Amecameca de Juárez is a sleepy town of 31,000 people (2010) south of Mexico City, in the State of Mexico between Mexico City and the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl volcanos of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This area is popular with weekend visitors from Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos to enjoy the scenery of the mountains, eat local foods, visit the Sanctuary of the Señor del Sacromonte, the Panohaya Hacienda and other attractions. It is on the Ruta de los Volcanes tourist route.
Amecameca has an old and beautiful church, the Parish of the Asunción, on the zocalo. The town lies near the Ixtaccihuatl and Popocatepetl volcanoes, and is the most convenient place from which to head up to climb Ixtaccihuatl.
Amecameca is fairly close to Puebla and to Mexico City. To get to or from the town by bus, one first travels to the big freeway interchange where the 150 and 115 freeways intersect, near the town of Chalco; tickets for this point may be referred to as tickets to "Chalco" or "Los Cocos," and it may be necessary to remind the driver to stop there. Once at this interchange, you must walk across the freeway or along an overpass to get to the correct strip of dirt where one catches the next bus. This can be dangerous. It would not be a good idea to attempt it at night, and there is no way to figure out which location to go to without asking people. Buses to Amecameca have signs saying "Ameca."
In Amecameca, colectivos stop at the north side of the zocalo. The station for big buses is a few blocks northwest of the zocalo, on the street that cuts diagonally across the grid of city streets and connects the town to the 115 highway.
From Toluca: Get to Lerma passing through La Marquesa, go to Mexico City through Constituents, towards the Periférico, go through Mixcoac and Circuito Interior towards Churubusco, reach Calzada Ermita Iztapalapa that connects with Santa Martha Acatitla, highway to Puebla until the deviation to Chalco, continue on the Federal highway to Amecameca.
From Mexico City: Get to Blvd. Puerto Aéreo to Calzada Ignacio Zaragoza, pass Canal de San Juan and Santa Martha Acatitla. Head along the highway to Puebla until the turnoff to Chalco, traveling along the Federal highway to Amecameca.
From Guerrero: From Chilpancingo head towards Tequesquitengo, go through the junction of the same name towards Galeana, go to Cuautla and take a detour towards Amecameca.
From Hidalgo: From Pachuca, go to El Dorado at the San Cristóbal junction, take to San Cristóbal Ecatepec, at the Los Reyes junction towards C. Mexiquense, turn off to Periférico, passing the Aragón junction and Av. 602 until Calzada Ignacio Zaragoza, go along the highway to Puebla until the turnoff to Chalco, following the Federal highway to Amecameca.
From Michoacán: From Morelia going to Tarímbaro, go through the Morelia, Maravatío and Contepec junctions, at the San Juanico junction take to Atlacomulco and to Toluca continuing towards Mexico City. Once there, take Constituent Avenue, turn off at Periférico passing Mixcoac and Circuito Interior, reach Calzada Ermita Iztapalapa towards Santa Martha Acatitla, continuing along Calzada Ignacio Zaragoza, highway to Puebla until the turnoff to Chalco, continue along the Federal highway until you get to Amecameca.
The town is small enough to be easily walkable, but there are also taxis, as well as lots of ciclotaxis on the streets.
- There is one registered archeological site outside of the town called the Piedra del Conejo ("Rabbit Stone") or Monumental solsticial de Tomacoco ("Solstice monument of Tomacoco").
- The Panoaya Hacienda is home to two museums. Much of the hacienda land is leased to a recreational park which is best known for its petting zoo which contains tame deer.
- The main hacienda building houses the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Museum; it is featured in the reverse of the 200-peso note.
- Next door is the International Museum of Volcanos which exhibits of Mexico two most famous volcanoes and others in the world.
- Parish of the Asunción church, on the zocalo.
- You can climb a wooded hill west of the town to the Santuario del Señor de Sacromonte, with an excellent view of the town, countryside, and two nearby volcanoes. Families living in Mexico City come here to escape the summer heat, and there is a petting zoo and amusement park outside of town.
- The annual Carnival/Festival del Señor del Sacromonte extends over the week containing Ash Wednesday. It is considered to be one of the most important festivals in Mexico State.
- The Bosque de los Arboles de Navidad (Christmas Tree Forest), one of the few places in Mexico where you can go and cut your own tree. The Bosque plants trees such as the "vikingo mexiquense" and the "vikingo canadiense" coming here has become a tradition for many families in the Mexico City area. Picnicking is permitted.
- The Eco Parque San Pedro (San Pedro Ecological Park) is located between the Amecameca and Nexpayantla rivers just outside the municipal seat in the community of San Pedro Nexapa. It stands at 2870 meters above sea level, very close to the Puebla state line and has a cold, wet climate. The park is between the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanos near the Cortés Pass. The park was created as a way to manage and preserve the natural resources of the area. It is a recreational area for sports such as hiking and also contains the second largest labyrinth of its type in the world created with over 38,000 cedar trees over an extension of 10,000 m². There is also a "zoo" of sculpted plants made to form animals using plants native to the area.
- The Temazcal Park is a natural area with dirt and stone paths. It contains a variety of pine trees and medicinal plants and is home to white tailed deer, foxes and other wildlife. Activities available here are hiking, mountain biking, camping and other nature sports.
- The Cortés Pass is located 30 minutes from the town, which is a space between the two volcanoes and from where Cortés had his first view of the Valley of Mexico.
Alpinists with the necessary equipment and experience will usually pass through Amecameca on their way to climb Iztaccíhuatl in 1 Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park. (It has not been possible to climb Popocatépetl since it began showing renewed volcanic activity in 1994.) Register for your climb at the national park office above the Hotel San Carlos; they will give you paperwork to fill out, but you don't pay them any money. The next step is to hire a taxi up to Altzomoni Lodge or La Joya. The driver will know to stop at the visitor's center at the Paso de Cortes, where you will pay your fees and, if you're staying at the Altzomoni Lodge, obtain a key. The Altzomoni Lodge may be full, and it may be difficult to learn this without heading up to the Paso do Cortes. An alternative base of operations, which may in fact be preferable, is the Grupo de Los Cien hut higher up on the mountain, which is unlocked and free. Altzomoni has bunk beds, electricity, fireplaces, and toilets, but no potable water. The Grupo de los Cien hut is a bare-bones alpine hut, offering only shelter against the wind and weather. In an emergency, it would also be possible to take shelter inside the semi-enclosed shack at La Joya that serves as a taco stand on some weekends. Information about climbing Ixtaccihuatl is available on summitpost or in Secor's Mexico's Volcanoes: A Climbing Guide. The climb requires an ice ax and crampons, and can be done either in two days (with one or more nights at the Grupo de los Cien hut) or in one long day. Because of the high altitude of 5230 m (17,160 ft), climbers typically acclimatize first by climbing La Malinche or Nevado de Toluca.
There is a large supermarket in the center of town. An open-air market lies along the eastern side of the zocalo.
Market days are Monday, Wednesday and Sunday when the town is covered in portable stalls in a tradition called the tianguis.
- A large historic cafe at the south side of the zocalo serves coffee and pastries starting at 08:30.
- Europan, a small cafe on Rosario near Independencia, has good coffee and is open at 09:30.
- Hotel San Carlos (East of the zocalo, next to the church.). Extremely cheap. Clean, bare, unheated rooms with tile floors and old, battered furniture. Private baths with hot water. Some rooms have televisions. From M$120.