Pachuca is located in southeastern Mexico in the state of Hidalgo, about 60 minutes from Mexico City. It’s a town that would be of interest to the outdoor sportsman and athlete due to its location amongst the Eastern Sierra Madre Mountains crossing the state of Hidalgo. The canyons to the north, blow strong wind into this valley city, and the city’s nickname “La Bella Airosa”, meaning Beautiful Airy City, is a tribute to that. The city has a moderate climate, with an average year-round temperature of 24º C (75º F).
Pachuca was known as a major mining center, beginning in the middle of the 16th century when Cortez thrust Spanish rule over the area. Since that time, Pachuca’s economic stability has risen and fallen with mining activity. Obsidian, ore, and silver are the primary materials for which the inhabitants of Pachuca have mined. Miners from Cornwall, England came to the area in the 19th century bringing with them football/soccer and the “paste” (pronounced PAH-steh). A paste is a turnover filled with savory ingredients. Cornish miners brought the recipe with them as a good way to eat a meal at the mines. Today, pastes are a signature food for both Pachuca and nearby Real del Monte. An English pastie is most typically filled with meats and vegetables, but Pachuca put its own spin on it, filling their paste with traditional Mexican food.
While surrounding areas like Real del Monte still claim a good economy derived from mining, a major downturn came to Pachuca in the middle of the 20th century. Since that time, the town has changed its economic impetus to industry, which included the refurbishment of their university, the Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo. Doing this provided the catalyst for economic growth. Better-educated workers have resulted in Pachuca’s inhabitants earning their living as engineers, lawyers, doctors, and business managers. The town’s population increased due to a large student population and the development of businesses providing employment opportunities. Other economic stimuli included the movement of several government offices to Pachuca, located in the State Government Palace, as well as becoming the home of Hidalgo’s State Supreme Court.
Pachuca is a good launching area for activities like camping, hiking, or mountain biking, rock climbing, and rappelling in the Sierra Madre, as well as for surrounding attractions.
Attractions and Things To Do in Pachuca
Visit “Pueblo Mágico” Towns – the nearby cities of Real del Monte and Huasca de Ocampo are designated “Pueblo Mágico” Towns; this is an initiative led by Mexico's Secretary of Tourism in conjunction with other government agencies to promote Mexican towns that offer visitors a "magical" experience through their natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance.
The Reloj Monumental (Monumental Clock) – modeled after England’s “Big Ben”, the clock has become the city icon. Donated by Cornishman, Francis Rule, it was built to commemorate the Centennial of Mexico’s Independence, and was inaugurated on September 15, 1910. In the middle of the clock’s four towers are the marble-sculpted faces of four women, symbolizing Reform, Liberty, Independence, and the Constitution.
Cuartel del Arte – an expansive cultural center at the heart of Pachuca. Formerly, the building was the Convento de San Francisco, but now the complex includes museums, an art gallery, a theater, and several attractive plazas.
The Museo de Minería (Museum of Mining) – housed in a 19th century manor called “the Cajas de San Rafael”, the museum exhibits documents and relics that trace local mining history from 1556-1967. A 20-minute English-language video program is available, and hourly guided tours are provided in Spanish by engaging ex-miners.
Prismas Basalticos – A beautiful 30-meter (100-foot) waterfall, which flows over prism-shaped columns of basaltic rock. Located near Santa Maria Regla, 34 km (21 mi) northeast of Pachuca.
Sports – adventurists looking for excitement or exercise will find many areas providing varying levels of difficulty for mountain biking, rappelling, rock climbing, fishing, camping; For the survivalists, businesses in the area provide lessons on survival skills, orientation, and hiking. Visitors can even catch a hot air balloon ride just outside the city in the town of Agua Blanca.
Hunting – near Pachuca, hunting enthusiasts will find ranches offering excellent hunting grounds for wild boar, deer, and fowl.
Water Parks - about 50 water parks and resorts are within an hour’s drive from the city. Visitors can enjoy swimming pools and water slides.
Spas – about an hour’s drive from Pachuca, visitors can find mineral-enriched hot springs with healing and relaxing properties.