Toluca de Lerdo is 60 km from Mexico City with parks and natural spaces that are perfect to visit for a day or weekend outing.
This is our selection of the main natural attractions of Toluca that we invite you to visit.
1. Snowy Toluca
Let’s start with the geographical icon of the city: the Nevado de Toluca.
One of the public’s favorite places because it offers beautiful landscapes both in summer and winter.
Its forests of oaks and conifers show all their green during the sunny season, while the snow covers this Mexican volcano in white in winter.
The Nevado de Toluca is 22 km from the capital of the State of Mexico with a flora and fauna protection area of almost 47 thousand hectares.
It is the fourth Mexican summit with its peak at 4680 meters above sea level. A composite volcano that registers seismic activity, so it is listed as active.
Although the path of the xinantécatl (indigenous name that means “naked man”) can be done by car, it is more rewarding to walk along its trails, forests and rocky areas, admiring its flora, fauna and lagoons in the highest part.
2. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Insurgent National Park
It is better known as “La Marquesa”. Its 4790 hectares are shared by the DF and the State of Mexico, between the valleys of Mexico and Toluca, being a regular place of recreation during the weekends.
The park borders other natural attractions such as Parque Nacional Desierto de los Leones and is easily accessible via Highway 55 and Highway 15.
Among its main attractions are the coniferous forests and its fauna that can be seen in the most remote places. It is frequented for camping, hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, horseback riding and ATV rides through closed circuits.
It has a fish station that works in a building that belonged to the old colonial hacienda La Marquesa.
3. Matlazincas Park
The Mexican capital is surrounded by small hills that look like dwarf “children” of the imposing Nevado de Toluca.
Many have changed the foliage for cement, but El Calvario has resisted and remains an oasis in the center of the city of Toluca and with Matlazincas Park at its peak.
After going a few meters into the hill, the noise of the cars and the smog give way to cleaner air and more pleasant views.
Matlazincas Park is one of the most visited natural attractions in Toluca to take panoramic photos, exercise and enjoy a picnic or barbecue.
Other places of interest are the Museum of Natural Sciences of the State of Mexico, with its exhibitions on the Universe and the Solar System, Geology, Biodiversity of the State of Mexico, Lepidoptera (butterflies), Insects and Ecology and the chapel of El Calvario.
4. Las Torres Linear Park
Recreation space recovered by the rehabilitation of 100 thousand m 2 of green areas, between Paseo Cristóbal Colón and Calle General Venustiano Carranza.
The project completed in 2019 included the placement of 280 m 3 of organic soil, the planting of 200 trees, including 10 magueyes, and the planting of lawns and ornamental plants such as lavender.
The project is part of the campaign, “Together for a Green Capital”, undertaken by the city government to reforest and beautify Toluca.
5. Highmountain State Park
Park decreed in 2013 by the state government 74 km southwest of Toluca, in the municipality of Valle de Bravo.
The ancient Matlatzincas called it “hill of water” because the streams created a noise as they flowed under the thick vegetation.
The flora of the park includes pines, oaks and orchids in the wetlands, while the fauna is represented by hawks, sparrows, buzzards, owls, rabbits and squirrels.
The park is made up of 3 volcanoes whose erosion formed steep slopes on 3 of the 4 sides (north, south and west), while to the east the topography softens and extends towards the Acatitlán valley.
These volcanoes expelled large masses of basaltic rocks during their time of activity in the Mesozoic Era, creating formations such as Cerro Pelón.
6. Sierra de Nanchititla Park
Park in the Cañadas de Nanchititla, in the jurisdiction of the municipalities of Tejupilco and Luvianos, 155 km southwest of Toluca, with almost 68 thousand hectares where there are beautiful waterfalls such as Las Pilas and Salto de Nanchititla.
The Nahua word “Nanchititla” means “place of the Nanche route”, sweet edible fruit with a strong aroma.
The park also has mountains that exceed 2000 meters above sea level covered with groves of pines and oaks.
In these foothills there are several viewpoints (Filo, La Cascada, Potrero, Candelaria and Barriales) from which there are spectacular views of the landscape.
The main activities to do are camping, hiking, mountain biking, zip line, horseback riding, rappelling, paragliding and sport fishing.
7. Zacango Ecological Park
The main attraction of this park in the municipality of Calimaya, 12 km south of Toluca, is a zoo with specimens of 136 species from all over the world.
It is located in a protected area of 159 hectares that belonged to the Counts of Santiago and Calimaya and that had previously been part of the old Franciscan Hacienda from the 16th century. The tours are on foot or on board a little train.
The park has an aviary and areas for carnivores, herbivores, primates, reptiles (the most important collection in the country) and African animals, as well as a farm and a conservation education center.
It is one of the few sites in the country that brings together the Gaboon viper, the Albino python and the green mamba.
8. The mummy of Almoloya de Juárez
A mummy is also a natural attraction, especially if the mummification has occurred naturally. This was what happened to Don José Remigio Estrada, a man from Villa de Almoloya de Juárez whose body was found in 1890 in the local municipal pantheon, in an excellent state of mummification.
The bodies of Mr. Estrada’s wife and the couple’s 3 grandchildren were also mummified, but not as well as the man’s.
The population requested that same year that the mummy be preserved as part of the local cultural heritage and is currently on display in a showcase in the municipal presidency of Almoloya de Juárez.
It is the only known mummy from the State of Mexico.
The town is located in the Valley of Toluca, 18 km northwest of the state capital.
9. Waterfalls and flowers of Villa Guerrero
Villa Guerrero is a municipal seat and municipality in the state of Mexico that borders Toluca to the north, previously known as Tecualoya, a community founded in the 7th century by the Otomí people.
The great natural attractions of Villa Guerrero are its flowers and waterfalls, the main ones being Salto Grande del Texcaltenco, La Atlaquizca, Salto del Río San Gaspar and Salto de la Neblina.
The El Salitre hot spring and several streams that come down from the Nevado de Toluca are also attractive sites.
The town is known as the “flower capital of the state of Mexico” and the municipality is the first in the country in flower production.
There are more than 2700 hectares of nurseries and flower plantations where large quantities of chrysanthemums, carnations, roses, hydrangeas, sunflowers and other species that cover the Mexican soil with color and beauty are grown.
10. Bio Star Park
Ecological park in the municipality of Ixtlahuaca, 87 km north of Toluca, the largest theme space and safari in the country with an area of 300 hectares with animals that roam freely.
There are more than 500 specimens of species such as giraffes, elephants, zebras, tigers, lions, hippos, camels and primates.
Other attractions are Jurassic River, an adventure aboard a boat where impressive replicas of dinosaurs can be seen, and Subterranium, a mysterious ride underground in an electric vehicle.
There are also hiking trails, a zipline, and a rock-climbing wall.
The Bio Parque Estrella is at km 38.5, Jilotepec, El Puerto, Ixtlahuaca de Rayón. The entrance can be around 300 MXN, depending on the selected attractions.
11. Bicentennial Environmental Park
Among the natural attractions of Toluca, this park in Metepec stands out, 11 km southeast of the city with 101 hectares of extension, where you can walk, jog, practice cycling, do yoga and play soccer and basketball.
It also has spaces for children’s games and skating and a water mirror for boat rides.
The dog park is a perfect place to spend a different time with your pet and the environmental education center hosts conferences, courses and workshops, film screenings and exhibitions related to ecological issues.
The Bicentennial Environmental Park has a small museum, a library and an auditorium. It also serves to celebrate community and reforestation days. It is located between Estado de México and CODAGEM avenues.
12. Mazahua Ceremonial Center
Ceremonial place of the Mazahua culture that combines a contemporary building built to honor that ethnic group, with an impressive natural beauty.
The center was built in 1980 in Santa Ana Nichi, 57 km northwest of Toluca. It shows the history of the Mazahua culture and the crafts made by the indigenous people of this town, the most numerous in the states of Mexico and Michoacán.
The place is surrounded by a beautiful forest of ocotes, pines and oaks. Among the groves there are trails and a diverse fauna made up of rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, white-tailed deer, gophers, sheep, snakes and several species of birds.
Natural attractions of Toluca: Isla de las Aves Park
It is a Toluqueño park built to enjoy with the family for a day or a weekend, since it has cabins and a camping area with 24-hour surveillance.
It is located at km 11 of the Toluca – Atlacomulco highway, 5 km west of the Mexican capital in front of the J. Trinidad Fabela dam, offering recreational land, water and air activities.
In Isla de las Aves you can do rowing, sport fishing, horseback riding, zip line and its pedestrian paths, walks. It has an area for children’s games, barbecues, tables and benches.
In the middle of the dam there is an islet that is a haven for birds, including geese, pigeons and guineafowl.
The entrance to the park costs 15 MXN and 10 MXN for adults and children, respectively. It works every day from 10 am to 5 pm
Nevado de Toluca tourist attractions
In the Nevado de Toluca and its flora and fauna protection area there are multiple entertainment activities, such as observing its flowers, animals, landscapes and lagoons.
The pine and fir forests cover the slopes of the mountain up to 4000 meters above sea level and from that altitude the flora changes to alpine vegetation.
Birds of prey, squirrels and volcano bunnies are emblematic animals. Camping, hiking, mountaineering, hiking, diving and trout fishing are some of the entertainment offered by the Nevado de Toluca.
Tours in Toluca
The company Turismo Toluca la Bella offers tours of the city in tram-type vehicles that pass through the main places of interest, such as the historic center, the Cosmovitral Botanical Garden, the Alameda, the Toluca Cultural Center, Paseo Colón and the gastronomic corridor.
Tours called Tours of Legend are held at night. Prices are 90 MXN adults and 70 MXN children. Toluqueños pay 50 MXN.
The acceptance of the Toluca tourist tram was so good that in 2018 another one was put into service in Metepec.
Landscapes of Toluca
The Nevado de Toluca guards the city from 48 km away. In the metropolitan area there are several hills, most of them urbanized. An exception is the Cerro del Calvario, which houses the Matlazincas Park, one of the favorite outdoor recreation spots of Toluqueños.
Very close to the city center are natural spaces such as the Insurgent Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla National Park, the Zacango Ecological Park, the Bicentennial Environmental Park and the Isla de Aves Park.
Toluca tourist route
If you have 3 days to visit Toluca, we recommend dedicating one to get to know the historic center of the city, starting from Plaza González Arratia, and then heading to the Cosmovitral Botanical Garden, an iconic place in Toluca in a beautiful Art Nouveau building where the impressive stained glass window is by the artist, Leopoldo Flores.
Your second day in Toluca can be dedicated to outdoor entertainment in the Nevado de Toluca and the last 24 hours visiting the Archaeological Zone of Teotenango and its museum, a Teotenaca site 25 km from the city.
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- Get to know the 20 best places to visit in Toluca
- We leave you our guide on the 14 best places to visit in Metepec
- Read our guide on the 56 tourist places in Mexico that you have to visit