In the desert landscape of Tierra Blanca you’ll find one of the wonders of Guanajuato, a giant cacti sanctuary. Here you can take a guided walk that winds between unusually gigantic specimens of biznaga, or “big barrel cactus,” the largest of which reach over 8 feet high and 5 feet in diameter. It’s an amazing spectacle.
The community of Arroyo Seco in Tierra Blanca have organized to offer tours through these unique grounds, which aside from the biznaga are home to hundreds of other brightly colored cacti and other plants. They also take advantage of the medicinal and cosmetic properties of some of the plants, which they use to make soap, body creams, and even sweets.
The path climbs the Cerro Mbodo, which in the indigenous Otomí language means “place where the stones abound.” The guide gives information about the properties of the different plants as the route passes through specimens like Ruda, yellow flower, wild arnica, and oregano before reaching the highlight of the walk: the giant cacti that stand, solemn, like huge green sculptures.
Know Before You Go
The entrance cost is around 50 pesos. This is a semi-desert area, so wear comfortable clothing, preferably light colors, and bring sunglasses or a hat and a bottle of water. Do not wear soft-soled shoes or sandals, and take caution when walking to avoid injuring any animal and plant species, or your own feet with loose thorns.