Valley of Siete Luminarias
The valley called Siete Luminarias (“Seven Luminarias”) is a group of seven extinct inactive volcanoes in the central Mexico region, located in and around the town of Valle de Santiago in the state of Guanajuato.
The name “Siete Luminarias” (“Seven Luminarias”) comes from an imagined time when the seven volcanoes were active at once in prehistory. All seven extinct volcanoes are distributed in an area of 90 sq km.
The Valley of the Seven Luminaires is a place full of mysteries. This area is famous for its theories and legends about giant vegetables, UFO sightings, paranormal stories, and amazing and incredible phenomena.
In 1997, the Siete Luminarias Volcanic Region was declared a protected natural area.
Over 30 inactive volcanic craters are located in Valle de Santiago, but only 7 of those are recognized and protected as they have been declared national monuments. The 7 volcanic craters are known as Siete Luminarias:
- Hoyas de Santa Rosa
- La Alberca
- San Nicolás de Parangueo
- Álvarez and Solís
These volcanoes are characterized by low, abrupt edges and a flat central area that extends for up to 1 km. These unique craters, scattered throughout the valley, serve as evidence of the region’s volcanic past.
In the interior of most of the craters, there are small lakes, referred to as “hoya” (“hole”).
Volcanoes of the valley of Siete Luminarias
La Alberca: a paved path takes you to the edge of the 750 m diameter crater. Although it is within the urban area of the town Valle de Santiago, some cave paintings are still preserved on its walls.
Hoya del Rincón de Parangueo: The ancient volcano whose crater is occupied by a small saline lake. You enter through a 400-meter-long tunnel, which was drilled to take advantage of the once-fresh waters of the crater.
Near the tunnel, there are cave paintings.
Hoya de Flores: This volcano is located 3 km from Valle de Santiago, at the exit to Yuriria, you will find six springs that flow from the cliffs and form this interesting tourist attraction.
Hoya de Cíntora: This volcano is located 5 km southwest of the city, and its crater houses a saltwater lake with healing properties. It also has some cave paintings. On the north bank, there is an Otomi village.
Hoya de San Nicolás: This volcano is located 4.5 km from the city of Valle de Santiago. The waters of this crater’s lake change color according to the seasons of the year.
Hoya de Solís: its interior is used for agricultural purposes, since it does not contain water, unlike other volcanoes.
Hoya de Álvarez: It is a volcanic bowl 1.2 km in diameter that has been used for agricultural work since pre-Hispanic times. On summer nights, from inside you can see the sky in all its splendor due to its very high edges.
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