Ixtapan de la Sal
Ixtapan de la Sal
Ixtapan de la Sal

Ixtapan de la Sal is a town near Mexico City. Known for its healing thermal springs it has become one of the leading tourist destinations in the state of Mexico. Its name comes from the Nahuatl language and means above the salt due, obviously, to the large deposit of salt in this region.

Ixtapan de la Sal, MEX

State: Estado de México

18°50'39 "N 99°40'31" W

Altitude: 1880 meters above sea level


Time Zone: Central Standard Time UTC-6

Population: 30,073 inhabitants (INEGI, 2010)

Area Code: 721

During the Aztec empire it was a very special place for the chiefs who took advantage of the warm waters of the springs for their healing and soothing properties.

Since then Ixtapan de la Sal has been a place of healing, meditation, and relaxation.

Among its attractions is the Ixtapan water park where you can find slides, rivers, hot springs, extreme fun zone, a lagoon for pedal boats, and relaxing massage services. Ixtapan offers countless adventures including paragliding, rappelling, and motorcycle or ATV trails in the mountains.

Moreover you can enjoy a day at the Hotel and Golf Resort which has tennis courts, bike paths, a lake for fishing, a recreational lake, spa, equestrian club with over 6 kilometers of trails, and to top it off, an 18-hole golf course.

Ixtapan de la Sal is an example of a typical Mexican town with its high tile roofs and cobblestone streets framed in traditional surroundings of buildings dating back to the 16th sixteenth century like the Parish of la Asunción.

About five minutes from Ixtapan is the town of Tonatico where you can visit the cavern of Gruta de la Estrella that has its entrance at the foot of the Zapote canyon. Ritual objects have been found here, so it is believed that the site was used to worship the god Tlaloc.

Throughout its galleries you can enjoy its beautiful landscapes from the waterfalls and stalactites to the joining of the underground rivers Chontalcuatlán and San Jerónimo.

The cuisine of Ixtapan de la Sal includes traditional vegetable and meat dishes of Mexico State such as chilacayote in pipián with pork, turkey red mole, tamales, frog legs, los quelites and the papalo. The typical drink is the exquisite lime and for dessert it is the jellied candies of jaleas de frutas, el ate de membrillo, and guayabate which is made from guava.

Getting There

Ixtapan de la Salt is located 130 kilometers southwest of Mexico City and 65 kilometers from the Toluca the capital of the state of, Mexico.

To get there by car, take the highway Carretera Mexico-Toluca-Ixtapan de la Sal. It is also possible to take a bus.

Distance from Ixtapan de la Sal to other destinations in Mexico

  • Mexico City, Federal District: 130 km.
  • Toluca, State of Mexico: 65 km.
  • Cuernavaca, Morelos: 108 km.
  • Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla: 244 km.
  • Querétaro, Querétaro: 258 km.
  • Morelia, Michoacán: 291 km.
  • Acapulco, Guerrero: 326 km.
  • Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero: 408 km.
  • León de Aldama, Guanajuato: 434 km.
  • San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi: 458 km.
  • Veracruz, Veracruz: 512 km.
  • Guadalajara, Jalisco: 539 km.
  • Monterrey, Nuevo Leon: 950 km.


The climate of Ixtapan de la Sal stays warm throughout the year with an average temperature of 18°C.

What to pack

For spa and water activities bring a bathing suit, sandals, sunscreen, shorts, cool shirts, and a hat.

For hiking pack long pants, sneakers, a hat, sunscreen, a light sweater, and insect repellent.

Activities and attractions in Ixtapan de la Sal and the surrounding area

Spas and waterparks of Ixtapan de la Sal, El Bañito town spa, Ixtapan water park.

Golf, horse riding, paragliding, rappelling, mountain tour by motorcycle or ATV.

"Jardín de Los Mártires" main plaza, Monument to the "Mártires del 10 de Agosto 1912", Parish of the Asunción de Maria, Cybernetic fountain show.

Statue in honor of the Ixtapancihuatl goddess of the thermal springs, Statue of Diana the Huntress.

Ixtapan de la Sal craft market.

Visit the charming village of Tonatico (about 5 minutes from Ixtapan de la Sal), Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Tonatico, and the cavern "Gruta de la Estrella".

Feasts and Celebrations in Ixtapan de la Sal

February 2: Feast of la Virgen de Tonatico.

April: Easter Holy Week, Feast of Señor del Perdón.

May 15: Feast of San Isidro Labrador.

August 15: Feast of the Asunción de María.

September: Feast of Saint Jubileo.

September 15 and 16: Mexican Independence Day.

Oct. 31, November 1 and 2: Day of the Dead Celebration (Día de Muertos).

November 25: Feast of Santa Catarina.

December 12: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. December 16 to 24: Christmas Posadas.