One of the side benefits of cave exploration in Mexico is that we frequently stumble upon fascinating places that we would never find otherwise.
For example, it was only because of a cave that we ventured forth into the Sierra Lalo, an area so remote that it shows up as a great blank space situated 50 kilometers due east of the city of Colima, but located entirely within the state of Jalisco. Zoom in with Google Maps and about the only thing you can discern is the little settlement of Alotitlán, population 26.
What a delight it was when we discovered that this Sierra—covering an area of 240,000 hectares—is heavily wooded and green all year round, thanks to its countless streams and springs. Naturally, this means the area is filled with wildlife, including foxes, lynxes and pumas. What first attracted the Spaniards to these mountains, however, were minerals such as gold, silver, iron and marble.
Did I forget to mention the altitude? It ranges from 1,000 to nearly 3,000 meters, making the Sierra Lalo, all in all, just as cool and inviting as the famous hills of Tapalpa, but without the tourists.