- 1 Introduction to Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
- 2 Geography and Climatology
- 3 Flora and Fauna
- 4 Natural Attractions and Hiking Routes
- 5 Activities in Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
- 6 Rules and Recommendations for Park Conservation
- 7 How to Get to Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
- 8 Available Services in Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
- 9 Photo Gallery
- 10 Reference
If you’re a nature and adventure enthusiast, get ready to explore a true natural treasure in the heart of Mexico! The Cumbres del Ajusco National Park (in Spanish: Parque Nacional Cumbres del Ajusco), a hidden gem in Mexico City, offers an uncharted paradise with magnificent panoramic views, challenging trails, and abundant biodiversity. Are you ready to delve deep into the park and discover how it could be your next great adventure? Go ahead, the adventure awaits you!
Introduction to Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
Location and General Description
Located in Mexico City, the Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is one of the highest points in the city, reaching heights of up to 3,900 meters above sea level. This park offers an incredible blend of mountainous landscapes and forests.
History and Declaration as a National Park
Established on May 19, 1937, Ajusco is one of the oldest national parks in Mexico. The intention behind its creation was to protect and preserve its mountain and forest ecosystems, which are essential for the environmental balance in the region.
Ecological and Geological Importance
Ajusco plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of Mexico City. Additionally, its volcanic origin and mountainous topography make this park a fascinating geological site.
Geography and Climatology
Geographic and Geological Features
Ajusco is known for its mountainous terrain, composed of lava formations and other types of volcanic rocks. The hills and summits are distinctive features of this park.
Climate and Seasons of the Year
Although located in Mexico City, Ajusco has a cooler climate due to its altitude. It’s an ideal place to visit in all seasons of the year, each offering a different panorama. During summer and spring, there are rainfall in the form of rain, and during winter, the climate is cold, with polar conditions above 3,000 meters above sea level, including snowfall and temperatures below 0°C.
The orography of the Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is situated in the Ajusco-Chichinauhtzin Sierra, a mountain system that covers a large part of the southern basin of the Valley of Mexico. It borders the Sierra de las Cruces to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. These mountains are part of the Neovolcanic Axis, which crosses the central region of Mexico.
The highest point in the park reaches an altitude of 3,937 meters above sea level, known as "La Cruz del Marqués." This elevation is over 1,400 meters above the Valley of Mexico. It’s often mistakenly believed that the highest point is the "Pico del Águila," but it’s actually an optical illusion caused by the observer’s viewpoint. When observed from Mexico City, it appears that the "Pico del Águila" is much taller. However, if one is located at "La Cruz del Marqués" and looks towards Mexico City, the reality is evident: the "Pico del Águila" is notably lower than "La Cruz del Marqués."
Regarding hydrography, rain in the middle and upper areas of the park doesn’t generate surface rivers, as the streams are trapped in the common volcanic rock, forming underground rivers. These underground rivers feed some springs in the lower parts of the sierra. Some of the well-known springs include Xochimilco, which feeds the lake of the same name and also Mexico City, as well as the Nativitas and Parque de las Fuentes Brotantes springs in Tlalpan.
Flora and Fauna
Description of Present Ecosystems
The Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is home to diverse ecosystems, including pine, oak, and fir forests. These forests host a multitude of flora and fauna species, reinforcing the importance of their conservation according to the National Biodiversity Information System of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO).
Notable Flora Species
The variety of flora in Ajusco is astonishing. Different species of pines, oaks, and firs can be found here, as well as a diversity of alpine plants and grasslands. The beautiful landscapes resulting from this rich flora are a delight for any nature enthusiast.
Notable Fauna Species
The park harbors a great diversity of fauna, including mammal species like coyotes, rabbits, and foxes, birds such as the golden eagle, peregrine falcon, and various reptile and amphibian species. The variety of birds makes the park a popular spot for birdwatching.
Endemic and Endangered Species
The park is home to several endemic and endangered species. It’s crucial to respect the park’s rules and promote its conservation to protect these unique and vulnerable beings.
Natural Attractions and Hiking Routes
Summits and Notable Geological Formations
Among the highlights of Ajusco are its geological formations and summits. The most famous is the Ajusco Summit, also known as Pico del Águila, which offers an impressive panoramic view of Mexico City.
Hiking and Mountaineering Trails
The park offers numerous hiking trails and mountaineering routes suitable for all skills and ages. Exploring these trails is an excellent way to appreciate the natural beauty of Ajusco.
Picnic Areas and Recreational Spaces
For those who prefer a peaceful day in nature, the park also provides picnic areas and recreational spaces. These spots are perfect for relaxation and enjoying the park’s natural beauty.
Activities in Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
Outdoor Activities and Sports
Ajusco offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountaineering to mountain biking and horseback riding. During winter, when the summits are covered in snow, skiing is also possible.
Wildlife Observation Recommendations
For those interested in wildlife observation, Ajusco is an ideal location. It’s recommended to bring binoculars and a field guide to identify different species. Always remember to observe animals from a safe distance without disturbing them.
Rules and Recommendations for Park Conservation
To ensure the conservation of this natural park, it’s important for all visitors to adhere to the park’s regulations. This includes keeping the trails clean, not disturbing wildlife, and respecting restricted areas.
How to Contribute to Park Preservation
Visitors can contribute to park preservation by respecting the rules and participating in offered conservation activities. This could involve participating in park clean-ups, donating to conservation programs, and spreading awareness about the importance of conserving this wonderful ecosystem.
How to Get to Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
Access from Mexico City and Nearby Cities
Cumbres del Ajusco National Park is located just about 25 kilometers south of the center of Mexico City. The park can be reached by car or public transportation from the city.
To access Cumbres del Ajusco from Mexico City, you can use the Picacho-Ajusco road, which starts in the southern part of the city, specifically in the residential and commercial area of Picacho, near the Periférico. This road passes through some human settlements located at the base of the Ajusco-Chichinauhtzin Sierra, to which the park belongs.
From the State of Mexico, in the central-western part, you can access the park via the Chalma-Ajusco road, which connects the town of Chalma with Mexico City. This route provides another option to reach the park and enjoy its natural wonders.
Public and Private Transportation
There are several bus routes that reach the park from different points in the city. You can also arrive by taxi or private vehicle. It’s important to remember that the roads can be challenging in certain sections, so driving cautiously is advised.
Available Services in Cumbres del Ajusco National Park
Visitor Facilities and Services
The park offers various services for visitors, including parking areas, restrooms, and picnic spots. Additionally, there are tour guides available who can provide informative tours about the park’s flora, fauna, and geology.
Accommodation and Nearby Restaurants
There’s a variety of accommodation options near the park, ranging from hotels to campgrounds. Likewise, you can find several restaurants offering local and international cuisine. Always remember to respect the environment and contribute to the local economy by choosing responsible and sustainable services and products.
- National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), https://www.gob.mx/conabio
- National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity. "Enciclovida (2022). Parque Nacional Cumbres del Ajusco." Accessed on July 26, 2022.
- National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity. "Naturalista (2022). PN Cumbres del Ajusco, CDMX." Accessed on July 26, 2022.
- Ecotourism route brochure Picacho – Ajusco provided by the Tlalpan delegation of the Federal District.
- "Juegos de guerra devastan el Ajusco", Report published in the newspaper La Jornada on November 29, 2005.