Las Grutas Tolantongo or the Tolantongo Caves is a well-kept secret located just 3 hours outside Mexico City. Take a dip in this mystical paradise that is an accumulation of more than 30 warm mineral hot spring pools set high into a rock in Hidalgo. This Mexican heaven on earth is situated in the box-canyon deep in the Valle de Mezquital and is the perfect escape from the world. The river in the canyon is Tolantongo which is pleasantly warm and coloured by mineral salts.
The hot springs and waterfalls are tucked away between lush trees, a turquoise river running through the park and mysterious underground thermal caves. Fascinating Fact: No one knew about this little paradise until the 1970s; when an association consisting of 112 families constructed the grottos and the resort. Las Grutas Tolantongo is part of a resort and is run by the association where the families all work the land and the resort–with no government or outside help. Isn’t that commendable?
Tolantongo is a well-earned retreat where you can spend days healing your body, mind, and spirit. The beautiful hot springs carved into the mountainside give you the most beautiful view of the green valleys and the passing clouds; while the hot waterfalls pouring from the rocks deep within the caves also allow you to rest in the flowing stream.
Let’s not forget that this bucket list destination isn’t just a natural paradise but also lets you experience a 1,800 m (1.1 mi) zip line or the suspension bridge. Camping is also allowed, bring a tent with you or rent one over there.
The Tolantongo caves are divided into two main areas. The larger one from which Tolantongo flows and the ‘tunnel’ above it on the same wall of the canyon. The larger one is classified as “karst cave” that has a warm natural pool, stalactites, and stalagmites. Inside this cave, the temperature rises noticeably because of mineral-rich water misting in from the ceiling and walls. The ‘tunnel’ is called so due to its shape; narrow and about 15 meters long. People inside the tunnel are showered by warm water that sprays out from the walls and ceiling. The temperature inside is similar to that of a steam bath ie from 35º to 38º. In both grottos, you can listen to the echoes of the waterfalls inside the mountain. How cool is that?
One of the most incredible hidden gems in Mexico’s remote mountains, Grutas Tolantongo is a vacationer’s and also a photographer’s paradise.
The entrance cost to Grutas Tolantongo is 140 pesos. The price is per person and per day. With your general ticket one gets access to all the attractions: (Cave, Tunnel, River, Swimming, trekking, Thermal Pools, Suspension Bridge, Waterfalls, etc.). Also, the ticket lasts from 7 am to 8 pm. (The ticket is not for 24 hours).
- Wear shoes that can be worn in water as it’s wet almost everywhere and while exploring the caves; there are lots of stones that might bruise your feet.
- All the caves and pools are family friendly.
- The site does not have an ATM; all payments must be made in cash (Mexican pesos).
- The three hotels also do not take reservations.