We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Worth every peso!”
Review of Tolantongo Caves

Tolantongo Caves
Certificate of Excellence
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Worth every peso!”
Reviewed January 22, 2012

Good things: Affordable (100 pesos per person, per day), facilities are clean, if you love nature and water this is the place for you. It is very safe, they have security 24 hrs a day. The offer restaurant, store, souvenir shoppe, showers and bathrooms on site. The best part is the cave and waterfalls, don't miss them. Things I would change: You can't make reservations for the rooms by phone or internet so they are rented out on a first come first serve basis, which leaves many people camping outside by the river. Overall it's a great experience, although when added up it can get pricey after the entrance fees, parking fees, room rentals and meals. I would recommend taking some shoes for swimming in the river, the rocks are very uncomfortable if you go in barefoot. If you take sandals they won't stay on for long because of the current. I would visit again, it was gorgeous and very clean. My 7 year old loved it and everybody else seemed to enjoy it just as much.

Visited January 2012
4 Thank SusyA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

544 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Welcome to Paradise”
Reviewed December 10, 2010

This tropical valley hold the most beautiful cascades, grottos and caves running with clear turquoise hot springs that exist in this world. The cabins are simple yet set in the midst of warm clear pools that cascade into each other. Delicious inexpensive food is served at the on site restaurants. Very romantic for couples or great for families. Very eco-friendly and worker-owned.

3 Thank granicera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Breathtaking valley resort”
Reviewed July 23, 2010

For all the juicy details, the previous review (uncleho70) really says it all, very comprehensive, detailed, and accurate. No point repeating what they said. But I want to add a touch more emphasis. There are two places to stay here, the "paraiso escondido" at the entrance to the attraction, and the hotels that are at the base of the valley, nearer to the Grutas. From what we experienced, stay at the cabañas in the paraiso escondido section, especially if you have children. This part of the resort has the pozas (just glorious warm water pools to lounge around in), the best pool in the resort with a water slide attached to it, astonishing views up and down the valley, a good restaurant, and is just seems all round better cared for and cleaner with fewer people per sq m. The installations there are spotless, they looked scrubbed clean, and the cabañas were plenty spacious, we fit 8 people into the 5 person cabaña with plenty of room to spare (just bring some inflatable mattresses) with air con and a good size terrace out front. Down the bottom of the valley near the grutas, it was just not quite as good, the pool is small and crowded, there are many more people, and the walkways and paths are often just packed earth which in rainy season turn to mud. It's easy to get from the higher section to the lower section (walking or on the zip slide that's over a mile long!) to visit the grutas, so you don't miss anything by being up in the higher paraiso escondido section.

Apart from that, the road access was easy, they're building a fully paved road which should be completed soon, and it was easy to navigate the freeways of Hidalgo to get there.

One tip: you'll spend so much time in the water here, that you might find the skin on your feet getting so soft it sloughs off in the pools and the paths back to the cabin! Take some sticking plasters and medical tape just in case! Seriously, it sounds like a negative but it's not, it's just that the water is sooooooo comforting and delicious you won't want to get out for hours and hours.

I cannot recommend this place more highly, it was a stunning place to stay, well worth the effort to get out this far.

11 Thank Bo_Duke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Breathtaking - Thermal Hot Spring River, Caves and Pools”
Reviewed July 5, 2010

If you want a truly unique getaway, this is the place. It is a no-frills location where you can enjoy nature at it's finest. Having lived in Mexico for 3 years, and explored a little of the beauty this country has to offer - I will say this is a place you don't want to miss!

Pack bathing suits, water shoes, water-proof flashlights (or put one in a plastic bag) and picnic food and be prepared to spend the whole day playing in hot spring water. There is a hot water cave (gruta) and tunnel to explore. The warm-water river with small rapids and pools provides hours of fun. When you need a break, there are pools (many, many, many!) perched on the mountainside to lounge in. These are continuously fed by warm thermal water. The mountain and canyon views are spectacular. They even have a large pool with a waterslide and diving platforms.

This amazing family getaway has something for everyone. You can buy a day-pass or stay overnight. (Their website has all the details.) You have the option of cabins, hotel rooms, or campground areas. There are a couple simple, Mexican restaurants or camp fire areas where you can cook your own food. Be prepared for a rustic experience, this is not a place for fluffy pillows and pampering.

30 Thank TKW72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Natural Spa, Mexico-style!”
Reviewed June 5, 2009

I am a US expat in Mex and have been here for 2 years. I have done some of the popular gringo places (Riviera Maya), but prefer the out of the way places like this. Tolantongo is truly a unique place.

I read that Tolantongo is owned and operated by a collective of families that live in nearby towns. Evidently it started in 1930 and they had hard times early on, but perservered. They share the jobs and rotate to keep wages fair supposedly. Google it to read about what it is all about, but IMO it can be summarized into 4 things:
a) The pozas (pools) - These are man-made and next to the cabanas you can rent near the entry from the East. They are walking distance from the cabanas. They are man-made and fed by the thermal waters. About 30 of them I believe and they range from tiny couple sized to house-size pool. None are deep, though.
b) The river - It is more like a stream that is created by the waters from the caves and waterfalls near the caves. They built dams across the stream with bolders to create shallow pools. The waters are fairly clear, but with a slight blur due to the minerals. There are no foul odors whatsoever! And best of all, it is warm and comfortable for all ages. These dams go all the way down the stream to the far reaches of the retreat. The river swim area is basically at the bottom of the valley... a short drive from the cabanas.
c) The grutas (caves) - There are two caves. One is a cave as expected with shallow waters that you just bath in and enjoy the marvel of such a thing. It has a tunnel inside that leads you back into a smaller room... fairly big. But it is VERY dark. The workers hang around like guides inside with flashlights for you to see, but bring your own (waterproof). If you don't like dark places, don't go back there. The main room in the cave has a torrent of water coming directly out of a hole in the ceiling. The water can hurt young children, because it is so powerful in flow. It's like a rough massage by a linebacker. The other gruta/cave is above the big one. It is basically a tube no larger than what you can stretch your arms and barely higher than average adults. It just dead ends after several yards and is just like a sauna... maybe hotter. Nothing particularly special, but interesting nevertheless. The caves are drive down into the valley from the cabanas and pozas, which are higher up. Once you get to the river, there is a 10min hike by trail to the grutas. Nothing especially difficult, except for maybe the most elderly.
d) The pool - There is a big pool with diving and slide for those who prefer regular water.

Never go on a holiday or long weekend, because as noted... it becomes a soup of Mexicans, etc. Unless you want to be surrounded by thousands, go on a regular weekend. You only need a Saturday and half of Sunday to enjoy it and determine that you need to return. It is perfectly calm and less crowded on regular weekends that you enjoy the place more and not have to stand in lines or be shoulder to shoulder with people in the waters, which means the river gets more cloudy due to so many people stirring up sediment.

You have choice of:
a) Camping - They rent tents or bring your own. Camping is included in the 100 pesos price as is parking. Most camping is next to the river near the bottom. It is open space on fine gravel, so no privacy whatsoever. If you want privacy, there is a special place next to the grutas across the stream that is beautiful and cost an extra 50 pesos per person, but you get your own spa-pool, too.
b) Hotel - There are a couple hotels they built themselves there, which are nice. Not 5 star, but not dumpy, either. Just don't expect hot water showers, but the fresh warm waters of the river is a fine way to bath as it doesn't leave any residue or odor.
c) Cabanas - This is what we did, because it is farther away from the crowds at the river and next to the pozas, which are so relaxing. They vary in size, but can hold up to 6 people (3 beds) in one big room. Bath and porch included. The setting is very much like some restort in its design and vegetation. It is very nice considering it was created by a collective of families and not some major hotel chain. If you bring your own grill, you can cook for yourself. I think they may rent grills, too.
d) Hotels outside - If you are crazy enough to come during holidays, know that all these lodgings are first come first serve. No reservations! If you miss out, you will need to find hotel in nearby town, which isn't the end of the world, but you really don't want to be that far away. Heck, you just don't want to be there on a long weekend or holiday.

They have a couple three restuarants of different size. Typical Mexican fair... nothing special, nothing bad. They even have a taco stand and BBQ pit near the river, but the BBQ pit (barbacoa) is open only on busy weekends I think. The restaurants are plenty clean, except for the most anal gringo. We have accustomed our bowls to eating on the street in Mexico, so little bothers us, but there is always risk for any foreigner in a foreign land where their constitution may not be up to the native bacteria.

As mentioned above, it is all about water. You need not more than half a Saturday and half a Sunday to enjoy the place. It is not an AI resort on some beach. It is a weekend retreat, but a very cool one at that. All of the activities can be enjoyed by all ages.

The place is hidden in Tolantongo valley in Hildago state. There is nothing particularly scarey about it, but then... as an expat, I have an understanding of this society. Heck, I come from a country (not US) that is less developed. Mexico has its issues, but I think the probability is worse nearer the border states and cities. And even at that... only near the bad side of town. This place is no such thing. There aren't that many westerners here, but that is what I like about it. The more popular it may become, the less cool it becomes. This is not some boony out in the middle of nowhere place that you would have any fear. It is a rather large retreat facility.

The valley is just beautiful and the best view is from the pozas which are built along the side of the mountain so you can see across the valley to the mountain range on the other side. Simply spectacular way to relax! We didn't get a chance to hike around, but will next time.

If you are near Hildago state or Mexico City and have a weekend to relax, come and visit this affordable retreat! The pictures on the net are mostly of the long weekends, so you see it very crowded. Go on regular weekend and experience a really cool spa experience (where you pamper yourself).

30 Thank uncleho70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Tolantongo Caves also viewed

Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo
Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo

Been to Tolantongo Caves? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing