Pachuca Travel Guide

Learn about the top attractions, activities, food, and culture of Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico, in this comprehensive travel guide.

A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Pachuca, Hidalgo

Pachuca, located in the state of Hidalgo in central Mexico, is a charming colonial city with a rich history and a vibrant culture. Pachuca is also a gateway to some of the most magnificent natural wonders of Mexico, including stunning mountains, vast canyons, and lush forests. In this comprehensive travel guide to Pachuca, we will explore all the top attractions, activities, food, and culture of this beautiful city.

Introduction to Pachuca

Pachuca is a bustling city of nearly 300,000 people, located about 90 kilometers north of Mexico City. Known as the “City of the Wind,” Pachuca was founded in 1551 by Spanish conquistadors and has been an important center of mining and agriculture since the colonial era. Today, Pachuca is a modern city that blends its rich history with a vibrant contemporary culture, featuring a wide variety of museums, parks, art galleries, theaters, and music venues. Whether you are a history buff, an adventurous traveler, or a foodie, Pachuca has plenty to offer.

List of Places to Visit in Pachuca

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Pachuca is home to a wealth of cultural attractions that showcase its rich history and vibrant contemporary culture. Here are some of the must-visit museums and historical places in Pachuca:

  • Mineria Museum: Located in an impressive eighteenth-century building, this museum tells the story of Pachuca’s mining history and is home to a vast collection of minerals and fossils.
  • Hidalgo State Museum: This museum houses a comprehensive collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Hidalgo’s history, culture, and traditions.
  • Monumental Clock: Built in 1910, this clocktower is one of Pachuca’s most iconic landmarks, offering spectacular views of the city.
  • TuzoForum: This modern cultural center hosts a wide variety of concerts, exhibitions, and cultural events throughout the year.
  • San Francisco Church: This beautiful eighteenth-century church features a stunning baroque facade and houses many important religious artifacts.

Natural Attractions of Pachuca: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Pachuca is surrounded by breathtaking natural wonders, including stunning mountains, vast canyons, and lush forests. Here are some of the must-visit natural attractions in Pachuca:

  • Parque Nacional El Chico: This beautiful national park, located just outside Pachuca, is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, featuring stunning mountain vistas, waterfalls, and scenic trails.
  • Tolantongo Caverns: These stunning natural caves, located in the nearby town of Ixmiquilpan, feature a series of beautiful waterfalls, pools, and hot springs that are perfect for swimming and relaxing.
  • Las Ventanas Canyon: This impressive canyon, located about 30 kilometers from Pachuca, offers spectacular views of rugged cliffs, natural bridges, and crystal-clear streams.
  • Mineral del Chico: This charming mountain village, located within the Parque Nacional El Chico, offers stunning views, charming cobblestone streets, and traditional Mexican cuisine.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Pachuca

Pachuca is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide variety of hiking and biking routes that showcase its stunning natural beauty. Here are some of the most popular routes:

  • El Ocote Trail: This 9-kilometer trail, located within the Parque Nacional El Chico, is one of the most popular hiking routes in Pachuca, offering stunning mountain views, beautiful waterfalls, and lush forests.
  • Los Conejos Trail: This 3.5-kilometer trail, also located within the Parque Nacional El Chico, is a beginner-friendly hike that offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and is perfect for families with children.
  • Paseo del Valor: This 4-kilometer trail, located in the heart of Pachuca, is a popular biking route that features stunning views of the Monumental Clock and the city’s historic center.

Best Things to Do in Pachuca: Activities and Tours

Pachuca offers a wide variety of activities and tours that are perfect for all types of travelers. Here are some of the best things to do in Pachuca:

  • Hot Air Balloon Ride: Take a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over the stunning mountains and valleys of Pachuca, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from above.
  • Zip-Line Adventure: Soar through the treetops of the Parque Nacional El Chico on a thrilling zip-line adventure that will take you over breathtaking canyons and waterfalls.
  • City Tour: Take a guided tour of Pachuca’s historic center, and discover the city’s rich colonial architecture, charming cobblestone streets, and vibrant contemporary culture.
  • Food Tour: Sample some of the best traditional Mexican cuisine in Pachuca, and discover the city’s rich culinary traditions on a food tour that will take you to the best local restaurants and markets.

Week-Long Itinerary for Pachuca

If you have a week to spend in Pachuca, here is a sample itinerary that will allow you to fully explore the city and its surroundings:

DAY 1: Arrive in Pachuca, and take a guided tour of the city’s historic center, including the Monumental Clock, the San Francisco Church, and the Hidalgo State Museum.

DAY 2: Take a hot air balloon ride over Pachuca, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from above.

DAY 3: Go on a day trip to the Parque Nacional El Chico, and hike the El Ocote Trail, followed by a visit to the charming mountain village of Mineral del Chico.

DAY 4: Take a zip-line adventure through the stunning canyons and waterfalls of the Parque Nacional El Chico.

DAY 5: Explore the Tolantongo Caverns, and enjoy a relaxing swim in the warm waters of the pools and hot springs.

DAY 6: Take a food tour of Pachuca, and sample some of the city’s best traditional Mexican cuisine.

DAY 7: Depart from Pachuca, and head to your next destination.

Food and Drink Scene of Pachuca

Pachuca is known for its rich culinary traditions, which blend indigenous, Spanish, and other European influences into a unique and delicious cuisine. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages in Pachuca:

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Mole: This rich, flavorful sauce is a staple of Mexican cuisine, and comes in many variations, depending on the region. In Pachuca, mole is often served over chicken or enchiladas, and is made with a complex blend of spices and chocolate.
  • Pambazo: This sandwich, made with a soft bread roll, filled with chorizo, potato, and beans, and dipped in a spicy tomato sauce, is a popular street food in Pachuca.
  • Tamales: These traditional Mexican dumplings, made with masa (corn flour) and filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, are a favorite breakfast or lunch food in Pachuca.

Local Beverages:

  • Pulque: This traditional Mexican alcoholic beverage is made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant and has a slightly sour taste. Pulque is often served in traditional cantinas or pulquerias in Pachuca.
  • Tequila: This iconic Mexican spirit is made from the blue agave plant, and is known for its distinctive smokey, earthy flavor. Pachuca is home to many tequila distilleries, and you can take tours and tastings at many of them.
  • Atole: This traditional Mexican beverage is made with masa (corn flour), milk, cinnamon, and sugar, and is often served as a warm and comforting drink during cold weather.

Where to Stay in Pachuca: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Pachuca offers a wide variety of accommodations to suit all types of travelers and budgets. Here are some of the best options:

  • Camino Real Pachuca: This luxury hotel, located in the heart of Pachuca, offers stylish rooms, a beautiful pool, a spa, and several excellent restaurants.
  • Hostal del Cubilete: This charming hostel, located in a historic building downtown, offers affordable private and shared rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a communal kitchen.
  • Casa Llitonda: This cozy guesthouse, located in a quiet residential neighborhood, offers comfortable rooms, a beautiful garden, and a homemade breakfast.

What to Buy in Pachuca: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Pachuca is known for its rich cultural heritage, and there are many souvenirs and local products that you can bring home to remember your trip. Here are some of the best options:

  • Handcrafted Pottery: Pachuca is known for its beautiful ceramic pottery, which features intricate designs and bright colors. You can find many pottery shops and stalls in the city’s markets and art galleries.
  • Silver Jewelry: Mexico is famous for its high-quality silver, and you can find many beautiful pieces of jewelry in Pachuca’s shops and galleries.
  • Mescal: This traditional Mexican alcoholic beverage is similar to tequila but is made from a different type of agave plant and has a slightly sweeter taste. You can find many excellent mescal distilleries and shops in Pachuca.

Local Culture and Customs of Pachuca

Pachuca has a vibrant and diverse culture, which reflects its rich history and contemporary influences. Here are some of the local customs and traditions to keep in mind:

  • Religious Festivals: Pachuca is home to many religious festivals throughout the year, including the feast day of San Francisco in October, which features colorful processions, traditional music, and delicious food.
  • Dia de los Muertos: This traditional Mexican holiday, celebrated on November 1 and 2, is a time to honor and remember loved ones who have passed away. Pachuca hosts many Dia de los Muertos events, including parades, altars, and art exhibitions.
  • Spanish Language: Spanish is the dominant language in Pachuca, although many people also speak English. It’s a good idea to learn some basic Spanish phrases before your trip.
  • Street Tacos: Pachuca is famous for its delicious street tacos, which are often served on small, soft corn tortillas and topped with a variety of meats, vegetables, and sauces.

Best Time to Visit Pachuca

The best time to visit Pachuca is during the dry season, from November to May, when the weather is mild and sunny, with low humidity and little rainfall. The wet season, from June to October, can be hot and humid, with frequent rain showers, although it is a good time to visit if you want to see Pachuca’s lush vegetation and waterfalls in full bloom.

Do’s and Don’ts of Pachuca


  • Try the local cuisine: Pachuca is known for its delicious traditional Mexican cuisine, so make sure to sample some of the local specialties, such as mole, pambazo, and tamales.
  • Explore the natural wonders: Pachuca is surrounded by stunning mountains, waterfalls, and canyons, so take advantage of the many hiking and biking routes in the area, and explore the natural beauty of this region.
  • Learn some Spanish: Although many people in Pachuca speak English, it’s always a good idea to learn some basic Spanish phrases before your trip, to help you communicate with locals and get the most out of your experience.


  • Overpack: Pachuca is a casual city, so leave your formal attire at home and pack comfortable, casual clothes and shoes for walking and hiking.
  • Be disrespectful: Pachuca is a friendly and welcoming city, but remember to be respectful of local customs and traditions, and avoid behaviors that could be considered offensive or inappropriate.
  • Litter: Pachuca is a beautiful city, and it’s important to keep it clean and free of litter, so always dispose of your trash properly.

Safety and Health

Safety in Pachuca

Pachuca is a safe city for tourists, with a low crime rate and friendly locals. However, it’s always a good idea to take common-sense precautions, such as avoiding deserted areas at night, keeping your belongings close to you, and not carrying large sums of money.

Health in Pachuca

Pachuca is a relatively clean and healthy city, with good medical facilities and services. However, it’s always a good idea to take basic precautions, such as drinking bottled water, washing your hands regularly, and wearing sunscreen and insect repellent when outdoors.

Getting to Pachuca: Transportation Options and Logistics

Pachuca is located about 90 kilometers north of Mexico City, and can be reached by several means of transportation.

Airports Near Pachuca

The nearest major airport to Pachuca is the Mexico City International Airport, located about 90 kilometers south of the city. From the airport, you can take a shuttle bus, private taxi, or rental car to Pachuca, which takes about 2-3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Bus Stations Near Pachuca

Pachuca has several bus stations that connect it to other cities in Mexico, including Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. The main bus station in Pachuca is the Central de Autobuses, located in the city center, which offers frequent daily services to many destinations.

Other Options

If you prefer to drive to Pachuca, you can rent a car from many major car rental companies at the Mexico City International Airport, and drive north on the Mexico-Queretaro Highway, which takes about 2-3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

How to Get Around in Pachuca

Pachuca is a relatively small city, and most of its main attractions can be easily reached on foot or by public transportation. The city has a well-developed bus system, with many bus routes that connect the main areas of the city, and taxis are also widely available. If you prefer a more scenic route, you can also take a ride on the Turibus, which offers guided tours of the city’s main attractions.

Where to Go Next from Pachuca: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Pachuca is a great base for exploring the many natural and cultural wonders of central Mexico. Here are some of the nearby destinations and excursions that you can consider:

  • Teotihuacan: This ancient Mesoamerican city, located just outside of Mexico City, is known for its impressive pyramids, temples, and murals, and is a must-visit for history buffs and archeology enthusiasts.
  • Queretaro: This charming colonial city, located about 100 kilometers from Pachuca, is known for its beautiful architecture, charming plazas, and vibrant cultural scene.
  • Tula: This ancient Toltec city, located about 30 kilometers from Pachuca, is known for its impressive stone sculptures, including the famous Atlantean figures.


Pachuca is a beautiful and vibrant city that offers a wealth of cultural, natural, and culinary attractions, making it a perfect destination for all types of travelers. Whether you’re interested in hiking, history, food, or culture, Pachuca has something to offer, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Mexico.