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The Mexican Valley and its neighboring states of Puebla, Tlaxcala and Morelos are home to a variety of important volcanoes and forests, making them the perfect places to go hiking and to do other types of outdoor activities.
Mexico City is one of the busiest cities in the Americas. Due to some unfortunately high pollution levels, the government has placed particular importance on protecting the natural parks and all the green spaces across the capital. Here are the best places to balance your urban stay with nature, fresh air and outdoor activities in and around Mexico City.
As the name implies, the jewel in the crown of Nevado de Toluca National Park is the Nevado de Toluca itself, a now inactive volcano. Arguably Mexico’s most striking volcano, it’s popular with day trippers from Mexico City, who come to see its often snowy peaks and the two bright-blue lakes that lie in its craters. The park is easily reachable via car – just remember to wrap up warm and take it easy with the altitude.
Located in the northern part of Mexico City, this national park is the perfect place to climb a peak and see the full view of the capital. As part of the Guadalupe Mountains, technically five percent of this park’s extension belongs to the State of Mexico (more specifically to the neighboring city of Tlalnepantla), but it’s a must-visit if you’re staying in Mexico City. Next to it is the Basílica de Guadalupe, another spot that’s popular with tourists. This park contains the high and low parts of the Tepeyac, Guerrero and Santa Isabel hills, which makes it a great location to do hiking and cycling activities, especially if you don’t intend to leave Mexico City.
The Cumbres del Ajusco is easily (yet subjectively) the best national park in Mexico City. Dominating half of the capital, it’s home to Mexico’s highest peak, Pico de Águila, as well as a range of colorful flora and fauna. The Cumbres del Ajusco is undoubtedly a hiker’s dream!