World ? Caribbean & Central America ? Mexico

Mexico: The Best Natural Attractions

  • Michoacȥn's Million Monarch March: Mexico is an exotic land, and no place drives this home more forcefully than a mountain forest where you stand surrounded by the fluttering wings of millions of monarch butterflies -- it's like being in a fairy tale. The setting is the rugged highlands of Michoacȥn, from mid- to late November through March.

  • Whale-Watching: Each winter, between December and April, magnificent humpback and gray whales return to breed and instruct their young in the waters of Banderas Bay, fronting Puerto Vallarta, and in Los Cabos.

  • Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches: Between June and November, sea turtles return to the beaches of their birth to lay their eggs in nests on the sand. With poaching and natural predators threatening these species, communities along Mexico's Pacific coast have established protected nesting areas. Many are open for public viewing and participation in the egg collection and baby-turtle release processes. Turtles are found along the Yucatȥn coast, in Baja Sur, on the Oaxaca coast, in Puerto Vallarta, and on Costa Alegre.

  • Lago Bacalar (Yucatȥn Peninsula): The waters of this crystal-clear, spring-fed lake -- Mexico's second largest -- are noted for their vibrant color variations, from pale blue to deep blue-green and turquoise. The area surrounding the lake is known for birding, with over 130 species identified.

  • The Rugged Copper Canyon: The canyons, known collectively as the Copper Canyon, are beautiful, remote, and unspoiled. The entire network is larger than the Grand Canyon; it incorporates high waterfalls, vertical canyon walls, mountain forests in the canyon-rim country, and semiarid desert inside the canyons. This is the land of the Tarahumara Indians, who gained their legendary endurance from adapting to this wilderness.

  • Desert Landscapes in Baja Sur: The painted-desert colors and unique plant life are a natural curiosity in Los Cabos, where horseback, hiking, and ATV trips explore the area. The arid desert contrasts sharply with the intense blue of the strong sea surrounding the peninsula.

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