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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bosque de Chapultepec

"I love Bosque de Chapultepec," said Dominica, looking around her. "Come, we can wash in the Lago Mayor" and she immediately set off to her right. I looked at Arthur who was still puffing from his climb, shrugged my shoulders and followed her, past bushes and grassy lawns, until we came to a large lake. It must have been quite early in the morning, for the park was mostly empty, but the few people who did see us, took one look at us and managed to rapidly find a path heading in a different direction. We must have looked a right sight, not to mention the smell."

Chapultepec Park, more commonly called the “Bosque de Chapultepec” (Chapultepec Forest) in Mexico City, is the largest city park in Latin America measuring in total just over 686 hectares. Centered on a rock formation called Chapultepec Hill, one of the park’s main functions is to be an ecological space in the vast megalopolis. It is considered the first and most important of Mexico City’s “lungs,” with trees that replenished oxygen to the Valley of Mexico. The park area has been inhabited and held as special since the pre-Hispanic period, when it became a retreat for Aztec rulers.

The park received an estimated 15 million visitors each year, and daily visits have exceeded 250,000. Sunday is the most popular day to visit as the museums are free, and many Mexican families will spend the entire day in one or more sections, walking, seeing the attractions and picnicking or grilling. Despite its local popularity, however, foreign visitors usually only see the small fraction near the museums.

Overlooking the Lago Menor

General scheme of the three sections Chapultepec

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