If you are thinking of visiting Mexico then you will probably find many things that will amaze you. The country has many great man-made sites and places that you will find peaceful and beautiful. There are also places that are nature-made which you will not forget for the rest of your life. Here are the top 7 natural wonders of Mexico.
Cañon del Sumidero (Chiapas)
The Cañon del Sumidero is in the southern state of Chiapas and it deserves to be in the list because of the impressive beauty of the region. The canyon does not get the advertising that the grand canyon gets, but most of the people who visit both sites will agree that they are both equally spectacular in beauty. It has taken the Sumidero Canyon 35 million years to become what it is today and it was formed due to the erosion caused by the Rio Grijalva and the cracks in the crust of the earth. The highest walls in the canyon are 1000 meters (3,280 ft) though most of it ranges from 200 mt (656 ft) to 700 mt (2.296 ft).
You can see the canyon from different lookout points on the top, but the best way is through the boat rides offered. You can explore the rapids of the river as well as caves, waterfalls, springs and beaches. The two main cities to the canyon are Tuxtla Gutierrez and San Cristobal de las Casas which both have airports, but international flights go to Tuxtla Gutierrez.
Playa Escondida, Islas Marietas (Nayarit)
Everyone knows that Mexico has some of the greatest beaches anywhere in the world, but not too many people know about Playa Escondida in the Islas Marietas. This is not a beach like you would find anywhere. There are no hotels nor is it even populated, and it is better that way. The Marieta Islands were created by volcanic activity thousands of years back. Though at one point they were the stage for military exercises, today they are a national park with abundant sea life and one of the most incredible photo opportunities ever.
Playa Escondida is in the largest of the three islands and to get in you will need to use one of the few tour companies with special permits to go there. The hidden beach is a cave-like beach that cannot be seen from the outside, but once you get in you know why it made the list. The wildlife in the area is now protected so there is no fishing or hunting allowed. The Marieta Island tours are available from the Nayarit coast line and from Puerto Vallarta.
Barranca del Cobre (Chihuahua)
Barranca del Cobre is another majestic canyon in Mexico and it is in the list because no one who visits can keep themselves from coming back. To get there you do so by the Chihuahua Pacifico rail system (Chepe) which gives you a great view as you approach. There is a total of 20 canyons in the area which makes it four times bigger than the Grand Canyon just north of the border. Because of the size of the canyon you will experience different types of climate depending on where you are and that means different flora and fauna.
The deepest canyon is the Barranca de Urique followed by the Barranca del Cobre; both can be reached via rail from the city of Chihuahua or from Los Mochis in Sinaloa.
El Arrecifal (Veracruz)
El Arrecifal is on the list as it is one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. The area has been a protected area now for close to 20 years and it is now one of the most visited natural wonders in the country. The good news is that you do not have to go that far from the city of Veracruz to see it as one of the two sections of the reef is right by the city (The other one is in Punta Anton Lizardo in the same state). The Arrecifal has been described as an "under-water mountain range in the Gulf of Mexico". The size of the protected area is what makes it the most important in Mexico with 52,238 hectares making up the reef.
Diving is the main attraction of the area though there are other activities related to the reef like an aquarium and a marine park. Those diving will see several wrecks of ships that have sunk in the area.
Pantanos de Centla (Tabasco-Campeche)
The region known as Pantanos de Centla which is in both the states of Tabasco and Campeche is a moist forest in the tropics with flooded wetlands year round. In 2006 the area was finally named as a Biosphere reserve which means protection efforts have increased. The area is home to many different plant and animal species including endangered ones like the Morelet’s croc, turtles and green iguanas. Monkeys and toucans are common in the area. The alligator gar which existed during the time the dinosaurs roamed the earth is still seen in this area.
The Popocatépetl volcano (known as Don Goyo to the locals) is the second tallest peak in Mexico, but it makes the list due to its imposing look over the city of Puebla and the fact that it is an active volcano. Because of its size the top of the volcano is always covered with smoke and when you visit the areas of Puebla and Cholula you can see the activity going on at the top. It is still possible to attempt to climb the Popocatépetl, but you will need to register at the Rescate Alpino (Alpine Rescue) team just in case you need help along the way.
You can also admire the view from the skirts of the volcano where you could enjoy a lot of nature related activities like mountain biking, hiking, bird and fauna watching, horse back riding etc. Whatever you decide to do you will be able to admire one of the most amazing active volcanoes in the world and you doo not have to go that far from Mexico City to do so.