Hidalgo State is rich in natural and cultural activities and will keep you busy for a few days. Pachuca is a good base to explore most of the state’s wonders. From national parks to Pueblos Magicos, discover the best things to do in Pachuca and around.
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Best things to do in Pachuca
In Pachuca itself, there’s not much to do, but it’s a central location to explore the nearby tourist attractions. I would advise staying at least three days. You can do one day in Huasca de Ocampo, another in Mineral del Monte and Mineral del Chico, and the last one in Tolantongo. You can visit everything with a mix of public transportation and taxis, but I recommend renting a car so you can visit more places for cheaper. The colectivos heading to the Pueblos Magicos leave from the city center, near the market.
Pachuca’s colonial center
Pachuca’s historical center is pretty small. You can start by visiting the Barretoros Market, where you can shop for handicrafts and sample some local food. Barbacoa and pastes are Hidalgo’s most famous dishes. Next, you can head to the main plaza and visit the cathedral. Don’t forget to pass by the Clock Tower, Pachuca’s most iconic building.
You can also visit the Museo de Minería (Mining Museum) to learn more about Hidalgo’s history. If you like colonial architecture, check out the Casa Rule, the San Juan de Dios Hospital, and the Cajas Reales. The San Fransico Convent is also worth a visit.
Mineral del Chico
Mineral del Chico is a Pueblo Magico you can easily visit from Pachuca. It’s also home to El Chico National Park, perfect is you like trekking. The town is pretty small but there are many things to do nearby.
You can visit the San Antonio Mine. It’s not in use anymore but it has been adapted for tourism. I wouldn’t recommend visiting it if you’re claustrophobic or not in good physical condition. The mine is open from 9 AM to 6 PM, from Friday to Sunday. The guided visit costs 30 pesos.
Inside the National Park, you can visit El Contadero. It’s a 2-mile trek through the forest from La Estanzuela village. There you’ll find stunning rock formations and breath-taking landscapes. Closer to Mineral del Chico, you can trek to Las Monjas, also spectacular rock formations. It’s a good place for hiking and rappeling. If you want to climb to the top, you’ll need to arrange for a guide in the El Puente community. Another good place for trekking would be Las Ventanas, covering a large area, it’s the more organized, with trails and a head quarter.
For the best views of the mountains, you can pass by the Peña del Cuervo Mirador. You can drive all the way to it. From there, you’ll be able to see the village and also the Monjas rock formations.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous you can head to La Presa Village to climb the Via Ferrata with H-GO Adventures (the only tour operator that offers this service).
Huasca de Ocampo
Huasca de Ocampo is known to be one of the most stunning Pueblo Magico in Mexico. The village in itself is pretty small and 15 minutes are enough to visit it. The best part about Huasca de Ocampo is what’s around the village.
Nearby, you’ll find a UNESCO Geopark with unique rock formations, called the Prismas Basalticos. The formations look like pipes and are an interesting sight. The view over the canyons is incredible.
There are also two ex-haciendas you can visit: the San Miguel Regla and the Santa Maria Regla. The garden in San Miguel Regla is out-of-this-world, you could take amazing wedding photos there. It’s also a hotel now with a good restaurant.
Peña del Aire is also a must-visit while in Huasca. The whole park is amazing. There’s a road going along the cliff with several viewpoints over the valley and the canyons. In the end, the Peña, a huge rock that will make you wonder about how it can be standing.
Related article – Huasca de Ocampo Complete Travel Guide
Mineral del Monte / Real del Monte
Mineral del Monte, sometimes called Real del Monte, is another famous Pueblo Magico in Hidalgo. It’s also the easiest one to visit as all the sights are inside the town, everything is within walking distance from the village center.
Here are the places you should visit in Mineral del Monte:
- The English Pantheon and some of its unique graves (don’t miss Ricardo Bell’s one);
- La Rica Mine – only a museum now, the mine is closed to visitors, but still worth a look;
- Acosta Mine – guided visit through the museum then the abandoned mine (closed on Mondays – Entrance fee: 45 pesos)
- The historical part of town with the Portal del Comercio (try the pastes there), the Conde de Regla House and the Real del Monte Casa Grande Museum.
Tolantongo Caves and Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax for a while. You can choose between a dip in a thermal pool, a swim in the river or some cave exploration. Easily reachable from Pachuca, you can plan a day-trip or spend the night camping or staying in one of the hotels. The place can get pretty crowded during weekends and holidays, you might want to go during the week.
Related article – Tolantongo Caves and Hot Springs complete travel guide.
Where to stay in Pachuca
Pachuca being a big city, you’ll find plenty of chain standardized hotel. If you want something a bit more authentic, you can check out Hotel Boutique Casa del Aire, it’s not in the center but you get an amazing view of the city. For backpackers, check out Casa Ali, a cool hostel.
Related articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico:
- Mexico City Ultimate Itinerary
- Discover Taxco, Mexico’s cutest Pueblo Magico
- Best destination in Mexico
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