Paricutín Volcano
Paricutín Volcano
4.5
About
This volcano was born on March 4, 1943 and is one of the youngest volcanoes in the world.
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Alfredo Tour Guide
Morelia, Mexico352 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Friends
Born out of a corn field on 1943, Paricutin volcano was active for about ten years. When the lava was about to destroy the farming town nearby, people were evacuated by the mexican army. Due to the earthquakes, one of the bell towers of the local church fell down. Nowadays the excursion to get the very top of the cinder crater at 9200 ft is such an experience, not to mention the ruins of the church, which are main attraction to mid-range explorers. Consider to carry sunblock (winter-spring), raincoat (summer-fall), water & sandwiches. next to the horseback ride and hire the local guide services provided at Angahuan, the small indian town located under 1 hour drive from Uruapan. Notice: make arrangements on prices & services included before you pay for & don´t give money to anybody until you get what you want. Good luck!
Written September 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jumpinjiminiii
San Francisco, CA3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Solo
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!
Written November 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarekD
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Despite our preparation, we still were surprised by realities.
We climbed the volcano at late December 2019. Arriving from Uruapan at the headtrail location called Centro Turistico De Angahuan is a challenge itself: the road through the town to actual place you meet guides is pretty rough.
That ‘tourist centre’ is actually a place with ‘view point’ (El Mirador Del Volcan Paricutin) and provided nothing: no information, no maps, no word on options and prices. It’s not a tourist centre, rather a meeting point of people and horses and a place where you can park your car safely (cost 15Mxn per adult). There are also sleeping cabins for rent.
The moment you enter the town, guides on horses spot you and will try to sell you a horse trip right under the volcano.
Our plan was to climb up to the top and we weren’t interested in ride on horses. When asked, it costed more than 1000 Mxn per horse plus guide. For our hike, after a bit of bargaining we paid 600 Mxn for guide who led us the shortest way to the top.
The hike is very difficult. It took us 4 hours to the cone. After easy walk through forest, the tough part started when you walk over sea of lava rocks. We needed to be very careful every step we took. Lava rocks are sharp and edgy. Shoes with sturdy sole are ‘a must’. After tiresome lava walk, the hardest part: climbing the volcano itself. It was about 1,5 hr. of very, very steep hike on small lava rocks then - last few hundred meters - on lava ash, which made every step even more difficult. Imagine climbing sandy dunes: it like that but very vertical and on high elevation. We actually climbed up to 2600m.
Descending volcano is rather easy part: you walk ‘big steps’ down, almost ‘sliding’ down on path of ash. The whole trip down took us around 20 minutes. There are benches and couple kiosks where you can rest and buy some refreshments.
Then, a 12 km walk back to the centre. This is the route horses use. It was easy but long and monotonous walk.
On a way back you should visit ruins of the former church submerged by lava. Stunning experience. Around ruins you’ll find food kiosks offering hot meals, tasty local specialties. And a cold beer tastes fantastic after hours of walking.
From the church there are about 3 km to ‘the tourist centre’.
The whole climb took us 8 hours, including meal at the ruins. We started at 9am and were at the car at 5pm. We reached our hotel in Uruapan after dark.
It seems we did volcano the hard way - climbing is not an easy option. I think we were the only ones who hiked that day. Others used horses. That day it wasn’t busy at the volcano: on the crater and on a way back we met maybe 25 people. There were many more people at the church’s ruins.
Strangely enough, we saw number of cars (SUVs and pickups) at the volcano base, meaning locals know the way how to reach the place by car.
Horses are not a bad idea if you OK with riding a horse for long hours to and from volcano base and then climb it from the other side which seems easier compare to the side we climbed.
Don’t forget water, snacks and extra layer of clothes: it will be windy and may be cold at the top.
Is it worth? As you probably know, it’s one of the 7th natural wonders of the world, so it explains all.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sergio H
Mexico City, Mexico35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Solo
If you are looking for a unique place, far from the traditional beaches or common forests; this is an option for you.
The amazing result of the youngest volcano eruption in Mexico will transport yourself and your imagination to the moment that event happened. The church, lonely survivor and witness speaks with you in the middle of the silence of this wonderful place. How to arrive? If you are in Mexico City, you can take a bus from North Mexico City Bus terminal to Uruapan in Michoacan State (Time aprox 5 hours), then from Uruapan take a Local bus to Angahuan (1 hour). As soon as you arrive here, you can contract a tourist guide, ride a horse or walk on the streets of this calmed town and follow the way to PARICUTIN.
Written August 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suresh F
Houston, TX16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
It was wonderful experience to visit one of 7 natural wonders of the world. United had direct flight from Houston to Morelia. I stayed in Best western, Morelia and it was wonderful Hotel. Driver picked me up & I paid US dollar 27.
I arranged a tour guide who will take me to Paricutin on Sept 1. Alfredo Tour Guide ( +52 1 443 443 2070) was excellent. He picks me up from the Hotel and on our way to Uruapan and to Paricutin. He is knowledgeable about Morelia, Uruapan, Paricutin and Mexico. He has good command in English and took me to safe places. We drove to Angahuan. Then he arranged House ride with Indian. Alfredo, Indian guide and myself travelled 1 hour on horse. Then we need to walk on top of Lava rocks for 2 hours to get to the bottom of Paricutin Volcano. Then another hour of climbing. I have decided to only go for an hour walk on Lava rocks. Then we decided to go to Church which was ruined by Lava. It was near Indian village where we had coconut water ( almost size of 4 coconuts) and pink corn. It was great work out day. On the way back, we saw the city of Morelia. Morelia is safe place to travel and you need a guide to help you. Enjoyed and happy I could see one of 7 natural wonders of the world.
Written September 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sean J
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Friends
We stayed 2 nights in Uruapan so that we could climb Paricutin, and it was definitely worthwhile.

We drove ourselves from Uruapan (~45 mins) to Angahuan but you can take a bus there quite easily as well. The bus stop in Angahuan is right next to a Pemex gas station, and you will be immediately inundated with guides on horses when you arrive.

The volcano itself can be done either on foot or horseback (to a point). We opted to walk, and took the more direct, slightly more challenging route to get to the top. We spoke to a guide who showed us to the tourist centre at the far end of town, where we could park our car safely for 20 pesos. The guide himself was 500 pesos although I've heard you can get them for 400. He was quiet but friendly enough. We were tempted to try and find the route ourselves but it's not immediately obvious (there are many paths) so I do think a guide is a wise decision.

We set off at 9am and were at the summit before 12pm, although we didn't really stop at all. The direct route goes over the old lava fields which are great but quite rocky so I would suggest good shoes. You then reach the main slope of the volcano which is a 20 minute hard climb/scramble up the soft scree. On the way up you see some smoking rocks but the crater itself does not smoke (nor do you see active lava). The view from the top is beautiful and rewarding, especially given the steep final climb!

From there we decided to go the long route back, via the church, which is the route you would take if you were on horses. It isn't as fun but is a bit easier and different!

The church is really cool - 2 parts are still intact, with rock from the eruption having destroyed everything else. At the church there are some ladies selling tacos and drinks (this is the only place for food/drink), but we had taken our own. You're then just a short (<1hr) walk back to Angahuan. Note that you can (and will) see the church regardless of whether you choose the longer or shorter route.

Overall the trip took us 6 hours with a stop for lunch at the top and a stop at the church, but I would say normally expect it to be 6-8hrs.

Wear good shoes, take plenty of water/sunscreen, a light jacket as it can be cool at the top, and if in the rainy season (like us) then take your waterproofs as the weather can change quickly!
Written September 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauren W
Perth, Australia65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015
From the mixed reviews online about visiting Paricutin we decided to adventure out there from Uruapan to see what we thought for ourselves. First of all, buses to the town are easy to get from the main bus station in Uruapan. Our bus cost 22 peso each and took about an hour. Set out as early a possible (our bus was at 7.30am) if you want to climb the volcano. It's true that as soon as you climb off the bus you will get people trying to sell you on the horses. But we found it wasn't as expensive as we thought, we decided to hire horses for the two of us and a guide(and horse) and it cost $750 peso. The ride even on horse back is long, about 3 hours to the base of the Volcano. Then if you want to climb it add an hour. The climb is tough, the rocks loose under your feet and the gradient is very steep! But getting to the top is so worth it! The view is otherworldly! The descent is easier and involves controlled sliding down a scree slope which is kinda fun but your shoes get full of dust and stones. Next is time to get back on the horse, literally, and if you are anything like us it will hurt! The ride back is a similar time and we stopped at the old church which amazingly is still standing although surrounded by a lava field. If you don't have time or can't go to the volcano then the church is still worthwhile. It's about 45 minutes walk/ride and is amazing! The trip back to town is simple, hail a bus or van at the main road. It should cost about the same as the bus there.

Our tips: wear sunscreen, take layers (the top of the volcano is windy and chilly), wear padded pants for the horse ride, bring lots of water, wear good shoes and take heaps of photos!
Written February 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NewMexicoScraps
Mazatlan, Mexico335 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013
This was a high lite of our trip. The ruins are beyond anything we have seen. The church is very old, and is still quite stunning. From the city of uruapan we took a bus to anaguhan village. I cannot remember the correct spelling. The horses were waiting with their handlers as soon as you get off the bus. We were told they were mandatory by handlers. Let's say I fell better when I am not on top of a giant animal that can run really fast. The walk from the village is very clear along a road that looks like it is being paved. It took about 20 minutes. The lava field ends along the road, so you get a sense of the limit of destruction. The volcano itself is stark in an are dotted with them. Look all around and you can clearly make out extinct cones. This cone that caused the burying of the church and village is so "new" that there is no vegetation on the slopes. Fascinating! What a great place. The horse thing is a gimmick, although the price may be reasonable, depending on your budget. Best of all, there is no entrance fee...yet.
Written March 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kolinstravels
Ifrane, Morocco28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2012 • Solo
Unlike other reviews here, if you have been traveling around Mexico for a while you can get a good idea of how much to pay a guide for a day tour of anything. I don't think I paid any more than 250 pesos for the day--and it was about a 6 hour roundtrip including a stop at the lava-filled church and a hike to the rim of the volcano.

I personally don't think there is anything wrong with hiring a guide on the street corner after you get off the bus as long as you know how to bargain and have a good idea of what a fair price is. $25-30 seemed very fair to me, considering all the walking we did.

It would have taken me alot longer to find an easy/ manageable route across the extensive lava field and up the cone if I hadn't had a guide. Paricutin is not to be missed, so don't pass it up because of worries about security or penny pinching. So I say help support the locals who have the motivation to go out and meet the bus from Uruapan.
Written September 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sanhosk2
Alberta56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Couples
Last year, we visited Michoacán with Miguel Martinez, in a tour group of 4. We loved Miguel and the small group aspect so much that we stayed in touch and selfishly retained his services for a day with just the two of us. Our 16 ½ hour day was wonderfully filled with some spectacular scenery and momentous personal experiences that were absolute highlights of this year`s visit.
Miguel (contact info available upon request) regaled us with his knowledge of the communities we visited; however, as he is less experienced with Parucitin, his role became one of facilitating dialogue with the local guide. The volcano is said to have grown out of a cornfield and represents a dramatic period in the lives of the local inhabitants who lost crops and livestock, and suffered substantial property damage. Paricutin is the most recent volcano to have formed on the Western Hemisphere, and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The entire event – from birth to eruption – took place between 1943 and 1952. Paricutin turned a cornfield into a mountain, and it's lava flows covered roughly 10 square miles. The damage was incomprehensible but there was a silver lining: volcanic ash produces rich soil which has turned the region into an agricultural paradise.

Here is a link to the account: http://paricutin.com/default.htm. Although we were told that the village occupants had plenty of time to get out of the way, my research suggests about 1,000 died following one of the last big eruptions in 1949. Our tour included a ½ hour horseback ride to the site; exploring the ruins of old San Juan Church – all that remains in the aftermath of the volcano – sampling tortillas made with cactus (tasty!) and making the trek back up the hill to Angahuan, the nearest village to Paricutín Volcano, where our local guide lives. If you fancy a good long hike and horseback ride (and leave early enough in the day) you can also continue past the buried church another 9 km through the lava field) and the volcano itself, with the climb to the cone being on foot.

Although not part of our $10 (3 hour) tour, Miguel also wrangled us an invitation to the private home of our local guide, in Angahuan, where he lives with his son and 90-year-old aunt, Maria. Weaving, embroidery, spinning and other textile traditions are still practiced here. The women continue to dress in the traditional costume of an embroidered blouse, over blouse, two belts, a embroidered slip, a skirt, an apron and finally the rebosos, or shawl. Miguel pursued this to help us gain a better understanding of the local Purepecha culture and the community. Each home has living quarters and a kitchen, separated by a common court yard. A mix of stone and wood, there were few windows, presumably to control the heat. The kitchen had both a wood-fired oven and an open fire pit and, while modest by our terms, as neat as a pin. We sampled some of their food and were given herbs picked in the hills, dried ready to be steeped as tea.

Maria weaves shawls and sells them in the streets. When we asked if she would model the two we purchased, she not only agreed but suggested I might also be interested in having my photo taken with her, wearing a traditional rebosos. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I agreed; she took me into her bedroom, dug through boxes until she came out with suitable attire and dressed me complete in the garb of a Purepecha woman. I felt somewhat like a giant doll but I have to admit, I loved every minute of it! We would not have had such an opportunity had it not been for Miguel. He clearly LOVES his work and we CLEARLY love him because he always seems to `go the extra mile`.

After saying goodbye to this wonderful Purepecha family, Miguel showed us other community highlights. My research indicates the village of Angahuan was established by former slaves. Many of the structures date back to the 16th century. We visited a local church as well as the cemetery where he shared local burial customs, including the Day of the Dead, celebrated November 1 and 2 throughout Mexico.

We had planned to visit a community known for the making of masks, however, enroute Eric eyed a sign at a local mercado that he simply HAD to have. While he and Miguel were negotiating, I sauntered over to a carver on the opposite site of the road. As daylight was beginning to fade, and we were still a long way from home, we ultimately made our purchases of masks here, had a wonderful meal in Pátzcuaro and headed back to Ixtapa. It was a big day, but one filled with wonderful memories of beautiful, kind people, stunning architecture and amazing natural sites that will not soon be forgotten. . . all of which we have Miguel to thank for. He too deserves a 10/10.
Written March 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Paricutín Volcano - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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