From stunning mountain peaks to lush forests and sparkling waterfalls, these 15 best national parks in Mexico will amaze you forever.
The National Commission of Protected Natural Areas manages these parks, spanning 23 out of the 31 Mexican states and the independent district of Mexico City.
You can book the best-selling tours to these national parks and many more places in Mexico.
Sounds great? Let’s start!
Mexico National Parks Map
Top 13 Best National Parks in Mexico
Whether you’re a local or a traveler, you will love exploring Mexico’s stunning national parks. By the way, you can book tours and buy tickets for these parks here.
1/ Bahía de Loreto National Park
Bahía de Loreto National Park is a hidden gem on Mexico’s east coast of the Baja California Peninsula.
The park covers an area of over 200,000 hectares and is home to various habitats, such as mangroves, deserts, and islands.
The park is famous for its crystal-clear waters and stunning coastlines stretching over 25 kilometers. The beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.
There are several activities to do in the park, such as hiking, kayaking, and fishing. You can also take a boat tour around the islands and witness the diverse wildlife, including dolphins, sea lions, and different species of birds.
Bahía de Loreto National Park is a must-visit destination in Baja California Sur, Mexico. It’s one of the region’s most beautiful and best-preserved natural areas.
2/ Arrecife Alacranes National Park
Arrecife Alacranes National Park is the biggest state park in Mexico, with an area of 1288 square miles. It’s on the unique topography of the Alacranes Reef, the largest coral structure in the Gulf of Mexico.
This beautiful Mexican national park offers an unforgettable experience of nature and marine life.
Arrecife Alacranes National Park is also known as Scorpion Reef, an atoll containing small islets in the Gulf of Mexico and off the northern coast of Yucatán, Mexico.
That’s why it’s unique, and visiting it is such an experience.
The park is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs, and diverse marine life.
You can enjoy various activities at the park, such as snorkeling or scuba diving in the beautiful coral reef, swimming with dolphins, and walking on the sandy beaches.
You can also enjoy a secret sandbar sail with lunch and drinks with this tour cruising through the Puerto Morelos lagoon.
The park is home to various species of plants and animals, including sea turtles, pelicans, herons, frigate birds, and more.
Arrecife Alacranes National Park consists of 23 reefs, a sandy island, and a small piece of the mainland.
You must witness its must-visit island Isla Pérez while you’re there. It’s a must-visit for nature and marine life lovers.
By the way, you can book tours and buy tickets for these parks here.
3/ Arrecifes de Xcalak National Park
Arrecifes de Xcalak National Park is located in the southernmost part of the Mexican Caribbean coast in Quintana Roo. It’s one of the best Mexican national parks, not yet discovered by many tourists.
The Mexican National Park is known for its vibrant coral reefs, clear waters, colorful marine life, and beautiful beaches. It covers an area of around 44,000 acres, which includes the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest coral reef in the world.
The reef is home to more than 500 fish species, making it a must-visit destination for scuba divers and snorkelers.
The park has various activities like birdwatching, fishing, kayaking, and hiking. You can hike to the observation tower and get a panoramic view of the park, the coast, and the Caribbean Sea.
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination, Arrecifes de Xcalak National Park is perfect. It’s an ideal place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in nature.
4/ Isla Contonty National Park
Isla Contoy is a small, isolated island off the coast of Cancun. It is a protected area designated a National Park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The island is only accessible by boat, and visitors are limited in number to preserve its pristine environment. But worry not; you can book this Isla Contoy day trip to enjoy marine life and snorkeling at Ixlache Reef.
The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island are home to a diverse array of marine life, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.
You can also explore the island’s beautiful beaches and observe the various bird species that call Isla Contoy home.
Guided tours are available if you want to learn about the local flora and fauna or the island’s unique history.
Isla Contoy National Park is truly a hidden gem and a must-visit national park in Mexico for anyone seeking an unforgettable, eco-friendly adventure in Mexico.
5/ Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park
Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park is known for its stunning and diverse landscapes. This state park is in the northwestern Baja California peninsula and covers over 68,000 hectares.
You can enjoy various outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and stargazing. The state park is also home to a wide range of flora and fauna, with nearly 1,500 plant species and over 115 bird species.
One of the national park’s highlights is the Observatory, considered one of the best places for stargazing in the world. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or an astronomy geek, Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park is worth a visit!
6/ Tulum National Park
Tulum National Park is located in Quintana Roo, on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. The park covers an area of over 664 hectares and is home to an impressive variety of flora and fauna.
This is a famous national park in Mexico, not just because of its stunning natural beauty and white sand beaches but also because Tulum was once a major Mayan city.
You can explore the ruins, including the iconic “El Castillo” pyramid overlooking the sea. Ensure to bring water because it can get really hot here.
The park provides a unique activity – snorkeling tours. Here you can swim through the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and discover the colorful sea life that inhabits the coral reef just off the coast.
The park allows you to access the beach and enjoy crystal-clear waters. So, get ready to connect with nature and embark on an unforgettable journey through Mexico’s natural wonders.
And luckily, you can book tours and buy tickets for these parks here and skip the line.
7/ Islas Marietas National Park
Islas Marietas National Park is a hidden gem recently becoming more popular due to its famous beach. But there is so much more to this park than just the beach.
The park is home to various marine and bird species, including dolphins, humpback whales, and blue-footed boobies.
For adventurous visitors, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, and even paddle boarding. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a giant manta ray or a whale shark.
Islas Marietas National Park is one of the best Mexican national parks for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and unique hidden beach, it’s no wonder why this Mexican national park has become so famous.
8/ Lagunas de Montebello National Park
Lagunas de Montebello National Park is a gorgeous natural reserve in the southeastern state of Chiapas in Mexico, 91 miles (147 kilometers) from San Cristóbal de las Casas, close to the Mexico-Guatemala border.
The park is known for its stunning freshwater lakes, formed by the erosion of limestone over thousands of years.
There are more than 59 of these lakes with different colors and shades of blue and green, making it a popular spot for nature lovers and photographers.
Lagunas de Montebello is home to many plant species, ranging from pine forests to cloud forests and even areas with cacti.
You can also observe different bird species like hummingbirds, quetzals, and toucans, amongst other wildlife like monkeys, foxes, and ocelots.
For adventurous visitors, Lagunas de Montebello National Park is an ideal spot for hiking and camping trips.
There are numerous trails to explore, some even leading to hidden waterfalls and panoramic views of the surrounding lakes.
Also, there are campsites throughout the park, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in nature and experience the peacefulness of the Mexican state park at night.
9/ Pico de Orizaba National Park
Pico de Orizaba National Park is in Mexico’s eastern part, covering an area of over 19,000 hectares.
The park attracts visitors from all over Mexico because of its stunning views and natural beauty.
The mountain is a popular destination for hikers and mountaineers, with multiple routes to reach the summit.
But climbing the mountain requires experience, proper gear, and a guide. So you must book the guided tours.
Aside from the mountain, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including glaciers, lakes, and forests.
The national park has several hiking trails for visitors of all skill levels, camping areas, and cabins for those wishing to stay overnight.
Plus, the park has a rich history, with evidence of human settlements dating back to pre-Hispanic times.
You can explore archaeological sites and learn about the area’s cultures, including the Olmecs, Totonacs, and Aztecs.
Pico de Orizaba National Park is a must-visit for nature and history enthusiasts and anyone seeking a thrilling adventure in Mexico’s great outdoors.
10/ Cumbres Del Ajusco National Park
Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is a beautiful natural space that locals and international tourists enjoy exploring.
The is named after the Ajusco mountain range, which dominates the landscape and is a popular spot for hiking and climbing.
Many trails throughout the park are challenging, making it accessible for beginners to experienced hikers.
Along the way, you’ll be greeted with stunning views of the surrounding valleys, canyons, and mountains.
The national park offers many other activities, including horseback riding, mountain biking, and camping. There are also several picnic spots and areas to enjoy a meal while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
One of the unique features of the national park is its biodiverse ecosystem. It is home to many local species of flora and fauna, including several species of birds, reptiles, and mammals.
If you’re in Mexico City and looking to escape from bustling city life, Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is worth visiting.
Its stunning natural beauty and many outdoor activities make it the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
11/ Sumidero Canyon National Park
Sumidero Canyon National Park is one of Mexico’s most spectacular natural attractions. The park is located in Chiapas State and attracts millions of visitors annually.
The national park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including over 500 species of plants and 800 species of animals.
You can explore the state park on foot or by boat and enjoy the diverse ecosystem of the canyon. Watch this video to see if it’s worth it.
A boat tour is one of the best ways to experience Sumidero Canyon. The tour takes you down the Grijalva River through the canyon, allowing for stunning views of the vertical cliffs that rise over 1,000 meters above the river.
The state park also has historical and cultural significance, as it was once an important site for the ancient Maya civilization. You can see remnants of Maya culture throughout the park, including altars and petroglyphs.
Sumidero Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Mexico’s natural beauty and history. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, add it to your Mexico travel itinerary.
12/ Cañón del Río Blanco National Park
Cañón del Río Blanco National Park is a natural wonderland located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.
The state park is famous for its stunning canyons and crystal-clear river, perfect for adventurous travelers seeking a thrilling experience.
In addition to its natural beauty, the park also offers excellent accommodations for visitors. The Eco Parque Aldea provides guests a unique, sustainable experience, with rustic cabins nestled into the surrounding forest.
You can also take advantage of the park’s many activities, including hiking, birdwatching, rafting, and rock climbing.
The state park’s staff is knowledgeable and friendly, always ready to help visitors plan their perfect adventures.
If you’re looking for a unique, unforgettable adventure in Mexico, add Cañón del Río Blanco National Park to your list of must-visit destinations.
13/ Huatulco National Park
Huatulco National Park is one of the best national parks on Mexico’s southern coast in Oaxaca. The park opened in 1998 and has been one of Mexico’s most famous national parks.
Go on this tour to walk and snorkel in the Huatulco National Park and do many fun activities there.
There are many reasons to choose Huatulco National Park as a destination. The park boasts an incredible ecosystem that includes 9 bays and 36 beaches.
You can swim, snorkel, scuba dive, or relax on the beaches. One of the standout features of this park is the incredible coral reefs that are home to a wide variety of marine life, including sea turtles, starfish, and colorful fish.
Huatulco National Park is a must-visit park for those seeking various relaxation and enjoyment options.
FAQs for Mexican State Parks
Let me answer a few questions about Mexican national parks now.
How many national parks are in Mexico?
If you want to explore Mexico’s natural beauty, you’ll be glad to know that the country has 67 national parks.
The NCPNA, a branch of the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources, manages these federally protected areas.
From the rugged mountains to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, these parks offer a diverse range of flora, fauna, and breathtaking landscapes to explore.
What is the largest national park in Mexico?
Arrecife Alacranes National Park is the largest national park in Mexico, with an area of 1,288 square miles (3,335.9 sq km). It’s known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs, and diverse marine life. And you can do a lot of watersports like snorkeling.
Complete List of National Parks in Mexico (Ranked by the Area)
|Rank||Mexican National Parks||Area (in Square Miles)|
|1||Arrecife Alacranes National Park||1,288|
|2||Bahía de Loreto National Park||797|
|3||Cumbres de Monterrey National Park||685|
|4||Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park||278|
|5||San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park||225|
|6||Cañón del Río Blanco National Park||215|
|7||Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano Marine Park||202|
|8||Archipiélago Espíritu Santo National Park||188|
|9||Nevado de Toluca National Park||180|
|10||La Malinche National Park||176|
|11||Iztaccíhuatl–Popocatépetl National Park||153|
|12||Gogorrón National Park||96|
|13||El Tepozteco National Park||89|
|14||Los Marmoles National Park||89|
|15||Cañón del Sumidero National Park||83|
|16||Pico de Orizaba National Park||76|
|17||Arrecifes de Xcalak National Park||69|
|18||Lagunas de Chacahua National Park||54|
|19||Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park||45.9|
|20||Huatulco National Park||45|
|21||Cofre de Perote National Park||45|
|22||Bosencheve National Park||40|
|23||Volcán Nevado de Colima National Park||37|
|24||Arrecife de Puerto Morelos National Park||34|
|25||Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres National Park||33|
|26||Cabo Pulmo National Park||27|
|27||Lagunas de Montebello National Park||23|
|28||Basaseachic Falls National Park||22|
|29||Isla Contoy National Park||19.6|
|30||Constitution 1857 National Park||19.3|
|31||Cumbres de Majalca National Park||18.15|
|32||Lagunas de Zempoala National Park||18.15|
|33||Insurgente José María Morelos y Pavón||16.60|
|34||El Veladero National Park||13.91|
|35||Benito Juárez National Park||10.42|
|36||El Chico National Park||10.42|
|37||El Cimatario National Park||9.27|
|38||El Potosí National Park||7.72|
|39||Palenque National Park||6.56|
|40||Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park||6.18|
|41||Desierto de los Leones National Park||5.79|
|42||El Tepeyac National Park||5.79|
|43||Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla||5.79|
|44||Islas Marietas National Park||5|
|45||Cerro de la Estrella National Park||4.25|
|46||Sierra de Órganos National Park||4.25|
|47||Cerro de Garnica National Park||3.47|
|48||Cumbres del Ajusco National Park||3.47|
|49||Lomas de Padierna National Park||2.32|
|50||Tulum National Park||2.32|
|51||Xicoténcatl National Park||2.32|
|52||Desierto del Carmen National Park||1.93|
|53||Dzibilchantún National Park||1.93|
|54||El Histórico Coyoacán National Park||1.93|
|55||General Juan N. Álvarez National Park||1.93|
|56||Los Remedios National Park||1.54|
|57||Barranca del Cupatitzio National Park||1.16|
|58||Isla Isabel National Park||0.73|
|59||Fuentes Brotantes de Tlalpan National Park||0.39|
|60||Tula National Park||0.39|
|61||Cerro de Las Campanas National Park||0.22|
|62||Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl||0.19|
|63||Sacromonte National Park||0.17|
|64||Los Novillos National Park||0.15|
|65||Rayón National Park||0.10|
|66||Lago de Camécuaro National Park||0.04|
|67||El Sabinal National Park||0.03|
What are some famous parks in Mexico?
Mexico has many beautiful parks in Mexico including,
- Chapultepec Park (located in the heart of Mexico City).
- Xcaret Park (eco-archaeological park in Riviera Maya).
- Bosque de Chapultepec (large urban park having several museums).
- Parque Fundidora (former industrial park in Monterrey).
- Cozumel National Park (marine park on the island of Cozumel).
And many more are listed at the start of this post. You can book tours and buy tickets for these parks here so that you can travel hassle-free. Also, explore more parks and zoos here.
That’s all for now. I hope you love visiting some of the best national parks in Mexico and witnessing the breathtaking natural beauty.