Duden Waterfall, Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Beautiful day to take the group to the Paricutin Volcano

In 1943, a farmer was working in a corn field when he saw the ground start to crack and steam, and a fissure broke open. By the next day, lava had been flowing out of the fissure, and  there was now a cone the size of a house. This was the first ever recorded human witness of the birth of a volcano. The Paricutin Volcano continued to erupt for nine years until February of 1952 when it stopped as abruptly as it began.

There were two villages buried in the lava flow over the 9 years of eruptions. One of the villages was almost finished building a new church at the time when the village was overtaken by the lava.

Now, the Paricutin Volcan lies quiet, while a smaller volcano beside it still has some steam and smoke coming from it.

We booked a van to take the group to the buried church. The cost of the van was 3,500 pesos for the round trip. Divided by 14 people, it was a reasonable 250 pesos ($13 USD, $17.25 CAD) per person.

We booked it for 10:30am, but if we do this another time, 9:30am would probably be better.

We arrived at the Paricutin tourist center in the village of Angahuan at about 11:15am. There is a viewpoint there that looks out over the lava field where you can see the volcanoes and the buried church in the distance.

In the center is the Paricutin Volcano.
The church is not shown in the photo above... it is far off to the right.

The ruins of the Santuario del Senor de los Milagros.

It's a 2.5 km (just over a mile) hike one way to the ruins site. Then, you have to clamber over rough lava rock a short distance to get to the church itself. Two of our group weren't capable of doing that, so they stayed at the tourist complex. There is a restaurant and washrooms there, as well as a small museum and the lookout.

But, you can decide to take a horse for 220 pesos ($11.50 USD, $15.25 CAD) return trip. This does not help you clamber over the lava rock, but we were proud of the 12 group members that managed to make it all the way, including the two fellows in their mid 70's!

Paul decided to take a horse both ways.

A slate-throated redstart.

We noticed quite a few pine trees that they were tapping for sap.
Not sure what they use the sap for.

Bob and Denise at the start of the lava field. 

Here comes Paul on his horse!

At the church. 

The church was still under construction when the lava took it over, so only one tower had been completed.

This would have been one of the entrance openings.

This would be the interior wall of the front of the church.

The altar remains intact.

Just to give you some better perspective, I took a couple of short videos for you...


Some of the group.
And me, trying to get in the photo!

In the photo above, I was trying to take a timed shot where I could scramble up the lava rock to get up there with the rest of them. But with only 10 seconds, I couldn't quite make it!

There are a couple of food stalls just outside the church area, and Ruth and I knew from our past visits here that they make great food! So we had lunch there...


January 2012!

The same lady was there doing the cooking. I showed her this picture from our January 2012 visit here. She thought it was funny!

Quesadilla with fresh hand made blue corn tortillas and chorizo and potato.
Delicious, for 25 pesos ($1.30 USD, $1.70 CAD).

The restaurant.

Back at the tourist center.
Garth, Jeannie, Denise, Bob, Sue, Roy, Wendy, Paul, Kathy, Brian.
And a stray dog.

We're pretty sure that everybody enjoyed our unique excursion yesterday. It was another great day in Mexico!

Commercial Size Glad Kitchen Trash Bags 200 pack... time to stock up at this price!

And in Canada...


  1. Cool beans...love the trail, to the church & food looks delish!

    1. It is a fantastic place to see, everyone really enjoyed it and the food was delicious!

  2. To still have an altar all done up in this ruin is pretty special. Looks like a great day was had by all.

    1. The lava flow stopped about three feet away from the altar and it was considered a miracle. Since then it basically acts as a shrine and people stop to put flowers or trinkets there.

      It was another great day in Mexico! :-)

  3. I have notice that Mexico is not gone over to Health and safety. Stall like the one above wouldn’t be allowed here in Europe with rules for this and that. It’s gone over the top. I’m sure none of your travellers has picked up any bugs.

    1. Yes, it's the same in Canada and the United States. Mexico is much more of a free country.

  4. That was an amazing trip you had and the history of the volcano so recent. At least the lava had the decency not to cover the obviously finished altar.
    Thank you for these amazing pictures.

    1. It is a fantastic place to visit. We really wished that we could have taken you guys there last year but it wasn't meant to be. The lava flow stopped about 3 feet away from the altar and everyone in the area considered that to be a miracle.

      Glad you enjoyed the pictures. :-)

  5. It looks like she was still using the same pot in both photos :) That was wonderful she was still there to cook for you ! Lovely photos

    1. It won't surprise me if it was still the same pot. It was wonderful to eat there again and incredible that she remembered us! :-)

  6. I visited Paricutin circa 1989. At the time there was just a simple dirt trail leading to the church. There was no tourist center nor food stalls. There was an elderly man who sold bottled Coca Colas from a bucket of water. A small group of elementary students and their teacher shared their lunch of avocado tostados with us.

    A few months later, a friend hiked to the top of the volcano. It's a long hike, so you need to get to Puricutin early in the day.

    The most likely use of the pine resin is for manufacturing turpentine.

    1. It would have been pretty cool to have seen it back then but even with the food stand and the tourist center at the beginning of the trail, it didn't feel touristy at all. It sounds like you had a fantastic local experience and those are the types of experiences that we love. :-)

      One day we want to hike to the Parícutin Volcano and up to the top, that would be really neat.

      Yes, a lot of the pine resin is used to make turpentine but is also used in food products and makeup just to name a few.

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Chris! Yes, it has been a fantastic trip and there is still more to come. :-)

  8. Kind of surreal - reminds me of Akirotiki in Greece where the town got buried by volcanic ash

    1. Yep, I bet it would be pretty similar. Greece is on our list of places to visit and one day we will make it there. :-)


There are more comments on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TravelwithKevinAndRuth

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.