Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, thanks to its varied landscapes and natural areas, some of which are designated as protected natural areas (ANP), among which the national parks stand out, being the second category with the largest protected area after the Biosphere Reserves and the first by the number of spaces with this distinction, according to the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP).
There are them throughout Mexico although there is a state that houses the largest number of them. In total, it has 9 national parks. We tell you which entity we are talking about, as well as what these beautiful natural spaces are.
There is a very close competition between the CDMX and the State of Mexico to see which is the entity with the most national parks in the country. Each one has 9 of them, although many times the El Tepozteco National Park is not included within the capital of Mexico, making the most populated state at the national level take the “crown”.
The truth is that CONANP does. And, although this makes them “tie” with 9, outside the CDMX, the State of Mexico is the entity with the highest number of national parks. Paradoxically, it is also the most populated entity in the country.
Many of them share them with other states, mainly the CDMX. Even so, the size of these natural protected areas extends to 636.17 square kilometers (approximately), almost twice the size of the city of Monterrey.
We start with a couple of parks that it shares with the CDMX. The first, known as El Tepeyac, extends for 15 square kilometers in the northern part of the Mexican capital and in the municipality of Tlalnepantla de Baz, Edomex.
Right next to the Basilica of Guadalupe, this hillside with impressive views of the Valley of Mexico has an important value for Mexican culture, being an important Mexica ceremonial center and, currently, the second most visited Catholic temple in the world. It is composed of eucalyptus forests and some pirules.
In terms of nature, there are 220 species of plants and animals, according to CONANP. It was decreed as a national park on February 18, 1937.
Next to the Desierto de los Leones National Park in the CDMX, in the municipalities of Huixquilucan, Lerma and Ocoyoacac, this 19-square-kilometer park is commonly called La Marquesa. Its official name is due to the fact that in October 1810, the Battle of the Three Crosses took place there, with a victorious balance for the insurgents, commanded by Miguel Hidalgo.
Like many of the parks on this list, it is a large space characterized by coniferous forests, rugged landscapes due to its numerous mountains and for being in the middle of the valleys of Mexico and Toluca.
CONANP has recorded that this space is home to 630 species of flora and fauna. It is a national park since September 18, 1936, being the second oldest on this list.
Settled in an area of hills and hills, this small national park of 0.45 square kilometers in the municipality of Texcoco, with oak, eucalyptus, grasslands and the passage of the Coxcacuaco river.
It was, at the same time, an old hacienda that, in colonial times, functioned as a wheat mill and in the Revolution produced pulque. Today, those vestiges and old constructions still survive. It owes its name to its former work and, at the same time, to the Mexica king Nezahualcóyotl, who ruled these territories in the 15th century.
Despite being small, it is home to more than 140 different species of animals and plants. It was named as a national park on November 5, 1937.
Practically on the northwest border of the CDMX, belonging to the municipality of Naucalpan de Juárez, this park received this name from the Virgen de Los Remedios, for the sanctuary built in the area in the 17th century. It covers 4 square kilometers.
Due to its rugged orography, with the Cerro de Moctezuma being the protagonist, it served as a Mexica observatory. It also has an ancient Chichimeca temple and a colonial aqueduct. Its lush coniferous forests represent one of the lungs of the Valley of Mexico.
Within this ANP, up to 160 types of flora and fauna live. It has this category since April 15, 1938.
The smallest of all and perhaps one of the most unknown. In the municipalities of Amecameca and Ayapango, very close to the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, this 0.43-square-kilometer national park houses the Sacromonte Monastery, of colonial architecture, built on pre-Hispanic vestiges.
It is characterized by extensive forests and cold-temperate climate, typical of the high mountains. A peculiarity of this site is that, at the top of its hill, you have spectacular views of the volcanoes and the Valley of Mexico.
Despite its size, it is biodiverse, as it is home to up to 250 species of flora and fauna. Named national park since August 29, 1939.
Between the municipalities of Malinalco, Tenancingo and Zumaphuacán, this space is also known as Nixcongo. It is not a cold or hot desert, but it was called that because it was a place of retreat, where the Convent of Carmen was built in the 18th century. A similar case to the Desierto de los Leones in the CDMX.
In its 5.29 square kilometers, you will find a unique cultural, natural, historical and religious heritage. It is surrounded by mountains, pine and oak forests and numerous viewpoints with views of nearby valleys.
It is the least “diverse” in terms of nature, as about 90 types of plants and animals live there. Cataloged as a national park since October 10, 1942.
The most “distant” of the list with respect to the center of the country, as it is in the municipalities of San José del Rincón, Villa de Allende and Villa Victoria, to the west of Edomex, right on the limits with Michoacán. It has 146 square kilometers.
It is a transit area for the migratory route of the monarch butterfly. It is common to see oak, pine and oyamel forests, as well as 2 lagoons formed by rainwater, which are very important for other migratory birds. It also has, at least, 6 streams.
Approximately, it has 250 species of flora and fauna. It enjoys the appointment as a national park since August 1, 1940.
Almost on the border of Edomex, the CDMX and Morelos, this 48-square-kilometer national park extends almost entirely in this last state, although a part is shared with Edomex, particularly in the municipality of Ocuilan.
It is characterized by being in the middle of the Neovolcanic Axis, with numerous mountains, hills, coniferous forests and 7 lagoons that are of vital importance for the aquifers of the Valley of Mexico. Only 3 of them are permanent, as the rest depend on the rains.
About 1,150 plants and animals inhabit this ANP. It is a national park since November 27, 1936.
The largest (and perhaps best known) of the entire list. Shared with Puebla and Morelos, this park within the municipalities of Amecameca, Atlautla, Chalco, Ecatzingo, Ixtapaluca, Texcoco and Tlalmanalco, houses the second and third highest peaks in the country: the Popocatépetl and the Iztaccíhuatl, respectively, both symbols of the natural landscape of Mexico.
Its main attraction is the 2 volcanoes mentioned above, which are regularly covered with snow, complemented by extensive coniferous forests and zacatonales in its 398 square kilometers.
The largest of all, it is also the most biodiverse, being home to 1,645 species of flora and fauna, according to CONANP data. It was declared as a national park on November 8, 1935, the oldest of all Edomex.
Source: El Universal