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 Mexico's National Parks and Biosphere Reserves

Baja California Peninsula
Constitución de 1857 (National Park)
This 13,000-acre park, located in the Sierra Juárez Mountains, has some of the cleanest air on the planet. View deer, bald eagles, pine and oak forest while hiking or camping. Laguna Hanson sits in the middle of the park.

Sierra de San Pedro Mártir (National Park)
This massive range of mountains, 165,000 acres in size, is covered with pine, oak and madrone forests. It is home to over thirty species of bats, pumas, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. The park is the wettest area on the Baja Peninsula, and from October to May the mountains are covered with snow. The park also boasts Baja's highest peak at 3,086 m., Picacho del Diablo.

Isla Rasa (Special Biosphere Reserve)
Located in the Gulf of California, this reserve is only 17 acres in size. On this island 90% of the world's brown sea gulls (larus hermanni) make their nests. Seals and the yellow-footed sea gull also inhabit the area.

El Vizcaíno (Biosphere Reserve)
This reserve is the largest in the world, made up of over six and one half million acres of islands, deserts, and coniferous forests. The gray whale is the reserve's most interesting inhabitant, where it hibernates and reproduces. Wildlife such as the lynx, puma, red-tail falcon, and white pelican also reside in the unique area.

Isla Guadalupe (Special Biosphere Reserve)
One of the first protected areas of Mexico, this 62,500-acre island in the Pacific Ocean is a prime refuge to sea lions and seals. Unique volcanic geology and specially adapted plants make this reserve a scientist's paradise.

Isla del Golfo (Special Biosphere Reserve)
Fifty-three islands in the Gulf of California make up this well preserved 375,000-acre reserve. The are is very isolated, making it ideally suited for scientific research and environmental education. Iguanas, lizards, ospreys, sea gulls and cormorant are some of the island's many inhabitants.

Calakmul (Biosphere Reserve)
This important archaeological zone covers 1,807,961 acres of dense jungle and Mayan ruins. The ancient city of Calakmul was Mayan city second in importance only to Tikal in Guatemala. This reserve is also one of the most important habitats in Mexico for wild felines.

Balneario de Los Novillos (National Park)
Just across the United States border, this 105-acre park is an oasis in the desert. The lake is surrounded by walnut, oak and willow, and also many species of cactus. Wildlife such as coyote, tortoises, deer and jack rabbit find this park the ideal habitat.

Volcán Nevado de Colima (National Park)
Two volcanoes are located within the boundaries of this 55,500-acre park. The dormant 4,335-m. Nevado de Colima is visited frequently by European mountaineers, who compare it to Mount Cervino in the Alps. The foothills of this volcano are covered with pine, fir, and oak forests inhabited by falcons, hummingbirds and many species of reptiles.

A second volcano with active vents, Volcán de Fuego, at 3,600 m., is also located within the park. Just south of the park is Coyutlan Beach where the famous "green wave" appears a few times each year.

Palenque (National Park)
This 4,398-acre park protects on of the most important archaeological sites and some of Mexico's great cultural treasures, including the Mayan inscription temple and a Myana palace. The park is surrounded by tropical forest. Toucans, parrots, ocelots, spider monkeys - all endangered species - live within its boundaries. The ruins themselves are situated on a high plain, where magnificent sunrises and sunsets can be seen.

Cañon del Sumidero (National Park)
One of the largest national parks in the country with 54,470 acres, this spectacular canyon has walls up to 1,000 m. high. Within the canyon's oak jungles are deer, spider monkeys, anteaters, and many aquatic bird species. The park offers camping, river rafting, and various lookout points to view the magnificent scenery.

Cascadas de Agua Azúl (Special Biosphere Reserve)
Near the Palenqu ruins, this 6,450-acre reserve features the turquoise blue waters of Shumuljá and Tulijá rivers and falls, flowing through evergreen forests and the habitat of jaguars, tapir, and the toucan.

El Triunfo (Biosphere Reserve)
This cloud forest in Jaltenango de la Paz consists of twelve different micro-climates. Spanish cedar and mahogany are abundant. Quetzal birds, jaguars, and toucans can be found here.

Seva del Ocote (Special Biosphere Reserve)
This 120,350-acre reserve is made up of several rivers and watersheds, which run through evergreen forests inhabited by many endangered species such as the harp eagle, king vulture, jaguar, and tapir.

Lagunas de Montebello (National Park)
Some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Mexico is found in this 15,055-acre park. Fifty-two lakes ranging in color from turquoise to black are surrounded by pine and hardwood forests. The rare quetzal bird, as well as other wildlife and migratory birds, are found here. The park offers opportunites for camping, swimming, exploring nearby Mayan ruins and the "Bridge of God" caves.

Montes Azules (Biosphere Reserve)
Rich in tropical wood and covered with rivers, this 828,000-acre reserve is home to several indigenous tribes such as the Lacandona, Chnoles, Tzetzales, Tzotziles, Mames and Chus. Two scientific research sites exist within the reserve, and opportunities are plentiful to study quetzal birds, harp eagles, spider monkeys, jaguar, tapir, and toucan.

Casacada de Basaseachic (National Park)
The highest waterfall in the country at 313m. is located in this 14,505 acre pine and oak forest. White tail deet, mountain lion, pumas, falcons, and woodpeckers inhabit the area. The falls are the Sierra Tarahumara region known as the Copper Canyon.

Cumbres de Majalca (National Park)
Large rock formations and big cliffs are found in this 11,930 acre park norht of Chihuahua city. Many streams run through pine and oak forest here, where black bear, falcons, and woodpeckers are found. Camping and hiking are among the several opportunities available to enjoy the fabulous scenery.

Federal District (D.F.)
Desierto de Los Leones (National Park)
This 4,667 acre pine and oak forest provides water and oxygen to Mexico City. The park is well-kept and is ideal for day hikes.

El Tepeyac (National Park)
Located in the foothills of the Guadalupe Mountains, this 755 acre park is the only natural recreation area in the northern section of Mexico City. The main attraction of the park is Tepeyac Hill, which offers a view of the Basilica de Guadalupe.

Cerro de la Estrella (National Park)
Considered the most important natural area in the East Mexican Valley, this 2,750 acre park has been reforested with eucalyptus trees. The prak's museum contains the remains of an ancient ceremonial center. During Easter, the scenes of the cross are played out in the park.

Cumbres del Ajusco (National Park)
This 2,300 acres park southwest of mexico City is the natural "lung" of the Mexican Valley. Three mountains over 3,700 m. in altitude make the park ideal for mountaineers and hikers. Sqyuirrels, rabbits and falcons are just some of the natural inhabitants.

Mapimí (Biosphere Reserve)
Surprising scenery is found in this 50,000 acre reserve. The wide plains situated between isolated mountain ranges are the prime habitats for the desrt tortoise, the largest tortoise in North America. Ongoing research to protect the tortoise takes places in this reserve.

La Michilía (Biosphere Reserve)
This 86,000 acre reserve located on the western slope of the Sierra Madre showcases temperate pine forest, pastures, and swamps inhabited by various fauna including wolves, black bear, white-tail deer, and wild boar.

Estado de Mexico
Nevado de Toluca (National Park)
This 127,500 acre park consists of evergreen forest, grass prairies and high plains. The Volcano Nevado fr Toluca, at ove 4,500m., is well known known for it's crater containing two lakes. Scuba diving is sometimes practiced in the lakes, and mountain climbing and fishing are also available.

Desierto del Carmen o de Nixcongo (National Park)
This park features a dense old growth forest of pine and oak trees. Falcons,swans, doves and other wildlife are abundant here. Within the park exists an old monastery constructed in 1801. Beautiful paintings adorn the site. Here also lie the remains of a monk who restored and maintained the monastery for twenty years. Many natural springs are found in the hills; the park is ideal for day hikes.

Los Remedios (National Park)
1,000 acre park north of Mexico City is a popular getaway spot for the city's inhabitants. It offers a cool climate and many opportunities to hike or just enjoy the outdoors.

Izta - Popo (National Park)
Pine forests and high plains make up this 64,197 acre park. Two of Mexico's highest and most famous volcanoes, Popocatépetl and Iztacíhuatl, are popular for mountain and rock climbing. A climber's hotel with dormitory rooms is located within the park.

Zoquiapan y Anexas (National Park)
Thick forests with beautiful ravines and streams make up this 48,545 acre park. Deer, coyotes rabbits, and hummingbirds inhabit the area. Hiking and camping are possible, as well as horseback riding on the park's many trails.

Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (National Park)
This 4,375 acre park is the site of famous Battle of Cross mountain during the first day of war of independence. A valley surrounded by mountains, this park offers brilliant flowering shrubs and dense forest. A trout hatchery is also operated here, with fishing and mountains climbing opportunities.

Molino de Flores Netzahualcóyotl (National Park)
The remains of a 17th century Gothic-style ranch and church are located within this 138 acre park. Eucalyptus and ash trees, as well as swallows, doves, and various species of reptiles inhabit the park.

Sacramonte (National Park)
A spectacular view of the Popocatépetl and Iztacíhuatl volcanoes is possible from the top of Sacramonte Hill in this 113 acre park. On top of the hill lieas a colonial temple used frequently for religious ceremonies. Cedars and oaks cover the park and many species of wildlife like falcons, rabbits, hummingbirds, and foxes are found within it's boundaries.

Bosencheve (National Park)
This beautiful 37,500 acre park is ideal for camping and day hikes. Two lakes are set within pine-covered forests, surrounded by valleys and mountains. Various species of migratory aquatic birds, woodpeckers and falcons inhabit the park.

El Veladero (National Park)
The deciduous forest of this park serves as an important source of water to the city of Acapulco. Various birds and reptiles live in the 7,900acre park which is one of the only natural areas surrounding the city. Trails exist for hiking and horseback riding through the park.

El Chico (National Park)
This was the first national park in Mexico. Its 6,848 acres are made up of beautiful mountains covered with pine, fir and juniper. You'll find majestic rock formations and interesting geology.

Los Mármoles (National Park)
San Vicente gorge, almost 610 meters deep, and Cangando Mountain at 3,018 meters are the principal attractions of this 57,875 acre park. Forests of pine, juniper and wild walnut cover the gorge and mountains, and various animals and birds inhabit the area.

Tula (National Park)
The pyramid fo the Toltec God Quetzalcóatl lies in the center of this 248 acre park. Great monolithic sculptures are found at the top of the pyramid and the ruins of a ball court lie nearby. A museum is also located in the park.

Sierra de Manantlán (Biosphere Reserve)
This 34,894 acre reserve protects a variety of rare and endangered plants and animal species. A species of wild corn, in danger of extinction, is found in the reserve. Wildlife includes jaguars, badgers, wild turkeys, and migratory birds. The vegetation is mostly pine and oak forest mixed with deciduous jungle and savannas.

Lago de Camécuaro (National Park)
The Camécuaro Lake, formed by a series of natural springs, is the main attraction of this 23 acre park. Visitors can enjoy boating and swimming in the lake.

Mariposa Monarca (Special Biosphere Reserve)
This reserve is the hibernation point for the Monarch Butterfly. From November to March, visitors can follow trails to the forests where the butterfly spends the winter months. Make sure you see the Information Center and research areas.

Cerro de Garnica (National Park)
Tall rock formations offer fantastic views of the beautiful fir and pine forests in theis 2,420 acre park. It is an ideal place to camp and hike and to find wildlife such as the white-tail deer, gray fox and various reptiles.

Pico de Tancítaro (National Park)
The Tancítaro volcano is the main attraction in this 73,290 acre park. Forests of pine and fir situated on steep slopes offer beautiful scenery and ample opportunities exist to hile or rock climb.

Rayón (National Park)
This historic 85 acre park was the home of the Rayón brothers, famous soldiers during the War of Independence. This pine forest offers camping and hiking, as well as habitat for deer, falcons, and woodpeckers.

Insurgente José Maria Morelos y Pavón (National Park)
Natural springs and streams cover this 4,533 acre park. Pine and Mexican fir forests provide habitat for many birds and animals, and steep, broken slopes offer beautiful scenery.

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