Pachuca, Hidalgo is a city of 300,000 people located in Central Mexico about a one hour drive from Mexico City. Situated at nearly 8,000 ft, the climate is much cooler than most of Mexico, making the weather very agreeable during the warmer months, however the winter months can be quite cold, even reaching freezing temperatures on occasion. In my opinion, this makes the city a great option to spend summers while spending the rest of the year at the beach. For travel purposes, it is recommenced to go during the warmers months from May to October.
The city has a rich history, mostly stemming from the local mining industry. The mining industry attracted a group of miners from Cornwall, England during the 1800s, and this group as well their descendant have left their mark on the city. This can be seen from the architecture around the city, such as the clock tower in Centro (pictured above), however the most noticeable mark they left are the endless bakeries serving Cornish Pastys or pastes in Spanish. The pasty resembles an empanada, however the dough and fillings differ. The pastes you will find in Pachuca also evolved from what would be found in England to use local ingredients. The two traditonal pastes in Pachuca are beef and potato and bean with chorizo.
How to Get to Pachuca
The closest international airport to Pachuca is Mexico City, making the city very accessible, being located only an hour from the country's busiest airport. There are frequent direct buses from the airport to Pachuca. If you are already staying in Mexico City, there are also frequent buses from the main bus station, Mexico Norte. If you are coming from other cities in Central Mexico, many cities will have direct buses to Pachuca. If not, you can connect through Mexico City.
What to Do in Pachuca?
Explore the city
Mural of Pachuca (pictured above) - This mural was painted by the Mexican Government to bring life back and instill a sense of community in this once struggling neighborhood. Now, one of the main attractions of Pachuca, this neighborhood is doing better than ever!
Mining Museum - This museum is worth a visit to learn about the history of the mining industry and British heritage in Pachuca.
Ex-Convent de San Francisco - The main attraction of this complex is the National Photography Museum which includes the largest and oldest collection of photos taken in Mexico. There are many other historic buildings such as the school of arts to check out in the compound.
Monumental Clock of Pachuca (shown in the photo at the beginning of this article) -This clock was built using same machinery used in Big Ben in London. The machinery to operate the clock was a gift to the city from the British.
Real del Monte
Real del Monte is a small Pueblo Magico less than 20 minutes outside of the city. The town, like Pachuca, is known for its history of mining and British influence. The town is definitely worth a trip while staying Pachuca, and you can read about more about it in this post:
Mineral del Chico
Mineral del Chico is a charming mountain town located about a half hour up the mountain from Pachuca. Mineral del Chico, like Real del Monte, is a Pueblo Magico. The main attraction of the town is the surrounding wilderness which encompasses Mineral del Chico National Park. The National Park offers many miles of hiking trails and outdoor activities.
Huasca de Ocampo
Huasca de Ocampo is yet another Pueblo Magico in the state of Hidalgo, and while the town itself is pleasant, the main attractions are in the surrounding area including:
Peña del Aire - An incredible canyon with many viewpoints and outdoor activities such as repelling and ziplines.
Prismas Balsalticos - A unique formation of prism shaped black rocks (shown below)
Haciendas Santa Maria Regla and San Miguel Regla - These two beautiful haciendas, once owned by the richest man in the world during the 1700s, Pedro Romero de Terreros, are a short drive outside of Huasca de Ocampo and a must see while in the area. San Miguel Regla served as Romero's home while Santa Maria was used to process gold and silver from the mines and house workers. Today, both are hotels and open to the public to explore. The tunnels below Santa Maria Regla were used in the 1998 film "The Mask of Zorro."
Need a Place to Stay in Pachuca?
Whether you decide to stay in the night in Pachuca or just take a day trip from nearby Mexico City, I highly recommend Airbnb. With Airbnb you can find beautiful furnished apartments right in the best parts of town and often cheaper than a hotel. Click the banner below to receive $40 off your first stay.
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