guadalajara adventure travel

This paradise in Jalisco is optimal for canyoning fanatics. (Photo: Alamy)


6 Ways to Get an Adrenaline Rush in Guadalajara

Guadalajara, the birthplace of mariachi and tequila, offers visitors much more than parties and folklore. Adventurers that love getting in touch with nature can find spectacular places to experience extreme sports in the city and its surrounding areas.

Rappelling, canyoning, mountain biking, zip-line circuits and kitesurfing are but a few of the activities you can practice in the so-called Perla de Occidente (Pearl of the West).

Cañón de Huaxtla

This paradise is one of Jalisco’s natural wonders and optimal for canyoning fanatics. Walls of more than 492 feet in height, waterfalls to rappel off, dives into water pits and swimming paths form part of the route that lasts around seven hours.

The Cañón de Huaxtla is located 30 minutes from the center of Zapopan and the best time to visit is between November and June. It’s advisable to hire the services of a professional company to guarantee secure conditions.

Barranca de Huentitan

guadalajara adventure travel
The Barranca de Huentitan is ideal for hiking. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s located just 20 minutes from the city center and it’s ideal for hiking, since you have to descend approximately 2.8 miles to reach the river. The route is full of adventures, from a ghost town to the first suspension bridge built in Mexico (second in America).

Basic elements that alleviate the day’s journey include sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable clothing and sneakers. It is also advisable to start the descent as early as possible so that the climb back does not coincide with the hottest hours of the day (between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.).

Bosque de la Primavera

Considered the “lung” of Guadalajara’s Metropolitan Area, this protected 74,131 acre bosque (forest) is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. There are 11 routes that measure between 0.9 and 8 miles. Your level is not important as there are paths for beginners, intermediates and advanced bikers.

Access to the park is from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., every day of the year. GdlBike Tour offers bike rentals and guided tours.

Laguna de Sayula

guadalajara adventure travel
The Sayula lagoon dries during the winter months. (Photo: Getty Images)

Dry during the winter months, this laguna (lagoon) turns into an extraordinary setting for kite buggy enthusiasts. Also known as ‘parakarting,’ this is a sport in which a tricycle and a paraglider are used to glide over large flatland surfaces.

It’s located 47 miles from Guadalajara and can be reached by the Guadalajara-Colima highway in less than an hour and a half.

Fun fact: This lagoon reaches across six municipalities. One of them, Sayula, is the birthplace of Juan Rulfo, considered by many to be the best Mexican writer of all time.

Natural Adventure

An amusement park for the whole family where kids and adults can enjoy zip-line and floating obstacle circuits, go-karts, paintball, rock-climbing walls and water slides—among other activities.

At Natural Adventure there is also an area for the little ones and a restaurant with a pool. Entrance to the park, with unlimited access to all rides, costs 350 pesos (17 USD). On Mondays it’s closed for maintenance.

Villa Corona

The boldest visitors will find the perfect experience in this municipality situated 31 miles from the state capital. In addition to three spas, it is the gateway to Laguna de Atotonilco, an unbeatable place to practice the art of kitesurfing.

This discipline, which combines surfing with paragliding, is magnificent for releasing adrenaline and exercising your body in a fun way. The windy season is from February to June and the best winds blow in the afternoon.