Pinacate and Great Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve

Pinacate and Great Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve - Sonoran Spa Reservations


El Pinacate and Gran Altar Desert is unique in Mexico and the world for combining the most spectacular and young lava field in North America along with extensive dune fields in the driest region of the Sonoran Desert. Its beauty can be appreciated even from space, where the black lavas of the volcanic shield are surrounded by the white sands of the Great Desert, both contrasting with the blue of the Sea of Cortez.

Within the wonderful scenarios withing the Reserve, there are huge dune fields and a volcanic shield with giant craters Maar type, which by their number and concentration are unique in the world, with ash cones and imposing Sierras Graniticas, is without place to doubt, one of the tourist attractions of great interest worldwide.

On the other hand, the immense sea of dunes that surrounds the volcanic shield is considered the greatest on of North America, fiding in the one, the dunes in the form of star that measure more than 200m of height, present in few places of the planet.

Information Center and Biological Station

The Information Center is the only authorized access to enter the Reserve, is located at kilometer 52 of Hightway 8, where visitors must first register and pay the corresponding fee. Right here is the Biological Station, where part of the personnel working in the Reserve lives and where the administrative offices of the same and an interpretive trail, including a pond of endemic freshwater fish and a nursery of native plants.

Interpretive Paths

In the interpretive trails, you will be able to learn and to know more about the site, its culture and its history. You will meet places of cultural and environmental importance, at the same time you will enjoy the landscape from different angles and you will be able to coexist with nature in a totally natural environment.

Pinacate and Great Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve

Camp Areas

The Tecolote and the Red Cone are the two camp areas within the reserve where it is even allowed to spend the night. The Tecolote is in the middle of craters El Elegante and El Colorado and has an interpretive trail that takes you through the cone and crater Mayo. The Red Cone is the starting point for the trail that takes you to the top of Pinacate Peak or Santa Clara Volcano, for the latter there is a special regulation as it is considered as a path of high difficult

Pinacate and Great Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve

Green Paraderos.

As a complement to the area of diffusion and environmental interpretation, the Reserve has three stations along the coastal road Puerto Peñasco – Golfo de Santa Clara, these stations are focused on the culture, biology, ecology and landscapes of the surroundings. Each ecological whereabouts exposes on a subject and is addressed exclusively to everything related to it by means of lecterns and informative displays.

Pinacate and Great Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve


Access by the visitor center km. 73 Federal Highway 8 from Sonoyta to Puerto Peñasco. Requires authorization from visitor center staff.

Contact to the Visitors center.

Km. 52 Sonoyta – Puerto Peñasco Federal Highway, Edijo Los Norteños, Puerto Peñasco Municipality, Sonora. CP 83550
Biological Station Tel: 638. 383-1433 and 105-8016; Visitors Center Tel: 638. 108-0011