Gran Desierto de Altar
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The Great Altar Desert in Sonora

The Great Altar Desert

In the far northwest of Mexico there is the largest Dune Desert in North America, that borders with the USA. The Great Altar Desert, is a desert within another desert. “El Gran Desierto de Altar” is surrounded by the Sonoran desert, the most biodiverse desert ecosystem in the world. The Gran Desierto de Altar is distinguished by its landscapes of sand dunes that can reach 650 feet in height and reach the Sea of ​​Cortez.

Dunes in the Great Altar Desert

The Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran desert can hardly be classified as a desert, since it has a great variety of cacti and trees. Giant cacti such as the saguaro whose height can reach 65 feet. In addition to having a great diversity of fauna. From small species such as hares or coyotes, to wild boars and large mammals such as bighorn sheep and pronghorns, which is the second fastest land animal on the earth. Because the Sonoran desert extends into the southwest of the United States, it is the typical landscape of the famous westerns or cowboy movies.

El Pinacate

The best way to visit to this natural heritage in Mexico is through the “El Pinacate and Great Altar Desert biosphere reserve”. A natural reserve declared a World Heritage Site located very close to Rocky Point, the main beach center in Sonora. Rocky Point or “Puerto Peñasco” is located 5 hours drive from Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora and only 3 hours drive from Phoenix, Arizona.

At the access to “El Pinacate”, in addition to the beautiful panorama of the Sonoran Desert, you can enjoy impressive landscapes that are the product of volcanic formations that emerged fifty thousand years ago. In the touristic route it is possible to see the two most impressive craters “El Elegante” (The Elegant) and “El Colorado” (The Red One), part of what was one of the largest volcanic complexes in the world. 

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