Pachuca (also Pachuca de Soto) is a city of almost 300,000 people (2020) in the state of Hidalgo, that draws visitors with its well-preserved historical center and mining heritage.
The capital of Hidalgo State, its history is intrinsically entwined with mining since the Aztec days. After the conquista, the Spanish hired Cornish labor and innovation to help with further mining. But due to political instability and wild fluctuations in the price of precious metal values, Pachuca eventually diversified into other areas, including tourism.
The city occupies a small valley and is almost completely surrounded by large hills, which are also covered in colorful houses. The city centre has maintained most of its colonial-era structures, with narrow winding streets. Away from the centre is the modern part of Pachuca, with warehouses, factories, supermarkets and a large football stadium called El Huracán (The Hurricane).
In addition to its role as a regional center, Pachuca may be known to some as the site where much of Club of Crows, a Netflix series, was shot. It is also fortunate to be close to a mountainous natural getaway known as Parque Nacional El Chico.
Many of the descendants of the Cornish miners who immigrated here in the 19th century remain in Pachuca and nearby Real del Monte. Two heritages define the city: football and a dish called "pastes".
Pachuca is serviced by Mexico City International Airport. There is a comfortable shuttle bus which can be boarded directly from the airport, giving hourly service to and from Pachuca. Depending on traffic conditions, it takes about an hour or two to arrive at this town.
You can have a look on Blablacar for shared rides. From Mexico City it's around M$70 (Jan 2022) and from Puebla approx. M$130 (Jan 2022).
Pachuca is easy to reach by first class bus from several cities in the region, including from Mexico City's North station and Puebla's CAPU station (~2 hr, M$200). From the bus station, take a taxi or one of the combi minivans (M$7.5) to get to the old city center.
Pachuca is about 90 km (56 miles) north of Mexico City. The road is flat with very few curves. Because it is a toll-highway, it's usually in good condition.
There is no passenger train service.
- 1 Reloj Monumental de Pachuca (Monumental Clock Tower). A clock tower built in 1910 to commemorate the centennial of the independence of Mexico. It is situated in Plaza Independencia.
- 2 Parroquia de la Asuncion. Church from the 16th century with oil canvases from the same era inside, plus surrounding historical quarters around adjacent Plaza de la Constitucion.
- 3 Cristo Rey. Nice Jesus statue. Plus some fine views of the city if you walk around the terrace/stairwell.
- 4 Plaza Juárez. Main square (err, zocalo) of Pachuca with a Benito Juarez statue in the center and the state capital building and municipal theater fringing its borders.
- 5 Archivo Historico y Museo de Mineria, Asociación Civil, Javier Mina 110, ☏ . 10ː00-18ː00 daily. History of mining in the area with mineral specimens and other mining exhibits like smelters and extractors on display.
- 6 El Cuartel del Arte (Art Barracks). A sampling of art.
- 7 SINAFO- Fototeca Nacional del INAH (Museo de la Fotografía). Photography museumː could be a little sleepy.
- 8 Parroquia de San Francisco. Colonial Catholic temple also from 16th century with the St. Francis of Asisi convent adjacent.
- 9 Interactive World Soccer Center/Pachuca Soccer Museum and Hall of Fame (Pachuca El Museo Del Futbol Salon De La Fama), ☏ . Pachuca's soccer hall of fame and museum, for the soccer aficionado. Selfie-opportunity available in front of the gigantic soccer ball.
- 10 Pisal de Byron Gálvez (Parque David Ben Gurión). 08ː00-18ː00 daily. Outdoor plaza made up of pieced-together mosaics that you can walk upon.
- 11 Museo El Rehilete (Pinwheel Museum), Blvd Felipe Angeles km 84.5, ☏ . More or less a children's museum but fairly interactive with a dino park, planetarium, and botanical garden.
- 12 Museo de Miniaturas Castillo de Dragones. Miniatures/toy museum inside a castle with dragons draped along the exteriors. Could be a bit kitschy.
- English Cemetery
- 13 Macromural of Pachuca (Mural de Palmitas), Guadalupe 204, Las Palmitas (behind Sam's Club). A whole neighborhood draped in pastel colors. If you feel like you're suddenly in an Easter egg land, you're probably in the right spot.
- 1 Bioparque Convivencia Pachuca, Av Benito Juárez. 10ː00-17ː00 Tu-Su, closed M. Animal conservatory that is pretty dilapidated. Come here if you want to see a sad lion.
- 2 Tuzoofari, Camino Rural Rancho San Pablo (in Epazoyucan) (about 25 km southeast of Pachuca), ☏ . 09ː00-17ː00 daily. A pretty dynamic safari experience with chances to feed the animals with supervision and tram car rides thru the park, etc.
"Pastes". Derived from the Cornish pasty (but pronounced with a short "a" and "e",) this foodstuff is close to a baked empanada and was popularized by Cornish miners who took them as ready to eat treats for their lunch inside Hidalgo's silver mines. The original ones were filled with a mixture of leek, potatoes and ground meat, however the variety has now grown into a somewhat larger assortment. While there are literally hundreds of establishments selling pastes in Pachuca, "Kiko's" and "El Duque" are strongly recommended. Inquire about chilli pepper content before tasting.
- 1 Plaza Galerias Pachuca. Modern shopping mall with theater.
- 2 Mercado Primero de Mayo. 09ː00-19ː00 daily. A place to try local foods and look for local artisanal products.
All these are in the city center:
- 1 Churromania, Calle Guadalupe Victoria 206.
- 2 Taquería Guerrero, Calle Vicente Guerrero 904.
- 3 Burguer la Fiesta S.A. de C.V., C. Belisario Domínguez 103.
- 4 Cocina Ade, C. Arizpe 307.
- 5 Pastes "Real de Plateros", Cl. Miguel Hidalgo 200.
- 6 Benji's México, Pl. Benito Juárez 116.
- 7 Holy Cheese!, Av Revolución 805.
- 8 El Canibal Pachuca, Calle Gral. Felipe Angeles 604.
- 9 Aldi Pizza, Av Revolución 1111.
- 1 Casa Alí - HOSTAL, Ingeniero Mineros 103, ☏ . A friendly hostel option with breakfast. Also can arrange tours of nearby areas such as Parque Nacional Chico. M$487.
- 2 Privada 400 Casas & Suites, Dr Espinoza Arteaga 400, ☏ . Kind of like staying in an apartment but without the lease. M$ 614.
- 3 Holiday Inn Express Pachuca, Blvd Luis Donaldo Colosio 220 Fracc, ☏ . This is good if you want to stay in a concrete block franchise sort of place out in the suburbs that has a full breakfast and indoor pool. M$ 762.
- Hotel los Baños, Matamoros # 205 Colonia Centro. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Cheap and nice looking colonial style hotel. For luxury, you're probably better off in one of the other options nearby; while the rooms are clean, many things don't work well (windows, locks, internet), but it does come with TV access. Renovated in 2015. For the breakfast you have to pay additional M$60, which it probably is not worth it. Better option is to take breakfast in one of the many nice places nearby. M$ 400 for a single room.
- 4 Hotel Emily, Calle Plaza de la Independencia, ☏ . Here you can look out on the clock monument, and have a massage. M$ 847.
Mineral del Monte – 17 km
Parque Nacional (National Park) El Chico – 25 km. Not bad, monolithic escarpments rising up out of an alpine forest-type topography. Come prepared for some potentially cold weather while hiking though.
Mineral del Chico – 35 km. A pristine town that sort of functions as a service center or at least interesting respite before or after visiting Parque Nacional El Chico.
San Miguel Regla – 40 km
Santa Maria Regla – 40 km
Thermal baths, for example the Grutas Tolantongo – 120 km. Breathtaking hot springs. Featuring grottos, a water tunnel, river, bridge, waterfalls, pools and trekking. The admission is M$150 (Jan 2022), only payable in cash. The attractions in the park are open daily up to 20:00. You can also do camping there.
Xoxafi Caves – 50 km
Tolantongo Caves – 120 km
Prismas basalticos – 40 km