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We Found Cliffside Hot Spring Infinity Pools in Mexico & We’re Sharing All
Adam Szafranski
byAdam Szafranski

There’s a certain magic surrounding natural hot springs and the pools they form – the mineral-rich water is often vibrant shades of turquoise and consistently warm thanks to the earth it comes from. Of course, we have all seen the famous Blue Lagoon in Iceland and the pools of Pamukkale in Turkey across our feeds, but today we’re diving into a new set of spring pools in Hidalgo, Mexico called Grutas de Tolantongo

These natural pools in Mexico are carved into the cliffside of the Tolantongo Canyon where the blue water contrasts with the stone facade while lush, semi-tropical flora envelops the cliffside. About a five-hour flight from just about anywhere in the United States, getting to this natural wonder is considerably easier than getting yourself to Turkey and hence, why Grutas de Tolantongo has earned a permanent spot on our bucket lists.

If you want an entire pool to yourself for your birthday, it’s best to come with all of your adventurous friends and family to ensure you’ll be swimming and celebrating surrounded by your chosen crew. 

collection of natural pools next to palm treesPhotography: Lara Sliwinski 

The Trip In 

Getting to Grutas de Tolantongo isn’t the simplest trip, but with a bit of advanced planning, you can turn it into a bucket list road trip of its own. We suggest starting in Mexico City (get the full guide to CDMX here) and renting a car or hiring a driver to take you to Hidalgo where Tolantongo Canyon is located. It’s about a three-hour drive northwest of Mexico City and, trust us, it’s worth the journey.

As you travel north, you’ll experience the desert terrain of Hidalgo that leads straight to the top of Tolantongo Canyon. As you continue to travel closer to the canyon floor, the desert gives way to a semi-tropical region thanks to the river and waterfalls of the area. 

outdoor architecture and red car in front of treesPhotography: Adam Szafranski 

The Park

We’ve hyped up the cliffside hot spring infinity pools for good reason, but they are actually just one facet of this naturally occurring water park. Beyond these Mexico natural pools, as you go through the parks you can expect to find:

  • Grottos
  • The river
  • Waterfalls
  • A tunnel
  • Hiking


The cavernous grottos are suitable for swimmers of all ages and feature soaring “ceilings” and rugged walls. A waterfall bursts through the ceiling, offering a refreshing surprise for all visitors. At the canyon floor, experience the river, responsible for carving out the canyon over several thousand years.

This is the perfect place to float as the mineral-laden turquoise water shimmers under the sun. You can also walk through the rocky thermal tunnel, with dripping walls and shallow water. There are also several hiking opportunities leading to waterfalls, the bridge and sweeping views of the canyon.

Basically, the park is the destination for water and adventure lovers alike. 

person standing alongside riverperson jumping into riverPhotography: Lara Sliwinski 

Need to Know 

If trekking in for the day sounds too laborious for you – after all, it is your birthday – there are four hotels within the park you can stay at.

Once at the park, all payments are cash-only so plan accordingly. The daily entrance fee is $150 MXN per person which grants you full access to the park from 7am-8pm. If you choose to drive, parking is $20 MXN.

person standing in infinity poolPhotography: Lara Sliwinski 

Looking to plan your next birthday adventure? Check out all of our birthday bucket list guides→

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