Have you ever climbed to the top of a volcano and peered into the crater? Our family had this experience last summer when we conquered Paricutin, a volcano in Southern Mexico. It was one of my bucket list dreams come true! I wrote about it first at World Mom’s Network. If you want a good laugh you definitely need to check out that post ;-)
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History of Paricutin
Keeping it short and sweet, Paricutin is a fairly young volcano with an interesting story. It grew out of a corn field in 1943. The volcano remained active between 1943 and 1952. No one died from the lava flow, but two villages had to be evacuated, Paricutin and San Juan Parangaricutiro. Paricutin is a dormant volcano and it is not expected to erupt again. Today it is listed as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of The World.
Tips for conquering Paricutin
Paricutin is only a 45-minute drive from Uruapan, Michoacan, where we currently live. We took our three oldest kids on a day trip to Paricutin, leaving the baby home with our friend, and manny, David. From the town of Angahuan, we rented three horses and a guide for the day, for 900 pesos.
Renting horses or a guide is not necessary but I am glad we did. Our five-year-old had a rough time and he would have been miserable if we had hiked the trail instead. We could have also driven closer to the volcano, (with our truck), but locals are hesitant to give directions. They want you to rent the horses and their guides because it’s a good source of income for their little community.
Here are a few more tips for anyone who makes it to Paricutin:
- If you are not accustomed to horseback-riding expect to be sore the next day. It was even hard for me to use the bathroom!
- Don’t bring your five-year-old. It is a long and hard day! Sawyer specifically said, “Next time I am staying home with David.”
- Bring water and snacks for the trip. Also a few pesos to use the restroom or eat at one of the little country restaurants.
- The horses do not climb up the volcano. Be prepared for a workout. Especially if you are out of shape like me! 45 minutes up and 10 minutes down! For every step up, you slide two back!
- Bring a jacket. It’s cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. I wore a tank top and shorts and was shivering half the day.
- Wear sunscreen. Don’t be dumb like me and come home glowing red. We are much closer to the equator here then in the US!
Visiting Paricutin was an awesome family adventure. While we were there the girls asked when we were going to return. Now that I know more about the trip perhaps next time I will be better prepared. Although it may be a while before we go back because my bum and legs are still recovering from the horseback-ride and the climb!
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