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Paricutin Volcano, Central Mexico and Gulf Coast

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#21 of 74 in Nature in Central Mexico and Gulf Coast
Volcano Nature / Park
Parícutin is a scoria-cone volcano located in the Mexican state of Michoacán, near the city of Uruapan and about 322km west of Mexico City. The volcano surged suddenly from the cornfield of local farmer Dionisio Pulido in 1943, attracting both popular and scientific attention.Paricutín presented the first occasion for modern science to document the full life cycle of an eruption of this type. During the volcano's 9 years of activity, scientists sketched and mapped it and took thousands of samples and photographs. By 1952, the eruption had left a 424meter cone and significantly damaged an area of more than 233km2 with the ejection of stone, ash and lava. Three people were killed, two towns were completely evacuated and buried by lava and three others were heavily affected. Hundreds of people had to be permanently relocated, and two new towns were created to accommodate their migration. Although the larger region still remains highly active volcanically, Parícutin is now dormant and has become a tourist attraction with people climbing the volcano and visiting the hardened lava-covered ruins of the San Juan Parangaricutiro Church. In 1997, CNN included Parícutin in its list of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.DescriptionParícutin is located in the Mexican municipality of Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Michoacán, 29km west of the city of Uruapan and about 322 km west of Mexico City. It lies on the northern flank of the Cerros de Tancítaro, which itself lies on top of an old shield volcano and extends 3170meters above sea level and 424meters above the Valley of Quitzocho-Cuiyusuru, wedged against old volcanic mountain chains and surrounded by small volcanic cones with the intervening valleys occupied by small fields and orchards or small settlements, from groups of a few houses to those the size of towns.
To visit Paricutin Volcano and other attractions in Uruapan, use our Uruapan vacation route planner.
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Where to stay in Uruapan

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  • About 30 minutes by taxi from Uruapan, longer by the bus to the village of Angahuan. If you take a taxi go straight to the Mirador/Cabana complex where you will be surrounded by guides with horses rea...  more »
  • For the athletically inclined, if you wish to give your muscles a great workout, then by all means take the 2 1/2 hour horseback ride to the volcano and climb the thing. The climb is steep, and be car...  more »
  • I learned about Paricutin from a children's book when I was 10 - the volcano in the cornfield. Was glad to finally see the volcano and explore the area. Staying in Uruapan, it was an easy drive in my ...  more »