While Mexico City dwellers will never get tired of saying how much there is to do in the city and how hard it is to get bored here, we’ll also be happy to admit that, every once in a while, it’s nice to get out and explore surrounding cities and towns. Short day trips or weekend getaways are always great for clearing your head, exploring new cultural attractions, and of course, trying as much new food as possible.
All the destinations in this list are very easy to access by car, so if you’re into driving in foreign lands or have a local friend who can give you a ride, it’s an excellent option because it allows you to do everything on your own schedule. However, you can also check out bus schedules in first-class bus lines, or ask your hotel concierge, as most hotels have transportation services that can take you to these neighboring towns.
Prismas Basálticos de Hidalgo
Less than two hours away from the city, near San Miguel Regla, these geometric basalt columns, drenched by four waterfalls, make for an impressive natural landscape. Spend the day marveling at the prisms and head back to the city in the evening, or spend the night at one of their cozy cabins, equipped with kitchenettes and fireplaces.
This picturesque town is crowned by the imposing Tepozteco hill, considered by many as an important source of cosmic energy. Walk along its charming cobblestone streets, stop by its quirky boutiques, and get lost in the aisles of its traditional market, where you can pick up lots of knickknacks and enjoy huge, delicious quesadillas.
Desierto de los Leones
This national park is a mere 20 minutes away from Santa Fe, yet with more than 4,600 acres of forest, it feels like it’s much further away. Take a tour of the old seventeenth century convent, with underground tunnels and gardens, and then head to one of the many popular food stands for a steaming bowl of mushroom soup.
You’ll only have to drive for about 45 minutes to get to this picturesque town, where the main attraction is the ex-Convent of San Francisco Javier, which houses the National Viceroyalty Museum. After exploring artifacts from Mexico’s colonial times, head to Plaza de las Artesanías and score some crafts to take back home.
Considered by many to be one of the prettiest places in the country, this quaint Hidalgo town invites you to walk along its cobblestone streets and admire its colonial constructions, including the church of San Mateo and the chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Afterwards, head to nearby town El Boyé and check out the pre-historic cave paintings.