Table of Contents
- What’s so special about the hot springs at Las Grutas de Tolantongo?
- How to get to Las Grutas de Tolantongo Hidalgo?
- Best tours to Las Grutas de Tolantongo
- Where to Stay in Las Grutas de Tolantongo
- Top things to do in Las Grutas de tolantongo Hot Springs
Mexico is home to a little gem located in the southeastern region called Las Grutas de Tolantogo. These hot springs in Hidalgo Mexico, known locally as Aguas Termales de Tolantongo, are not to be missed. Both locals and visitors flock to Las Grutas de Tolantongo in search of adventure and rejuvenation.
Families and even tourists on a budget can be seen lounging in the infinity pools and grilling meat by the turquoise river. The resort complex was designed to keep its visitors entertained and well-fed throughout their stay, offering a wealth of amenities that can be rented or purchased including chairs, firewood, and tents for those who prefer sleeping under the stars.
Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to the Tolantongo hot springs. Carved into the canyon are more than 30 natural pools surrounded by lush green foliage and overlooking the valley below. Naturally heated water flows down like a mini waterfall, its steam adding a tropical vibe to the resort.
What’s so special about the hot springs at Las Grutas de Tolantongo?
The Hidalgo Mexico hot springs are a popular weekend getaway where families can spend quality time with their loved ones without breaking the bank but what makes them so special is the water itself. The surrounding volcanic mountains keep the water at an optimal toasty temperature all year long while the limestone found in the rocks contributes to its high mineral content. This wonderful combination of heat and mineral salts does wonders for the skin.
No wonder this place is described as an oasis and an outdoor spa by many. Grutas de Tolantongo Hidalgo is a great place to kickstart your journey in central Mexico. The best thing about the Tolantongo caves and hot springs is that they are open all year round, even during the holidays. Early birds can watch the sun rise above the Sierra Madre Mountain range as early as 8 in the morning. Visitors eager to begin their adventure can purchase their tickets at 6 am.
How to get to Las Grutas de Tolantongo Hidalgo?
The road to Grutas de Tolantongo Mexico may be long with twists and turns along the way but it is most definitely worth the trip. Some people prefer to travel via car with Google Maps leading the way. Public transportation is also available in the form of buses and smaller microbuses that are better suited for travelers who don’t mind spending a few more hours on the road.
If you search for hot springs near Mexico City online, you will discover that the resort complex requires an epic road trip complete with snacks and a four-hour playlist to go with it. Mexico 85, also known as the Mexico- Pachuca Highway is the best road to take. Make sure to take the exit to Actopan -Hidalgo followed by the Pachuca – Ixmquilpan highway.
Drive until you arrive at Ixmiquilpan. There is a big supermarket in the main square called Bodega Soriana. The exit to a road called Libramento a Cardonal is two traffic lights away from the supermarket. The OXXO store is used as a landmark to locate this exit. Drive down Libramento a Cardonal and follow the signs until you finally reach the Grutas. You will encounter many sharp turns on this road so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Traveling by bus is a fun way to explore this region of Mexico, especially Hidalgo. There is no direct bus line to the Grutas, but you can climb on board one of the buses headed for the riverside town of Ixmiquilpan. Towns like Queretaro and Tepoztlan also have buses that travel all the way to Ixmiquilpan where you can continue your journey to the Grutas de Tolantongo.
From Mexico City Terminal de autobuses Central Norte to Tolantongo
The Northern Bus Station in Mexico has two lines that connect the city to the town of Ixmiquilpan in Hidalgo: Ovnibus and Flecha Roja. These buses will drop you off at the town’s bus station. Hop on a colectivo headed for Morelos Market. The market is close to the San Antonio Church and parking where a microbus station is located. Take the bus headed for Grutas Tolantongo.
From Mexico Airport to the Grutas of Tolantongo
The Conexion, Futura and Estrella Blanca lines connect the airport to Pachuca City. Once you arrive in Pachuca, take the bus headed for Ixmiquilpan. Find a taxi or microbus headed for Morelos Market. The market is close to the San Antonio Church and parking where a microbus station is located. Take the bus headed for Grutas Tolantongo.
From Tepoztlan to the Grutas of Tolantongo
Tepoztlan Bus Station has two lines connecting it to the town of Tula de Allende. You will need to take one of these buses to the town. From there, hop on a bus headed for Ixmiquilpan. Find a taxi or microbus headed for Morelos Market. The market is close to the San Antonio Church and parking where a microbus station is located. Take a bus headed for Grutas Tolantongo.
From Queretaro to the Grutas of Tolantongo
The bus line Conexion in Queretaro Bus Terminal will take you directly to Ixmiquilpan. Hop on a colectivo headed for Morelos Market. The market is within walking distance to the San Antonio Church and parking where a microbus station is located. Take a bus headed for Grutas Tolantongo.
From Ixmiquilpan to Tolantongo
There is a convenient shuttle bus schedule for those interested in shuttling back and forth between Ixmiquilpan and Tolantongo. The microbuses headed for the Grutas can be found in the San Antonio Parking. They operate five times a day from Monday to Friday but the schedule changes during the weekend with departures every hour starting from 9:30 am.
The nearest airport to Tolantongo
Grutas de Tolantongo flights will not pop up in your search results because the nearest airport to Tolantongo is approximately three hours away by car. Queretaro Intercontinental Airport is closer, but people are more familiar with Mexico International Airport which takes an extra 30 to 50 minutes to reach via car.
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Best tours to Las Grutas de Tolantongo
There are several Tolantongo tours from Mexico City that you can book which cost around $100 USD. The tours include roundtrip transportation from Mexico City, entrance fee to Tolantongo Caves, and a bilingual guide. You’ll have the chance to spend approximately 4 hours at the caves. You’ll have to leave Mexico City very early (around 6 AM) to have enough time to arrive and enjoy your day at the hot springs.
Where to Stay in Las Grutas de Tolantongo
The resort complex is run by families who live in Hidalgo in what is known as a co-op system. Therefore, there are no all-inclusive resorts in the area. Hotel options are also very limited. There are four Las Grutas de Tolantongo hotels in total. Two of these hotels are close to the thermal pools and resort entrance while the rest are nestled in the valley close to the river and the camping grounds.
Las Grutas de Tolantongo Resort
The absence of Grutas de Tolantongo all-inclusive resorts does not mean that the area lacks amenities. The resort itself was designed with the visitor’s needs in mind. However, the rooms offer the bare minimum. Booking a room online is also not possible as the resort operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Las Grutas de Tolantongo resort prices are incredibly affordable. A single room costs $800 pesos, a double room costs $1000 pesos and cabins cost $1450 pesos. These cabins can accommodate up to 6 people. All payments must be made in cash.
Camping by the turquoise river is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Each tent can accommodate four people and costs $150 pesos to rent per night. The designated campgrounds tend to get busy during weekends and holidays so keep that in mind while planning your trip. As for camping essentials, the resort rents out grills, chairs, tables as well as lockers. Visitors can also purchase firewood, ice, and sleeping bags.
There is an on-site grocery store and several restaurants that serve a variety of Mexican dishes including seafood. The restaurants operate from 8 am until 10 pm. The resort has its very own tortilla bakery that serves freshly made tortillas and many cocktail bars that visitors can easily locate on the resort map. It is important to note that visitors have to purchase two park tickets in order to rent a tent at the resort. For example, if you arrive on a Saturday, you will need to purchase a ticket for both Saturday and Sunday.
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Top things to do in Las Grutas de tolantongo Hot Springs
Hidalgo is famous for being a hub for adventure tourism, but wellness is also part of the package thanks to its grottos and geysers including the Tecozautla hot springs. Las Grutas de Tolantongo offers its visitors a slice of adventure in the form of ziplining and a ton of tranquil vibes brought to you by the waterfalls and languid pools that were tailormade for escapism.
Soak Up the Minerals in the Rimstone Pools
Start your day by lounging in one of the thermal pools and let your body soak up the minerals. Make sure to wear a pair of water shoes because the limestone stairs leading down to the pools tend to get wet and slippery. If you cross the suspended bridge, you will discover a cluster of secluded pools surrounded by trees and greenery from all sides. Make sure you bring a waterproof camera or a waterproof phone case to take some memorable Tolantongo photos from inside the pool.
Sweat Your Stress Away Inside a Steam Tunnel
The steam tunnels at the resort are not to be missed. The paradise tunnel is close to the pools while the stone tunnel is on the other side of the resort, close to the cave and the souvenir store. The temperature gets hotter the further you venture into the tunnel with thermal water gushing from every corner. Make sure you keep your water shoes on and keep a flashlight on hand in case you want to take photos or videos inside the tunnel.
Get Your Adrenaline Pumping While Ziplining Across the Resort
The zipline at the resort is a fun way to cross over to the other side instead of taking the inner shuttle service. There are three bases in total so you will need to zip across them all in order to reach the campsites and hotels that are closer to the river. The zipline at the resort is open from 8 am until 5 pm and costs $200 pesos per person. The staff will weigh you first and you will be required to sign an authorization sheet before they hook you up to the line.
Explore the Stalagmite Wonders Inside the Thermal Cave
The thermal cave at Tolantongo is reminiscent of a tropical paradise complete with a waterfall and beautiful rock formations on the inside. The cave is dark so make sure to carry a flashlight with you to explore the icicle-shaped stalagmites. There is a narrow tunnel that you can swim through to discover other parts of the cave. Once you’re done exploring, you can head down to the river for a quick swim before grabbing a bite to eat.
Roast Marshmallows Under the Stars
Camping in the canyon right next to the lazy river can be quite a memorable experience. The camping zone at the resort is equipped with grills where you can roast marshmallows and cook hamburgers for lunch or dinner. The staff will pitch the tent for you so make sure you get there early to choose a prime location next to the river. You can also bring your own camping gear if you prefer to spend the night in your own tent. The choice is yours.
How much does a trip to Las Grutas de Tolantongo cost?
If you drive to the resort with your own rental car, then you will have to pay $20 pesos per day for parking. Add an extra $300 pesos – the price of two entrance tickets and an additional $800 pesos for a single room and you will need a total of $1,120 pesos or $55 USD to spend the night at the resort.
When is the best time to visit Las Grutas de Tolantongo?
The best time to visit the resort depends on the season and your personal preference. That being said, the best time to visit is during the spring. Keep in mind that the rainy season may affect the area as flooding may occur near the Tolantongo River. If you are not a big fan of crowds, then it is best to visit the resort on weekdays.
How far is Tolantongo from Mexico City?
Tolantongo is approximately four hours away from Mexico City by car. Traveling by car is the best option if you want to save time. The second option is via bus, but this journey might take around six to seven hours since you have to switch buses and lines along the way.