Sunday, April 4, 2010

Las Grutas de la Estrella

We stayed home this Semana Santa, and we've been enjoying the silence of the city, driving around town without traffic, and eating at some of the restaurants we've been wanting to try.

Yesterday, we took a short venture out of the city to the Grutas de la Estrella caves, about 2 hours southeast of Mexico City. They are near the spa resort town of Ixtapan de la Sal, where even a Marriott resides. Named for its resemblance to a star, the Grutas are not well-known nor written up in guide books, though I really think they should be.

The estrella-like entrance to the cave

With your entrance fee, you receive a 40-minute guided tour. I was amazed, as usual (by the caves, not the guide). No matter how many times I go, I am always taken aback by how beautifully rocks can form. Since Nevado de Toluca is nearby, I'm assuming these caves are a result of volcanic activity. And, these caves were used during pre-hispanic times and as a hiding spot during the Revolution. We didn't take the 3-4 spelunking tour, but we might go back to do it. Part of the spelunking tour requires that you jump in a pool of water, and we weren't dressed or prepared.

I don't know why the government doesn't do more to regulate this, but nearly all the natural wonders of Mexico are teeming with entrepreneurs. Maybe I'm a nature purist, but I find that sope and gordita vendors at the entrance to a cave distracting. This is one of nature's most amazing feats, something you only get to see a few times -- maybe even once -- in your life.

Getting there by car: From Mexico City, take Autopista 15 to Toluca. Go south on Autopista 55 toward Ixtapan de la Sal. In Ixtapan, take the turn-off to Tonatico. In Tonatico, follow the signs to the Grutas.

Toll: 129 pesos; Entrance fee: 20 pesos, 200 pesos more for spelunking tour

For a list of other caves in Mexico, go here.


  1. Wow this is so pretty. Glad you had a peaceful Easter weekend.

  2. Mexico's ridiculous toll prices never cease to annoy me.

  3. Drew, Yeah, I noticed the tolls went up. 59 for the first toll to exit DF to Toluca on the cuota.