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5 places to visit in Toluca, Mexico and its surroundings

You can find a lot to explore and learn about in Toluca. Here are the best places to visit and activities you’ll enjoy.

The city of Toluca de Lerdo is the capital of the State of Mexico, it is located just over 60 kilometers away from Mexico City. Whether you make a return trip the same day or stay in the city for several days to explore it calmly, here we’ll tell you about 5 places to visit in Toluca Mexico, this would be our starting point to know the zone.

Roundtrip the same day or stay overnight?

That is the million-dollar question, as always, it will depend on the time you have to visit this region of Mexico. Although, you have to be aware that if it is the first time you visit this area you will dedicate a large part to Mexico City, it would also be interesting to stay in one of the hotels in Toluca so that you can explore the area with peace of mind. This is even more justified if you plan to go to the Nevado de Toluca.

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How to get to Toluca?

  • By plane: the Lic. Adolfo López Mateos International Airport is located 16 km from the city. Currently, it seems, it does not receive international flights. As for domestic flights, you can fly to Toluca from: Cancun, Guadalajara, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo, Tijuana, Merida, Monterrey and Querétaro.
  • By bus: you can take a bus from both Terminal Poniente (Observatorio) or Central Norte, with the latter the trip will be longer.
  • By car: from Mexico City, go to Santa Fe and take the Mexico – Toluca highway. If you are considering renting a car to make the journey, check out our practical guide to find a car at a good price.

5 things you should visit in Toluca, Mexico and surroundings

Cathedral of Toluca

The Cathedral is located in the very center of the city, south of the Plaza de los Martires. It is the seat of the Diocese of Toluca, and was built between 1867 and 1978 in what was previously the Franciscan Asunción de María convent, built in the 16th century.

Saint Joseph, who is the patron saint of the city, is venerated in the cathedral.

Hours: 8 AM to 7 PM
Ticket price: free

The Portals of Toluca

It is the largest collection of arches in the country, it has about 120. When going through them, you will see various shops and restaurants for all palates. Its construction took place in 1832, this when the city of Toluca was designated the capital of the State of Mexico, ending in 1917.

Hours: no schedule
Ticket price: free

Cosmovitral Botanical Garden

The Cosmovitral is located in a huge building that once had the September 16 Market. When this was relocated, stained-glass windows were created in the windows. It currently has 71 stained-glass windows (about 3,000 square meters) which makes it the largest non-religious stained-glass window in the world.

The author of this enormous work is the Mexican artist Leopoldo Flores. In terms of plants, it is not far behind and has 400 species of plants from Mexico and the world.

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM
Ticket price: 25 pesos

Archaeological site of Calixtlahuaca

About 10 kilometers northwest of Toluca is the archaeological site of Calixtlahuaca, which was a ceremonial center for the Matlatzinca Indians.

Calixtlahuaca is a word of Nahuatl origin, where calli means house, and ixtlahuatl has the meaning of plain, so it can be translated as houses on the plain.

On the site there are buildings dedicated to Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc, with which it can be deduced that there was influence of the Teotihuacan and Toltec cultures in the place.

Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Ticket price: 65 pesos (on Sundays it is free for Mexicans and 55 pesos for foreigners)

It has a Site Museum (under the administration of the Toluca City Council) which, according to the official site, tells us that it has restrooms, a wardrobe, parking, custody and surveillance.

Nevado de Toluca

This is the activity that will probably make you look for a lodging in Toluca, since a visit to the famous mountain will occupy a good part of the day, if not all. The Nevado de Toluca is a symbol, and it is the fourth-largest mountain in all of Mexico, it has a height of 4680 meters above sea level. Many flock to it for hiking, climbing, and outdoor backcountry adventures.

Consider that this mountain is also a volcano that is still active, there is no reason to be alarmed as long as the authorities say that you can visit it, there is no problem. In addition to the volcano, there are two lagoons, and it is a place of preference, you should not miss it on your visit to Toluca and the State of Mexico.

But there is still more to know in Toluca

This list is small, we know. In our case, it is almost like a letter asking for Christmas gifts because we haven’t had the opportunity to spend time in this city. We have only gone through the route from Santa Fe to Toluca Airport and when visiting Tula, we passed through the State of Mexico, but without being able to stop, due to an error when choosing the bus terminal.

With this, I mean that, in the future, another article will come detailing more places to visit in Toluca, Mexico and also the confirmation of those that appear in this list. If you have already visited them, tell us how it went.

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Olga Grijalva

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.