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Adventure Guide Program - Mexico



12 Weeks




Only know Mexico for its white beaches and Mayan temples? There's so much more to it! Central Mexico is any adventure travelers' dream with its steep mountains, large pine-oak forests and an immense diversity of plants and animals. This 12-week comprehensive course in one of the world’s best climbing spots will give you 100% confidence to navigate, hike, climb and guide in the outdoors.


29 Oct - 22 Jan


3 Feb - 27 April


An Adventure Guide Program is the first step in your dream of becoming an outdoor adventure guide. Your time on this 12-week course will be split between practical and theoretical training, while you explore Central Mexico and gain world-recognized hiking qualifications and rock climbing certifications!


This program gains participants the following guiding qualifications:

  • Industry Standard Trekking Leader Qualification
  • Industry Standard Rock Climbing Supervisor Qualification
  • Pure Exploration Certificate of Guiding
  • International Wilderness First Aid Certification



Our Mexico Adventure Guide Course offers you an epic 12 weeks to some of the most impressive rock climbing areas in the world, while also going on hiking and camping expeditions through Sierra de Santiago and Sierra de Arteaga. But while this is an Adventure Guide Program, it's not all about the outdoor pursuits. There will be cultural activities and exchange; sightseeing and touring; personal development; community and social events; free time and plenty of opportunity for exploration.


You will walk away with hiking qualifications, international wilderness first aid and rock climbing certifications, ensuring your place as either a future leader in nature or as someone capable of travelling to any adventure location in the world!


adventure guide program mexico



El Potrero Chico in Central Mexico will be your home base during this Adventure Guide Program. The unique formation of limestone cliffs up to 2000 feet high makes El Potrero a sight to behold, and a world-class location for rock climbing. Being one of the top 10 locations to sport climb, it's no wonder that it has attracted climbers from all over the world.


It's not all about the climb though. We will visit colorful pre-colonial villages, experience Mexican culture, go on a hiking journey in Sierra Madre Oriental, the biggest mountain range in northeastern Mexico, and taste some mouthwatering food. Street tacos or a margarita anyone?



This outdoor adventure program is suitable for anyone who wants to embark on a career to become a global outdoor guide, or simply to challenge their own understanding of what it means to take on the wild. Gain skills you'll use your whole life as a hiker, climber and lover of exploring untouched regions. Bring on the adventures!


  • 12-week adventure tourism training and qualification program based in Mexico
  • Accommodation and food allowance during training
  • All technical equipment, in-program related transport & travel
  • Qualified & experienced technical instructors
  • Industry standard Trekking Leader qualification
  • Industry standard Rock Climbing Supervisor qualification
  • Pure Exploration Certificate of Adventure Guiding
  • International Wilderness First Aid certification
  • Modules on guiding and leadership skills, critical incident management & technical skills
  • Personalized small group experience, maximum of 12 participants
  • Live, learn and socialize in the unique landscapes of Central Mexico!


  • English Language Fluency
  • Be 18-35 years old at time of commencement
  • Moderate fitness is recommended. All professional development and training is provided
  • Have a passion for travel, adventure, & tourism
  • A desire to accept challenges, a thirst for knowledge, a love of outdoor activities or for our natural environment
  • Be a social team player that enjoys helping others discover adventure!


A diverse and exciting program designed to keep everyone interested and busy throughout their stay, balancing plenty of action, learning, social and free time. 


Orientation is a bit like your first week at college. You will get to know the local area, learn local customs and culture, get to know your program mates, and really absorb the plan for your program. Your Pure Exploration program leader will lead you on tours, challenges, games and practical tasks to help turn you into a team, immerse you in Mexicoan culture, learn ‘how things are done round here’ and help you find your way around town! By the end of the week you’ll feel as though you’ve known your program mates for a lifetime, and will be getting used to sharing daily life with them!

Of course, you will also start your outdoor adventure! There's an overnight hike in the area planned, as well as a practice day to learn or improve your river crossing, fire lighting and shelter building skills.



Time for an introduction to the disciplines that will become your bread and butter for the next twelve weeks. You’ll get an in-depth briefing on hiking and guiding, giving you the core skills needed for the training ahead. You’ll begin developing technical skills in navigation and bush walking. We’ll build on your existing knowledge of equipment, weather, and nutrition, then introduce you to essential training in group management, risk analysis, and leadership.



Start your journey into the vertical world with an introduction to rock climbing & abseiling equipment, techniques and get hooked! For the first part of the program, you will be in the center of a world-class rock climbing area in northern Mexico known worldwide for its famous big wall sports climbing walls, called El Potrero Chico or EPC. You will have the opportunity to climb not only in EPC but also the local historical climbing area in Huasteca Park, where the principles of local climbing began in the late 60’s. We’ll start with top rope rock climbing in El Potrero Chico and single pitch lead climbing in Huasteca Park.



For the first part of the hiking module, you will have an immersive hiking/camping experience in Sierra de Santiago which is part of Sierra Madre Oriental, the biggest mountain range in northeastern Mexico. We will have the opportunity to gradually acclimatize our body to the altitude by going on a 3 day hike in the local mountains of Sierra de Arteaga, the highest section of the Sierra Madre Oriental.



You’ll learn about risk assessment, leadership theory, nutrition, weather analysis and group dynamics among much, much more. This module includes some classroom elements to introduce theoretical components of professional instructing & guiding. This short stage is followed by full-on practical tasks, challenges and field assignments.... Intensely practical, fun and learning by discovery.



At this point of the program, we take it up a notch. It’s time to test your limits and push those new skills. We take you to a few more challenging locations where you’ll have to pull together as a team to get through, and where you’ll really start to see the value in ensuring processes are followed and back-up plans are in place! 



Professional guiding is a little different to what most hobby outdoors people think - a lot more involved than just the skills required for the sport! That's why you will spend some time gaining Advanced Wilderness First Aid skills during a training course, preparing for the unexpected.



During this time you’ll be given an introduction to top rope and lead sport climbing while also furthering your trekking knowledge and skillset on more advanced hikes. So at the end of this module, you will have received training to satisfy Bush Leader and Rock Leader qualifications.

Time in the saddle can’t be beaten in regards to preparation, and you’ll experience a range of weather conditions, situational scenarios and group simulations to prep you for anything. This is the true nuts and bolts of the course where you’ll emerge a true leader, skilled practitioner and confident and enthusiastic outdoor expert!



Your last month will have you dive deeper into the heart of Sierra de Santiago with a 10 day excursion that's split into 2 multi-day hikes. You will be based in the small town of Potrero Redondo in Nuevo Leon, from where you will explore surrounding trails and set up camp along the way with the help of the local guides. Ramble down the trails and scramble over boulders to hidden swimming holes and waterfalls.



Throughout your program we will facilitate time to jump into guiding! You’ll have the opportunity to lead one another and practice teaching your new found rock and bush skills! Each individual will have a minimum of 5 days as a lead or associate guide in bush walking and rock climbing.



Buckle down and consolidate your learning in preparation for your assessments. We’ve had a fantastic pass rate so far of 98%, so as long as you do the hours and are fit and healthy and raring to go, you’ll be sweet!

As well as completing your 2 x disciplines to qualification standard (as discussed on the previous page), you’ll also complete an International Wilderness First Aid Certificate to add to your repertoire.



After assessments are over, there is some great time at the end of program to rest, reflect on your adventure, celebrate at a fun graduation dinner and start planning your next epic international mission with your new best mates! We absolutely love seeing where our Pure Ex grads end up, some in guiding roles, some continuing travelling, some back to study or their careers, some joining us to work for us or our partner company Pacific Discovery! Some find the trajectory of their life has completely changed post-program, and head off to climb more mountains with new friends, new priorities and new values. The journey is just beginning!


This is a sample guide to what you can expect to do on the program. Please note that treks, locations and the order in which the activities occur may be subject to change, due to seasonality, operational requirements or health & safety.



Other Pure Ex Programs
We have a number of exciting programs in a range of countries that you may be keen to experience. These include:

Expedition Leader Program - For those keen to push their skills in high alpine regions, and begin to specialise in altitude and advanced technical hiking. A global course that finishes in the Himalayas

Outdoor Instructor Program - This is an accelerated, practical immersion program, which offers a unique pathway from training to employment in the outdoor industry.

Adventure Guide Program New Zealand - A fan favourite and for good reason! Mountains, beaches and everything in between! Become a certified where it all began!