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Adventure Travel in Mexico: What’s Hot and What You Should Know

The Adventure Travel Mexico Trade Show—ATMEX—took place in late September in Colima. Representatives from individual Mexican states, tour companies and outfitters met with international buyers and media to discuss the latest news and offerings in the country’s adventure travel sector.

New Areas Ready for International Attention

Last year in Villahermosa, the focus was on Central Mexico and its “interior” opportunities in emerging destinations such as Chiapas and San Luis Potosi. This year, while still building upon that momentum, the spotlight was shifted to the western coast of Mexico and the States of Colima and Jalisco.

The conference’s host city and state, Colima, is one of many regions that are on the verge of a breakout, ready and willing to increase international tourism. Look for a feature article on Colima next month, as well as a story on Malinalco, another budding town riddled with undiscovered adventure, hidden in the shadow of Mexico City.

Trends: The Continued Expansion of Baja Sur

Even farther west is Baja Sur, best known for its crown jewel of Cabo. Indeed, Baja’s tourism industry has been dominated by Cabo since, well, forever, but never before has Baja been so wide-open and available for exploration.

We continue to see increased activity from tour operators, such as Adventuras Baja, focusing their efforts and interest on other parts of the region, including La Paz, Loreto, Magdalena Bay, and the barely-known offshore islands, like Isla Carmen and Isla Monserrate. Multi-day kayak trips and whale watching are the two main driving activities in the region.

Brand New Wilderness Experiences

Mexico is still filled with secrets, and little by little, as the adventure travel industry continues its growth, new hidden gems come to the forefront. Here are a few of our favorite from ATMEX:

Explore the Archo del Tiempo: A three-day, two-night expedition with EcoExperiencias into the tall canyon formations of the Rio La Venta.

Conquer the Copalita Trail: A 5-day trek from the highest point in Oaxaca downhill to the Pacific Ocean, camping out in a “1-million star hotel.”

PHOTO: Matilda 70 Volkswagen Van (Photo by Will McGough)

Raft the Rio Tampaon: South of Ciudad Valles in the state of San Luis Potosi is the Rio Tampaon. There are many itineraries to try, including a trip to the jaw-dropping Cascada del Tamul.

Feed the Adventure: Tour Companies on the Rise

What are the tours without the tour operators? Here are a few to watch in 2019 for consumers and travel agents alike:

Matilda 70: Owner Jorge Rincon has been fascinated with old-school Volkswagen vans since he was young, and now as an adult, he is sharing his passion with travelers. His fleet of classic VW vans—which beg to have a surfboard tied to the top—are available for rent in Mexico City, either as a straight rental or as a package with a driver and camping gear. Great for groups of friends looking for an off-beat adventure.

Unlimited Puebla: Started earlier this year, Unlimited Puebla is a brand-new tour company offering a range of activities in the city of Puebla, from trekking the nearby active volcano to a simple city tour.

Adventuras Mexico Profundo: Focusing on Baja California and the Copper Canyon, Adventuras Mexico Profundo attempts to intertwine nature, culture, and history in its tours to provide guests a deeper experience.

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