Registry of the Pinacate Biosphere as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has boosted the number of visitors to the site.
According to registry information maintained by CONANP (National Commission of Natural Protected Areas), in June of 2013 the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve received nearly 13,000 visitors. In 2014, this number jumped to 18,000! It’s worth noting that June is historically the month with the least amount of visitors to the Reserve.
Federico Godínez Leal, Director of the Pinacate Reserve, recognizes movement in the press and additional promotion about the protected site following UNESCO’s naming it a World Heritage Site. This undoubtedly has influenced this important increase in the number of visitors to the Pinacate.
“Certainly the news this event had at both a national and international level, as well as the press its gotten, is reflected in the increase of visitors which has been notable. It [the UNESCO recognition] drew a lot of attention as a national site had not been registered for some time,” explained the Pinacate CONANP Director.
Another important fact is that in recent years of recording, the origin of yearly visitors flipped, in that this year 70% of visitors have been Mexican and the rest from abroad. In years past, the exact opposite was true.
Godínez Leal indicated the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve receives an average of 180,000 visitors yearly. The Reserve maintains its guided visits, particularly for school groups from across the region, as besides being a tourism site they are primarily interested in environmental education and preservation of the area.
Pinacate Biosphere Reserve and Grand Desert of Altar
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: 56 pesos / 28 pesos for residents from Puerto Peñasco, Sonoyta, and San Luis Rio Colorado (Entry valid for Visitors Center and route through Pinacate, departing from biology station)
Schuk Toak Visitors Center is also open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.