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“A fantastic day trip - if you're up to it”
Review of Paricutin Volcano

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Attraction details
Owner description: This volcano was born on March 4, 1943 and is one of the youngest volcanoes in the world.
Reviewed April 17, 2017

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 ready to take you out to the volcano. If you took the bus they are waiting at the entrance to the village. How your day works out is really a matter of luck with your horse and guide - they will charge as much as they think they will get away with - anything up to a 1000 pesos for two horses and a guide, but this will be around a seven hour trip if you include the visit to the church engulfed by the lava fields so don´t get mean.The villager´s main source of income was wiped out by the eruptions from 1943 - 1952. If you are used to riding and the sun then my guess is it will still be fairly hard going, if not then slap on plenty of factor 50 and takes lots of water as it is non stop to the volcano and no shade. The scenery is fantastic as the volcano looms into view; the first 20 minutes is pine forest, followed by avocado farms, lava fields and desert like scrub. You always have a view of the surrounding mountains and cinder cones. Paracutin itself is a very large cinder cone and when you arrive there are some shacks selling refreshments and another entrance to access the volcano at a nominal fee. A zigzag path to the top takes about 30 to 45 minutes. The crater has some steaming vents - especially if there was recent rain. You can walk down again or take the easy route by sliding down a cinder path in about 5 minutes when you arrive at the entrance covered in black ash which also fills you shoes. Your guide will collect you and take you on the trip back or via the lava fields to the church.
If like me you are not used to riding and hanging onto a frisky horse then you will pay that evening and the following day - but how often do you get to visit the worlds youngest volcano ?

Date of experience: April 2017
3  Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed February 26, 2017

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 careful where you put your feet (remember, this is a cinder cone, and soft); but the view from the top is more than worth the effort. (And the run down the side of Paricutin is quite a bit of fun) On the other hand, the somewhat less athletically inclined might wish to take the 30-40 minute walk to the Church of San Juan Parangaricatiro, which is covered by lava save for the steeple and part of the front wall. You can clamber up the lava tongue (watch your balance as you do so)and peek inside. For me, this is a truly sobering sight, and as awesome in its way as the view from the top of the volcano.
That being said, before you travel to this place, read about it. Get on the Internet or go to a library and come to know the Paricutin story; the trip will be immensely more meaningful for you. As you ride up the cinder hills before the volcano, remember that there are houses and fields underneath that will never see the light of day again. Remember, also, that the lives of almost 6,000 people were drastically changed by this eruption.
I have visited Paricutin 3 times, and have always come away impressed by what I saw. It is an all-day thing, and it can be rough; but I think you will come away impressed also.

Date of experience: February 2017
1  Thank andrew k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 8, 2016

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 rental to the town of Angahuan - a very traditional, native village with strong local language and culture (the women all dress beautifully). A few locals also speak Spanish.

Finding the visitor center was easy - straight through town, past the square, and on. Village roads are very rough, but not daunting (I do a lot of off-road, so more timid drivers may be challenged. My rental VW handled them fine).

At the visitor center, I was approached by a local who offered various treks, by horse and by foot. Since I preferred hiking, and didn't feel up to a 6-hour round trip on horseback, I chose a 3-hour hike up to an overlook on a nearby mountain, then down to the church. My guide spoke Spanish and we were able to communicate haltingly, but he was thoroughly helpful - I couldn't have found the paths to the overlook without him.

The view from the overlook was awesome! Although the volcano was cloud shrouded (to be expected at this latitude and altitude), the view extended east from the volcano to west and the church. Because of recent rains, steam was rising from vents around the cinder cone - spectacular!

If you know your lava, this lava field is what the Hawaiians call a-a: craggy, broken, hard to traverse. While the climb to the viewpoint was on ash, the final 100 feet or so were on a-a. After a rest to catch my breath, I managed to make it out to the overview.

Leaving there, we walked downhill to the church. A thunderstorm broke as we were arriving, but the guide managed to get me to the church visitors area, where a local was cooking excellent green corn tortilla tacos in a little pavilion. We waited out the rain and had an excellent (and cheap!) lunch to boot.

The church is buried in the same a-a lava as elsewhere, so getting to it was precarious (especially with slick rocks after the rain). The church site itself is spectacular, awe-inspiring - showing the full power of lava as it pushed down the slope, eliminating farms and villages in its path.

I expected this to be a trudge (it was), but I was completely satisfied with both the experience and the service. Price for the guide was 300 pesos, for lunch less than 50 pesos - cheap.

I think it's important to stress that locals lost fields and villages in eruptions from the early 40's to the late 50's, so rely on tourist trade to take up the lost economy. To me, the service is both excellent and cheap.

Highly recommended if you know what you're getting into!

Date of experience: November 2016
6  Thank jumpinjiminiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 20, 2016

When we entered Uruapan, we were enthusiastically greeted by a guide. Since we were hoping to find a guide and horses to take us to the Paricutin volcano, this was serendipitous. We paid 350 pesos (approximately $20) per horse plus 350 pesos for the guide and his horse. The ride was 2 1/2 hours each way. If you are not used to riding horses, this can be excruciating. There is a very primitive camp at the base of the volcano cone. There are two outhouses and a camp store that sells water, soda and beer. This is where the horses rest and you climb to the top of the volcano. It is a strenuous climb, but well worth it. The views are spectacular and you get to slide down the face of the volcano. You will get lava rock in your shoes, socks, pants...everywhere, but it is easily shaken out. Don't wimp out of this part of the experience. We saw school children and grandmothers doing it, so, take the plunge. On the way back from the volcano, we stopped at the San Juan Parangaricutiro Church. This is a shrine as the lava flow destroyed most of the church but stopped just short of the altar. This is a very primitive tour. Don't expect a Disney experience. Be thankful for the lovely, lovely Purépecha people who will serve as your guides. Tip at least 15%.

Date of experience: May 2016
1  Thank CWSMuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed April 24, 2016

A trip to Paricutin by horses is Angahuan's source of income. Cars are not allowed even though there is a path almost to the bottom of the volcano. Of course, the locals use cars to get around there. They charge a lot of money for the horses and the guide. But actually the guide was not a guide. He didn't give us any information. He did not take us up the volcano. He was just waiting down below while we climbed up and were not sure which path to take. I didn't climb right up to the top because I wasn't sure if it was the right path. It was not a memorable experience for me for the 3 hours expensive horse ride on a dusty path with a lazy guide.

Date of experience: March 2016
Thank viajerothai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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