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Guanajuato, Mexico (20.98770 -101.00000)
Los Valles del Sur, also called the Valles Abajeños, are valleys located in the southwest part of the state, bordering the state of Michoacán. This area is distinguished by the large number of Purépecha place names and covers the municipalities of Valle de Santiago, Yuriria, Tarimoro, Apaseo el Alto, Moroleón, Uriangato, Santiago Maravatío, Acámbaro, Jerécuaro, Coroneo and Tarandacuao. The area is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt with elevations ranging between 1,700 and 2,000 meters. The soil is fertile due to its volcanic base, producing crops such as sorghum, wheat, corn and vegetables. The land also produces building materials such as tezontle and black sandstone. In the higher elevations, there are forests of pine and holm oak but these have been much reduced because of deforestation. In the more arid areas, mesquite, nopal and other desert plants can be found. There are several small lakes, the best known being the Yuriria Lake as well as canyons and cave systems, some of which were used for ceremonial purposes by pre-Hispanic peoples. It is also the home the Siete Luminarias de Valle de Santiago, a set of seven inactive volcanic craters located in the northwest and southwest of the Santiago Valley. The volcano cones rise abruptly out of the ground with craters that measure up to one kilometer across. Locals call the formations "holes" (hoyos) and they are named La Alberca, La Cíntora, Estrada, Blanca, Alvarez, Solís and Rincón de Parangueo. La Cíntora and Rincón de Parangueo contain cave paintings and evidence that people once lived in the craters. La Alberca (The Pool) is a crater lake which is open to the public for swimming, rowing or boating. The name of "Siete Luminarias" (Seven Lanterns) comes from an imagined time when the seven were active at once in prehistory.