Top attractions in Northern Mexico
Northern Mexico offers a choice of must-see attractions and adventures for active couples celebrating a honeymoon holiday or romantic getaway, including:
Sierra San Pedro Martir National Park
Rock climb the summit of Picacho del Diablo (also known as Cerro de la Encantada). At 3096m it’s the highest peak in the Sierra San Pedro mountain chain, which stretches through the centre of Baja California. Watch California condors soar overhead on a hike through pine-oak forests, cliffs, waterfalls and Indian petroglyphs in this 65,000ha national park.
Paddle offshore islands and hidden canyons beneath sandstone cliffs on the Baja coast alongside seals, sea lions and dolphins while frigate birds and blue-footed boobies float overhead. Look out for migrating humpback whales in winter.
Explore on foot, horseback or mountain bike this remote and rugged section of the Sierra Madre – one of the largest canyon systems in the world at 2000m-high.
Located in northwest Mexico and known locally as the Sierra Tarahumara (after the indigenous Indian people who live there), the area consists of a vast network of canyons hewn into the soft volcanic stone by ancient volcanic action.
See the Piedra Volada falls from a distance (Mexico’s highest waterfall at 453m) and meet the local Tarahumara Indians, whose lifestyle has remained unchanged for centuries. Rent a mountain bike in the town of Creel or a hiking guide to tour Copper Canyon at Cerocahui or Batopilas.
Chihuahua al Pacífico
View Mexico’s remarkable Copper Canyon – a landscape of thick pine forests, jagged peaks and deep rugged canyons – from a carriage of the famous Chihuahua al Pacífico (CHEPE) railway.
Beginning at sea level at Los Mochis, the 624km-long railroad crosses 39 bridges and passes through 86 tunnels on its 13-hour, 2425m-high climb through the canyons before reaching the highland city of Chihuahua.
Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve
Located in Querétaro State, the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve comprises 383,567ha in the Sierra Madre Occidental and is home to five Franciscan missions that are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Hike through a semi-desert landscape covered with cacti and oregano bloom, along rugged canyons and into old-growth cloud forests containing bromeliads, orchids and high-elevation pine-oak forests, waterfalls and crystal clear rivers.
Look out for jaguars, jaguarundi and tigrillos along the way, as well as more than 300 species of migratory and native birds including peregrine falcons, trogons, macaws and parrots.
The region also includes more than 500 archaeological sites, many of which have yet to be studied and documented but which can be toured from the mountain town of Jalpan de Serra.
Cuatro Ciénegas Biosphere Reserve
Swim the lagoons of Cuatro Ciénegas Reserve in Mexico’s northern state of Coahuila, where a network of underground rivers provide countless aquatic pools. Some of the pools are open for swimming, while others are home to more than 30 aquatic species including the aquatic box turtle.
More than 150 different plants and animals inhabit the valley and the surrounding mountains, including the spiky fouquieria tree.
Cumbres de Monterrey National Park
Located on the outskirts of Monterrey in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains, this 255,000ha park boasts a dozen hiking trails, numerous limestone cliff faces to rappel down and five summits to climb, including the 2260m-high ‘Crest of the Eagle’.
Hike through pine and oak forests to the 25m-high Cascadas Cola de Caballo (Horsetail Falls), where the curving spray falls in the shape of a horse's tail. Look out for resident animals such as pumas, coyotes, white-tailed deer and black bears.
The dramatic canyons around San Luis Potosí are packed with adventure activities including rock climbing, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, rappelling, cavern spelunking and bird watching.
Located southwest of Ciudad Valles, the Gallinas River rushes through 300m-high gorges before merging with the turquoise Santa Maria and Tampaon rivers, both of which are perfect for kayaking and rafting adventures.
Rappel down the side of the wide, 105m-high Cascada de Tamul waterfall while keeping an eye open for local wildlife such as jaguars, wild boars, panthers and toucans. Then venture inside the Cueva del Agua, an enormous cavern filled with bright blue water deep enough for swimming.