Photo: Semarnat (Some rights reserved)
Nevado de Toluca is a large stratovolcano in central Mexico, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Mexico City near the city of Toluca. At 4,558 meters or 13,800 feet, it is the fourth highest of Mexico’s mountains, after Pico de Orizaba, Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl.
The mountain, named Xinantécatl or ‘the naked man’ in Náhuatl, is a towering, inactive volcano with two craters that now contain lakes (poetically named after the Sun and the Moon). A well-maintained state highway reaches the craters, so the area is a popular retreat.
This one-time national park features footpaths, bike trails and camping.
Questions = Preguntas
- Is there information online about visiting Nevada de Toluca in a responsible manner today? = ¿Hay información en línea sobre cómo visitar Nevada de Toluca en una manera responsable hoy?
- In Mexico, what makes a mountain masculine or feminine? = En México, ¿qué hace que una montaña sea masculina o femenina?
The area was declared a national park in 1936 and now is spotted with fir and pine forests (much of the original cover has been deforested). Officially, the park stands at 51,000 hectares (126,000 acres). It has since been reclassified as a protected area.
Wildlife includes the Zacatuche rabbit — which thrives on the volcanic slopes throughout Central Mexico — coyote, white-tail deer, bobcats and woodpeckers.
Less known is that the park attracts divers, who explore these high-altitude lakes.
According to a 2007 Associated Press report archaeologists diving into the Lake of the Moon found wooden scepters in the shape of lightning bolts matching the description written 500 years ago by Spanish priests and conquerors about offerings to the Aztec rain god. The lightning bolts were found during scuba-diving expeditions.
Lightning bolt scepters “were used by Aztec priests when they were doing rites associated with the god Tlaloc,” Johan Reinhard, an anthropologist and explorer-in-residence for National Geographic Society who took part in more dives at the Lake of the Moon. “We think it is pretty clear that the Aztecs considered this one of the more important places of Tlaloc.”
El Nevado de Toluca: Lo sagrado en las alturas
Elsewhere on the Web
Comisión Estatal de Parques Naturales y de la Fauna (CEPANAF)
La Conanp anuncia la reapertura del ANP Nevado de Toluca (2021)
¿Tala y hoteles en el Nevado de Toluca? Esto responde Semarnat sobre el plan de manejo
Semarnat: Nevado de Toluca será manejado con esquema ‘sustentable’
On October 21, 2016 the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) issued the new Management Program protected natural area Nevado de Toluca, which states, in 17,785 hectares that timber logging is allowed.
The first version of Program Management Nevado de Toluca included a clause explicitly warned that “not be allowed in any case the building or construction of country houses, cottages or residential bungalows, or the building or construction of hotels, inns farms or rest or golf courses. ” This clause was deleted in the final version of the document.
Between January 1936 and October 2013, the Nevado de Toluca where, by law, any exploitation of their resources was prohibited. This category of protection was granted to him in the 1930s by then President Lazaro Cardenas.
Nevado de Toluca is a carbon sink and 61 permanent streams that contribute to the formation of hydrological regions of the Lerma-Santiago and Balsas. It also has two crater lakes known as The Sun and the Moon, the highest in the country.
The area has forests of pine, oak and fir, as well as 712 species of flora and 231 species of fauna and captures 94.6 million cubic meters of water that supply Toluca and Mexico City.