20 Things To Do In Hidalgo, Mexico

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The state of Hidalgo in central Mexico is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered by an adventurous traveller like you. One of the biggest draws of Hidalgo is its rich pre-Columbian heritage, seen in the many ancient pyramids and ruins scattered throughout the state, the most famous being the ancient city of Tula.

Hidalgo is also famous for its natural wonders, such as the stunning hot springs at Las Grutas de Tolantongo and its traditional festivals, such as the ‘Feria de la Candelaria’ held in February, which features colourful parades, music and dancing. To make your holiday planning a breeze and to ensure you don’t miss any of the great experiences this state has to offer, I’ve compiled 20 things to do in Hidalgo.

Hidalgo, Mexico

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20 Things To Do In Hidalgo

1- Visit Hidalgo’s Capital, Pachuca

pachuca hidalgo aerial view
Explore the city of Pachuca in Hidalgo, Mexico.

No visit to the state of Hidalgo would be complete without a visit to the capital of Pachuca.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, history, or a good time, Pachuca has something to offer everyone.

You should not miss climbing to the top of the Torre del Reloj on your visit to Pachuca.

This iconic clock tower is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks and a climb to the top rewards with breathtaking views of the city and surrounding countryside.

Pachuca is also known for its delicious street food, from tacos and tamales to pozole and carnitas.

Find out more here. 

2- Gaze In Awe At Volcanic Basalt Columns At Prismas Basalticos

Prismas Basalticos in Huasca de Ocampos
Admiring nature at Prismas Basalticos is another incredible thing to do in Hidalgo, Mexico.

The incredible natural wonder of Prismas Basalticos in Huasca de Ocampos was formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago and is a fun and exciting outdoor experience.

One of the best things about the Prismas Basalticos is the variety of activities, including exploring on foot, on horseback or by boat.

Once you’re done, grab a bite to eat at one of the onsite restaurants, the perfect complement to your morning or afternoon of fun!

Find out more here.

3- Step Back In Time At Hacienda Santa Maria Regla

Hacienda Santa Maria Regla
If you love history, explore Hacienda Santa Maria Regla in Hidalgo, Mexico.

Those looking for a taste of Mexican history and culture should check out Hacienda Santa Maria Regla.

This beautiful hacienda, built in the 18th century and once a thriving sugar plantation, offers visitors a glimpse into the grandeur of Mexican colonial life and makes for a fun and informative experience.

Visitors can explore the hacienda’s well-preserved interiors, including its grand halls, dining rooms and bedrooms, each a treasure trove of historical artefacts and furnishings.

Afterwards, tour the beautiful grounds and gardens with its fountains, statues and charming patios.

Santa Maria Regala is located at: Domicilio Conocido, Huasca de Ocampo, Hidalgo.

4- Visit The Ancient Toltec City Ruins Of Tula

Ruins Of Tula columns against purple sky
Exploring the ruins of Tula is one of the top things to do in Hidalgo, Mexico.

If you’re a fan of history and archaeology, then Tula Archaeological Site HAS to be on your itinerary.

Even if you aren’t, we still think this should be on your itinerary, as Tula is one of Hidalgo’s most important tourist sites.

The ancient city of Tula was once home to the Toltecs, and one of the most impressive aspects of this site is the massive stone warriors known as the “Atlantes,” which stand guard at the entrance to the temple.

Today, these figures have become one of the most recognizable symbols of the Toltec civilisation.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Tula Archaeological Site is the opportunity to climb to the top of the main temple.

The climb may be steep, but the views from the top are worth it.

Find out more here

Mexico Hidalgo wide view of pyramid of Quetzalcoatl on a blue-sky day
Toltec warriors columns top the pyramid of Quetzalcoatl in Tula, a Mesoamerican archaeological site in Hidalgo, Mexico.

5- Learn About The Otomi People At Pahnu Archaeological Site

The ancient city of Pahnu was once home to the Otomi people and is a relatively unknown site, making exploring this secluded city a thrilling adventure!

The site has well-preserved pyramids, plazas and temples, each telling its own story about the Otomi people and their rich culture.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Pahnu Archaeological Site is the opportunity to climb to the top of one of the pyramids, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Just be prepared for a bit of a workout!

6- Visit The Towering Thermal Pools Of Las Grutas de Tolantongo

back of woman in a pool gazing at the mountains Las Grutas de Tolantongo
Las Grutas de Tolantongo is a fabulous place to relax and enjoy nature in Hidalgo, Mexico.

Las Grutas de Tolantongo is a must if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.

The hot springs, formed by the Tolantongo river and surrounded by breathtaking rock formations and lush vegetation, provide the perfect escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.

You’ll be struck by the beauty of the crystal-clear thermal waters and the towering rock formations surrounding them.

With multiple pools to choose from, ranging from warm to hot, there’s sure to be that pool that is ‘just right’.

There are many other activities to keep you entertained too.

You can hike along the river, discover hidden waterfalls, or explore the nearby caves. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s even a zipline.

After a busy afternoon, grab a bite to eat at one of the many on-site restaurants and catch the sunset dipping below the mountains for the end of a perfect day.

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7- Have An Outdoor Adventure By Hiking To Pena del Cuervo

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure with a bit of a challenge, the hike to Pena del Cuervo is the perfect activity!

This stunning rock formation in the heart of the Sierra Gorda offers breathtaking views and a workout that will leave you feeling invigorated!

The hike to Pena del Cuervo is a moderate to strenuous trail that winds through the lush vegetation of the Sierra Gorda.

As you make your way up the trail, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking views from rolling hills dotted with cacti to the stunning peaks of the Sierra Gorda.

Afterwards, dip in the natural swimming hole at the base of the rock formation to cool down after your hike and take in the beauty.

The hike starts at Centro de Visitantes Parque Nacional El Chico, Hgo.

8- Sandboard On A Sea Of Red Sand At Las Dunas Rojas

Get ready to enter a world of red sand and breathtaking beauty with a visit to Las Dunas Rojas.

The dunes here were formed over thousands of years of erosion by wind and water to create a breathtaking one-of-a-kind landscape.

The best way to experience the Las Dunas Rojas is to climb to the top of one of the dunes and take in the views from above, which are nothing short of spectacular.

The fun doesn’t stop there, either. Experience the thrill of sandboarding, a popular activity in the area, where you slide down the dunes on a board.

9- Go To New Heights On The Pena del Aire Hike

Get ready for an adventure that will take you to new heights with a hike to Pena del Aire, a stunning natural landmark with breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment you won’t forget.

The hike to the top is a challenging and rewarding trail that winds through lush vegetation and towering peaks, taking you to the top of one of the tallest peaks in the area.

The summit of Pena del Aire offers a panoramic view that will leave you speechless, with a 360-degree vista encompassing the entire region.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a new challenge, the Pena del Aire is a must-visit landmark in Hidalgo!

Pena del Aire is located near the town of Huasca de Ocampo.

10- Enjoy Some Water Sports At Zimapan Dam

For a splash of fun, the Zimapan Dam is a stunning artificial lake in the heart of Hidalgo, which offers a peaceful escape from crazy city life.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go fishing or take a boat ride, Zimapan Dam has something for everyone.

It’s a great place to relax and soak up the sun.

You can lounge on the sandy beaches or find a shady spot to enjoy a picnic with friends and family.

Zimapan Dam is at Parque Miguel Hidalgo Road, Hidalgo.

11- Go Rock Climbing in Hell’s Canyon

Get ready for an adventure like no other.

Canon del Infiernillo is a breathtaking canyon where you can marvel at towering rock formations!

As you make your way through Canon del Infiernillo, you’ll come across a series of waterfalls and natural pools, perfect for a refreshing dip.

If you’re brave, try rappelling and rock climbing to take in the stunning views from the top of the cliffs.

Magic Towns

hidalgo mexico
Hidalgo map.

There are several magic towns (‘pueblo magicos’) in Hidalgo.

You might have come across the phrase ‘pueblo magico’ if you’re familiar with Mexico.

This ‘magic town’ designation is awarded to towns of exceptional beauty or abundant history.

The title comes with a distinction of quality and generally indicates that it’s worthwhile spending a day or two discovering the area.

12- Be Captivated By The Magic Town Of Tecozautla

If you’re looking for a magical adventure in Hidalgo, you must visit the magic town of Tecozautla!

Tecozautla is a charming and picturesque town that’s full of surprises!

You’ll quickly fall in love with its charming streets, colonial-style homes and breathtaking natural backdrop!

One of the highlights of a visit to Tecozautla is a stroll through the town’s main square, which is the perfect place to soak up the local atmosphere.

While you’re in Tecozautla, be sure to visit the town’s historic church, which dates back to the 16th century and is one of the oldest buildings in town! It’s a beautiful example of colonial-style architecture.

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, head to the nearby Cueva del Diablo, a stunning natural cave of interesting rock formations only a short distance away.

13- Slow Down In Mineral del Chico

For a charming and laid-back escape in the heart of Mexico, a visit to the ‘pueblo magico’ of Mineral del Chico is just what you need.

This charming little town is surrounded by stunning natural scenery and is home to various outdoor activities to get your adrenaline pumping!

One of the most popular activities in Mineral del Chico is hiking and exploring the local trails, which wind their way through the lush green forests and rolling hills surrounding the town.

A variety of wildlife can be seen, from flitting hummingbirds to majestic deer.

To unwind, take a trip to one of the many nearby mineral hot springs said to have healing properties – the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring.

14- Go Back In Time In Huasca de Ocampo

hidalgo mexico
Hidalgo map.

Are you ready to step back in time and go on an unforgettable adventure?
Of course, you are!

Then, look no further than Huasca de Ocampo, Mexico’s first magic town.

Nestled in Hidalgo’s heart, Huasca de Ocampo is a quaint and charming town steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

The town is best known for its colonial architecture, cobbled streets and picturesque plazas.

One of its most popular attractions is the towering Temple of Santa Maria, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

For those seeking adventure, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore, including the El Chorro waterfall, where you can cool off with a refreshing swim.

15- Feel The Past In The Magic Town Of Zempoala

Zempoala is a magical town that takes you back in time to a simpler era where tradition and heritage held strong.

With its rich cultural heritage and historical significance, Zempoala is a fascinating place to explore.

The town is steeped in memories of the past and its ancestors and is the place to visit if you’re interested in Mexican haciendas.

Zempoala is a town that is sure to captivate.

16- Stop At The Trade Town Of Huichapan

Magical Huichapan was once a hub for mule drivers who travelled the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro carrying goods and people.

It is famed as the birthplace of Julian Villagran, who played a key role in Mexico’s independence, a testament to the town’s rich history.

The colonial-era religious architecture in Huichapan is a must-see for anyone interested in Mexican history and culture, with stunning limestone churches adorned with baroque ornamentation.

Be sure to check out the churches of Parroquia de San Mateo, Capilla de la Tercera Orden, and Capilla de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.

These beautiful structures are a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of Huichapan and are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

17- Party At The Carnival

If you’re looking for a festive and colourful celebration, then you need to check out the carnival in Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo.

This annual event is held during the first week of February and is a tribute to the traditional Mexican celebration of the Candelaria.

At Carnival, the town transforms into a vibrant, lively and joyous hub where people come together to dance, sing and feast.

One of the highlights of the carnival is the parade of ‘Los Chinelos,’ where participants dress up in brightly coloured costumes, masks and headdresses and perform lively dances in the streets.

The energetic performance and intricate costumes are a visual spectacle that will leave you mesmerized.

If you’re a fan of traditional Mexican culture and love to party, then Tenango de Doria’s carnival is a must-visit.

18- Soak Up Nature At The Biosphere Reserve Of Barranca de Metztitlan

The Biosphere Reserve Barranca de Metztitlan is an ecological wonder of stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife.

This breathtaking reserve is a must-visit for nature lovers, adventure seekers and those who appreciate the great outdoors.

Its diverse terrain and scenic trails make it a perfect place for a challenging hike or a leisurely trek.

The reserve is home to various species, including Mexican wolves, jaguars, eagles and many other fascinating creatures.

It also has a designated camping area where you can spend a night under the stars and soak in the sounds of nature.

Climbing, rappelling, kayaking and rafting are other possible activities you can immerse yourself in at this reserve.

19- Huejutla in Hidalgo

The town of Huejutla is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.

Located in the heart of Hidalgo, this town truly reflects Mexican culture, history and tradition.

This is the place to be if you’re looking for an authentic Mexican experience.

Huejutla is known for its stunning colonial architecture in its buildings, churches and homes.

The town’s main church, Parroquia de San Juan Bautista, is an excellent example of colonial-era religious architecture.

Huejutla also offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking and exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.

20- Marvel At Engineering Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque

Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque blue sky
The Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque is an incredible engineering feat you wouldn’t expect to see in Hidalgo Mexico.

The Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque is a remarkable feat of engineering, not to be missed.

This incredible structure dates back to the 16th century and was designed to bring water to the nearby town of Huejutla (the previous entry in this list!).

The entire aqueduct system extends over 30 miles (48 km.

The aqueduct is an impressive sight, a striking symbol of the strength and perseverance of the people who constructed it, and a reminder of the remarkable achievements that can be accomplished through human ingenuity and determination.

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Jane Williams is a writer living in Mexico. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she has visited over 30 countries and lived in Japan for two years. Passionate about culture and history, her fascination for ancient civilisations has led to her to explore the world's iconic sites, such as Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. Even though she loves uncovering the secrets of the past, she feels equally at home exploring contemporary culture. A mother of two with a degree in anthropology, she enjoys sharing her travel adventures with others.