Tonatico, surroundings and attractions
The name Tonatico derives from Tonatiuh which means "where the sun is". Tonatico is a picturesque town where you can enjoy a colonial atmosphere, pre-Hispanic vestiges and diverse recreational areas. Downtown Tonatico is framed by a tree-lined square and a small kiosk. While being there, it is definitely worthwhile to visit the main church, Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Tonatico, built during the 17th Century and which holds the original image of the Holy Patroness, the Virgin of Candelaria. At the Balneario Municipal de Tonatico (municipal health resort) you will enjoy thermal springs, whose temperature can reach 37 ° C (98.6°F). Due to the high level of minerals they contain, they are considered medicinal and also curative for hair and skin. Tonatico has lots of attractions for relaxing as well as for having fun and enjoying yourself. Among other things you can go horseback riding, enjoy cross country rides on bicycle or "four wheelers", tandem flights, spas, golf courts, discotheques, bars and restaurants or simply enjoy nice strolls to discover the atmosphere of the town of Tonatico.
Ixtapan de la Sal is just 5 km (3 miles) away from Tonatico. The name of the town, in nahuatl, means "over the white", making reference to the extended deposits of salt which whitened the landscape. The salt came from the groundwater, which today is used to supply water to swimming pools and fountains. Tourism provides the town's most important income since 1945. Its main attractions include: Parque Acuático Ixtapan (Ixtapan waterpark), where you'll have a great time enjoying its enormous and unique water slides; Balenario Municipal (Municipal health resort); Parroquia de la Asunción de María (church), Jardín de los Mártires (Martyrs Garden), Barrancas de Calderón and Malinaltenango (cliffs). During 1997, Ixtapan de la Sal integrated to the "One Hundred Colonial Cities" program.
Within Parque del Sol, 0.5 km (0.310 miles) away from Tonatico, you will find the spectacular Tzumpantitlán (El Salto), a salty water waterfall with a 40 meters (131 ft) fall. Besides the waterfall the Park offers entertainment for every one, you'll find shaded spots where to make barbecues at, swimming pools and playgrounds suited for children and a suspension bridge. Parque del Sol is worth a visit during your stay in Tonatico!
Beneath a thick layer of trees and bushes, the Grutas de la Estrella were hidden for a very long time. Today, the caverns are easily accessible for visitors of all ages. The name of the caverns makes reference to a 5 pointed rock that looks like a star which is located at the summit of the hill. Just 8 km (5 miles) away from Tonatico, you can admire a spectacular parade of formations consisting of stalactites, stalagmites and columns, created by the dripping of water with a high level of minerals during at least 50.000 years. There are two types of tours inside the caverns, one for the whole family during which you'll be able to admire the different and capricious formations in the caves, and the other one, for those who love adventure and are up for a 3or 4 hour tour through the subterranean river El Zapote.
Villa Guerrero, paradise of floriculture, was named after General Don Vicente Guerrero, hero of the Mexican Independence. Villa Guerrero´s climate, warm and nice, seems to be ideal for cultivation. That's why floriculture is the principal activity and source of income and makes Villa Guerrero the most important producer in Mexico. Villa Dulce restaurant, where you can eat flowers, is a place you can not miss. You really should try its exotic cuisine like meat dishes prepared with rose petals, chili peppers stuffed with hibiscus flower, carnation flower crêpes and lots of other recipes.
Villa Guerrero is about 22 km (13 miles) away from Tonatico.
Teotenango, place of divine walls is located 41 km (25 miles) away from Tonatico. It is the archeological area of most recent appearance and at the same time of increasing interest as studies progress. Teotenango was a great pre-Hispanic city almost a thousand years ago and it is believed to have been populated by teotenanca and matlalzinca people.
Only 20 minutes away from Tonatico, in the northern part of the neighboring state of Guerrero, stands the Parque Nacional Grutas de Cacahuamilpa (Cacahuamilpa Caverns National Park). These caverns are visited by natural beauties lovers from all around the world, that's why it was declared National Park in 1936. The tour around the caverns is 2 km (1.2 miles) long which takes about 2 hours, always guided of course. The Park also has a swimming pool and barbecue areas with rustic grills and a botanical garden with the most representative native flora. It also has a great auditorium whose perfect natural acoustics provide to present international artists like Andrea Bocceli.
Malinalco, temple of eagle and jaguar knights, is one of the best preserved Aztec villages. It is 45 km (30 miles) away from Tonatico. Its landscapes have been of great inspiration for painters and the view over the valley is really breathtaking. It also features a recently restored Augustinian convent from the 16th century.
At the top of a mountain, across the Malinalco valley and among forests and dense vegetation we find Desierto del Carmen (Holy Desert of Tenancingo). There stands a monastery which was built by order of the Carmelite monks who used to live in the Desierto de los Leones Convent, near Mexico City. They moved to their new monastery at the beginning of the 19th century. For nature lovers, there's a road on the surroundings of this monastery where you can take a nice stroll among dense vegetation and forest sounds.
The Balloon Adventure is a one in a life time experience. The balloons are of English make, Thunder & Colt, worldwide leader in its kind. Their capacity is 6 passengers plus the pilot. Children over 4 years old are allowed to board and when possible, the rate is 2 children for the price of one. There are exclusive flights for couples on Mondays and Fridays.
Tenancingo is 31 km (19 miles) away from Tonatico.
Xochicalco (House of Flowers) is one of the most important archeological sites in central Mexico and is located 90 km (56 miles) away from Tonatico. Its main monument is Quetzalcoatl's Pyramid (Feathered Snake pyramid). It's certainly worthwhile to visit!
The ancient colonial mining town of Taxco is one of the most picturesque
and beautiful towns in Mexico. The federal government has declared it
National Historic Monument and the local authorities see to protect its
colonial architecture. Old buildings have been remodeled conserving
their style and using original materials.
Taxco is about 60 km (37 miles) away from Tonatico. You can take a bus to Taxco from the Ixtapan de la Sal bus station. There are departures every hour.
A nice 37 km (23 mile) lake perfectly suited for any kind of water sport. Parachuting is also practiced there and around the lake you'll find several clubs for sunbathing and eating. It is located 100 km (62 miles) away from Tonatico.
Cuernavaca is the capital of Morelos State and is located about 70 km (43 miles) away fromTonatico. Its population: around 350,000 inhabitants. Over the years, Cuernavaca has become a place of rest for the people from Mexico City due to its location and nice weather. Cuernavaca's main square (Zócalo) is worth a visit. On the east side of the Zócalo you'll find the beautiful Palacio de Cortés (Cortés' Palace), which at present is the Cuauhnáhuac Regional Museum and houses exhibits about Mexico's ancient cultures and history. On the east side stand the Palacio de Gobierno (Parliament Building) and Jardín de Juárez (Juárez Garden) built by the tower building specialist Gustave Eiffel. Among other places of interest are Jardín Borda (Borda Garden), the Cathedral , Teopanzolco Pyramid and the great muralist Alfaro Siqueiros' Workshop. 15 minutes away from Cuernavaca you'll find Tepoztlán (Copper place), a town that appeals to writers, artists and astrologists due to the OVNI sightings stories. There's also the Tepozteco Pyramid and the Ex-Convento Dominico de la Natividad (Dominican Nativity Ex-Convent).
The extinct Nevado de Toluca (Aka Xinantécatl) rises 4690 m (15, 387 feet) and has a 48 km path (29 miles) to its crater. On the way you'll find two lakes: Sun and Moon, which make it quite appealing. The top of the volcano is usually snow-covered from November to March and sometimes it is possible to do some cross-country skiing. During the weekends it is possible to climb it or go for a nice stroll. It is 70 km (43 miles) away from Tonatico.
Toluca is the capital of the State of Mexico. It has an altitude of 2660 m (8727 ft) over the sea level, 400 m (1312 ft) higher than Mexico City, which makes it the city at the highest altitude. It is a mainly industrial city, however, downtown you'll find nice squares and arches with colonial architecture. The town of Metepec is known for its typical handicrafts. If you're a soccer fan, you can visit the soccer stadium, home of the famous Diablos Rojos del Toluca (Toluca Red Devils).
Toluca is 65 km (40 miles) away from Tonatico.
Mexico City, capital of the Mexican Republic, 125 km (77 miles) away from Tonatico, is the largest city in the world and offers everything a big city is supposed to. It is a city which shows the essence of the whole country, from its glamour to its poverty. It is definitely an impressive megalopolis where you can find all kinds of entertainment, countless museums, diverse types of architecture, all kinds of neighborhoods, theatres, squares and historical buildings. In short, Mexico City is a magnet for Mexicans and for all visitors.