Considered one of the 13 wonders of Mexico and the fourth largest biosphere reserve in Mexico, the Pinacate Volcanic range is a site you have to see. This natural protected area includes over 30 square miles of volcanic fields and several large craters.
This volcanic biosphere has the largest concentration of maar craters in the world. The Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve has the largest sand dune fields in North America. Here you will find the unusual star dunes that only exist in a few places around the world. Also considered the most bio-diverse desert in the world.
You can explore this volcanic area by car where you will see the craters El Elegante and Cerro Colorado, volcanos like El Tecolote and Cono Mayo, incredible landscapes covered in ash and lava flows, and if you observe carefully you will see the flora and fauna that give life to El Pinacate. If you choose to do the full drive it’s about 44 miles long round trip, it lasts about 3 hours and can be accessed in any type of vehicle. Make sure you have enough gas and water. The entry fee to the park is about 54.00 pesos (currently about $3.50 us).
You may also choose to join a guided tour to El Pinacate biosphere with an experienced naturalist. A guide will explain to you the geological processes that created the landscape, while taking a closer look at the fascinating flora and fauna of the Sonora Desert. You will learn about the different species of trees, wildflowers and cacti, while keeping any eye out for wildlife such as snakes, tortoises, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep, desert birds and amazing insects. A guided tour includes transportation, admission, lunch and a beverage, binoculars and trip insurance. It normally lasts about 6 hours and costs about $60.00 per person.
Camping sites are also available as well as an 8.5 mile bike path.
The Pinacate biosphere is located on kilometer 52 on highway 8 (Penasco-Sonoyta). It’s 20 minutes from Puerto Peñasco.
Guided tours available through CedoIntercultural.org 520-320-5473 and Pinacate Biosphere
Tours also offered by Eco Fun Rentals Land and Sea Excursions Mexico: (638) 388 9699 USA: (602) 635 3736