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Extinct Volcanoes in Central Mexico

Updated on June 5, 2007

Tourists and Locals Visiting Alberca

Chench, Ana, Mari, Auggie, Benny; tourists from Michigan, U.S.
Chench, Ana, Mari, Auggie, Benny; tourists from Michigan, U.S.

Get off the beaten path!

Hundreds of inactive volcanoes dot the landscape of Mexico. Advertisements for tours and outfitters abound on the internet ready to take active tourists, climbers and hikers for a spin. But what if you just want a small taste of what nature left behind from the past? Or perhaps you're not in tip top rock climbing or hiking shape...More of a casual tourist?

One of the most breathtaking sites to see in Mexico is shortly outside of the town of Zacapu, located in central Michoacán, where an extinct volcano hides a lush, green lake surrounded on all sides by a circle of thick, hardy vegetation. Zacapu is easily accessed by a "major" highway, and is within and hour or two of the capital of Morelia, where an international airport serves the region.

This particular extinct volcano is called "Alberca Los Espinos", which translates as "The Thorn Pool", and "Ojo Del Mar", "Eye of the Sea," is kept up as a natural area/tourist locale. Concrete steps descend from the rim of the volcano down to the edge of the lake. Seating areas provide reprieve from the sun, and bathroom facilities are available nearby.

To approach Alberca Los Espinos, visitors must park on the side of the hill, and walk a short way up the side of the volcano. This is an easy "climb", accomplished by children and seniors alike, however some loose stones and a slight rise indicate the need to wear sneakers and ten cuidado, be careful.

Hikers are awarded within a few minutes as they approach the summit of the extinct volcano, when they are greeted by the site of a veritable cone of green, gorgeous forest, funneling down to the perfect blue-green circle of the lake. However, one glance behind brings tourists another treat, the entire countryside of Michoacán stretches to the horizon, with cattle dotting the landscape and mountains on all sides.

Get off the beaten path! Consider exploring outside of your comfort zone. Zacapu and La Alberca are indeed México Desconocido- hidden Mexico.

Thinking about trying it? Resources:

Morelia (closest airport and big city): http://www.morelia.gob.mx/

Zacapu Info: http://www.depatadeperro.com/dpdp/estados/michoaca/michoaca/zacapu_ing.htm

http://www.infohub.com/TRAVEL/SIT/sit_pages/17243.html

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      bummy oye 5 years ago

      khang ma karenimi ie judina kikimanasery fuchowasser tielini mang kernimi ollo ma mimi yoyos kana totolla mimi misterer kana jon mana iena olana gangan kariniola mino jurim okok uyhuy wert nunum ist gerer aswerea iom wassam jon ferersawer mimono lowertnui (is this true information from you all in hubpage and facebook either are you all alive or dead for the earthquake which took place in which you all are staying together.' is mimi alright with your sister and your mom and dad' a very best luck from me to your family mimi.

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      mimi ralte chhangtai 5 years ago

      hi Priana Losam when did you go ???? oh!!!! what?? are sure you all went there Sindra,cannie,noemora,hay,Allena,the BUM,VillaSol,Memrimakr and Priana!!!!!I wish i went with you all####-HI I am MIMI

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      Priana Losam 5 years ago

      oh! what?? i love inexpensive things.

      but is this true Memrimakr?? are sure???

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      Memrimakr 5 years ago

      The FOOD! The food in Zacapu is delicioso! I have a friend from Villa Jiminez (spelling) and we also went to a rodeo there. If you can go in September there are lots of celebrations that are fairly inexpensive to attend. But be prepared. You'll fall in love.

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      cecilia soto 6 years ago

      next time u put info. In the internet please give it clearly.

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      VillaSol 7 years ago

      I used to live in Tlaxcala in Mexico and have a view of the Popo and Malinche - it was incredible when they were snow capped!

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      THE BUM 7 years ago

      HI HI HI

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      Allena 7 years ago

      "hay"- did you ask about expense? Well, this town (Zacapu) is fairly cheap, as it is not very large. You will find some nice bed-and-breakfast type of hotels, and at least one multi-floor hotel. Both are easily under 100$ per night. THis volcano is the best and maybe only tourist attraction in the town, so you'll also wnat to be able to travel to neighboring areas: Patzcuaro, Uruapan. So there's the expense of a car and driving, which is in mountainous areas. Car rental is about $70 a day- you MUST buy the extra car rental insurance in Mexico.

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      hay 7 years ago

      um i still dont have a answer

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      Christine-Lee 8 years ago

      Hey Guys, Is this Place Expensive because I wana take my mom there for her Birthday! Let me no! Tnx

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      DIEGO ALONSO 9 years ago

      HOLA DIEGO COMO ESTAS

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      noe mora 9 years ago

      I'm from Michuacan and lived neard that place. I usto go there with all m friends and had fun. People say that women can't go in because the never come out. It is a very nice place to go and viste.Some day I'll go back and vist that very nice place. The place that is near there and where I was born is CAURIO DE GUADALUPE.

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      camie 10 years ago

      do the cute kids come with the tour? haha tx for the informative article

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      GardenWallPubs 10 years ago from Grand Ledge

      hey there sindra, we go with family and stay with family, so the cost is affordable to us. However I know one of the links above has a bicycle tour. ALSO keep in mind that the exchange rate in MX is decent, so you may be able to afford more than you think!

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      Sindra 10 years ago

      That does look pretty. were you part of a tour or did you go on your own, if a tour, how much $$?