Mexico is home to some of the most beautiful national parks and biosphere reserves in the world, each boasting of a wide variety of wild animals. Some of the great national parks of Mexico offer access to the coastline while others are more secluded and located in the mountain regions of the country. These national parks are home to activities such as hiking, camping, kayaking and other sports.
Overall, there are 67 national parks in Mexico under the National System of Natural Protected areas (SINAP), set aside by the government to protect these lands and their biodiversity. However, the main reason why Mexico has invested in the protection of national parks is because of their contribution to tourism in the country. From Arrecife Alacranes National Park, which is the biggest national park, here are the biggest national parks in Mexico.
Arrecife Alacranes National Park
Located in the Gulf of Mexico, Arrecife Alacranes is the country’s biggest national park with an area of 1,288 square miles. It is one of the most protected areas of the country and is the only reef in the state of Yucatan. Due to its isolation, its environment is virtually unchanged and consists of some of the important endangered species. This national park has a high biodiversity which boasts a rich marine life consisting of many kinds of birds which nest in the islands. Its islands and the beautiful scenery offer a breathtaking experience for tourists who want to be in direct contact with nature. Fishing is the main activity here, with species such as dorado, mackerel, tarpon and grouper being dominant. Arrecife Alacranes acquired national park status in 1994.
Bahía de Loreto National Park
This national park includes several islands, such as Carmen, Danzante, Coronado, Santa Catalina, and Monserrat. Together, these islands and their surrounding waters make up the Bahia de Loreto Parque Nacional, the second biggest national park in Mexico with an area of 797 square miles. This park was inscribed on the United Nations list of world protected sites in 2005. It has some of the most beautiful wildlife species in their natural habitat. Many tourists visit Bahía de Loreto National Park just to experience the natural atmosphere, clean air and the amazing activities such as kayaking, fishing, and camping.
Cumbres de Monterrey National Park
This national park is known for rock climbing and hiking activities, as well as for the appealing views it provides of the mountains and rocky peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental range. The Cumbres de Monterrey National Park was created in 1939 and covers an area of 685 square miles. Many campers, hikers, and bike riders are attracted to the experience of climbing the terrain, and also the untouched view of the mountain landscapes. Other attractions include Huasteca Canyon and the 25-meter Cola de Caballo waterfalls in the southwest of Santiago.
Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park
The Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park is located on the Baja Peninsula. It is one of the protected areas of Mexico and was first recognized as a protected area in 1947. This park is known for its unobtrusive camping experience, the oak and pine forests, the hiking trails and a wide variety of flora and fauna. One of the main astronomical observatories, the National Observatory of Mexico, is found here on the summit of Cerro del la Cúpula. It features three deep space telescopes which are high powered and open for tours for most of the day.
Other large national parks in Mexico include San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park, Cañón del Río Blanco, Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano, Archipiélago Espíritu Santo, and Nevado de Toluca National Park