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Most beautiful Urban Park in the world

It is extremely rare I would ever make a claim like this.  How is it possible to be objective about something like a park?   Well after visiting this park, my opinion quickly changed and I actually googled “most beautiful urban parks in the world” as I was sure the Parque nacional de Uruapan would be topping the lists.  Amazingly it wasn’t even to be found on any “top 20″!   However – I have visited quiet a few of those parks that were listed as “most beautiful” and they don’t come close.  No way.  This is hands-down the most beautiful urban park I have ever seen.

How did a place like this happen and what makes it so special?   Well it isn’t the city itself.  Uruapan is a pretty typical Mexican mountain city of 250,000 residents. The roads are dusty with lots of traffic – both horse and car and the architecture is average for the area.   The entrance to the park itself – just 1km from the town centre is also could easily be over looked.   It is inside that the surprise awaits!

Imagine what could happen if you gave a group of artists creative freedom to play with water flow in a 1000 acre tropical forest that contained a mighty cascading river at its heart with hundreds of small tributaries.    The basics: 8 kilometres of cobblestone walking trails, at least 4 pavillons for outdoor theatre, a playground, a fish farm and plenty of places for artists stalls and small restaurants.

The creators of this park have played beautifully with the natural flow of water – cascading it through sculptures, over stone walls, through waterfalls (natural and man-made), and running it along every walking path making a beautiful bubbling sound.  Since the tropical forest has been kept natural all around, the surprise of what is found around the next turn is half the fun.  The water itself pops out of the ground with a force at the top of the park and is a gorgeous crystal clear.

If this park was located anywhere in North America or Europe it would be an inspiration, a landmark and an example of just how perfect an urban park can be.   I wish we could say it is anyway, but sadly because of its location in Mexico…it remains undiscovered.

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The natural tributaries are funnelled along the walkways/stairs. The sound is beautiful! The gazebos can be be rented for family parties.

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A hop skip and a jump take you by this waterfall/art.

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Another of the pieces where the water flow is first funnelled through the art piece before flowing into the river.

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Hey Val-David, wouldn’t this be awesome in our backyards?

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Another of the tributaries flowing to the main river.

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The start of it all! At this aqua pond, the water flows up from the ground and is the source of the river.

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Another of the gazebo / theatre stages. This one was hiding up a very steep small path that was completely unmarked!

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The main event. The river flows through the heart of the park with 8 arched cobblestone bridges crossing it.

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half natural, half man-made. A beautiful combination of nature/art.

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And again!

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Here one of the hundreds of tributary streams is left to flow naturally down the cliff into the river below.

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Water, water everywhere. What is better for a kids playground? Here they are floating “boats” down the stream.

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More to see than waterfalls…this tree looks like some kind of freakish octopus.

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Millies turn with the camera! She has some practise to do, but this is cute anyway and shows one of the 20 or so little restaurants in the park.