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The Altar Desert is a sandy region in the north of Sonora; it is part of the Sonoran Desert.


The Altar desert is located above the northeast corner of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).

The region is also part of the 2 million-acre El Pinacate/Gran Desierto del Altar Biosphere Reserve, a Mexican National Preserve.

The fishing village of El Golfo lies at the southwestern corner of the desert.

Get in[edit]

The Altar may be reached from San Luis Rio Colorado, south of Yuma Arizona.

Most of the area is protected; there are a few routes through the desert (next to the railroad tracks) to El Golfo. Offroad cross-country travel is prohibited, though locals and American off-road groups still traverse the desert illegally on a regular basis.

Get around[edit]







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This region article is an extra-hierarchical region, describing a region that does not fit into the hierarchy Wikivoyage uses to organise most articles. These extra articles usually provide only basic information and links to articles in the hierarchy. This article can be expanded if the information is specific to the page; otherwise new text should generally go in the appropriate region or city article.