When people think of travel to Mexico, they are more likely to think of lying on a beach than of doing adventure activities. That’s not for lack of offerings though. With almost as much geographic diversity as the U.S., plus a jungle, coral reef, and cenotes, this country has plenty to get the pulse racing.

They’re committed to getting the word out too. Right now I’m at the Adventure Travel World Summit, which is held in a different destination each year. This time it’s in Chiapas, Mexico, in the beautiful city of San Cristobal de Casas. Before arriving here I spent four days touring around the jungle areas of this lush state, rafting and hiking. (Plus I got to see Palenque for the first time in my life.)

Besides laying out all the money to host some 800 adventure travel people from 40+ countries, the featured speaker was someone quite special: the president of Mexico. Yes, the leader of the whole country, Felipe Calderon. There’s a show coming out this fall, Peter Greenburg’s Royal Tour, that has Senor Calderon rappelling down into a cave, ziplinging, and scuba diving in a cenote, so I think he’s the real deal.

I’ll be talking with lots of tour operators here trying to figure out who is a step above the pack in catering to upscale adventure travelers. We hope to bring you feature stories later on some of these unique offerings.