Grutas Tolantongo

It is absolutely unbelievable what a swimming paradise nature has created here! Tolantongo has surpassed all the hot springs we have seen so far – and that is really saying something!

In order to reach the hot springs, you have to drive down about 2,000 ft (660m) into an impressive canyon where water is warmed by geothermic activity and colored turquoise by minerals in the caves called “Grutas La Gloria“.

First of all, we went swimming in the warm Tolantongo River, which is subdivided into big pools by numerous dam steps (weirs). You can drift wonderfully in them and let yourself be carried over to the edge and then swim back again. After that, we wandered the source of the river, where you walk through a cold waterfall and on into a 120 ft (40m) long cave (“El Tunnel“) which has warm water (about 100.4°F/38°C) flowing everywhere out of the walls. There is no artificial lighting, so we felt our way forwards in the dark. When our feet were suddenly in deeper water, we felt our way on carefully with our hands and feet to a deep pool with the perfect bathtub temperature. Beyond the pool, the tunnel soon comes to an end.

Several feet below this cave, there is another, much larger one with lots of pleasantly warm water flowing out through holes at the top. At some spots, the water is the perfect depth for lying down in it and, at others, you can just barely stand. There is also a side cave which we could see thanks to another bather’s waterproof flashlight. A real flow of warm water bubbles out of the wall there. The mineral deposits have created beautiful structures on the walls which you could spend hours looking at.

The next day, we were in the other part of this water paradise, where so many differently shaped small pools have been fitted beautifully onto a wall in the woods. At numerous places, the water flows from one pool into the next, and trying out all the pools on one single day is an athletic challenge.

We stayed there during the week and were amazed at the infrastructure set up there – as if half of all Mexico must be there on the weekend. For us, it was pleasantly empty, and it didn’t bother us at all that none of the many, many food stands were open. The whole place was extremely clean and well-kept (especially for Mexican conditions). The detour there is certainly worth it! You pass by the city of Ixmiquilpan, which is not mentioned in any of our travel guides, and we were amazed at how big the city is and how many shops it has. If we had known this, we would have taken time to discover the surrounding area more intensively. As we drove on, we saw lots more water parks along the way. There seem to be endless possibilities for taking a swim in this area of Hidalgo.

Here is our picture gallery:

And here are some private pictures for our family and friends.

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