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MONTERREY

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- Parque Nacional Cumbres de Monterrey National Park is an extended mountainous zone with few flatlands, presenting a very distinctive plant life, with species characteristic of desert areas, as well as grasses, shrubbery, pine and oak woods and flowers that bloom among the streams and ravines.

Up to this date there has been registered 1368 species of plants and animals, 73 of which are considered endangered species. Among the animal species that exist in the Park we can mention coyotes, pumas, racoons, white tailed deer, the so-called tlacuache, harlequin woodpeckers and the so-called cotorra serrana oriental.

Inside the Park with its extension of 177395.95 hectares, it is possible to practise several sport activities like trekking; biking and horse back riding, among others. It can be found in the central-western zone in the State of Nuevo Leon, near the border with the Sierra Madre Oriental in the county of Santiago. From Monterrey the access is down the Federal Road 85.
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    • The Mesa Chipinque is a natural area that contains in its immense extension the Parque Ecologico Chipingüe, a wild life shelter of 1625 hectares, predominating the bushes and pine and oak forests.
      In Chipingüe, at eight kilometres from the centre of the City and under the slopes of the Sierra Madre Oriental, more than 120 species of birds have been identified, 30 species of mammals, besides a big diversity of amphibians and reptiles. Those arriving to this special spot of nature will not confront any problems to carry out sport activities like trekking, mountaineering, bicycling, horseback riding among other adrenaline-rising options. It is also feasible to camp here, sleeping under the stars and listening to the voice of wilderness.

    • El Cañon de la Huasteca Canyon, this is one of the most spectacular natural scenarios in the Sierra Madre of Nuevo Leon mountains, comprising an overwhelming 300 metres deep precipice. Its walls -some of which are sheer vertical- are perfect for the practice of rappel and free climbing.

      Inside the Canyon there exists a peculiar formation that has been called Cueva de la Virgen, or the Cave of the Virgin to where it is possible to access across a tunnel that once was part of the marine floor. While entering it, the awesome thickness of its walls becomes apparent.

      Another detail worth mentioning are the rock carvings sculpted thousands of years ago by the first dwellers of the area. In ancient times, the waters of a stream that fed the Santa Catalina River flowed across the bottom of the Canyon, thus forming it. Nowadays, the once running river remains dry.

      The total area of the Canyon is about 200 hectares and at a 15 minute driving distance from the centre of the City of Monterrey, by the Avenida Morones Prieto Avenue, in the district of Santa Catalina. The visitors will also find some recreational centres including pools and playgrounds for children.
    -The Cascada Cola de Caballo - Horsetail Waterfall is a magnificent cascade of water 35 metres high, surrounded by thick vegetation. It was baptized, as "horsetail" because the water -originated in the Sierra Madre Oriental- seems to assume that shape on its way down.

    In the area you can find a recreational centre that provides several services, like horse rental. The fall is located at a 40 kilometres distance -feasible only by car- from the centre of Monterrey, in the municipality of Santiago

    - The Presa Rodrigo Gomez or La Boca Dam is a peaceful artificial lake in which the traveller will be able to swim, fish, sail or practice jet skiing. Along its shores, several restaurants and candy shops offer the best of the regional gastronomy. There are also some crafts stores. It is located in the municipality of Santiago, 36 kilometres away from Monterrey, driving by the Road 85.

    - The Grutas de Garcia Caves are the biggest caves in Mexico, and of a probable age of more than sixty million years old. They are located 80 metres above ground, and to reach them the visitor will have to climb aboard a funicular. Once above, a hike of about one mile will take you through a well-illuminated gallery, ending up into the depths of the Fray Mountain.

    During the extension of the tour 16 caves are visited, along with some huge balconies, from where one can gaze down on a peculiar landscape formed by a profusion of stalagmites, stalactites and petrified marine shells.

    Nearby the cave can be found places for camping, playgrounds for children, ponds and parking lots. It is located in the Villa Garcia, 35 kilometres to the North of the City of Monterrey, after driving down the roadway that goes to Saltillo.

    - The Cañon de Potrero Chico Canyon is formed by the walls of the Cerro San Miguel Mountain, being notable for its sheer precipices that in some cases reach 890 metres of height, thus being considered the highest of its kind in Mexico, and so resulting in an area that is regarded as a paradise by even the most weathered mountaineers all over the world.

    Besides climbing its walls, around the area are other activities that can be practiced, like excursions and photography. The Canyon is located 6 kilometres from the district of Hidalgo and 41 kilometres away from the City of Monterrey, on the Federal Road 54.

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