We FINALLY made it to the Grutas de Tolantongo! After more than three years of exploring Mexico, we finally made it to this magical place! Below, you will find details and specifics on everything you need to know before heading to these magical areas!
How to Get There:
From Mexico City, you can either choose to stay in Pachuca and use as a base for exploring all around Hidalgo, or you can take a bus directly from Mexico City to Ixmiquilpan. Here's more info on both--
From Mexico City: Head to the "Central de Autobuses de Mexico Norte" bus station. From there, find the counter for "Ovnibus" and buy tickets to the city of Ixmiquilpan. There are busses that depart every 10-20 minutes, so no need to buy your ticket ahead of time. Price is about $200 pesos ($10.80 USD) and takes about 3 hours.
From Pachuca: Head to the bus station and find the counter for "Ovnibus" and buy tickets to Ixmiquilpan. Again, these depart every 10-20 minutes so there is no need to purchase ahead of time. The ticket costs $60 pesos ($3.20 USD) and takes about 1.5 hours.
Coming from somewhere else? Feel free to send us an email at email@example.com and we would be happy to help plan the best route to Ixmiquilpan.
Once you have arrived in Ixmiquilpan, you will need to grab taxi and tell the driver you want to take a combi to "Las Grutas". The combis (vans) pick up in town near the San Antonio church in a big parking lot there. Taxi fare should be $50 pesos ($2.70 USD) and takes about 10 minutes. NOTE: We would recommend taking one of the first busses from either Mexico City or Pachuca to Ixmiquilpan, as the combis to the grutas are not very frequent. Here is the schedule for the combis from Ixmilquilpan directly to Las Grutas--
You'll want to catch the 9:30am ride if you can so you'll have the most time at the grutas. Combi fare is $50 pesos ($2.70 USD) and the ride takes about one hour. Note: it can be a little crammed and uncomfortable in the combi. Also a bit bumpy towards the end of the ride as you will be zig-zagging your way down into the most beautiful place ever! Trust us--totally worth the trip.
YOU MADE IT! Alas, you will be welcomed by one of the most beautiful places on earth! Entrance fee is $150 pesos ($8.00 USD) per person, per day.
Where to Stay:
Although we did not stay in the actual park for our first trip, there are lots of hotels there as well as ample camping space available. We would highly recommend checking out these options and staying for a night or two in the park. For more information on lodging options, here is a link to the park's official website. If you're looking for a place to stay in Pachuca, we would recommend staying at this Holiday Inn Express. If you are looking for a place to stay for a night or two, (or more!) in Mexico City, The Host Business Suites is a super fun, cool hotel and is a great option.
Things to Note
--You can bring food and drinks into the area, but there are also lots of great restaurant options that are reasonably priced.
--Everywhere inside the park is cash only, so be sure and bring plenty of pesos for the day.
--There are lockers for rent for $50 pesos ($2.70 USD) for the whole day.
--Wear water shoes and bring a towel. There are changing rooms and bathrooms located throughout the park.
--You will absolutely want a waterproof camera, phone bag, or some way to take pictures. There are people selling waterproof bags for cell phones inside the park.
Other Notes about Hidalgo
--Hidalgo is a bustling state full of great food and great people too.
--You must try "pastes", the typical food of miners. There are tons of pastes places everywhere throughout Hidalgo. There is a big chain called "Pasteko" that sells a delicious one of potatoes and meat. Also...cajeta and pecans..Need we say more?!
--If you are staying in Pachuca, see if you can catch a soccer game! There is a local team there and the stadium is near town! Tickets are only $50 pesos ($2.70 USD) and we had so much fun cheering on the home team!
--Finally, if you're looking for a little day trip, head to Real del Monte for the day! This is an old mining town where Cornish people were sent for their mining talents in the 1800s. The town is windy, charming, and quiet. Here, you can taste "enchiladas mineras" which are...so so yummy! Taxi fare from Pachuca to Real del Monte is $200 pesos $10.80 USD) and takes about 30 minutes.
The state of Hidalgo and Las Grutas de Tolantongo are both absolutely incredible! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions about this beautiful spot!
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.