Mineral del Monte, once called Real Del Monte, is a Pueblo Magico (magic town) in Hidalgo, Mexico. If you plan a visit, you have landed in the right place.
I visited this pretty town during an epic road trip in the Hidalgo state and I had the time of my life. I kept Real Del Monte as a base for a few days to explore the surrounding towns and attractions.
In this post, I will tell you all about it.
Visit Mineral del Monte: An Overview
Mineral del Monte isn’t the most well-known pueblo magico in all of Mexico. Most tourists have never heard of it and don’t consider taking the time for Hidalgo and its beauty.
However, Mineral del Monte is close to Mexico City, Queretaro, and Pachuca. And if you find yourself in central Mexico, you should set aside a little town to explore the unexplored.
While locals wander over to Mineral del Monte and Hidalgo on weekends and holidays, you’ll find very few international tourists around town. This gives the little pueblo magico more tourist charm and authenticity than you can’t find in more crowded Pueblo Magicos.
In addition, Mineral del Monte has a unique history and significance associated with mining. Once, this region was thriving due to mineral mining.
While this has disappeared over time, you can still feel the past in the air. You can visit old mines, go to mining museums, and talk to locals about the impact to this day.
If that doesn’t interest you, you can simply embrace the region’s beauty. The Sierra de Pachuca is a mountain range surrounding Mineral del Monte. Great hiking, beautiful natural landmarks, and other fun outdoor activities exist.
Mineral del Monte: At a glance
Where is Mineral del Monte located?
Mineral del Monte is 108 km (67 miles) north of Mexico City, in Hidalgo. It’s about 18 km (11 miles) from the capital of Hidalgo, Pachuca.
It takes about 2 hours to drive to Mineral del Monte from Mexico City and about 30 minutes to drive there from Pachuca, Hidalgo Capital City.
If you stay in Mexico City, you’ll welcome the beautiful landscape here. It feels very calm and peaceful in this region compared to the constant horn-honking, traffic, and yelling on most corners of Mexico City.
Mineral del Monte map
Things to do in Mineral del Monte
1. Explore the city center of Mineral del Monte
Mineral del Monte has a cute city center with cute little shops and markets to walk through. One of the best things to do right when you get to Mineral de Monte is to take a couple of hours to explore everything the city center offers.
You can shop in some of the little local shops, admire the art and handiwork of the locals, and explore every corner of this tiny village.
You’re in luck if you’re into photos, colors, and art. Many buildings are brightly painted, making the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram photo.
2. Admire the main church Nuestra Señora del Rosario
Nuestra Señora del Rosario translates to “Our Lady of the Rosary” in English. This is the large church right in the center plaza of Mineral de Monte.
The church is still in use today so you may stumble upon a gathering on weekend mornings or weekday evenings. However, you can walk through and admire the intricate details in the paintings and art any time during the day.
If you aren’t interested in the interior, you can enjoy coffee on the outside benches. This park has a calm atmosphere, and the gardens are beautiful, so it’s a great area to enjoy after a long day of traveling.
3. Visit the Mina de Acosta
Mina de Acosta is one of the most important mines in the region. And it’s located just outside Mineral del Monte, so it’s a must-see in town.
The Mina de Acosta was once an essential part of the mining industry here, and it has since been preserved and is now used as an educational tool.
Visitors can explore deep down in the mine with a guide likely connected to the miners who worked there for decades. The mines have been well-maintained over the years, and the structures feel sturdy and look impressive.
Whether or not you’re interested in the mining history, this is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with actual mining headquarters. You’ll likely be more dazzled than you expected by this rich piece of history.
4. Visit the Mina La Dificultad
Mina La Dificultad is another critical mine in Real del Monte. The mine is now open as a museum, offering guided tours of the mine. It allows tourists to see what it was like to work in a mine, complete with pictures, descriptions of all the equipment, and a history of how the mine has developed.
If you visited Mina de Acosta and liked what you saw, you should check out Mina La Dificultad.
Very few places in this world allow you a glimpse into real mining life and function, so if you’re in Mineral del Monte, you should take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn.
You should know though, that the tour is only done in Spanish, however, even if you don’t understand, it’s still an interesting place to explore.
5. Try the local “Paste”
A “paste” or pastry from Hidalgo is a unique blend of the Spanish empanada and the Cornish pastry. One of the main differences is the outer layer of a paste is harder, which makes it easier to eat, and the inside ingredients can stay warm for longer.
The creation of pastes dates back to the 19th century when Cornish miners migrated to the Real del Monte (Mineral del Monte) region to work. They brought their pastries, which began to incorporate familiar Mexican flavors over time.
Because of the connection to the region, Mineral del Monte is the perfect place to give them a try. You likely won’t find more authentic and better pastes anywhere else.
6. Take time for the Museo del Paste
Did you try the local paste, and did you like it? Then, head to the Museo del Paste (the Paste Museum).
You will learn all about the paste and the connection to miners and get a quick lesson on making a paste.
While this is a quick museum trip (you only need about an hour or two to see it all), it’s a unique experience and one of the best things to do in Mineral del Monte.
7. Stroll through the Panteón Inglés (cemetery)
Panteón Inglés is an English cemetery near downtown Mineral del Monte. The gravestones are beautifully decorated, offering a brief look into the immigrants who settled in this region.
For a short time, Mexico encouraged immigration to the country. In 1825, a large influx of immigrations from England, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, and other foreign countries arrived in Hidalgo for mining opportunities.
Many of these immigrants settled in Mineral del Monte, with their machinery and knowledge to help in the silver mines.
The graveyard holds largely non-Mexican immigrants from practically every corner of the world that called Mineral del Monte their home.
This graveyard is a must-see for those who want to understand and learn more about the mining industry and those who have traveled far and wide to be involved.
8. Learn from the Museo de Medicina Laboral
The Museo de Medicina Laboral (Occupational Medical Museum) operated from 1907 to 1983 and was established as a historical museum in 2004.
Initially, this was one of the only hospitals to cater to mine workers and their families.
Now, you can stroll through the museum’s well-preserved grounds and learn about miners’ common diseases and illnesses. You’ll also be able to see the equipment used for treatment and learn about how they were treated.
This is an excellent place for anyone interested in medicinal history, as there is little information about mining and mining-related diseases elsewhere. But also an exciting experience for anyone who just wants to learn more about this piece of Mexican history.
9. Hike in the nearby Sierra de Pachuca
Mineral del Monte is surrounded by the Sierra de Pachuca (Pachuca Mountains), so you have tons of great hiking at your doorstep.
El Chico National Park, only 26 km (16 miles) from Mineral del Monte, is one of my favorite national parks and hiking getaways in all of Mexico.
Stunning mountain tops and excellent camping and hiking trails for all levels characterize El Chico National Park. It’s a pretty independent park, as well. This means you can simply drive through and admire the beauty or stop at one of the many trails you may pass by.
You can also stop at the nearby Pueblo Magico, Mineral del Chico, while exploring El Chico National Park, as the magic town is located practically in the heart of the national park.
However, you’ll need your own car or transportation to explore the national park. There isn’t any public transportation that carts tourists or locals around the park.
10. Venture out to the Basaltic Prisms
The Balsatic Prisms is a top activity for those visiting Huasca de Ocampo, the first pueblo magico ever established.
However, Mineral del Monte is only about 19 km (11 miles) from Huasca de Ocampo, so it’s easy to visit.
The Balsatic Prisms are a true natural marvel. The attraction consists of large basalt columns jutting up from the ground to form large pillars close to one another.
Basalt is a type of lava rock and makes up more than 90% of all lava rock on Earth. Basaltic columns are large pillars made up of this hardened volcanic rock.
The Basaltic Prisms near Huasca de Ocampo are one of this region’s most intriguing natural feet. And to make it even better, backed-up water from the nearby San Antonio dam cascades down the pillars, forming a beautiful waterfall.
Many people travel from Mexico City to visit the Basaltic Prisms, so it’s a must-see if you’re in the nearby Mineral del Monte.
How to get to Mineral del Monte
There are many ways to visit Mineral del Monte, by car, by bus, or on a day trip from Mexico City below I will describe each of the options in detail so that you can choose the one that suits your needs best.
One of the best ways to get to Mineral del Monte is by car because you’ll have more independence and freedom to explore Hidalgo, Mexico. And this is how I love to travel around Mexico in general.
Here is a breakdown of the distance between Mineral del Monte and popular towns and cities nearby:
- Mexico City to Mineral del Monte: 94 km (58 miles)
- Queretaro to Mineral del Monte: 240 km (149 miles)
- Pachuca to Mineral del Monte: 17 km (10 miles)
Most people travel to Mineral del Monte from Mexico City. This quick drive takes about 2 hours, depending on traffic. And once you get out of the city traffic in Mexico City, it’s smooth sailing.
If you plan on renting a car, check out DiscoverCars to find the best rates for your trip.
If you are concerned about driving in Mexico, I have got you covered as well. There are a few unwritten rules and important tips that will help you stay safe.
Amongst the main things I suggest when you rent a car in Mexico or anywhere is to stay connected so that you can contact your car rental number in case of emergency. So getting a local SIM card is cheap and very useful.
Make sure you read the above-linked guide to driving in Mexico for more tips.
I wouldn’t recommend traveling to Mineral del Monte by bus, because you won’t be able to explore the nearby attractions easily and you’ll feel more limited with your time.
However, it’s still possible to travel by bus.
You can take a bus from Mexico City to Pachuca, the capital of Hidalgo. The buses leave frequently from Mexico Norte Bus Terminal (Central de Autobuses del Norte), and the bus ride takes about 2 hours.
The bus drops you off near the center of Pachuca. It’s easiest to take a Colectivo Bus (small van) from the bus station to Mineral del Monte. The taxi ride should only take about twenty minutes.
Tours from Mexico City
A guided tour from Mexico City to Mineral del Monte is another excellent option for those who are short on time or don’t want to deal with any of the planning.
In my opinion, it’s a much better option than a bus, if you don’t feel like driving. It saves tons of time and you will get a knowledgeable guide too.
Here are some great tours to consider from Mexico City to Mineral del Monte:
This full-day tour from Mexico City includes three hours at the Basaltic Prisms in Mineral del Monte and Pachuca. It’s the perfect way to get a quick taste of Hidalgo and the most essential tourist spots.
This private tour from Mexico City takes you to the wondrous Basaltic Prisms, Huasca de Ocampo, and Mineral del Monte. Because it’s personal, you’ll have more independence and say on the activities.
This is another private tour from Mexico City to the Pueblo Magicos in Hidalgo and Basaltic Prisms. This highly-rated tour includes all the most important stops for a day trip to Mineral del Monte.
Best time to visit Mineral del Monte?
The weather in Mineral del Monte is pretty cool and calm year-round. During the day, it’s usually partly cloudy and warm (rarely hot). And in the evenings, it’s breezy and chilly (rarely snowing).
According to Weather Spark, the temperature varies from 3C (36F) to 22C (71F). It doesn’t usually go below -1C (29F) or above 26C (78F).
The summer months are the warmest months to visit Mineral del Monte, although this is also the rainy season in Hidalgo.
If you want to stay dry, consider visiting in the winter (December or January). There are also more local tourists during the holidays, giving the town a more energetic atmosphere.
Is Mineral del Monte safe?
The U.S. Department of State currently has a travel advisory for Mexico. It currently suggests that citizens “Exercise Increased Caution” in the state of Hidalgo due to crime.
Like other towns and cities in Mexico, Hidalgo has suffered economic hardships. This generally causes an increase in crime.
That being said, Hidalgo is not a well-known tourist destination. So, you’ll see fewer crimes against tourists than other hot spots like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta.
Overall, I felt very safe in Mineral del Monte, and I think it’s an excellent place for anyone to relax and enjoy nature.
Historical facts about Mineral del Monte
Mineral del Monte has a vibrant history different from other parts of Mexico. The narrative is tightly connected to the mining industry, as the town was created around the mines.
Here are some interesting historical facts about Mineral del Monte that might be useful before your trip:
- The Real de Monte mine began operations in 1739.
- Mineral del Monte was developed mainly by Cornish miners during the gold and silver rushes in the 1800’s.
- The first wave of Cornish miners arrived in the 1830’s.
- Some estimate the district around Mineral del Monte produced 1.2 billion ounces of silver and 6.2 million ounces of gold.
What to pack for Mineral del Monte
Your packing list depends on the activities you’re looking for in Hidalgo. If you spend more time hiking around El Chico National Park, you must bring plenty of hiking attire and gear.
However, if you’re just planning on strolling through town, learning about the mining history, and trying some local dishes, you’ll mostly just have to bring some layers when it gets colder at night. But here’s a more comprehensive list of some things you should bring:
- Layers to wear in the mornings and evenings
- Hiking boots if you plan on hiking
- Comfortable hat and sunglasses for when it’s sunny
- A camera or smartphone for photos
- Rain gear if you’re visiting during the summer
- Mosquito repellant
How many days do I need to visit Mineral del Monte?
You can easily visit Mineral del Monte on a day trip from Mexico City. If you decide to go this route, consider taking a guided tour to Mineral del Monte and other nearby attractions.
They’ll organize transportation and all entrance fees for you, so you don’t have to plan anything else.
If you have the time and can drive, you should spend 3-5 days in Hidalgo visiting Mineral del Monte and other nearby pueblo magicos. Mineral del Chico and Huasca de Ocampo are close to Mineral del Monte and worth visiting.
What’s to see near Mineral del Monte?
Mineral del Monte is just a stone’s throw from two of Mexico’s most underrated pueblos magicos: Mineral del Chico and Huasca de Ocampo.
Huasca de Ocampo is the first designated pueblo magico, and it has kept so much of its original charm. It’s only about a 30-minute drive from Mineral del Monte, so it’s worth a visit.
Mineral del Chico is another pueblo magico with a deep mining history, much like Mineral del Monte. It’s in El Chico National Park, one of the best regions for hiking. So, this is the perfect little town for nature enthusiasts.
Real del Monte Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mineral del Monte worth visiting?
Yes, Mineral del Monte is worth visiting. It’s not an overrun tourist town, and there are many different activities for everyone there.
How far is Mineral del Monte from Mexico City?
Mineral del Monte is 108 km (67 miles) from Mexico City. It takes about two hours to drive to Mineral del Monte, depending on traffic in the city.
What is Mineral del Monte known for?
Mineral del Monte is known for its unique Cornish mining history and influence. At one point, it thrived in the mining industry. Today, you can explore these mines and learn all about this history.
Is it necessary to rent a car to visit Mineral del Monte?
It is not necessary to rent a car to visit Mineral del Monte. You can also take a tour from Mexico City or hop on a bus to Pachuca.
What is the best time of year to visit Mineral del Monte?
The best time of year to visit Mineral del Monte is in the winter months, specifically December and January. It’s a little colder but dry and full of holiday cheer.
Final Thoughts: Mineral del Monte
Mineral del Monte has a unique history and connection to the Mexican mining revolution in the 1800’s. And unfortunately, it’s often overlooked.
If you find yourself in Mexico City or anywhere in the region and want a quick escape to something entirely different, consider Mineral del Monte. There’s so much to see and do. You won’t regret this off-the-beaten-path excursion.
Before you go:
- A spectacular 4-day itinerary in the Sierra Gorda Queretaro
- The top 13 Queretaro Hotels for any budget and style
- Unmissable 23 things to do in Queretaro, Mexico, and its Surroundings
- The 23 Best Boutique Hotels in Mexico City (2023)
- The Best Time to Visit Mexico City: The Complete Guide