Rethinking Mexico: Grutas Tolantongo

One of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had happened this summer. All the places I visited in Mexico were beautiful. But one of my favorite places was in Hidalgo, Mexico

It’s kind of a funny story how I ended up going to one of the places on my bucket list. I was with my aunt and her friend and he suggested the trip on the spot. We weren’t sure if we should go but I figured I may not have another opportunity and agreed.

This is the picture that comes up when you search the place on Google:

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How could I say no?

We packed our bags and left at midnight. What we thought was a 3 hour drive turned into a 6-7 hour one and we were travelling in a tiny truck.

We stayed at one of the hotels which was really cheap (~$40/night) but considered expensive in Mexico. It was clean and had great service.

The next day, we were excited to finally get there. We had to buy special water shoes to protect our feet from the sharp rocks in the river.

The ride to the actual resort is long, narrow, and dangerous. It takes extreme caution to drive it safely.

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My picture of the river.

Once there, we discovered that it was packed and that the hotel had no empty rooms. We had to stay in tents that the resort rents out which come with sleeping mats and blankets. All of this for a night is under $50 for more than one tent.

The resort includes hotels, pools, campgrounds, a restaurant, and even a zip-line.

The campground is near the river which has naturally warm water. In fact, you can see the steam rising on cool mornings.

The river is very long and shallow. It only went to my waist but you could lie down and it felt like a Jacuzzi.

Another place you can go that is included in the cost of admission are the grotos. I went to two – one that was like a sauna tunnel and another that was a cave where the hot water came down from the canyon.

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This place in particular has two parts – an upstairs that leads you to a cave/tunnel thing. You have to be in a single file line. It is cramped and the temperature of a sauna.

I stopped halfway through because to get to the end you had to cross a deep (natural) pool that was up to your neck. It wasn’t worth it.

The only thing they do is let you see the end and then turn you back around.

The lower part is like a cavern filled with warm water and a falls in the middle. There is another cave inside where it is completely dark. To get there you have to hang on to a rope in water that is neck-deep. The current is so strong it pulls you back.

I had to get help but what is so weird is that once you get through that part, somehow the water gets more shallow and only reaches your knees.

The part of the resort that I was most excited to experience were these:

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I tried many different pools. I’m proud of this picture.

You have to travel back up the road near the entrance to get here. It’s so worth it. The view is amazing! You get a fantastic view of the mountains as well as the other pools.

The water is still warm so it feels a lot like sitting in a hot tub. I saw a lot of foreign tourists here too.

I want to go back someday and enjoy it again. Although the trip was spontaneous and had its bumps, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Views from Tolantongo. (also my pic pls don’t steal)
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