Tenacious cacti crown white gypsum dunes in an area described
by biologists as a 'showplace of biodiversity' and an 'irreplaceable
treasure of Mexico.' Located in Coahuila,
the Cuatro Cienegas basin has several marshes and lagoons, formed
by fresh water springs. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind
the dried gypsum, which blows into the dunes.
The valley has the greatest number of endemic species of any
place in North America. With its high biodiversity and more
than 70 endemic species, this 200 square kilometer desert valley
ranks near Ecuador's Galapagos
Islands in terms of the world's unique ecosystems.
Most of the valley's endemic plants and animals are listed
by the Mexican government as threatened or endangered and in
1994 the basin was declared a National Protected Area.
Unfortunately, these natural resources of Cuatro Cienegas have
been disappearing due to intensified irrigation and mining of
Balneario Poza de la Becerra is located at Kilometer #18 on
the highway to Torreón. Balneario Rio los Mezquites is
located at Kilometer #9.
The city is formally known as Cuatro Ciénegas de Carranza,
in honour of its most famous son: Venustiano
Carranza, President of Mexico (1915 -1920). Carranza was
born in this town in 1859. His house, located at Carranza and
Juárez, is now a museum.