Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park

Located in the center of the State of Mexico, the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park (in Spanish: Molino de Flores National Park) is a captivating example of biodiversity and cultural heritage. This oasis of tranquility, full of history and natural life, is a must-visit for all nature and Mexican history enthusiasts.

History of the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park

The park is a former pulque mill that was converted into a national park on October 20, 1937. Its name honors Nezahualcóyotl, the poet-king of Texcoco, who ruled this region in the 15th century. It currently covers a total of 45.66 hectares.

Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park

Nezahualcóyotl was recognized for his skill as a statesman, poet, and engineer, but also for his profound love for nature. He protected forests and springs, built beautiful gardens, and enacted laws to preserve the natural environment.

During the colonial era, the waters of the Coxcacoaco River, originating from Mount Tláloc, were used to power a fulling mill, a machine used in textile and dye production. In 1585, taking advantage of the surplus water from the fulling mill, the first wheat mill was installed. Over time, the high demand for flour to satisfy European tastes for bread led to the rise of the Molino de Flores hacienda. At another point, this hacienda was also a profitable center for pulque production.

During the Mexican Revolution, the lands of the hacienda, which were concentrated in the hands of a few, were redistributed as ejidos (communal lands) among the nearby communities. Subsequently, on October 20, 1937, President Lázaro Cárdenas declared the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park for the enjoyment of all Mexicans and international tourists.

This park is a cherished asset that combines history, nature, and culture, and has become an invaluable space for recreation and the preservation of national heritage. Through its rich history and the beauty of its natural surroundings, Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park invites us to explore and appreciate the connection between humanity and nature throughout the centuries.

Location and Park Access

The Molino de Flores National Park is located in the municipality of Texcoco, approximately 25 kilometers from Mexico City. Access is easy via the Mexico-Texcoco federal highway.

The Landscape and Biodiversity

This park is home to a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and offers stunning views of the natural landscape, characterized by its mighty wooded hills, which include centuries-old trees and a variety of both native and introduced plant species, such as eucalyptus and ornamental plants.

One of the standout elements of the landscape is the presence of the Coxcacoaco River, which crosses the park from east to west. Along the riverbanks, you can observe magnificent ahuehuetes, ancient trees that provide shade and add beauty to the surroundings.

However, it’s important to mention that the Coxcacoaco River has been affected by wastewater pollution. This situation is regrettable as it impacts water quality and the aquatic ecosystem of the park. Taking measures to address this issue and promoting conservation practices to protect the park’s natural resources, including the restoration and preservation of the river, is crucial.

Despite this situation, the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park remains a place of great beauty and natural richness, inviting visitors to appreciate and value the importance of conserving and protecting our natural resources for future generations.

Flora: Notable Plant Species

The park is home to a diversity of native plants and flowers, including agave, nopal, and yucca, as well as eucalyptus, pines, and ornamental and grassland plants.

Fauna: Unique Animal Species in the Region

The park’s fauna includes various species of birds, insects, and small mammals that can be observed during walks. It’s possible to spot specimens of hummingbirds, thrushes, sparrows, blackbirds, and vireos, each with their distinctive songs and beautiful plumage that fill the air with life and melody.

Regarding terrestrial fauna, there are snakes that glide across the ground and lizards. The park also features a Zoo within the National Park.

Highlights of the Park

The Molino de Flores National Park boasts a multitude of historical and natural attractions that are sure to captivate you.

Historic Mills

The 18th-century pulque mills are among the main attractions of the park, where visitors can learn about the history of pulque production in Mexico.

Ancient Haciendas

The ancient haciendas within the park bear witness to Mexico’s colonial and post-independence eras. The most famous is Hacienda Panoaya, where the poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz lived.

La Capilla Abierta (The Open Chapel) and Other Religious Monuments

The Open Chapel, a masterpiece from the 16th century, is another highlight of the park. Its architectural design is a testament to the blend of cultures that characterizes Mexico.

Archaeological Zones and Rock Paintings

Visitors can explore the archaeological zones and rock paintings that attest to the presence of ancient pre-Hispanic cultures in the region.

Activities and Excursions

The park offers a wide variety of activities for all preferences, ranging from hiking routes to cultural festivals.

Hiking and Cycling Routes

Hiking and cycling routes allow visitors to explore the park and revel in its natural beauty.

Picnics and Play Areas

Picnic areas and play spaces provide the perfect opportunity for a family day out in the park.

Photography and Nature Observation

The park is an ideal spot for photography and observing local fauna, particularly for bird enthusiasts.

Cultural Events and Local Festivals

The park hosts numerous cultural events and local festivals throughout the year, highlighting the rich cultural tradition of the region.

Tips for Your Visit

To make your visit to the Molino de Flores National Park an unforgettable experience, here are some useful tips.

Opening Hours and Fees

The park is open to the public every day, and entry is free, but some attractions might have an additional fee.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the park is during spring and fall, when the weather is milder, and the vegetation is at its peak.

Recommendations for a Safe and Environmentally Friendly Trip

Remember to bring water, sunscreen, and suitable footwear for hikes. Please refrain from littering and respect the park’s fauna and flora.

Accommodation and Dining Options

If you wish to spend more than a day exploring the park, there are several accommodation and dining options in the vicinity.

Nearby Hotels and Inns

There is a variety of hotels and inns near the park that cater to different budgets and preferences.

  1. Hacienda Panoaya Hotel: Located within the park, this charming hotel offers comfortable rooms and a unique experience in a restored colonial hacienda. Additionally, it features a restaurant and various recreational activities.
  2. Posada del Fraile: Situated in the vicinity of the park, this inn offers cozy rooms with a rustic and charming ambiance. It also features green areas and a restaurant service.
  3. Boutique Hotel Casa de la Luz: This boutique hotel is located a few kilometers from the park and provides elegant and comfortable rooms. It offers a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for resting after exploring the park.
  4. Jardín del Lago Hotel: Located near the park, this hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms with panoramic views of the lake. It features green areas, a pool, and a restaurant.

These are just a few lodging options near the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park. It’s recommended to check room availability, as well as prices and services, to find the option that best suits your needs and preferences.

Restaurants and Local Cuisine

The area around the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park offers a variety of restaurants serving delicious local food and typical regional dishes. Here are some restaurants and typical dishes you can find:

  1. La Hacienda Restaurant: Located in a nearby old hacienda, this restaurant offers an authentic culinary experience. You can enjoy traditional Mexican dishes such as mole, tamales, and enchiladas, made with fresh ingredients and authentic flavors.
  2. Street Food: In the vicinity of the park, it’s common to find street food stalls where you can try Mexican street food like tacos, quesadillas, sopes, and gorditas. These places are usually very popular and provide an informal and tasty experience.
  3. El Mirador Restaurant: This restaurant is in a privileged location, offering panoramic views of the park and its surroundings. Here, you can enjoy a variety of dishes, from traditional Mexican options to international cuisine, all accompanied by spectacular views.
  4. Mexican Sweets and Desserts: Don’t miss out on trying Mexican sweets and desserts such as dulce de leche, churros, coconut candies (cocadas), and the famous buñuelos. These delicious treats are available in local shops and street stalls.

These are just a few culinary options you can explore near the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park. We recommend trying the local cuisine to experience the authentic flavors of the region and enjoy delicious food during your visit.

Camping Options

For the more adventurous, the park also offers camping areas where you can spend the night under the stars.

  1. Camping Areas in the Park: The park itself has designated camping areas. These areas typically come equipped with basic facilities such as bathrooms and fire pits. It’s important to verify the park’s requirements and regulations before camping and ensure you adhere to conservation guidelines.
  2. Nearby Campgrounds: In the vicinity of the park, there are private or third-party managed campgrounds that offer additional services and amenities. These campgrounds may include camping areas, bathrooms, showers, electricity, and recreational activities. You can research and make reservations in advance to secure your spot.
  3. Camping in Nearby Natural Areas: If you wish to explore beyond the park, there are nearby natural areas where you can also camp. Some options include the Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park, the Desierto de los Leones National Park, or the Sierra de Huautla Biosphere Reserve. These places offer stunning natural environments and the opportunity to enjoy nature at its finest.

Remember to bring all the necessary camping equipment with you, such as tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and non-perishable food. Make sure to follow safety guidelines and respect the natural environment during your stay.

Contributing to Park Conservation

It is important to remember that the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park is a natural and cultural treasure that we must protect and preserve. Here are some ways in which you can contribute to its conservation:

Park Rules and Regulations

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the park’s rules and regulations and adhere to them at all times. These rules are designed to protect the park’s flora, fauna, and natural environment.

Participation in Conservation Projects and Volunteering

Learn about conservation projects and volunteer opportunities in the park. You can collaborate in activities such as reforestation, trail cleaning, and environmental education.

You can also support the park financially through donations or purchasing products from local stores, as their proceeds contribute to the conservation and maintenance of the park.

Remember to be respectful of the natural environment and not cause any harm to the park’s flora, fauna, or historical structures. Carry your trash with you and use designated disposal areas.

By following these recommendations, you’ll be contributing to maintaining the Molino de Flores Nezahualcóyotl National Park as a unique and special place for future generations.

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