Last updateFri, 18 Oct 2013 3pm

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Jalisco’s obsidian: Once worth more than gold, today sells for 1 peso a kilo

A few years ago, I received an email from a very talented craftsman in Germany. He was looking for large pieces of high-grade obsidian which he planned to shape into giant black balls about a meter in diameter. “Can I find what I need in Jalisco?” he asked.


Finding hiking and biking trails near you: An introduction to Wikiloc

Before submitting this excellent article, the author suggested I investigate Wikiloc myself and try uploading, downloading and following trails from their website. I discovered that Wikiloc has over 800,000 members all over the world who have uploaded a staggering 1,571,000 trails with nearly two and a half million photos to boot. The wonderful thing is that the trails include everything from easy walks around town for the whole family to technical climbs up snowy mountain peaks. This means Wikiloc literally has something for everyone: kids, hikers, cyclists, dune-buggy drivers, whatever. I’ve taken KireMex’s advice and in the following weeks, I hope to report on new and interesting sites in this part of Mexico, discovered thanks to Wikiloc …and “the hiker known as KireMex.” - John Pint


Walking the Primavera nature trail: Forest rangers offer free guided tours

One of the lesser-known attractions of Jalisco’s Primavera Forest is a two-kilometer-long Sendero Interpretativo (Interpretive Trail) that takes you through a variety of forest environments with occasional signs describing where you are and what you are seeing.


Indefatigable botanist collects 10,500 plants in 40-plus years

On September 26, 150 people gathered at the Universidad de Guadalajara’s Alberto Navarro Auditorium to pay tribute to Dr. Miguel Cházaro, a legend among Mexico’s botanists. After 25 years as a UdG professor, Jalisco’s best-known botanist was “retiring” to his native Veracruz, where, attested one of his colleagues, “he’ll probably keep right on collecting for another 25 years.”


Stalking the Elusive “Colliflower” Now’s the time to see wildflowers in the woods

August and September mark the “high season” for wildflower watching in this part of Jalisco and one of the best places to see them near Guadalajara is the Cerro de Colli, which lies just west of town, next to the Periférico (Beltway). This is the closest “corner” of the Primavera Forest to the big city.


Exploring the Ahuisculco wilderness, legacy of Selva Negra and rock group Maná

I usually consider Facebook a great waste of time, but every once in a while it brings something worthwhile into my life. In this case, it was an album of photos taken by my friend Franky Alvarez in a place I’d never seen: el Bosque de Ahuisculco, located 30 kilometers southwest of Guadalajara, near Tala.


The Secrets of San Marcos: Petroglyphs, pottery, white-water swimming and more

If you search for San Marcos, Jalisco in Google Earth, you will be transported to a small town near the Sayula Salt Flats. This San Marcos is a bit of a curiosity because all the houses there have naturally hot water pouring out of the faucet, thanks to hot springs located under the town. For some reason, GE completely ignores the “other San Marcos,” located along the western border of Jalisco, near Etzatlán. Too bad, because “San Marcos of the West,” if I might call it that, has more than one surprise to offer visitors.


A visit to an underground obsidian mine Black, red, yellow… and now: white obsidian?

One day at the Casa de Cultura in Teuchitlán, I spent a while chatting with Chava Villalobos, one of the most knowledgeable guides at the Guachimontones archaeological site. Chava was born in Teuchitlán and for a long time his teacher was the late Phil Weigand. When I mentioned that I was interested in obsidian, he told me about a deep mine he knew of where the Indians had been extracting the biggest pieces of obsidian he had ever seen. Not even Rodrigo Esparza, “The Obsidian Detective,” knew about this place, he said, and offered to take us there whenever we’d like.


Long-distance walker to traverse Mexico’s Copper Canyon

Cam Honan, originally from Australia and now living in Jalisco, may have done more walking than anyone else on earth. Honan has hiked over 80,467 kilometers in 55 countries and his next goal is to stroll through Chihuahua’s Barrancas del Cobre, where he expects to cover from 300 to 500 kilometers, all on foot. Perhaps “stroll” is not exactly the right word to describe Honan’s upcoming adventure. “It will be a combination of canyoneering, bushwhacks, scrambling, wading, hiking and hopefully avoiding drug fields,” he explains with a wide smile. “Nevertheless, I consider Copper Canyon one of the world’s best hiking sites. In fact, I would put it among the top ten on the planet.”


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