Sunday, January 14, 2018

One Day Trip to Cuatro Cinegas

One Day Trip to Cuatro Cinegas:

Many times i believe that journey is more enjoyable than the destination. It turned out to be true once more in the Journey towards Cuatro Cinegas. When we were planning to visit Cuatro Cinegas last time, somehow trip was cancelled due to last minute cancellations by many. Friends who decided to opt out wanted to join this time and we ended up having more people than the capacity of the vehicle at the last moment ! Again there were drop outs and we managed to cover the Cuatro Cinegas as expected although Cuatro Cinegas was not like what we expected :-) Getting confused ? How can you not get confused when you are visiting a place with Mirage , Hot water springs and Oasis filled with water bodies which are not to be seen anywhere else ?  Let's get started
Sceneic Beauties on the way to Cuatro Cinegas

How far is Cuatro Cinegas and how/what it is ?
Cuatro Cinegas is a City located around 275 KM from the City of Monterrey in the State of Coahuila which is next to the state of Neuvo Leon(NL). The main attractions of the City are Poza Azul(Blue Water pond situated in a desert) and Zypsum Dunes(Dunes de Yeso). There are other attractions near Poza Azul like WildLife Prorection Area and Rio Mezquites both of whom are closed now. You would also get La Poza de la Becerra on the way from Poza Azul to Dunes de Yeso which is closed since 2008 as well. After Poza De azul and Zypsum Dunes , if you move ahead for 2 km, you would see Mine de Marmol(Marbel Mine) which is not attractive as it looks in Tripadvisor or in Google pics.There are two famous vineyard on the way by name Vinos Vitali and Ferrino Wineries out which we visited the earlier one. To be very frank, Cuatro Cinegas is not what it looks as in Tripadvisor or in google and not worth driving 280+ km from Monterrey in the search of a superb location. So, don't be disappointed once you arrive here ! Were you wondering if this is a spot to visit or not if you are located somewhere nearby. If you are, then it's a good location for photographers and you can read on for details if you still want to visit it. 

Entry Fees at Cuatro Cinegas: 
Poza Azul Restaurant and Ticket counter
There are Army Checkpost just few kilometers before you enter into Poza Azul in Cuatro Cinegas. 
So, better to carry your ID proof . Although they did not ask us for it, they have asked one of my friends who visited there last year. 

Don't go by the google location of Poza Azul as google tells to drive ahead of Poza Azul and annouces that you have arrived at Poza azul after you came 600 meters after it !! The actual Poza azul is 600 meters behind towards your left if you are coming from Cuatro Cinegas city. There you have to take entry ticket of 30 pesos per head to see the ponds of Poza Azul. You have to take entry ticket for Dunes de Yeso(Gypsum Dunes) from here itself and you would get a guide for whom you have to pay 200 pesos extra. Guide just shows you where is the Poza Azul pond which is almost 1 km from the entrance. He is also needed to open the Gates to enter into the Gypsum Dunes and he takes you to the actual spot where mots photos would be taken in Gypsum Dunes.  In case you want to visit Mina de Marmol, don't listen to the guide you have taken from Poza Azul and just head 2 km in the same road from where you came(after exiting from the Gypsum Dunes gate) and you would get Mina de Marmol towards your left. Google maps shows the exact location here and you need to pay a seperate entrance fee of 30 pesos per head to visit here. Your vehicles can go till the last point in all of above places. Guide might say that Marble mine is closed as well (as in our case) because he is afraid that you won't leave him back to the location from where you picked him ! We felt its quite insane as we had to drive 8 km back to drop him off and come back and go 2 more km ahead of Gypsum dunes 
to find the Marble mine. Infact you could see Marble Mine from Gypsum dunes as well and would be enraged by the localities who call themselves as guides and misleading you

Poza Azul: 
After travelling for approx 1 KM in our van, guide told us that we have arrived at our destination. I was shocked to see a greenish small pond and were wondering if we really had to drive almost 4 hours to reach this. 
First Sight of Poza Azul
But After going near it , we saw the magnificent blue water which was caused by the crystals over there and varieties of fishes floating over there. 
View of Poza Azul as you get near it
If you are a photographer, you would enjoy the location a lot.
View of Poza Azul from the View Point
But for a normal tourist, its just a over hyped place . Let me just put some non photo shopped pics of the location and allow you to decide by yourself. 
Group pic at Poza Azul. From Left: Venky, Biswa, Harsha, Me, Suvarna, Sudarshan, Anusha, Ayesha, Lakshmi and Naveen.

 Once you come back to the place you took tickets, you can find one more pond and can spend some time over there. You don't find any restrooms in Dunes De Yeso or in Mina de Marmol. So, better to relieve yourself in the restrooms provided here. Don't ask me regarding the cleanliness of the restrooms please :-)
Pond near the Ticket counter

Some fishes in Poza Azul

 Dunes De Yeso/Gypsum Dunes
It is a private property again which is located in a land jointly owned by 7 partners. They call it as Parque Los Arenales and you have to drive almost 2 km in a road after crossing the entry gate . It is located in a distance of approx 8 km from Poza Azul. It is made of Gypsum Dunes and you won't feel the heat of the sand irrespective of the heat of the sun. So, you can visit this place throughout the year and we could see some more (not many) visitors here compared to Poza Azul . Probably they come here to take some pics at a center location where you are not allowed to climb with your footwear. Again , its a Photographer's paradise and you won't miss anything if you don't visit this place in your tour of Mexico . 
Center of Attraction in Gypsum Dunes

A Food Bar at the entrance of Gypsum dunes which is cool in all seasons as it has the Gypsum covered sheets
Suvarna impressed by Harsha's Tapasya ;-) 

Biswa Catching Uttar Korea rocket ;-) 

What am i doing ? Believing the photographer ;-) 

Marbel Mine/Mina de Marmol: 
It has an entry fee of 30 pesos per head which would be collected by a Guard at the entrance to the mine.Visit this place only if you have not visited any other marble mining sites ! Few places are just like dump yards where they have dumped the marbles which could not be extracted. Your vehicle can go till the top if you are courageous enough to sit in the vehicle inspite of the bit risky and curvy steep path ahead. It can be good sunset destination after visiting other places and before you head back to your home
Mina De Marmol

Vines de Vitali: 
it is in the city of Cuatro Cinegas itself and you can visit it on your way back if you want to taste some wine. It is not a big winery compared to those in Parras(would write about it in other blogpost). So, it can be a location to pay visit on your way back home if you have not seen other wineries in Mexico. But they don't have tours to take you through the preparation process of wines and you won't miss a thing if you plan to skip it and want to head to Monoclova enroute your journey to the destination in Monterrey. 
Cuatro Cinegas Downtown: 
Naveen was telling me that Downtown of most cities in Mexico look alike. I did not believe it earlier until i saw the Downtown of Cuatro Cinegas. It is an exact replica of downtown we have seen in Parras and similar to one in San Miguel de Allende. When i was roaming in downtown of Cuatro Cinegas, i was getting the feel of roaming in Parras or Santiago or Sanl Miguel de allende as the streets and park in the center look the same ! It's a must visit place in Cuatro cinegas and we enjoyed a lot roaming around there. Although you won't get any sovieniers with the name Cuatro Cinegas over there, its worth spending time over there. 

 Hope you enjoyed the Pics and reviews about the places so that you can plan your trip to Cuatrocinegas accordingly. Look out the blog for travelogues about other places to visit in Mexico 
Sunset on the way back from Cuatro Cinegas

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