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North America >> Mexico >> Activities in Mexico

Activities in Mexico

Sports:

Mexico is famous for its water sports, hunting, fishing, tennis and golf facilities. The beach and water sports are simply outstanding and are a major tourist attraction at the beach resorts.

Water sports

Mexico has more than 10,000 kms of coastline and some of the most fabulous beaches in the world. Loreto, La Paz, the East Cape, Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Iztapa, Acapulco, Huatulco, Cozumel and Cancun have good water sports. The facilities range from truly world class to average.

Beaches

Mexico’s 6,000 miles of coastline has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with vivid waters and serene sands, tropical jungle terrain to desert, lagoons and bays and some wonderful resorts.

All the beaches are free and open to the public. Lifeguards and safety precautions are absent, so don’t swim alone and pay attention to warning flags. The waves are unpredictable and so are the currents on some beaches. If you are being pulled out to sea, swim parallel to the beach and you will be safe.

Carry sunscreen and be careful of the intense midday sun between noon and 2 pm. Topless and nude bathing are forbidden except at Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido).

The sports resorts and centers are well-equipped and well-maintained, making sports a pleasurable experience for just about everybody. There is a complete range of seaside activities at most resorts. Your hotel or a sports center will help you hire equipment. Facilities are available for diving, snorkeling, kayaking,windsurfing, sail boating, skiing, ocean swimming, etc. You can indulge in the latest water sports toys such as “broncos” and jet skis.

Diving

Mexico’s amazing diving spots are concentrated around two major locations: the coastal area around the Sea of Cortes and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Diving spots along the Sea of Cortes dot the coast from Loreto to La Paz and along the Cape to Los Cabos. The waters here are tranquil and undisturbed. The crystal clear waters give you a breath-taking glimpse of the regions fascinating biodiversity. The area offers excellent diving conditions around the year. The waters are coldest from February to April (in the low or middle 60’s) but the temperatures during the rest of the year range from 70 to the 80’s.

The most spectacular underwater clarity, biodiversity and remarkable diving facilities abound at Cozumel and at Isla Mujeres on the East Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The surface temperatures are more or less constant throughout the year, ranging between the high 70’s to middle 80’s.

Diving outfits at most resorts run boat trips ranging from US$45 to 60 per day per person. Some outfits throw in a meal or snack. All the necessary equipment such as the dive-boat, tanks and weights and a dive-master are included. The rest of the gear: a wet suit, regulator, buoyancy compensator, masks, fins and snorkel can be hired at an average total cost of US$20. Diving insurance is also available.

Snorkeling

Baja, the Yucatan, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo and Huataulco have some excellent spots for snorkeling.

Swimming

Ocean swimming is popular along the Yucatan Coast and the Sea of Cortes. In this area, the mildest swimming conditions are offered in Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel, Loreto, Guaymas and La Paz.

The Pacific resorts of Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Ixtapa are good for ocean swimming. Acapulco, Zihuatanejo and Huatulco have placid bays.

You are advised to be very cautious when swimming in the ocean because the hotels do not normally have ocean lifeguards.

Fishing

Fishing under permit is an excellent, year-round sport in Mexico. Salt water fishing can be done in just about any season. You can join a fishing expedition for half a day or the whole day, with the necessary fishing licenses and permits.

Los Cabos, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta are in perpetual fishing season. Fish for dolphinfish, swordfish, mackerel, marlin, rooster fish, shark, sailfish, tuna, wahoo and yellowtail.

Hunting

Hunting and the import of firearms are strictly under government regulations. Big game and bird hunting are restricted but thrilling sports. Three main areas have bird hunting locations: Sinaloa and Sonora in northwest Mexico; near Merida in the state of Yucatan; and around Los Cabos in Baja California Sur.

For more information on bird and big game hunting, seasons, permits and excursions, contact the Mexican Government’s Department of Flora and Fauna in Mexico City.

Golf

Mexico is a scenic and unhurried golfing destination in spite of its somewhat limited facilities for the sport. Though the country boasts of only a handful of elegant golf courses and a limited number of average to above average courses, these are becoming popular. Mild weather throughout the year offers a year round golfing season.

At the core of this popularity is the breathtakingly beautiful natural surroundings that form the backdrop for these courses. Some of the courses are located in the midst of picturesque hills and jungles, or beckoning seascapes and perhaps even among the vestiges of an ancient Indian civilization. A few of the courses have been designed by world-class designers such as Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones and Pete Dye. The courses are delightfully uncrowded, while caddies and other attendants are helpful and courteous.

The Green fees are normally below US$40 for 18 holes. The rates are lower at inland courses compared to coastal locations.

Tennis

Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara have the best tennis destinations in the country. Good tennis facilities are also available at Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Cozumel, Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan and Manzanillo.


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