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Activities, Mexico

Mexico is filled to the brim with exciting things to try, offering everything from the relaxed to the adventurous. There truly are endless adventures to discover in Mexico, explore the secret tunnels in Puebla, help out with turtle conservation, or perhaps try a spot of traditional tequila tasting. Travellers can even hike breathtaking volcanoes here, or base-jump off the largest cave shaft in the world.

Balloon rides

An original way to explore the wondrous sights in Mexico is by hot-air balloon, and there are countless operators based in Mexico City to choose from, offering visitors the experience of seeing the magical Teotihuacan Pyramids from the sky.

After being picked up from your hotel, you will be taken to the already prepared and inflated hot-air balloon for an exhilarating and unforgettable flight, soaring 2000 feet above the ground, passing volcanoes, mountains and of course the magnificent sun and moon temples at Teotihuacan.

When landing, you will receive your personalised flight certificate, with added time to explore these stunning pyramids, all before returning to Mexico City. Or, you might enjoy joining fellow passengers on an early-morning, guided ballooning tour, located just outside the city of Monterrey. So, be captivated by the wonderful sunrise of Montemorelos as you fly through the clouds and enjoy feeling free as a bird.

BASE Jump the Cave of Swallows

Named after the thousands of birds which are found here, The Cave of Swallows is the largest cave shaft in the world. Situated in San Louis Potosi, this 370-metre-deep, open-air shaft, is home to green parakeets and white-collared swifts which nest along its walls. Each day, the birds fly in concentric circles up the cave shaft before the flocks come spilling out of the hole into the jungle.

With BASE jumping having seen an increase in popularity over the last few years, the cave has recently become popular a popular spot amongst BASE jumpers looking to get an adrenaline rush. The extreme sport involves jumping into the cave while wearing a parachute or wingsuit and gliding down like a bird, before reaching an altitude where it becomes critical to open your parachute, leading to a safe landing at the bottom.

This daring adventure takes only 10 seconds to fall over 1,200 feet and reach the waters at the bottom of the cave, so it certainly isn’t a sport for the faint-hearted.

Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead is a public holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, between October 31st and November 2nd. Although many families celebrate this holiday privately, there are many shared festivities in cemeteries and other communal spaces, where locals celebrate and honour their dead.

This day is not a gloomy or morbid occasion, it’s more of a festival which celebrates the lives of the deceased. Mexicans decorate the graves of their families and also make elaborately ornamented altars (called ofrendas), in their homes to welcome the spirits. Large ofrendas are also built in public spaces, not as a place of worship but as a symbol of remembrance to help guide the dead back to the realm of the living.

Mexicans place offerings on the alters including, incense, candles and orange cempasúchil (marigold) flowers, as well as personal mementoes including photos, and if the deceased relative is a child, toys. As long as visitors are respectful, the locals are happy for them to join the celebrations.

Explore Puebla Tunnels

In the alley of Cinco de Mayo Road – Pueblo, there’s a doorway leading underground to a recently discovered secret tunnel system. Dating back to 1531, the tunnels had been hidden for decades and weren’t unearthed and opened to the public until 2016. Originally thought to be a sewer system, archaeologists now believe that people also used the tunnels as a secret travel network.

Inside the tunnels, toys, marbles, antique kitchen implements, guns, bullets and gunpowder were found trapped in the mud, leading investigators to think these tunnels may have been used by soldiers during the war of Mexican liberation, though they also could have been used by nuns, priests or even ordinary townspeople.

Experts estimate that a complete assessment of the tunnels won’t be available until about 2031, but today, it operates as a free museum. The tunnels are not scary or decaying and are easily large enough to walk through, so there is nothing to fear if you do decide to take a look.

Hike Iztaccihuatl

The Iztaccihuatl hike, also known as Ixta or Izta is a must for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Mexico City. This extinct volcano is the third highest mountain in Mexico, and when viewed from the north and the west, this natural phenomenon appears in the shape of a sleeping woman with her head at the north end, and her feet at the southern end. A very unique sight.

Most visitors choose the standard approach known as La Arista del Sol: the ridge of the sun. The route climbs past the feet, up to the knees, across the stomach and onto the upper body, where you will be able to enjoy panoramic views of Popocatepetl and the Valley of Mexico. This may be a steep climb but it’s also exhilarating and totally worth the effort.

For safety reasons, it’s best to explore Iztaccihuatl with a handy guide, and you’ll need to be quite fit and nifty on your feet to deal with both the climb and the altitude.

Ride the El Chipe railway

The Ferrocarril Chihuahua Pacífico (Chihuahua-Pacific Railway), locally referred to as “El Chepe”, runs daily from Chihuahua to Los Mochis, through Copper Canyon. This interesting and scenic railroad trip stretches over 650 kilometres long, with the whole journey taking approximately 16 hours.

Along the route, the train climbs 243 metres into the Sierra Tarahumara, passing over 36 bridges and through 87 tunnels along the way, with ravines, rivers, forests and towns all to be spotted out the window. There are various stations on the route and many travellers choose to get off the train in Divisadero to explore the canyon, or Creel – with its various attractions and adventure activities, before re-boarding to continue their journey.

The renovated El Chepe has first and second class carriages, as well as a bar and a restaurant, with the cost of your trip depending on which services you choose. Your ticket will allow you to make as many stops as you wish, enabling you to visit the sites that interest you, as you make your way to Los Michos with its clean, wide and tree-lined streets and not forgetting the wondrous Sinaloa Park. Used by locals as a daily means of transportation, El Chepe is also a huge tourist attraction, especially for train enthusiasts.

Scuba dive to the Museo Subacuático de Arte

Scuba divers from all over the world come to Mexico to visit the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), an underwater museum located five to eight metres below the ocean’s surface, located between Cancun and Isla Mujeres.

Image source: Flickr. Copyright Ratha Grimes

Founded in 2009 in order to protect local reefs (providing an alternative place to dive), the first four intricate sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor were placed underwater. Most of Taylor’s “The Silent Evolution” art installation was complete by 2010, followed by the museum’s official opening on November 27th, 2010.

This unique site is certainly worth seeing during your Mexico getaway. By 2013, MUSA was home to over 500 permanent life-sized and monumental sculptures and is now one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world to date. The statues are fixed to the seabed and made from specialised materials, with cavities that have been implanted with coral from local damaged reefs, allowing the coral to regrow and the marine wildlife to populate and feed here.


Mexico’s beaches are popular with avid snorkelers and those looking to embark on a life-changing underwater experience during their travels. After all, Mexico’s coastlines are swarming with colourful underwater marine life, so this destination is perfect for this exciting activity.

Many tourists head to Cancun; its clear waters have incredible visibility, however, there are other sites to snorkel in, too, which are equally as good. Akumal is brilliant for gliding past green turtles and stingrays, while Cozumel Island is home to some amazing butterflyfish, fire coral, seahorses and shrimps.

The Sea of Cortez separates the Baja California Peninsula from mainland Mexico, nicknamed “nature’s aquarium” by the famous underwater explorer, Jacques Cousteau. Here, you can snorkel alongside shoals of colourful fish and even encounter sea lions.

If you’re looking for something different, why not snorkel in one of the natural sinkholes here (locally named ‘cenotes’)? Cenotes offer a completely different experience for snorkelers. Comprised of fresh water, there’s a whole array of aquatic life here that you can’t source in the ocean. The crystal-clear waters produce surprising light effects, too, leaving you with everlasting memories.

Tequila Tasting

Mexico is famous for its tasty tequila, and there are many tours travellers can join to understand and appreciate how this wondrous alcoholic drink is made.

Holidaymakers will travel to the luscious landscape of Mexico’s tequila-producing region to visit one of the tequila distilleries. Actively experience all aspects of the tequila process, from the cultivation and harvesting of agave, followed by the complicated fermentation procedure, right through to the bottled end product. Then, enjoy savouring the intense flavour of a host of the tequilas produced here, as well as the choice to purchase a bottle (or two) to take home.

If you’ve never tasted tequila before and know nothing about the drink, you could take the one-hour Tequila-Curious Tasting tour to learn exactly what makes a great tequila. On this tour, you’ll start with clear tequilas, looking at what pairs up for mixing and then move onto some of the more mature, amber varieties for tasting. Start as a novice, sample three quality tequilas and become something of an expert before the tour ends.

Turtle conservation

Watch amazing sea turtles land on the beaches during your trip to Mexico for a truly magical and rewarding experience, which you can experience on one of the many conservation projects here.

Mexico has an abundance of sea turtles, which then sadly makes them a prime target for poachers. That’s why so many amazing conservation centres exist, to protect these unique creatures and allow holidaymakers to enjoy sightings each and every year.

It actually takes three months for a baby turtle to born, occurring from July to November, with October being the most critical month for turtle release activity. Hatchlings are then freed immediately, while turtles that need more care are kept in pools and later released, then the turtles are released at night to avoid predators such as birds.

So, if you get the chance, you really should venture to a turtle conservation spot and enjoy sightings of these incredible creatures.