Mount Paricutin. You've heard of the Field of Dreams, right? Well instead of Kevin Costner turning an Iowa cornfield into a baseball diamond, Mother Nature turned a cornfield in Mexico into a VOLCANO right before our eyes!
Imagine being farmer Dionisio Pulido just minding your own business, clearing brush, and all of a sudden your cornfield begins to roar, the strong smell of rotten eggs fills your nostrils, then your cornfield cracks wide open making a huge crater and a mountain of lava starts rising up out of it!
That's what happened in February 1943 on Pulido's farm near what used to be Paricutin village. By February 1944, it had "grown" to 1,100 feet (336 meters) -- in one year! By February 1952, lava had risen to about 50 feet below the crater's rim.
Mount Paricutin, named for the village it eventually buried in lava, now stands 1,345 feet above the ground and 9,210 feet above sea level! The hardened lava covers about 10 square miles, with volcanic sand covering about 20 square miles.
Mount Paricutin is located about 200 miles West of Mexico City in the state of Michoacan. It is part of the Volcanic Axis called the Transversal, a 700 mile path of volcanoes that extends across southern Mexico in an east-west direction.
It is the most recent volcano to have formed on the Western Hemisphere and the first time scientists have been able to experience a volcano from birth to extinction.
Because Mount Paricutin was what is called a Strombolian eruption, which means it originated from a single vent, it only has one eruption -- one lava show. It will never erupt again. Thank God there were no deaths, but two villages -- Paricutin and San Juan Parangaricutiro -- were buried.
If you ever need to put things in perspective visit a natural wonder like this! How humbling. No wonder Paricutin was designated one of the seven natural wonders of the world!
First Class Dirt Cheap Vacation to Mount Paricutin
Bet you're wondering where I'm going to stay! I've chosen to stay in Valle de Bravo, which is just about 2 hours SW from Mexico City and about an hour from Mount Paricutin, at the Resort Avandaro.
Valle de Bravo is a weekend haven from the bustle of Mexico City that is nestled up to a reservoir.
The colonial architecture of the town has a central plaza, arts and crafts and food markets line the cobblestone streets, along with gourmet natural food stores, art galleries and upscale craft shops. Many shops are closed during the week.
The lake and large pine forests, complete with extensive dirt paths, provide avenues for popular outdoor activities including biking, hang-gliding, sailing, water-skiing, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding and recreational vehicles.
I actually have four resort choices in Valle de Bravo, but chose the Resort Avandaro based on it's ratings and amenities. There is also world class paragliding on Lake Avandaro!
I'll drive to Morelia then down past Anganuan to see Paricutin.
Guess how much? About $200 per week! I'm not kidding!
How's that for a first class dirt cheap vacation to Mount Paricutin?
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