Up North from Mexico City is the State
of HIDALGO (Hid).
The State of Hidalgo is covered with fields of
agave. Agave plants need about
10 years of culture in order to mature for harvesting. The plant
blooms only once. It can produce up to 500 liters of juice, in several
months. The agave plant is used for the production of tequila
and mezcal. Its fibers are used for making ropes and fabrics. Hidalgo
is a 20 860 km2 (5155000 acres) state surrounded by the states of
San Luis Potosi, Veracruz,
State of Mexico and Querétaro.
The capital of the State has 296 000 habitants.
The capital of its state is Pachuca
The capital PACHUCA, also called « the windy
beauty », was an important gold and silver mining center in
colonial time. The mining exploitation is still active. The architecture
of the old city looks like the other mining cities in Mexico. Oddly
enough, the city doesn’t have a lot of religious buildings.
However, there are beautiful haciendas to be visited all around,
among them the hacienda of San Miguel Regla, converted into a hotel
(3 km or 2 miles from the city).
You still can visit the old city, starting in Independence Square
dominated by the Reloj Monumental, an imposing tower of the neo-classical
clock with an eight bell chime. Close by, on the south-east side
of this square, is an old religious building dating from the sixteenth
century. This is the convent of San Francisco which houses, nowadays,
the Centro Cultural of Hidalgo. It displays an important collection
of photographs dating from the early twentieth century. You can
see, among others, documents about the revolution of 1910 and works
of the photographer Tina Modotti. You can visit free museums like
the State Museum of Hidalgo (open 9 AM-6 PM Tue-Sun, $39)
or the Museum of the Photography at the same place (open
11 AM-6 PM, Tue-Sun). You can buy reproductions of some
of the 900, 000 photos.
outside the capital ?
Two small cities located at the north-east of the city organize
a market, on Monday in Ixmiquilpan and on Thursday in Actopán.
In Ixmiquilpan, you can admire the local craft, especially the production
of the Otomís Indians (textiles and wooden objects). In Actopán,
enjoy the visit of the templo y convento San Nicolas Tolentino (open
10 AM-5 PM, Tue-Sun, $35), founded in 1548 by the Augustinians.
You will notice the Moorish influence, rather rare in the religious
architecture of Mexico.
Map of the both villages :
The hikers don’t have to miss the Parque Nacional El Chico,
located at 30 km (20 miles) from Pachuca. The well marked hiking
and mountain bike trails cross thick forests of oaks and pines growing
among strange rocky formations, a favorite for the climbers. Rivers
and dams allow fishing. You can also stroll in the picturesque streets
of the old mining city of Mineral del Chico.
Pedro Romero de Terreros, count de Regla, revived the mining activities
of the region. He had huge tunnels drilled to carry water and mine
new silver veins. The mine of Real del Monte produced more than
half the silver exploited during the colonization. With 4000 km
(2500 miles) of tunnels, this mine is the biggest in the world;
a church was built between the 3rd and the 5th level. It is the
only mine which is allowed to put its seal « Real del Monte
» as a warranty of the silver titration even on the silver
market in London. The village of Real
del Monte has been inscribed on the list of the magic villages
since 2004. A new strategy of promotion of small cities and villages
called "magic villages" was set up by the Mexican Tourism
You can access the Barranca de Tolantongo from Actopán via
a small uneven road. The cascade with clear water, the caves and
the hot springs make this canyon one of the most beautiful natural
sites in Mexico.
The Metztitlán Biosphere Reserve (in the center-east
of the state) is also worth the visit. The fauna and flora are abundant.
There, traditional farming is practiced. The Laguna of Metztitlán
abounds in fish.
Huasca de Ocampo ("pueblo
mágico") is also worth the visit. It is a picturesque
village famous for its Haciendas de Beneficio where was processed
the ore. The Hacienda San Miguel de Regla offers guided visits of
the old installations. This nice hacienda, dating from the seventeenth
century, is surrounded by gardens and lakes. It comprises a private
chapel, an aqueduct, boats and rooms with fireplace. Santa Maria
Regla, a little further, comprises vaulted cellars and courtyards
with stone grinders and metal ovens.
The history of the state and its capital :
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