Cuatro Cienegas, Ocampo and Muzquiz: 5 days, 4 nights
Meet the guides at Boquillas Port of Entry, in Big Bend National Park, at 9:00am. We are currently driving two Ford F-150 dual cab pick up trucks, but are shopping for a 15-passenger Ford van, which will take 8 guests and a guide/driver. In Boquillas we take time to arrange our duffel and grab a burrito or snack for the road.
Four hours down the road, we stop at El Nacimiento, the home of the Negros Mascogos, descendants from Black Seminole Indians who fled to Mexico in 1852 to avoid slavery. We will enjoy beautiful meal, made from locally grown fresh ingredients. After a leisurely lunch, we drive 45 minutes into Muzquiz, a Magic Pueblo.
Muzquiz was founded in 1735 as Santa Rosa Maria del Sacramento. It is located in a sliver of Tamaulipan Scrub/Thorn habitat with a completely different aspect from the surrounding Chihuahuan desert. Muzquiz has a lovely town square and ornate cathedral. We stay overnight at Gran Hotel de Muzquiz. There option for a short kayak excursion on the spring-fed Rio Sabinas for those interested.
After breakfast at our hotel at 8:00am we load up and head to Cuatro Cienegas; 4C. Cuatro Cienegas is known worldwide for complex karst geology, extensive wetlands and ponds, and a gypsum dune field similar to White Sands National Park. 4C is a Mexican Natural Protected area and a United Nations World Heritage site. The town of Cuatro Cienegas is also a Magic Pueblo, with a traditional town square, attractive accommodations, and a variety of restaurants. Mexican revolutionary leader Venustiano Carranza was from Cuatro Cienegas; our tour includes a visit to a museum dedicated to his life. We will visit the Protected Natural Area and Pozo Azul, the Blue Hole.
We will visit a privately owned lake for swimming and kayaking, where we can see live stromatolites. We spend the night in hotel El Nogalito (which has a huge swimming pool) and have time to explore all the natural and cultural attracions that Cuatro Cienegas offers.
We continue to explore 4C . Mid afternoon, we drive an hour to Ocampo, an authentic Mexican town completely untouched by tourism. It is a literal oasis with abundant water and tall trees surrounding the town square. Hotel San Francisco is reserved just for us, which features lovely landscaping and a small swimming pool. We can plan a traditional Mexican “temascal”, or sweat lodge, in the late afternoon before dinner if there is interest. Since there is no restaurant available to serve us dinner, our evening meal will be catered at the hotel.
After breakfast in a private home, we walk with the local historian and check out the local architecture which features thick adobe and stone walls with high ceilings. We will tour Parque La Mota (The Grove), where we find abundant springs that are channeled into cement pools surrounded by cypress trees planted in 1890, before continuing down hill to nourish orchards of walnut, pecan, peach and a variety of agricultural products.
Noon we return to Cuatro Cienegas, where we will have lunch and more time to explore the historic downtown. Then we return to Muzquiz, a drive of 2.5-3 hours
After breakfast we leave town by 10:00 am and hit the road north towards Boquillas and the US border. The drive is about 4 hours, which is paved except for the last 25 miles. We arrive in Boquillas at or before 2:00 pm, in time to have lunch before we cross the Rio Grande before 4:00pm, when the Port Of Entry closes.
Cost of the 5 day trip is $875 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $125. All meals are provided; alcoholic beverages not included. A $250 per person deposit reserves your space. Upon receipt of your deposit, you will receive a confirmation via email with a check list of what to bring and a health/diet questionnaire. We can operate a trip with a minimum of 4 participants, and a maximum of 8-10. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 432 386-5635 for information about dates and availability.
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