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El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar (Natural Reserve of El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar)

Puerto Peñasco

A landscape of huge craters, lava fields and dunes up to 300 meters high is what makes up the Reserva de la Biósfera El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar (Natural Reserve of El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar), a World Heritage Site located 40 kilometers from Puerto Peñasco.

Here you will appreciate the 500 “maar” type craters that conform El Pinacate: they are completely round giant holes that were formed about five million and 150 thousand years ago.

El Elegante is the most beautiful and largest of its type—you can go up and admire petrified lava flows, cinder cones and golden dunes, descending on boards or jumping. NASA trained its astronauts in the area before the first trip to the Moon.

Going for a walk to admire the flora it’s a must. The reserve is inhabited by the tallest cacti on the planet: the sahuaros, with 20 meters high and roots up to 30 meters long. They weigh 10 tons after absorbing more than 9,000 liters of rainwater. They can reach a 200 years life.

There are also petroglyphs. To get to them you can hire the services of a tour operator, to take walks through the desert and see the remains left by the first ethnic groups that inhabited North America, 40 thousand years ago.

A landscape of huge craters, lava fields and dunes up to 300 meters high is what makes up the Reserva de la Biósfera El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar (Natural Reserve of El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar), a World Heritage Site located 40 kilometers from Puerto Peñasco.

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Here you will appreciate the 500 “maar” type craters that conform El Pinacate: they are completely round giant holes that were formed about five million and 150 thousand years ago.

El Elegante is the most beautiful and largest of its type—you can go up and admire petrified lava flows, cinder cones and golden dunes, descending on boards or jumping. NASA trained its astronauts in the area before the first trip to the Moon.

Going for a walk to admire the flora it’s a must. The reserve is inhabited by the tallest cacti on the planet: the sahuaros, with 20 meters high and roots up to 30 meters long. They weigh 10 tons after absorbing more than 9,000 liters of rainwater. They can reach a 200 years life.

There are also petroglyphs. To get to them you can hire the services of a tour operator, to take walks through the desert and see the remains left by the first ethnic groups that inhabited North America, 40 thousand years ago.

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