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San Juan Parangaricutiro

Photo credit: FerdelaT / Foter / CC BY-SA
San Juan Parangaricutiro
  • (worth a detour)
  • 5-10 km
  • Moderate
  • Free
  • full day
  • 2 2

A town that witnessed the birth of the world's youngest volcano

San Juan Parangaricutiro, Michoacán, México

Located in the state of Michoacán, San Juan Parangaricutiro witnessed the creation of Parícutin, the youngest volcano on Earth.


On the morning of February 20th, 1943 − a day that could have been like any other − Dionisino Pulido, a farmer, felt the earth moving beneath his feet while the ground started opening up in front of him. A volcano was being born.


Over the following nine years and eleven days, Paricutín continued growing and spewing lava and destroying everything that was in its way. It stopped growing when it reached the height of 2,800 m (9186 feet).


The nine hundred inhabitants of the town were forced to leave everything behind; their homes, their cattle and their food. The only thing that is left of of San Juan Parangaricutiro is the top of the main church. The rest of the village was buried beneath ash and lava. No human deaths are recorded, otherwise San Juan Paricutín could be considered the Mexican Pompey.


As the years passed, San Juan Parangaricutiro was rebuilt and named “New San Juan Parangaricutiro”. And so, in Mexico, it is known as the “Village That Didn’t Let Itself Die”.


Stories like this are a reminder of how insignificant human beings can be against nature’s powers.


Come to Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro to hike the world’s youngest volcano and admire what is left of the old village.


Opening hours


How to get there

From whatever city you are in, take a bus to Uruapan, Michoacán. Once there, buses run to Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro regularly.

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San Juan Parangaricutiro San Juan Parangaricutiro San Juan Parangaricutiro