Tolantongo, Valle del Mezquital, Hidalgo.
Mexico-Pachuca freeway, before arriving at Pachuca turn left, to Ixmiquilpan. Towards the Cardonal 19km, turn off to cave 9km more on gravel road.
All year daily 7-20.
During School holidays, weekends and Holidays: Adults MXN 140.
Adults MXN 120, Children (0-4) free, Seniors (INAPAM) MXN 60.
Groups (40+): 10% discount.
|Address:||Grutas de Tolantongo, San Cristóbal, Cardonal, Hidalgo, Cell: +52-772-7210855, Cell: +52-772-1355501, Cell: +52-772-1355478. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|SEP-2004||cave closed due to a collapse.|
|DEC-2004||probable date of reopening.|
The Grutas de Tolantongo are located in Tolantongo in the deep Valle del Mezquital. Coming from Ixmiquilpan the paved highway ends and a gravel road leads down into the valley in numerous U turns. The valley here is about 1000m deep, and this place is about half way up, so the outlook is breathtaking.
Tolantongo is not a village, but a hotel, a campground, a hot spring emerging from various caves. The hot water mixes with the cold water of another spring, then flows into rimstone pools, where the visitor may take a bath. The water is collected and lead through a system of artificial pools, which were built to resemble the natural rimstone dams.
There is no classical show cave and no guided tours. Instead you should bring bathing gear and stay the whole day, the fee is actually a day ticket. While walking from one pool to another you can enter the various smaller and bigger caves. Most are only a few meters long. The biggest cave is described as having half the size of a tennis court and a 10m high ceiling. Another noteworthy cave is called the tunnel, a 15m long passage, about 2m in diameter, with numerous warm springs in the ceiling.
This place is organized in a special way: the workers are from the local families which are a sort of shareholders. They formed the Socieded Cooperative Ejidal "Grutas Tolantongo"(Cooperative Ejido Society of the Tolantongo Grottos). Ejido means a sort of communal property, which is owned by the 112 families. The entrance fee earns the wages for all those families, and a part is reinvested into the business. Certain jobs, which earn more are rotated among the members. And the operation is environment friendly, as most constructions blend into the landscape and any detergent, shampoo, or soap is totally prohibited in the pools.
The resort consits of the caves, three hotels, a (free) campground, a restaurant, and a grocery store. The place is very safe, which was not from the beginning. At first there were problems with violence and drugs, but they created barriers to control access and numerous members are deputies, so they have permission to carry firearms and patrol the land. All those details make this an extremely popular spot, mostly of Mexicans, but also for tourists. The place is said to be crowded on weekeds and during hollidays, so if you can organize it you should come midweek.