tacos and cold beers on hand. At the end of each day—after a five- or six-hour ride—you’ll be transported back to town by car to rest up for the next journey. While you’ll tackle rugged terrain by day, at night you’ll rest in the sumptuous comfort of Finca Enyhe, a luxurious five-star hacienda with a stellar Mexican kitchen that turns out authentic local fare.

ADVENTURE TOURISM UNLEASHED

Ziplining

For proof that Mexico has the adventure travel market cornered, look no further than Chiapas—the country’s southernmost state—where the 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit was held last October.

The eighth annual event drew an assembly of 600 adventure tourism professionals from more than 50 countries worldwide. Proving that even Mexico’s top leaders are thrillseekers, President Felipe Calderon and American travel expert Peter Greenberg embarked on an extraordinary cross-country adventure, experiencing whale watching, ziplining and more along the way. The resulting footage aired in the documentary Mexico: The Royal Tour last September. To plan your next elite adventure, head to www.visitmexico.com.

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