Deserts, swamps, volcanoes and rainforest are all present in the diverse landscapes of Mexico. There are 58 national parks and biosphere reserves that provide special protection for wildlife. You can travel via kayak, mountain bike, jeep or on horseback on your ecotourism adventure. Amazing sea life can be seen at Guerrero Negro in Baja California, home to one of Mexico’s prime whale-watching spots, the Parque Natural de la Ballena Gris (Gray Whale National Park). Puerto Lopez Mateos on Magdalena Bay is another good spot for whale watching, it is here that Several islands in Baja California host colonies of sea lions and sea birds. In the central plains, there are high peaks to climb, including the volcanoes Popocatpetl and Nevado de Toluca, where Michoacn, as is the tortoise sanctuary at Oaxaca. The manatee sanctuary protects has the largest population of Caribbean manatee in the world.
Mexico has nearly 16,000km (10,000 miles) of coastline and a warm climate. Almost all Mexican resorts have facilities for a range of water sports, including jet-skiing, windsurfing and sea kayaking. Surfing can be enjoyed on the pacific breakers and parasailing is another exciting sport. Diving and snorkeling are particularly popular, and the Yucatan Peninsula features the second-largest coral reef in the world. Mexico’s coast offers some of the best deep-sea fishing in the world. Every major port has charter boats and fishing gear for hire.
Golf courses can be found virtually all over Mexico. Many are located in spectacular natural settings, with some specially designed by famous golfers. In contrast to North American courses, they are usually less crowded and comparatively reasonably priced.
There are many courses for visitors to learn the Spanish language and learn about Mexican culture. Summer schools and other institutions are located in a variety of places, from major cities to beach resorts. It is possible to stay with a Mexican family, in order to make the visit more rewarding and productive. Further information is available from the tourist board. A detailed directory listing courses and fees can be obtained free of charge from the National Registration Center for Study Abroad, PO Box 1393, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA (414) 278 0631; website: www.nrcsa.com.
There are countless hot springs which abound in the country, especially in the area around Mexico City. Many resorts offer high-class facilities featuring a range of treatments. Visitors can choose from spiritual retreat spas, mineral water spas, hot springs and “upscale spas”.
These include football, baseball, jai alai (a very fast game of Basque pelota played with a small ball and straw rackets) and horse racing.