Mazamitla is one town that really deserves the name “Pueblo Mágico.” The quaint streets, the delightful balconies, the beautiful pagoda-like church, the incredibly delicious food, a night before a crackling fireplace with a ponche de pasiflora in hand ... what more could you ask?
I’m always looking for interesting outdoor sites I can visit the morning after. One such place is the community of Los Cazos just southwest of Mazamitla, where you can find enchanting gardens and giant cauldrons (for fermenting mezcal) carved into the soft rock of a riverbed, not far from an impressive 30-meter-high waterfall. To read about these sites, just Google “Stone Cauldrons of Los Cazos.”
On a recent visit to Mazamitla, I found another nearby site well worth visiting. Don’t be fooled by its name, Mundo Aventura, even though it has lots of attractions for kids, it’s a place that visitors of all ages will appreciate.
This I think is due to the fertile imagination of the man who built it, Rafael Pulido Pérez, who was enchanted by its magnificent waterfall, plunging down into a deep, wooded canyon which he thought could only be appreciated properly from a colossal hanging bridge stretched over it. He finally succeeded in building that dream bridge a year ago. It is a whopping 350 meters long and possibly the longest hanging bridge in the Americas. Of course, claims of biggest, smallest or whatever are not easy to verify, but I can assure you this particular hanging bridge is spectacular and walking across it is an experience you are unlikely ever to forget.
If you're a hiker or a cyclist you can take advantage of the bridge to enjoy a long walk around the perimeter of the 150-meter-deep canyon, which will bring you back to your starting point at Mundo Aventura.
Another feature of this place which I find fascinating is a sort of Labyrinth of Standing Stones, another creation of Rafael Pulido, consisting of flat blades of shale which stand up to three meters tall, resulting in a strange and beautiful garden.
Anyone interested in crossing the canyon while whizzing through the air can do so on a zipline a full kilometer and a half long, one of the longest in the world, in fact. As far as I could determine, it appears to be the second-longest zipline in Latin America, right behind Brazil’s Mega Tirolesa Pedra Bela which is 1,900 meters long. For those who prefer a less speedy way to cross the canyon, Mundo Aventura also has three shorter ziplines that will do the trick.
When you are tired of watching people zipping along all these tirolesas, you can retreat to a quiet lake on the property with a picturesque island in the middle.
I asked Pulido’s daughter Rosalinda to tell me a little about the origins of Mundo Aventura.
“This is a family business. We are 11 brothers and sisters. Everything we have created here is thanks to our father, who is a visionary. He had no money and no education, but he traveled the world with a knapsack on his back. In Canada he saw the famous Capilano hanging bridge and instantly knew this was what he wanted to span the deep canyon here. So, 25 years ago my father set out to create not just any park.
“His aim has always been to create the best park in the world. However, people told him he was crazy and no tourists would every come to a place like this in the middle of nowhere. Then, our house burned down, and there we were out on the street. But nothing could stop my father and six months later we opened Mundo Aventura. From that moment on we’ve always had crowds of people coming here.”
Pulido was convinced people from Guadalajara would flock to his park to escape the stresses of the big city. According to Rosalinda, the park now sees over 3,000 visitors per day during peak periods such as Semana Santa. “We’ve had guests from as far away as India, France and England,” she stated proudly.
Mundo Aventura is open every day of the year from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.. The entrance fee is only 10 pesos per person, but there are separate charges for walking on the hanging bridge (150 pesos) and using the ziplines (350 pesos). They have a simple restaurant, but you are allowed to bring your own picnic lunch if you wish.
How to get there
Take Highway 405 south from Tuxcueca (on Lake Chapala) towards Mazamitla. Three kilometers before reaching Mazamitla, you come to highway 414. Turn right (south) and drive one kilometer to Highway 110 to Colima and Tamazula. Go southwest 16.6 kilometers to the signposted entrance (N19.82584 W103.09754) to Mundo Aventura. I’m happy to say that the entire route is paved and fine for all vehicles. Driving time is about 2.5 hours from Guadalajara and one hour less from Jocotepec.