Eco-Tourism in Sonora, Mexico

Sonora has a variety of fragile ecosystems, and the Sonoran state government is taking steps to preserve its natural resources.  As part of its efforts, the State of Sonora has set aside critical environmental lands for preservation, offering a broad diversity of ecosystems, flora and fauna to see and explore.

Click here to see information about Sonora Eco-Tourism Organizations

Northern Sonora

Rancho Puerto Blanco – Caborca

Rancho Puerto Blanco has the greatest concentration of petroglyphs in Latin America, with more than 6,000 of the ancient rock-art carvings. The ranch covers 3600 acres (1450 hectares) of pristine Sonoran desert, through which passes a riverbed where generations of humans and animals lived for thousands of years. The petroglyphs are concentrated on two hills, La Proveedora and San Jose, and are fascinating. The ranch offers a variety of activities, from hiking and mountain biking to guided tours. To learn more, visit their website.

Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve – Alto Golfo y Delta

This 2.3 million-acre preserve is located at the northern end of the Sea of Cortez, and includes the Colorado River Delta and the California Upper Gulf.  In addition to its natural abundance, the area is home to more than 70 species of terrestrial and marine animals.
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El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve

This fabulous volcanic basin is located in Northern Sonora, in the Altar desert north of Rocky Point.  It is similar to a moon crater, and was used by astronauts for training prior to NASA lunar missions.  El Pinacate consists of 1.9 million acres of reserve, and is divided into two sections, one for the enjoyment of tourists, and the other as a carefully preserved natural area.
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San Jorge Bay

This pristine coastal area features almost 100 miles of unspoiled beaches.  Located between Desemboque and Rocky Point, it is a popular area for watching birds and other animal species unique to the area.  The topography also includes rocky hills by the beaches, adding to its feeling of seclusion.

Southern Sonora

Arroyo – Mesa del Campanero

Located in the southeastern corner of Sonora in the municipality of Yecora, this preserve features a 103,000-acre micro-ecosystem formed by the convergence of major desert and tropical ecosystems.  It includes a mountain range, and the Yaqui and Mayo Rivers.  Tourism activities include bird watching and mountain biking.


The Cuchujaqui preserve is 227,000 acres of tropical ecosystem located in the Sierra of Alamos in southern Sonora.  It offers a variety of vegetation and animals, from venomous snakes to hundreds of species of birds.

Ecoturismo Tehuelibampo

The Eco-Museum at Tehuelibampo, Sonora is a center for education about the history and culture of the Yoreme Mayo people of Southern Sonora. Located not far from the city of Navojoa, it features beautiful murals and wall paintings, and a nature hike through a rillito lined with ancient rock art. Click here for more information.

La Pintada

Located in the Cerro Prieto Canyons area approximately 45 miles south of Hermosillo (off of Mexico Highway 15), this park features thousands of cave paintings.  The artwork was done in the 1700’s by native peoples who may have been hiding from Spanish invaders in the area’s caves.

Ecotourism Organizations in Sonora

SeaBear Smokehouse