Bosque de Chapultepec, also known as Chapultepec Park, is located on a rocky outcrop called Chapultepec Hill in the heart of Mexico City. This is the largest city park in Latin America, and one of the largest in the whole Western hemisphere. This is far more than just a place for locals to stretch their legs, have a picnic or walk their dogs. This green space at the heart of the city plays an important ecological role in the settlement. www.travelrows.com
Chapultepec Park on the map:
A Green Lung For Mexico City
A sad but true fact – air pollution in Mexico City and the Valley of Mexico is a major concern. In 1992, this was the most polluted city on the planet, according to the United Nations. At that time, air pollution here caused up to 1,000 deaths each year. By 2012, however, much improvement had been made and the air quality here was much the same as Los Angeles. While there is still much to do, and air pollution is still far too high here, things are moving in the right direction. Chapultepek Park plays an important role in cleaning the city’s air, trapping carbon dioxide, and releasing oxygen. It is a green lung, which allows the city to breathe.
A Hub for History and Culture
This green space, however, is far more than just an ecological feature. Since the Pre-Colombian era, when Aztec rulers used this place as a retreat, it has been an important hub for Mexico City’s history and culture. Vestiges of the peoples who have inhabited the area can be seen throughout the park. Archaeological discoveries include tombs associated with the Teotihuacan, a Toltec Altar at the hill’s summit, the Aztec Baths of Moctezuma, a Colonial era aqueduct- though these are just some of many sites that have been discovered here.
Chapultepec Castle, one of the major attractions located within the park, was built here during the Colonial period. It was the official residence for Mexican heads of state until 1940 and is the only ‘Royal Castle’ in the Americas.
In the same section of the park as the castle you will also find important cultural sites, including the Museum of Anthropology, the Rufino Tamayo Museum, the National Auditorium, a Cultural Centre and a Modern Art Museum. You could easily spend several days exploring all that is to be found just in this part of the park.
A number of further museums can also be found in the second section of the park, which was created in 1964. This second section is also dominated by the Feria de Chapultepec – a popular amusement park.
A Haven For Animals
Another of the popular tourist destinations within the park is Chapultepec Zoo. There, a range of exotic animals can be seen. But you do not need to go to the zoo to see animals within the park. The large Lago Mayor attracts a number of migratory bird species and other creatures, as well as tourists, who come here to enjoy recreation on the water, or to see the Monumental Fountain.
However, if you are interested in the wildlife, then you should be sure to pay a visit to the third section of the park. Not only can you enjoy walks and horseback rides here, you can also enjoy the natural surroundings of this ecological preserve, and see a range of interesting creatures, including snakes and lizards.
Chapultepec Park – Hours
Working hours of the park are from Tuesday to Sunday 8am-5pm, Monday is closed. Unfortunately, official website is in Spanish but you can always see current working hours in google. The other name as it appears in google is Bosque de Chapultepec (which means Chapultepec Forest).