The 5 Best National Parks in Mexico
The National Parks in Mexico, deserve a visit at least, once in your life time. Wanna know why?
With its vast landscape encompassing many diverse climates including arid desert-like biomes, tropical forests, and vast mountainous regions, Mexico boasts an inventory of 67 national parks.
All of them promise to deliver a lifetime of memories and experiences to all types of travelers.
Activities packed with adventure such as: hiking trails, biking, deep sea diving, kayaking, ancient archaeological sites, and of course beautiful beaches to relax on.
With such a large number of parks to visit, finding the right one is synonymous with finding a needle in a haystack.
We know this all too well, so we have created our top 5 National Parks in Mexico! Hopefully this list inspire you to visit one of them on your next holidays.
Arrecife Alacranes, our first pick on this list of National Parks in Mexico. Also known in English as Scorpion Reef. Is a coastal reef system surrounding a group of 5 islands in the southern Gulf of Mexico.
The five islets, named; Isla Pérez, Isla Pájaros (or Island of the Birds), Isla Blanca aka Chica (translated as “little girl” or “little one”), Isla Exterrada, and Isla Muertos also known as Desertora; Make up the national park, and by area, is Mexico’s largest national park.
It is a perfect vacation destination for lovers of aquatic adventures. It offers a wide array of activities such as snorkeling, fishing, diving, and of course a casual leisurely swim is always an option on the menu.
The islands are a perfect nesting site for birds, whose presence is attributed to the many species of fish inhabiting the reef.
Dorado, tarpon, and grouper, among others, live in this ecosystem as a result of the growth of algae and foraminifera in the coral reef.
“Buckle up” for a boat ride, an exciting one at that, since it is the only way to travel to the islands!
A few things are worth mentioning before your visit, pets are not allowed on the islands. There is a zero-tolerance policy towards waste (biodegradable or otherwise).If you love picking up memorabilia or souvenirs along the beach, you will not be allowed, at least not shells and coral.
As you can see, the area is a bio preserve and the government takes an active role in keeping the preserve pristine.
The fact that the park has been a UNESCO biosphere since 2006 says a lot.
If you fancy visiting amazing archaeological sites, then Palenque National Park should definitely be on your bucket list.
Located in the State of Chiapas, 5.6 miles from the village of Santo Domingo de Palenque.
Palenque is a cultural heritage site packed with ancient and antique elegantly constructed Mayan architecture. Each of the 1,500 sites (that’s right, there are 1,500 archeological sites in the area!) blends in wondrously with the natural environment of the area, creating an amazing spectacle everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime.
The ruins of Palenque are really a testament to the fact that modernism and nature can coexist if humans are assiduous in their efforts to do so.
Other activities on offer include horseback riding, hiking, bird watching, and mountain biking.
For your accommodation needs, there are numerous hotels available, affordable enough to ensure you don’t break the bank.
We recommend the Hotel Ciudad Real Palenque, Winika Alterra, and Chan-Kah Resort Village.
Cumbres del Ajusco
Located nearby Mexico City (so close in fact, that it is visible from any part of the city), Cumbres del Ajusco is on our top 5 National Parks in Mexico.
Meaning watered grove peaks, could not have a more befitting name.
The park is composed of a series of peaks that are ideal for tourists keen on an adventure in a mountainous region. Towering 12,795 feet above sea level, the Cruz del Marqués, is the highest of the four peaks in the park.
The other peaks being; Pico del Águila, Santo Tomás, and Mezontepec peaks, each offering a unique hiking experience from the others.
The park is characterized by a diverse fusion of flora and fauna.
The former consisting mainly of pine-oak trees, while weasels, squirrels, bobcats, coyotes, among others, make up the majority of the fauna..
Besides hiking, tourists can book tours in the many caves in the area, enjoy steep mountain biking trails, go rock climbing, and enjoy the thrill of motor cross or quad bikes.
Popular trails in the park include the Eastern Ajusco Summit trail, the Bosque de Tlalpan Main trails, and the Ajusco Small Memorial Trail.
Recommended accommodations in the area include the Royal Pedregal Hotel, Radisson Paraiso Mexico City, Organico Hotel Boutique, and the City Express Plus Santa Fe.
La Marquesa National Park, described as the park in Mexico where you may forget you are actually in Mexico. Due to its coniferous forest and many lakes, is located east of Toluca and west of Mexico City.
It is a great destination for people looking for a country-like feel, close to the city.
The park, features a number of lakes and great biodiversity, both of which make it a memorable visit while coniferous trees make up the better part of the forest. Tourists can take part in zip lining, hiking trails, and horseback riding just to mention a few of the many activities available.
La Marquesa, whose official name is actually “Parque Nacional Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla”, commemorates the 1810 battle of Monte de las Cruces.
Not only will you enjoy the beauty that is the product of our mother earth, you can also delve into Mexico's history during you visit.
Don’t pass up on the local Mexican cuisine either! Be sure to stop at one of the local restaurants located just outside the park and try the “blue tortillas”, which are a local tradition in the area!
For your stay near the park we recommend: Hacienda San Martín, Intercontinental Presidente Santa Fe Mexico, NH Collection Mexico City Santa Fé, and AC Hotel by Marriott Santa Fe.
Covering a vast area of 11,890 hectares (that’s 29,400 acres to the Americans reading this), Huatulco National Park boasts of over 9,000 plant species and over 260 animal species.
Reptile and amphibian species are over 470 and 100 respectively, also over 700 bird species therein as well. Enough to pique your interest.
For those interested in conservation, organic/sustainable farming, and ecological sustainability we recommend a visit to Hagia Sofia (not to be confused with the classical church in Greece!).
Associated with Huatulco National Park, you'll find “Las Bahias de Huatulco” (also known as the Huatulco Bays to us English speaking folk).
This region is a coastal beach paradise offering up numerous resorts as well as a few small authentic Mexican towns to visit.
If you are planning a trip to Mexico and cannot decide if you would like a nice wilderness trip or a stylish resort stay, you can’t go wrong with the Huatulco region!
Stay at one of the fabulous resorts on the ocean and take a day trip or two to visit the natural beauty that is Huatulco National Park.
For a great stay during your vacation in Huatulco, we suggest Hotel Santa Cruz Huatulco, Binniguenda Huatulco, Hotel Villa Blanca Huatulco, and Hotel Marina Resort.
Whether you are looking for sites of historical significance, beautiful beaches, pristine mountain landscapes, mesmerizing coral reefs, or any combination thereof, you should experience a visit to the National Parks in Mexico.
For more vacation ideas, tips and travels tricks, or destinations check our blog. Or if you happen to decide a visit to Hawaii, Mexico, or the Caribbean on your next vacation, be sure to check out our rentals section for great deals on accommodations!