Top Ten Mexico Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Hike into Enchanted Mountains

Okay, so southern Veracruz is better known for its shamanic rituals and divining witches than anything, but those who make the trek to Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve will also find some great hiking. The area's dominated by Los Tuxtlas, a chain of small mountains that preside over the marshy coastal plains and the Gulf of Mexico. Climb the mountains or simply hike around Lake Catemaco, which sits between two volcanoes. On the northern shore is Parque Ecologico Nanciyaga, a 40-hectare educational park with a great trail system and reasonably informed guides. A more rustic option is Selva del Marinero, a new ecotourism camp in the farming community of Lopez Mateos. Instead of clearing their forests for yet more cattle pasture, locals are keeping the mountains forested to draw more hikers. Camping is permitted and the local guide service is well-developed. Just watch out for those witches.


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