Last updateFri, 21 Sep 2018 10am

Tropical ecopark paradise offers spring-fed pools, rocky crags & all the mangos you can eat

Here comes yet more proof that Guadalajara lies at the center of a Magic Circle of natural wonders.

Although the city is just about a mile high, you need only drive 45 minutes from the northern ring road to find yourself in a lush, tropical jungle. Hey, Denver! Can you match that?


This apparent miracle is due to the 500-meter-deep Santiago River Canyon which wraps itself around most of the city. The Spaniards, of course, figured this out a long time ago: Live in the cool comfort of a pine forest and grow your tropical fruits down in the barranca.

Many campsites in western Mexico are delightful spots reachable only via horrendous dirt roads filled with rocks, ruts and mud. Not so the Parque Ecológico Huilotán, located just off Highway 23 which connects Tesistán to San Cristóbal de la Barranca. A drive of only 3.3 kilometers on a well-paved blacktop road brought us from the highway to the park entrance.

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