What to see and photograph on a day trip to Paricutin Volcano
Paricutin is the youngest volcano in the world, located in Michoacán, Mexico. It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Paricutin offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Paricutin volcano (the youngest volcano in the world)
- Ruins of the San Juan Parangaricutiro church
- Horse ride to the volcano
- Angahuan village (a small indian town)
- Uruapan city
In 1943 a farmer was working in his fields when he felt a rumbling coming from nearby. The nearby ground had opened up and lava was seeping out. Throughout the following 11 years this new volcano was continuously erupting and growing until it finally reached a height of 424 m. During this eruption period, the nearby town of Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro was completely destroyed and covered in lava. This new volcano became Paricutin volcano, the youngest volcano on earth.
How to get to Paricutin from Uruapan
To get to Paricutin is no easy task, but a task worth the effort to see a natural wonder of the world. You must first travel to Uruapan, different options are available;
- Find a cheap flight to Uruapan
- Find a bus to Uruapan
- Day trip direct to Paricutin from Morelia (skip Uruapan)
Where to stay in Uruapan
How to get to Paricutin Volcano from Uruapan
From Uruapan, you can walk from the historic center to the main highway. From the highway, you’ll find buses which leave regularly to Los Reyes. This is the bus you need to take and tell the driver to stop at Angahuan village. Once you get off the bus, walk towards the village. As you’re walking into the village you’ll be approached about a horse ride to Paricutin. The price should be 300 pesos per horse and you must pay for the guides horse. Be sure to stop off in town for some food before starting out as it’s a 2 hour horse ride to the base of the volcano.
Because Paricutin is only accessible by horseback, it’s likely you’ll be the only one at the site! For a traveler and photographer, there’s nothing better than being alone at a natural wonder of the world.
Hiking to the top of Paricutin Volcano
The walk up the volcano is quite strenuous. As you’re walking on ash which is similar to walking on sand, the path keeps giving way. You’ll be quite tired when you reach the top. If you brought some food and drink with you, you’ll be able to regain some energy before exploring around the crater. Are there any fans of Twinkies here? In Mexico you’ll find Submarinos which are very similar, I had a packet of these to help regain my energy after reaching the top!
This crater is smoking! You’ll pass many hot areas with steam seeping out but don’t worry it’s an extinct volcano. You can actually walk down into the base of the crater, there’s a path you can take. Whilst walking down the crater you’ll probably be thinking to yourself, if this volcano is extinct why is it steaming? In additional you can walk around the edge of the crater (above).
Descending Paricutin Volcano
If going up the volcano is strenuous, then coming down it is fun. There is a technique to descending a volcano. You must lean backwards whilst taking large steps sinking into the ash. Descending as quickly as possible will give yourself the maximum amount of enjoyment!
San Juan Parangaricutiro Church and Village
There is an interesting stop on the return to Angahuan village. You’ll stop at the ruins of the San Juan Parangaricutiro church and village. During the 9 year volcanic eruption from 1943 to 1952 the village of Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro was completely destroyed. The church is the only building which is still visible above the lava. It’s quite fitting that the church survived the eruption. You’re free to walk around the old village, which is now lava, so it’s perfect for photography.
Enjoy your visit to Paricutin Volcano
The guide will take you back to Angahuan village where you can easily find a bus back to Uruapan. That’s how you visit the natural wonder of the world, Paricutin volcano.