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Looking for the best eco tours in Guanajuato state? Let me help! I live in Mexico, and one of my favorite parts about that is discovering all the incredible natural wonders it offers.
While images of idyllic beaches may come to mind when you think of Mexico, the interior offers a completely different but equally amazing experience.
Located in central Mexico, Guanajuato is a standout destination for ecotourism in Mexico, thanks to its varied landscapes, mild climate, and operators with a commitment to sustainable tourism.
Whether you’re interested in horseback riding, taking a hot air balloon flight, or rappeling down cliffs, there are countless Guanajuato tours immersed in nature.
If you’re an eco-conscious traveler looking to explore Guanajuato state in a way that aligns with your values, you’re in the right place. I get you, and I’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll dive into the top Guanajuato tours that offer a perfect blend of adventure and sustainability.
This post was sponsored by the Guanajuato tourism board. As always, all opinions are my own.
Eco Tours from San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful city and popular base for many travelers in Guanajuato, including a vibrant community of expats and digital nomads in Mexico.
This UNESCO World Heritage Town, known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, is a draw, but don’t let that keep you within its borders. The surrounding landscapes are equally compelling and deserve exploration.
If you’re staying in San Miguel de Allende, these eco-tours are a great way to experience Guanajuato state’s diverse natural beauty as day trips.
1. Half-Day Horseback Riding with Coyote Canyon Adventures
If you’re looking to explore the natural beauty surrounding San Miguel de Allende, Coyote Canyon Adventures is your go-to. A family-owned company specializing in adventure and ecotourism, they’ve been operating since 2000 in Guanajuato.
Their half-day horseback riding tour is one of the most popular tours, taking you on a journey across the La Virgen River and through the picturesque Coyote Canyon.
You’ll traverse stunning landscapes without the carbon footprint that comes with motorized vehicles. The route offers breathtaking cliffs and even a chance for a riverside hike, allowing you to connect deeply with nature.
If you’re looking for a little extra excitement, you can upgrade your experience to include a soak in nearby hot springs or a heart-pounding 120-foot cliff rappel.
To cap off the adventure, you’ll enjoy a hearty, organic Mexican lunch back at the ranch. It’s not just a tour; it’s a well-rounded, sustainable experience that leaves you feeling fulfilled. Its one of the best things to do in Guanajuato state.
Check out some of the landscapes you’ll encounter on this tour in the video below.
2. Hot Air Balloon Flight
Having had the privilege of experiencing hot air balloon flights all over the world, such as Mexico’s stunning pyramids and Egypt’s ancient tombs, I can tell you it’s an experience that never gets old.
For those looking to elevate their Guanajuato experience—literally—Globo San Miguel offers an unforgettable Hot Air Balloon adventure.
Founded in 1993, they’re the original hot air balloon company in San Miguel de Allende. With over 25 years of local flying experience and more than 40 years in the international commercial balloon business, they have the expertise to ensure a safe and enjoyable flight.
Imagine starting your day floating above San Miguel de Allende as the sun paints the sky with shades of orange and pink. Globo San Miguel’s daily hot air balloon rides offer this dreamy experience!
If you’ve wanted to try a hot air balloon ride, this scenic ride over San Miguel de Allende is the perfect opportunity.
3. Archaeologist-Led Cañada de La Virgen Pyramid Tour
My dad was an archaeologist, and I grew up going on archeological digs with him in Newfoundland. Those experiences made me feel like a real-life Indiana Jones, and this archaeologist-led tour of Cañada de La Virgen offers a similar sense of adventure and discovery.
Cañada de la Virgen is an intriguing pre-Hispanic pyramid complex dating from around AD 300 and in use until around 1050. It’s one of the top historical places to visit in Guanajuato state.
Your guide, who participated in the site’s 2004 excavation, provides unique insights you won’t find anywhere else. The small-group setting allows the tour to be tailored to your interests and all your questions about the site answered.
4. San Miguel Adventure Park
With over six years in ecotourism, San Miguel Adventure Park knows how to deliver an unforgettable adventure experience immersed in the region’s beautiful landscapes.
I’m a huge fan of ziplining and have tried various routes across Mexico, but the zipline at the park is a standout.
The park’s circuit features seven ziplines and a suspension bridge that spans the Aguila Cola Roja canyon. You’ll soar over 150 meters high, taking in breathtaking panoramic views.
The park also offers natural trails that you can explore on a quad bike or horseback, immersing you in the area’s unique semi-desert landscapes.
Beyond the adrenaline, the park offers cultural experiences like a visit to San Miguel Viejo to discover Guanajuato’s history or an Atotonilco tour that combines adventure with historical exploration. With certified guides leading the way, you’re in good hands throughout your adventure.
Eco Tours from Guanajuato City
Guanajuato City is a lively blend of color and culture that I’ve enjoyed exploring. The city’s narrow streets and brightly painted buildings make it a joy to wander around.
But many don’t realize that just beyond the city center lie some incredible natural areas waiting to be discovered. These eco-tours offer a chance to dive into the natural beauty that surrounds the city of Guanajuato.
5. Cerro de la Bufa Hike in Guanajuato
If you thought Guanajuato was beautiful from the ground, wait until you see it from the top of a hill.
Cerro de la Bufa, just outside Guanajuato City, is a must for those who love hiking. This moderate hike takes less than 5 miles round trip through some of the most scenic countryside and unique rock formations Guanajuato has to offer.
The route offers a nice blend of flat terrain and uphill sections, culminating in a stunning view of the city and surrounding areas from the top. You can find directions on AllTrails here or book a guided hike online here.
It’s an eco-friendly way to appreciate the city from a vantage point that most visitors don’t get to see.
6. Rappeling outside Guanajuato City
For those who crave an extra dose of adrenaline, rappelling down the cliffs offers a whole new level of excitement.
Imagine this: You’ve reached the summit, soaked in the panoramic views, and now you’re gearing up to descend 90-degree natural walls.
You’ll rappel down natural walls, letting the adrenaline flow. The tour also provides an intimate look at the local flora and fauna, adding an educational layer to this experience.
No need to worry about safety, as you’ll be accompanied by experts from Turismo Alternativo En Guanajuato, one of the leading ecotourism operators in the state.
7. Kayak to Sunken Temple
If you’re looking for a unique thing to do in Guanajuato, this kayak tour to the Sunken Church of Puruagüita is a must. I’ve been kayaking all over the world, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen a sunken church!
You’ll paddle through La Presa Solís, the largest dam in Guanajuato state, with a rich array of birdlife like pelicans, ducks, seagulls, and herons.
The scenery is equally captivating, featuring hills, mountains, crop fields, and local communities. But the real highlight comes when you reach the Sunken Church of Puruagüita.
Submerged for 70 years, this church still retains some of its original religious paintings and structural elements. It’s a surreal experience to paddle up to a piece of history, offering a unique blend of adventure and cultural exploration.
Note that this area is a three-hour drive from Guanajuato City, but all transportation to and from is provided through Guanajuato VIP.
8. Mountain and City Cycling in Guanajuato
For those who love biking, Turismo Alternativo En Guanajuato offers a unique cycling experience that combines both mountain and city landscapes.
Starting in the upper reaches of the mountain range, you’ll embark on a 25 km descent toward the heart of Guanajuato City, passing through the historic El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.
As you pedal your way down, you’ll encounter abandoned silver mines and once-thriving mining towns that stand as silent witnesses to Guanajuato’s 18th-century prosperity.
Turismo Alternativo En Guanajuato is committed to responsible tourism that respects local values and benefits host communities – so you know you’ll be in good hands with this tour!
9. Biking in the Sierra de Santa Rosa Reserve
If you’re like me and love to explore new destinations by cycling, check out this ride through the Sierra de Santa Rosa.
The tour leaves from Guanajuato City, making it a convenient adventure if you only have a few days there. As you pedal to the reserve, you’ll learn about the mining history of Guanajuato and the significance of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.
At the reserve, the guide will go into more detail about the rich biodiversity of the area. This mountain range is a vital passage for over 70 species of migratory birds and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, so this tour is perfect for nature lovers.
Cacomixtle guides are the leaders for this tour, who are experts in adventure tourism in the Sierra de Santa Rosa area.
Other eco-tours in Guanajuato State
Beyond the popular cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato City, the state has many other natural areas and ecotourism activities to try.
These adventures are offered by sustainable tour companies, making it easy for eco-conscious travelers to discover the lesser-known gems of Guanajuato.
10. Rafting in the Southeast of Guanajuato State
If you want to add a splash of adrenaline to your Guanajuato adventure, look no further than this rafting tour by Stone Age Men Adventure Expeditions.
Based in León, Guanajuato, this sustainable company specializes in nature tourism and offers an exhilarating river descent in the southeast of the state.
River rafting is one of my all-time favorite activities, and I’ve had the thrill of experiencing it in various parts of the world. It’s a unique way to absorb the landscapes of a place, offering both adrenaline-pumping excitement and a deep connection to nature.
As you go down the river, you’ll be surrounded by sabinos and ancient trees that line the riverbanks. The local birdlife, including herons, ducks, owls, and water dogs, adds to the experience. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot foxes or coyotes.
The rafting tour includes a guided river descent, all necessary specialized equipment, round-trip transportation from León, activity insurance, a regional meal, and social media-shared photographs.
11. Hiking in the Sierra de Lobos Protected Natural Area
PiCaSo is a local tour operator specializing in unique, educational experiences that allow you to appreciate Leon’s cultural and natural environment sustainably.
Just a 50-minute drive from Leon, this 5-hour hiking tour takes you into the heart of the Sierra de Lobos Protected Natural Area. Under clear blue skies, you’ll trek through diverse landscapes, from oak forests to cactus-studded grasslands, all of which are home to a rich array of wildlife.
The highlight of the tour is a walk down the Lajas River canyon, where you’ll encounter giant stone monoliths known as the Honeycombs (Los Panales).
12. Stay at Aventuras El Guardiá
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural richness of Guanajuato away from the cities, consider a stay at Aventuras El Guardián.
This eco-friendly lodging is located in Victoria and offers a unique blend of nature and adventure with Mexican culture and tradition.
From walking along ancient trails protected by the community of Ejido San Isidro to exploring impressive cave paintings in the Cerro de la Zorra in Arroyo Seco, this is an all-in-one destination. After a day of exploration, return to your cozy cabins surrounded by forests. You’ll feel super connected to nature after spending a weekend here!
13. Birdwatching in Guanajuato
For those who find joy in the act of birdwatching, Guanajuato Birding Adventures offers specialized birdwatching tours in protected areas.
With a vision to make Guanajuato the best destination for birdwatching in Mexico, this company offers tours in four distinct regions of the state. From the Sierra Gorda to the Altiplano Central, each area provides a different backdrop for observing various bird species.
They are committed to offering unique tourist experiences with high educational and experiential content, promoting Guanajuato through in-depth experiences that value its natural surroundings.
Their mission aligns perfectly with sustainable and regenerative tourism, making them an ideal choice for eco-conscious travelers in Guanajuato.
FAQ: Guanajuato State tours
What is the most beautiful town in Guanajuato State?
San Miguel de Allende is often considered the most beautiful, known for its colonial architecture and vibrant arts scene.
How many days should I spend in Guanajuato state?
A week in Guanajuato allows you to explore multiple cities and natural attractions across the state.
What is Guanajuato State best known for?
The state is famous for its rich history, colorful towns, and diverse natural landscapes.
What magical towns are in Guanajuato State?
Dolores Hidalgo and Mineral de Pozos are among the state’s “Pueblos Mágicos,” each offering unique charm and history.
Is it safe to travel to Guanajuato State right now?
Yes, it is generally safe to visit, but as always, it’s a good idea to stay updated on current travel advisories.
What is the best time to visit Guanajuato State?
The best time to visit Guanajuato State is from October to April, ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the towns.
What are the top cities in Guanajuato?
The top cities in Guanajuato State are San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato City, and León.
How expensive is Guanajuato Mexico?
Guanajuato State is generally cheaper than other beachside destinations in Mexico and significantly more budget-friendly than many U.S. locations.
Is Guanajuato State worth visiting?
Yes, Guanajuato State is worth visiting for its mix of cultural richness, historical sites, and natural beauty.
How to get from Guanajuato City to San Miguel de Allende?
To get from Guanajuato to San Miguel de Allende, you can drive, take a taxi, or take a bus for the 1.5-hour journey.
Is Guanajuato a state?
Yes, Guanajuato is a state in central Mexico, and its capital is Guanajuato City.
Final thoughts: Best tours in Guanajuato State
Guanajuato State is one of the best destinations for ecotourism in Mexico. With its diverse landscapes that include everything from rugged canyons to serene rivers, it’s a place that truly invites you to immerse yourself in nature.
The state’s mild climate makes it ideal for outdoor activities year-round, and various providers’ commitment to sustainable tourism ensures your adventures are both exhilarating and eco-friendly.
Whether you’re exploring on horseback with Coyote Canyon Adventures or soaring above San Miguel de Allende in a hot air balloon, adding a few of these eco-tours to your Guanajuato state itinerary is an excellent way to discover the natural beauty of Mexico beyond its most popular cities.
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