Last updateFri, 12 Oct 2018 11am

The thick, luxuriant foliage of the Passion River Nature Trail

Río de la Pasión (Passion River) is 22 kilometers long and for much of its length serves as a wiggly border between the states of Jalisco and Michoacán.

It’s also distinguished as one of very few rivers that carry water into Lake Chapala. In my opinion, however, the most remarkable thing about this river is its extraordinary beauty, because the entire length of the Passion River is home to countless ahuehuetes, Montezuma cypresses. This, of course, is Mexico’s national tree (Taxodium mucronatum) which, in this river, hosts the most abundant and gorgeous Spanish moss I’ve seen so far in Mexico.

If you find yourself on the south side of Lake Chapala, you can easily reach some of the river’s scenic spots from the town of Tizapán, but if you want to see the best displays of Spanish moss, you have to head upriver.

Student Karen Colón wanted to photograph some Spanish moss for a school assignment, so we headed south from Tizapán along a paved road that goes all the way to San José de Gracia, mostly paralleling the Passion River. About ten kilometers from Tizapán, we stopped next to the narrow footbridge that crosses the river. Here we got some good pictures of the majestic old cypresses lightly sprinkled with Spanish moss.

“This is nice,” I told Karen and my other friends. “But you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

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