Monday, August 06, 2012

Kuar Tukuni

We are big fans of hot springs. The more natural their setting, the better we enjoy them. The aguas termales of the Balneario Kuar Tukuni more than meet our needs. Too bad that it's so far from Pátzcuaro.

Our energetic and ever enthusiastic, bird specialist friend Georgia Conti had discovered this place and organized our excursion. We were nine in number, including amigas from Georgia's neighbors of her village.

The trip from Pátzcuaro takes about an hour or more. The correct exit from the autopista is marked by a sign for Ario de Rosales and El Tejaban. There, a graveled road winds eastward for about 3 miles until reaching a turnoff to the left, which descends to the balneario parking area. There are  a large swimming pool (cool, I think) picnic tables and changing rooms close to the parking area.

Upper pool

Picnic area
From there, a paving stone pathway descends to a stream which is crossed on a suspension bridge. I call it, "The Bridge on the River Kuaar".
The Bridge
The paths lead through phantasmagoric woods, with cascades and dense trees, the spookiest of which are the ghostly "saurian" trees.

Hold tight to your Mommy's hand!

Kuar Tukuni (or "Tukuri", speliing seems to vary from sign to sign.) is a simply outfitted, rustic balneario. There are no flashy water slides and other child frenzy magnets. What it does have are three, circular thermal water pools, about 3-4 feet deep and 15 feet in diameter. Two are filled with very hot water and the third with lukewarm. I didn't take any photos of the hot water pools nor of the picnic palapas. Fortunately, Georgia had some photos from an earlier visit, which she generously sent to me.

Lower hot pools. Photo: GC
Additionally, there's a large, apparently cool water swimming pool near the upper parking area. Another, with somewhat turbid water, is below at the end of the lower thermal pools clearing. There are several palapas  lined concrete benches, and simple cooking facilities, a rough table, and most important, the roof that shades you from the intense sun of la Tierra Caliente.

Lower cool pool. Photo courtesy of GC
This pool was the hottest, at a measured 111º F. Photo by GC
We didn't see this "natural" pool on our visit. Photo: GC
Costs: Adultos $30, niños, $20
Hours: I don't recall: about 9 a.m. to 6 p,m., I guess.
Pools are drained and cleaned Tuesdays and Thursdays Fridays, (Georgia wrote me to correct the days of cleaning).
Restaurant available on the grounds on weekends and holidays only. Pescado sarandeado a specialty.
We didn't try the restaurant, as we were headed to La Mesa de Blanca, some 35 minutes drive north. in Ziracuaretiro.

I recommend Kuar Tukuni for a pleasant day out if hot spring pools in a rustic setting appeals to you.

Georgia Conti deserves great thanks for organizing this outing. If you are interested in birding in México, she can take you to the best spots. You can see more on her blog, Pátzcuaro Birder.

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