Extinct Volcanoes in Central Mexico
Tourists and Locals Visiting Alberca
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/