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Las Grutas de Tolantongo: A Natural Hot Spring Oasis

  • Joel CZ 
  • 11 min read
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Las Grutas de Tolantongo (Tolantongo Caves) is a beautiful tourist complex located in the municipality of Cardonal in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico.

In this park, hot springs flow with a naturally relaxing and therapeutic effect. The Tolantongo Caves are the perfect weekend getaway to enjoy a real rest.

Entrance to las grutas tolantongo costs 150 pesos (around 8 USD) per person and is valid from 7 am to 8 pm. Children under 5 years of age have free admission.

If you travel with more than 40 people, you will get a 10% discount. This ticket allows access to all attractions, restrooms, showers, and dressing rooms.

It also includes medical assistance in case you need it.

What to do in las Grutas de Tolantongo

las grutas de tolantongo
Camping site at Tolantongo – Source: Aberu.Go / Shutterstock.com

Las grutas de Tolantongo is divided into two large sections called the Hidden Paradise section and the Grotto section. In both areas, you can find all kinds of attractions, such as:

Camping

Camping is allowed. You can bring your camping gear: food, drinks, blankets, mattresses, and tents.

You can also rent ALL the camping equipment and don’t worry because you choose the area and the park staff takes care of setting up the tent.

In addition, you can buy firewood and make a campfire or bring your grill and eat delicious grilled meat. Just remember to dispose of your garbage in the appropriate containers.

Suspension Bridge

grutas de tolantongo
Source: Aberu.Go / Shutterstock.com

It is available from 8 am to 5 pm. From the Suspension Bridge, you will have beautiful views that you will surely love.

Take a few pictures because you won’t want to forget the scenery.

Next to the bridge, a tunnel leads you to a cavern where there are also hot springs. Be sure to visit.

Hiking

You can also go deeper into nature and hike the cave trails. The recommendation is to wear light clothing, comfortable shoes, hydration, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the entire tour.

This hike is best done when the temperature is not so high, i.e., midday is not recommended.

The Grottoes

grutas de tolantongo
Source: Aberu.Go / shutterstock.com

The cave is located in the lowest part of the resort. The imposing waterfall has two entrances; one is at the top, and the entrance to a narrow tunnel.

The other entrance is at the bottom and is the largest cavern; there is also a waterfall that feeds the extensive river in its interior.

Swimming pools

The pools are open to the public from 8 am to 6 pm, and, as mentioned above, it is not necessary to stay at a hotel to use them. There are three types of pools, one standard, one with a large slide, and one for diving.

Thermal pools

These exquisite natural jacuzzis also offer a beautiful and relaxing panoramic view.

The water has a temperature of 36 to 38 º and is open to the public from 8 am to 9 pm.

The River

las grutas de tolantongo
Source: Malgosia S / Shutterstock.com

The river runs through most of the park and is a beautiful blue.

It is a shallow, hot springs river with an ideal temperature to relax and enjoy a fabulous sunny day.

Where to eat

As mentioned before, you can bring your food or even rent a grill.

But, if you don’t want to cook, several restaurants in the Grutas de Tolantongo have a family atmosphere where you can eat delicious meals.

Some of these places are Las Palomas, El Huamúchil, El Malecón, and Paraíso Escondido. All of them are distributed in different parts of the park.

It is worth mentioning that, during the week, not all restaurants are open to the public on the same days.

On the menu, you will find a variety of food, but what most of them have in common is the region’s typical dishes, fast food, succulent Mexican snacks, and seafood.

Please note that the only form of payment is cash, so be sure to bring enough.

Grutas de Tolantongo lodging

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Hotel in Tolantongo – Source: Malgosia S / shutterstock.com

It is not necessary to book lodging in Tolantongo. In fact, there is no online reservation system.

You can come and go on the same day, but you will probably want to enjoy the place for at least two days. 

If that is the case, these are some lodging options: Hotel la Gruta, Hotel Paraíso, Hotel La Huerta, and Molanguito.

You should consider that all accommodations are “austere,” providing only the essential services: beds, bathroom, and shower.

Read more about Grutas de Tolantongo Hotels

Don’t expect luxuries or technology. In addition, lodging in the hotels does not include entrance to the resort.

A single room costs approximately 700 pesos (about 35 USD), depending on the hotel and the number of people.

Remember that camping is also a great option. It’s more economical and, for some, more fun.

When is the best time to visit Las Grutas de Tolantongo?

This tourist destination is appropriate all year round. However, it is advisable to go during the weekdays or in the low season (October and November).

Between January and June, you will enjoy better weather. Don’t go during the rainy season (July, August & September) because the river is more abundant and some attractions are closed.

Due to its proximity to the city, there are TOO MANY people on weekends, long weekends, and vacations. You will not be able to enjoy the place.

Grutas de Tolantongo: Fees

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A dreamlike place – Source: Malgosia S / shutterstock.com

Here is a summary of some prices to have a clearer idea of how much it costs to travel there.

General admission:

The cost is 150 pesos per person. This ticket is purchased daily, even if you stay inside the tourist complex. That is 2 days, 2 tickets.

Remember that, as I said at the beginning, children under 5 years old don’t pay, and groups over 40 people have a 10% discount.

Transportation:

  • Ticket from Mexico City to Ixmiquilpan: it depends on the line you travel with, but the approximate cost is 200 pesos per person
  • Ticket from Ixmiquilpan to Tolantongo: 50 pesos per person
  • Tickets for the internal route that operates in the tourist complex: 10 pesos per person
  • If you bring your own car, parking costs 20 pesos per day

Lodging at Hotel Paraíso Escondido:

  • Single room, double bed (2 people), 650 pesos
  • Double room, 2 double beds (4 persons), 800 pesos
  • Room for 3 people, double bed + single bed, 750 pesos
  • Camping house for 4 people 100 pesos, for 8 people 180 pesos and 10 or more 250 pesos

Meals:

Food has very varied prices, depending on the place and what you choose to eat.

There are dishes from 80 pesos and up in the restaurants, and there are also small fast-food places that are a little cheaper.

If you prefer to cook there, renting the grill costs 100 pesos (the rental is NOT indefinite, be sure to ask what the delivery time is).

Renting a chair costs 10 pesos, a table costs 20 pesos, and firewood costs 60 pesos.

As you can see, your budget will depend on your tastes and the number of people traveling with you.

How to get to las Grutas Tolantongo

by bus

To get to this oasis by bus from Mexico City, you must go to the Central de Autobuses del Norte.

The easy option is to take a cab, but you can also take the metro line 5 to the Autobuses del Norte station.

Once you get to the bus station, look for platform 7 or 8 to contact the Ovnibus or Flecha Roja bus lines that depart to Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo.

When you arrive, take a local bus route that heads towards the Mercado Morelos.

The trip by bus takes approximately 4 hours.

Get off and walk north on Cecilio Ramirez street until you reach the San Antonio parking lot. There you will find the bus line that goes directly to the Grutas de Tolantongo.

The bus schedule is Monday through Thursday at 11:00 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 6:00 pm. A bus leaves every hour from Friday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

by car

If you are traveling by car from Mexico City, you should drive north on the Mexico-Pachuca highway. On the way, you must take a detour to Ixmiquilpan.

After arriving at Ixmiquilpan, look for the San Antonio church, where the exit to Cardonal is located; stay on this route, and you will come without problems at las Grutas de Tolantongo.

The trip by car takes approximately 3 hours. It is best to travel in broad daylight because there are sharp curves and fog during the night.

How to get to las Grutas de Tolantongo from Mexico city

If you arrive at the Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City, you can go to the Central de Autobuses del Norte by cab or through the metro station “Terminal Aérea.”

All you have to do is take the train going in the direction of Politécnico to the Autobuses del Norte station and follow the same procedure as described in the “By bus” section.

Another option is to take a bus from the airport to Pachuca and then take another bus from Pachuca to Ixmiquilpan.

Tips for traveling to las Grutas de Tolantongo

  • Avoid traveling during the rainy season (July, August & September)
  • Keep in mind that parking for private vehicles costs 20 pesos per day
  • Take towels with you; even if you are staying at a hotel inside the park, they should always be kept in the room
  • The resort does not have a reservation policy for hotel rooms or camping. So, when you arrive, put your name on the waiting list at the front desk
  • If you are staying, you must buy 2 entrance tickets. Remember that the entrance is per day and for a determined period of time. The entrance does NOT last 24 hours
  • You must bring enough cash, they don’t accept credit cards, and there are no ATMs
  • It is a good idea to wear water shoes because there are rocks in the river and caves, and the terrain is usually slippery. Buy them before you arrive because they are more expensive in the park
  • There is NO Wi-Fi, and the phone signal is weak. So, be prepared to get away from technology for a while
  • There is also no TV, air conditioning, or hot water in the rooms
  • If you like, bring a waterproof flashlight to see better inside the caves
  • Pets are not allowed
  • Some attractions are distant, but there is internal transportation that you can use from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. The service has an additional cost
  • Food is NOT allowed outside the camping area or inside the attractions

I hope you find this article helpful. If you have further questions or doubts, feel free to get in touch. Also, don’t forget to share your comments below. VAMONOS!

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