If you are planning a visit to Nuevo León, you’ll find numerous exciting open-air attractions in centralized areas, making it easy to plan a multitude of activities without traveling across the country to get to them.
Geographically, this northeastern state of Mexico is home to many uninhabited mountainous regions, with 80% of the state’s over four million residents living in its capital city of Monterrey and the metropolis’ surrounding areas.
Due to a 19th century growth spurt and resulting bargain land deals which drew immigrants from around the world, the state has a mixed population of Slavic, German, French, and Italian descent, among others. And, as you might expect, the state’s culture and cuisine are a wonderful blend from these diverse cultures.
Nuevo Leon has long been recognized as one of the country’s leading industrial zones, and Monterrey, the state’s third largest city, is of course a huge contributor to that business. But the city proper has a plethora of fantastic shopping, art galleries, and museums that are the delight of eclectic souls seeking the finest New Age culture in Mexico.
The capital’s suburban cities like Guadalupe, Santa Catarina, San Nicolás de los Garza, and San Pedro Garza García have a myriad of parks and mountain ranges where you can explore your wilder side. These are not your normal suburban areas, for these cities are stuffed with mountain ranges and parks in which you can camp, explore caves and caverns, hike, mountain bike, rappel cliffs and climb the mountains.
Interesting to note is that, according to Mexico's national development index, the residents of San Nicolás are among the happiest in the country, with the greatest quality standard of life in the country. Amazing in that from some accounts it is completely overflowing with parks, art galleries, gardens, and museums – or maybe that’s exactly why they are such a happy lot. I’d say the town is truly worth checking into.
The pretty city of Galeana, situated to the south of Monterrey Metropolis, has the charm of a slower lifestyle, with much to offer its visitors. Galeana is known for its many tourist attractions, the most famous being Cerro del Potosí (Potosi's Mount), the state’s highest mountain. Here you can find all of the typical open-air activities of camping, climbing, trekking, mountain biking, and rappelling. Another remarkable attraction here is the El Pozo del Gavilán, an amazing, enormous, and deep natural cenote with channels that reach to one of Nuevo Leon’s major lakes, the Laguna de Labradores.
Bustamante is a municipality in northeastern Nuevo Leon that has many great attractions and thrilling activities to offer anyone visiting the area, particularly if you are an extreme sport junkie! The best attractions surround the Grutas de Bustamante and the Bustamante Canyon. The Gruta is a deep natural cenote which is used for cliff rappelling, and the Canyon is a great place to explore caves and caverns. Of course, if you aren’t an extreme sport enthusiast, you can also just hike or bike in these areas too.
Following is a short list of activities and locations to help you get started planning a vacation in Nuevo Leon.
Caving – Explore the state’s natural geological formations of stalactites and stalagmites by penetrating huge caves, some of which are artificially lighted for your convenience and safety, at places such as Cueva del Gavilán Sierra de Santiago and La Tierrosa Sierra de Santiago, both located in Santiago. The areas are also good for trekking, hiking, and climbing.
Kayaking – Laguna de Labradores, Galeana, and Presa Rodrigo Gómez “La Boca”, Santiago.
Canyoneering – This fascinating activity consists of descending mountains in routes that may be wet or dry, depending on your skill and flair for thrill-seeking. It combines nerve, adrenaline, and backbone as you hike, jump and rappel these canyons sometimes through and into cascades and pools of water. You’ll find this exciting activity in Santiago and Monterrey, as well as at other locations.
Nuevo Leon has countless parks nestled into the mountains where you can spend lazy hours watching for over 200 bird species common to the state or over 100 butterfly species, hike and bike their trails, swim or bass fish in their lakes, and play in their gorgeous cascading waterfalls. For a great vacation with nature, rent a cabin or set up a tent in one of the park’s camping areas offering barbeque areas and bathing facilities.
If you are a nature lover, Nuevo Leon is the place to go for the best open-air sports and activities, rivaling no other location.