Sonora, Mexico


Pincate Crater & National Park


The State of Sonora is located in Northwestern Mexico. It is bordered by the United States (State of Arizona) to the North; the State of Chihuahua to the East; the Gulf of California to the Southwest; the State of Sinaloa to the Southeast; and the State of Baja California to the Northwest. Pinacate National Park is located at aproximately 45 kilometers Northeast from Puerto Peñasco in the cost of Sonora.


According to surveys done in the area, the great Sonoran desert appeared in the Holozoic era, about ten thousand years ago, when climate changed from rainy and damp, due to the closeness of the ice masses of North America, to warmer and drier. This same change caused the appearance of a portion of land called the Southern Shield, which forms part of the 2000 sq. kilometers of desert and mountainous area of the "Pinacate" we presently know.


This impressive place is located in the great Sonoran Desert, whose dunes extend toward the State of Arizona. "The Pinacate" is a precious jewel which presently is an ecological reserve. This majestic area comprises mountains and volcanoes, dunes and washes, and seasonal lands which survive just on scarcely any water. Furthermore, this area is rich in archaeological findings of the so-called San Dieguito culture that inhabited the region approximately 12 thousand years ago. Contrary to what could be thought, there is a great wealth of wild animal and plant species at "El Pinacate", despite that rainfall is scarce and unpredictible. Different types of cacti and other plants dominate the landscape, in which animals live hidden under the sand dunes and the soil. Therefore, once you have visited this spot, you will always want to come back and why not? ... spend several nights together with the inhabitants of a unique place in Mexico. It is worthwhile mentioning that American astronauts visited the "Pinacate" before going to the Moon with the purpose of getting acquainted with situations similar to those they could encounter on Earth's satellite, since the "Pinacate's" landscapes have a tremendous resemblance to those of the Moon.


The most majestic and beautiful volcanic cones which you can climb to observe the craters and use as outlooks to enjoy the magnificent panorama are located in its 28,600 hectares of land. You can also enjoy different colors and tones produced by vegetation contrasting against sunlight.


For this tour, it is necessary to take an experienced guide along, since the desert should be carefully crossed by already existing trails. It must be pointed out that the area is uninhabited and any problem which might arise must be solved by visitors themselves. Therefore, it is recommended to take sufficient water along and to use a double-traction vehicle, as well as to have a supply of basic spare parts, tools and plenty of gas.


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