Travel tours are supposed to give you an authentic local experience of a country, but this tour takes that promise to extremes.
Imagine paying to be chased, shot at and verbally abused on your holiday? That's what you'll get from this tour in Mexico which offers a live simulation of what it's like to cross the border from Mexico to the United States illegally — at night and under stressful and dangerous conditions.
Caminata Nocturna, or the Night Walk, is a three-hour, 12km obstacle course which involves running across rugged land, and through streams and bushes, all while being pursued by "border patrol agents" firing guns with loaded blanks. Sirens and fake drug cartel members also up the adrenaline.
The tour, which has been running since 2004, has given thousands of tourists a taste of what it's like to be an immigrant. It takes place within the 3,000-acre Parque EcoAlberto, a recreational park in Mexico that's owned, operated and staffed by the Hñahñu Indians - an indigenous group whose population has been decimated due to its members heading north to cross the border. More than 70 per cent of its community has emigrated to the US with the hope of a better life.
The tour has raised eyebrows in the past, viewed as being a kind of boot camp that trains Mexicans and Central Americans on how to sneak into the US. However, the Parque EcoAlberto maintains that it is patriotic and is meant to discourage migration.
"The concept of the Night Walk is born with the aim of raising awareness among our young people in the community, showing them not to risk their lives looking for 'a better life in another country' (living the famous American dream), projecting a vision and a motivation to look at new productive projects," it states on the park's website.
The tour is a big employer in the community.
Speaking to the LA Times, Marcelo Rojas, a Mexico City biologist who has done the tour said he knows "many" Mexicans who have crossed, or attempted to cross, the border.
"I know at least three people that went and didn't make it, that wanted to cross the desert. They died there," he said.
Sergio Mendieta, a secondary school teacher from the state of Mexico who has also done the tour, told the LA Times: "It's part of our culture, and it's important to know it."