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STATE OF M…XICO

TOLUCA

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ACCOMMODATIONS
AMUSEMENT AND RECREATION
ARCHEOLOGY
ARTS AND CRAFTS
ATTRACTIONS
CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
ECOTOURISM AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS EVENTS
FESTIVALS AND TRADITIONS
GASTRONOMY
HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE
MUSEUMS
NIGHTLIFE
SHOPPING

Toluca or Toluca de Lerdo, the capital of the State of Mexico, is the highest city in the nation, with an altitude of 2680 meters (8,844 feet) above sea level. It lies 65 km (40 mi) west of Mexico City. Toluca has an average temperature of 18ļ C (64ļ F) and three microclimates: cold, semi-cold and temperate. The area gets rainfall during the summer.

Toluca is a city where you will see contrasts of old and new. On the one hand, it is called La Bella (The Beautiful One) due to the French neoclassical architecture. Notable examples include the Portales and the Cathedral, considered two of the city's most important artistic expressions from the 19th-century colonial period.

Its foundation by the Matlazincas would date from VII century A.C. Located at the north of the city; the Toloche mount gives its name to the city which come from Tolocan and means “where resides the God Tolo, the one that inclines the head.” After the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, the city took the name of Toluca de San Jose. The city has a large university and an important industrial site, in spite of its proximity to the capital, Mexico City.

This dynamic metropolis is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, as you will see at the Parque Nacional Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo, popularly known as La Marquesa. There you can do a wide variety of extreme sports and outdoor recreational activities. The Nevado de Toluca, a popular ecotourism site, is the country's fourth highest volcano and the only one in the world with a crater that can be reached by car.

If it’s art and culture you are after, Toluca is the city with second highest number of museums in the nation, including those located at the Centro Cultural Mexiquense. Also of interest is the Cosmovitral, which houses an amazing botanical garden and has one of the largest stained glass artworks in the world.

The nearby town of Metepec is famous for its talented artisans, particularly the master craftsmen who make the popular Ńrboles de la Vida (Trees of Life) ceramics. During your visit to Toluca, be sure to try the tasty green or red chorizo (Mexican sausage.) After the meal you can take an unforgettable stroll under the moonlight in the downtown area before visiting the many nightspots, where you can hang out and have a great time with the locals.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
Hotel El Santuario Resort and Spa

ECOTOURISM AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:
Ecotourism:
In Toluca’s environs you can visit the vast forested areas and have a direct encounter with nature while hiking and observing the flora and fauna.

Camping:
In Toluca’s surrounding areas you’ll find many pleasant and relaxing nature areas with an abundant offering of indigenous wildlife. All you have to do is pitch a tent, kick back, and enjoy the clear skies and absolute serenity.

Extreme sports:
In Toluca’s environs you’ll find beautiful nature areas where you can do various extreme sports, including trekking and mountain biking along routes that run from Nevado de Toluca to Valle de Bravo and Ixtapan de la Sal.

Mountain climbing:
In Toluca’s surrounding areas you will find natural parks offering challenging mountain climbing conditions of varying difficulty levels.

Outdoor activities:
Toluca’s surrounding areas are ideal for enjoying close contact with nature and doing various recreational activities that will allow you to feel more relaxed.

Spas:
Near Toluca you’ll find various spas dedicated to looking after your physical and mental well-being. These places use relaxation therapies, such as massages and holistic treatments, allowing you to enter into a calm and peaceful state.

ATTRACTIONS:
The Alameda Park 2000: Located on Avenida Las Torres, southeast of Toluca, next to the Centro Cultural Mexiquense. This is one of the closest parks to the downtown area and a popular spot for various political, cultural and sporting events. At this park there are various mountain biking paths of varying difficulty levels, including a 2.3 km (1.5 mi) run for beginners, a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) trail for intermediates and 17.5 km (11 mi) route for experts.

The National Park of Bosencheve: Located 65 km (40 mi) northeast of Toluca, off Highway 15. This national park covers about 15,000 hectares (37,050 acres) and it lays on top of one of the most important waters sources in the Valley of Mexico. This beautiful national park has camping areas where you can observe indigenous flora and fauna in a totally safe environment. In this park’s surrounding areas you will see diverse wildlife, such as mammal, bird and rodent species. You also can appreciate the beauty of the Carmen Lagoon while hiking. This is an ideal place for taking long walks around the lagoons and forested areas as you take in the great natural beauty.

The National Park of Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo (La Marquesa): Located 32 km (20 mi) east of Toluca, off Highway 15. This national park, which covers an area of 1580 hectares (3,903 acres), lays in a large valley with a cool climate. The park has an important ecological conservation center. The designated camping areas, security service, picnic tables, barbecue pits and other amenities make this national park the ideal spot for family outings. This park’s mountainous scenery, which includes an abundant offering of coniferous trees, has rock formations and peaks which will prove challenging for climbers. Tlaloc Mountain, for example, is 3690 meters (12,177 feet) above sea level. At this park you can rent horses to enjoy a quiet ride along the nature trails.

The National park of Nevado de Toluca: Located 48 km (30 mi) southeast of Toluca, along Highway 134. This national park has the fourth highest mountain in the country, which is 4558 meters (15,041 feet) above sea level. This is one of the main nature areas in the Toluca valley region. This national park has a recreational area, known as Los Venados, which has camping grounds, a lodge, food service and security. At the Venados recreational area you will find trekking routes that allow you to appreciate the great natural beauty that the volcano crater offers. You’ll also find abundant wildlife, including pine, cedar and fir trees, as well as coyotes, reptiles, squirrels and a countless number of birds. This national park has an 18 km (11 mi) dirt trail that leads to two lagoons in the volcano’s crater. The path is ideal for mountain biking. This park has peaks of various altitudes that will put mountain climbers’ skills to the test, such as Volcan Gordo, which is 3780 meters (12,474 feet) above sea level; La Calera, which lies 3740 meters (12,342 feet) above sea level; and San Antonio, which is 3600 meters (11,880 feet) high. Near the volcano’s lagoons you will find gorgeous areas where you can do long treks. These outings last from 4 to 12 hours and involve walking or climbing in areas like El Fraile, which lies 4558 meters (15,041 feet) above sea level, and Pico de Aguila, which has an altitude of 4518 meters (14,909 feet.)

The Park Sierra Morelos: Located in San Mateo Oxtotitlan, four km (2.5 mi) northeast of Toluca, off Highway 15. This 302-hectare (746-acre) park is located along the foothills of the Cerro de la Teresona. It has large pine, eucalyptus and oak forests. This park has various mountain biking trails, including two main routes: a 15 km (9 mi) run for beginners and a 30 km (19 mi) path for experts. Next to the lagoon here you will find rustic pavilions, picnic tables and barbecue grills to enjoy a nice outdoor meal. You’ll also find an area to do relaxing recreational activities.

ARCHEOLOGY:
In Toluca’s surrounding areas there are various archaeological sites with ruins of pre-Hispanic settlements, such as those of the Matlazincas, Teotihuacanas and Toltecas. As you tour these zones you’ll discover the grandeur of these ancient indigenous societies.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONE OF CALIXTLAHUACA:
Located 10 km (6.2 mi) northeast of Toluca, off Highway 55. This site was occupied by the Matlatzinca people; however various structures, such as Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc, have elements of Teotihuacana and Toltec architecture. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONE OF TEOTENANGO:
Located 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Toluca, off Highway 55. This site was inhabited by the Matlatzincas and its name means sacred wall. It is one of the most important ancient ceremonial centers in the region. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONE OF MALINALCO:
Located 77 km (48 mi) southeast of Toluca, off Highway 4. This site was an ancient Matlatzinca settlement annexed by the Aztec empire in 1476. Its most important structure is the Casa de los Guerreros Aguila y Jaguar. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE:
In Toluca you can marvel at a splendid 20th-century construction that offers natural and artistic beauty.

Cosmovitral (Botanical Garden): Located on the corner of Benito Juarez and Lerdo de Tejada, in Toluca. This spectacular place was built in the year 1900 as a market. In the 1970’s it underwent restoration and was converted into an art nouveau-style building. The edifice has 65 stained glass artworks, which contain more than 1,500 panes imported from Europe. Created by Tolucan artist Leopoldo Flores, this artwork adds distinctive flavor to the botanical garden, where you can observe more than 1,000 plant species. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE:
Toluca is one of the cities with the richest architecture in central Mexico. As you walk along the streets you’ll find countless buildings built between the 17th and 19th centuries. These edifices allow you to appreciate the finer details of this city’s old colonial architecture, while the newer buildings give Toluca a more contemporary feel.

The Cathedral: Located at Avenue Independencia and Nicolas Bravo, in downtown Toluca. This cathedral was built on top of the ruins of an old 17th-century Franciscan convent. It features three naves adorned with baroque-style altarpieces and has various neoclassical details. Open Monday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Temple del Carmen: Located on the corner of Benito Juarez and Santos Degollado, in downtown Toluca. Built in the 18th century, this building has an austere facade ornamented with coats of arms of the Carmelite order. The interior houses the Bellas Artes Museum, which has an extensive collection of colonial and contemporary paintings. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Portales: Located in Toluca’s downtown area. These buildings’ arches, which were built in the 19th century, have become an important city symbol.

The Temple de la Merced: Located on the corner of Melchor Ocampo and Jose Maria Morelos, in downtown Toluca. This baroque-style church was constructed in the 17th century. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

ARTS AND CRAFTS:
Artisans from all over the State of Mexico sell their works in Toluca’s crafts markets, including such items as rugs from Temoaya, woodworks from Santa Maria Rayon, and textiles from San Pedro Tenayac. You’ll also find the famous Ńrboles de la Vida (trees of life) ceramics in nearby Metepec, as well as dishware, pitchers, pottery and candleholders. You can purchase these products and much more at places such as the Benito Juarez market, where one of the state’s largest outdoor markets is set up every Friday.

FESTIVALS AND TRADITIONS:
Toluca hosts various religious and cultural festivities that feature dance performances, live music, art exhibits, fireworks shows and diverse culinary offerings. One of the most important events is the Festival de Danzas, a showcase of regional dance performances held on March 21. You also can attend the Holy Week celebrations, during which you can witness a re-enactment of the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross). And then there’s the San Isidro Labrador Fair, a type of carnival celebrated on the day of Pentecost. On November 2, the Day of the Dead is celebrated with theatrical performances, storytelling sessions and film screenings. Finally, at the end of October and beginning of November, you can enjoy the AlfeŮique Fair, where you can indulge in all kinds of sweets made of chocolate and amaranth. Another tantalizing treat is the traditional calaverita (candy or chocolate shaped in the form of skulls).

GASTRONOMY:
Among the wide variety of dishes you can try in Toluca, the most popular local fare is red and green chorizo (Mexican sausage), which is made with different types of chiles, pork and natural colorings. During your visit you also can try the chorizo especial (special chorizo), which is prepared with almonds.

Other specialties include pickled vegetables, baked mutton, tuza and charal tamales and pulque (a fermented alcoholic beverage). For dessert, nothing beats the milk candy and sweets prepared with pumpkin seeds. As for alcoholic drinks, you can delight in the moscos, a traditional orange liqueur.

MUSEUMS:
Toluca has various museums that display diverse exhibits. In fact, it is the city with the second highest number of museums in the nation.

Centre Cultural Mexiquense: Located in the Ex-Hacienda of la Pila, in the direction of San Buenaventura, in Toluca. This large 170-hectare (420-acre) complex is part of an old hacienda. It has various cultural centers. This cultural center offers many public services, including a large library and an important museum complex that consists of the Modern Art Museum, the Museum of Anthropology and History and the Museum of Popular Culture. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Museum of Belles Arts: Located on the corner of Benito Juarez and Santos Degollado, in the center of the city. In what was once the old El Carmen Convent, this museum houses paintings and sculptures of great artistic value. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Museum of the Estampa (Engraving): Located at 13 Pedro Ascencio. This museum features engravings made by well-known artists such as Jose Luis Cuevas, Pedro Coronel, Leonora Carrington and Gunther Gerzo. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Museum Felipe S. Gutierrez: Located at 303 Bravo Street. This museum exhibits the works of Felipe S. Gutierrez, a native of the State of Mexico who is considered one of Mexico’s best realism artists. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Museum Jose Maria Velasco: Located at 400 Lerdo Street. This museum is dedicated exclusively to the works of famed Mexican landscape artist Jose Maria Velasco. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

AMUSEMENT AND RECREATION:
In Toluca and its environs you’ll find many family-oriented attractions offering good times and excellent services.

The Zacango Zoo: Located 12 km (7 mi) south of Toluca, off the Metepec-Zacango Highway, near the town of Santa Maria Nativitas. The zoo has a wide variety of animal species and a lake where you can rent a rowboat. It also offers a museum with an exhibit of dissected animals. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Park Sierra Morelos: Located in San Mateo Oxtotitlan, 4 km (2.5 mi) northeast of Toluca, off Highway 15. This 302-hectare (746-acre) park is located along the foothills of the Cerro de la Teresona. It has large pine, eucalyptus and oak forests. This park offers barbecue grills for picnics. Here you also can take a walk in the natural areas or play soccer on the open fields. In addition, the park has a playground for children, a lake where you can rent rowboats and an area where you can see white-tailed deer. Open daily throughout the year.

The Park Alameda 2000: Located on Avenida Las Torres, southeast of Toluca, next to the Centro Cultural Mexiquense. This is one of the closest parks to the downtown area and a popular spot for various political, cultural and sporting events. This park has spacious recreational areas where you can play sports and have fun with the whole family. It also offers designated bike paths. The park is totally fenced in to provide greater security. Open daily throughout the year.

The Center Cultural Mexiquense: Located in the Ex-Hacienda of la Pila, in the direction of San Buenaventura, in Toluca. This large 170-hectare (420-acre) complex is part of an old hacienda. It has various cultural centers. At these facilities you’ll find sports fields and wide-open spaces to enjoy outdoor activities with your family. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS EVENTS:
Toluca hosts numerous artistic and cultural events to please those who are interested in folklore and tradition. The city has many top-notch venues for these and other events.

Festival del Quinto Sol (Festival of the Fifth Sun): Held on March 21 during the spring equinox, this event takes place at archaeological sites near Toluca. It celebrates the Cosmovision and creation theories of pre-Hispanic societies and their influences on contemporary culture.

Festival Quimera: Celebrated during the month of October in Metepec, this festival features live music, theatrical performances and poetry recitals with the common objective of using creative expression to communicate experiences of everyday life.

Exhibitions Centre Mexiquense (CEMEXPO): Located on the corner of Robert Bosch and 1ļ de Mayo, in Toluca’s Colonia Zona Industrial. This expo center rents its facilities for conventions, congresses and expositions.

The Theater Morelos: Located at Plaza Morelos, on the corner of Aquiles Serdan and Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, in Toluca’s Colonia Centro. This theater regularly hosts theatrical and dance performances.

NIGHTLIFE:
For those who enjoy a night on the town, Toluca has many bars and clubs located in the downtown area. If you like, you can take a stroll in the city center or spend a romantic evening listening to live music in the PeŮa Bohemia. Or you can dance the night away in the city’s discos, such as La Casona and Iguana’s, where you can enjoy your favorite drink in the company of friends.

SHOPPING:
In Toluca there are 17 markets, 66 flea markets and seven malls. We recommend that you visit the Casa de Artesanias on Paseo Tollocan, an ideal place to buy all kinds of souvenirs. In nearby Metepec you’ll find its famous artisan market, where you can buy all kinds of arts and crafts, mainly ceramics. Plaza Galerias Metepec, on Boulevard Toluca-Ixtapan, has stores that sell name-brand clothing, music and much more. Finally, at Outlets de Lerma, located at Km 50 on the Mexico-Toluca Highway, you’ll find popular wholesale items from Mexico and all over the world.

For prices, reservations, availability and bookings, please contact us at: visit@luxuriousmexico.com

       

ACCOMMODATIONS
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TeotihuacŠn TepotzotlŠn
Toluca Valle de Bravo
CIRCUITS
PHOTOS VIDEO
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Fountain - Photo by SECTUR Toluca
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Main Plaza
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, National Parc Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo, La Marquesa - Photo by Esatdo de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, National Park Insurgente Miguel Hidalgo,
La Marquesa
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Los Portales - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, The Portales
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Botanical Garden, Cosmovitral - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Botanical Garden, Cosmovitral
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Parc Nevado de Toluca, Lagoon of the Sun - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Park Nevado de Toluca, Lagoon of the Sun
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Parc Nevado de Toluca - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Park Nevado de Toluca
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Calixtlahuaca, Archeological zone, Temple Ehecatl Quet-zacoalt, Stairs - Photo by Sectur Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Calixtlahuaca, Archeological zone,
Temple Ehecatl Quet-zacoalt
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Calixtlahuaca, Archeological zone, Group Tlaloc, Aerial view - Photo by Sectur Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Calixtlahuaca, Archeological zone,
Group Tlaloc, Aerial view
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Botanical garden Cosmovitral, fountain - Photo by Esatdo de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Botanical garden Cosmovitral
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Church Santa Veracruz  - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Church Santa Veracruz
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Cathedral, Altar - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Cathedral, Altar
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Cathedral, Saint Peter - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Cathedral, Saint Peter
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Temple of La Merced - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Temple of La Merced
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Morerlos Theater - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Morelos Theater
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Main Plaza, Street - Photo by SECTUR
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Main Plaza
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Zocalo, Main Plaza - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Zocalo, Main Plaza
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Calixtlahuaca, Archeological zone, Temple Ehecatl Quet-zacoalt - Photo by Sectur Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Calixtlahuaca, Archeological zone,
Temple Ehecatl Quet-zacoalt
« Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Botanical garden Cosmovitral - Photo by Esatdo de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Toluca, Botanical garden Cosmovitral