municipality of Mexico

Ixtapan de la Sal is a city of 11,000 (2010) in Mexico. Visitors come for the romantic colonial town center and for the thermal spas and mineral baths. It is recognized as one of Mexico's Pueblos Mágicos.

Ixtapan de la Sal



Ixtapan de la Sal was a salt flat harvested by the Nahual in pre-Hidpanic times. It was conquered by the Aztecs in 1472 and was forced to pay tribute to the empire in the form of sacks of salt.

Ixtapan de la Sal is famous for its waters. Two rivers run through the town: the Rio Salado flows year round and the Rio Salitre flows only during the rainy season. There is also a historic aquaduct that once carried water to the town. Mineral waters flow from La Laguna Verde spring.

Get in

Map of Ixtapan de la Sal

By bus


Flecha Roja operates three direct buses to Ixtapan de la Sal. Buses depart Mexico City from the Observatorio bus terminal. The trip is just under 2 hours and costs M$140 (June 2024). Several buses go from Toluca to Ixtapan de la Sal: the 1-hour ride costs M$80.

  • 1 Terminal de Autobuses (Bus station), Carr. Ixtapan de la sal - Tenancingo No. 901. Clean waiting room and restrooms (M$6). Most buses go Toluca.

By car


From Mexico City, take the Mexico-Toluca toll highway, and when nearing Lerma, take the Mexico State Highway to Tenango. Passing Tenango will be a "Tenango - Ixtapan" toll highway that you should take, Mex055 for 50 km.

Get around


Tourism is the main economic activity in Ixtapan de la Sal. The natural hot water springs attract thousands of visitors every year.

  • Parroquia La Asunción de María. Built in the 16th century by Spanish conquerors, the church is found downtown along with the townhall and the "Plaza de los Mártires" or Jardin central where the Martires monument and other typical buildings from the 1900s can be appreciated.
Statue of Diana Cazadora on Blvr Arturo San Roman
  • Arturo San Roman Boulevard, within a few miles stretch on this road there are some large sculptures. The first one at the entrance of the town is the Iztapancihuatl (goddess from thermal water), then, there is the water fountain depicting Diana Cazadora and finally the sculpture honoring the Independence Insurgents.

Thermal springs and pools

Tube ride at Parque Acuatico Ixtapan
  • 1 Parque Acuatico Ixtapan, Plaza San, México 55 s/n, +52 721 143 2200. Sa-Su 09:00 - 17:30, closed M-F. A water park with thermal spring spa, heated pools, a children's area, and an "extreme" water ride area. The park also has an expanse of green area with a small train that tours it.
  • 2 Balenario Roger & Angela (Jardin Angela Roy), Calle coro Manzana 030, Col 3 de Mayo Lindavista, +52 722 801 8419. Daily 09:00 - 17:00. Beautifully landscaped family aquatic park with pools, water slides, and picnic areas with shade shelters and barbecue grills.
  • 3 Balneario Municipal (Public baths), Ignacio Allende Nte Manzana 023, Santa Catarina. Daily 06:00 - 16:30. Warm thermal pools are indoors, cool water pools are outdoors. Natural mineral waters. Some water slides. Popular place that sometimes gets crowded. M$80.
  • Las Grutas de la Estrella are caverns 15 km from town that have been formed by the dissolving of limestone by groundwater seeping from the Chontalcuatlan and San Jeronimo rivers. These caverns are filled with stalactites and stalagmites of various colors.


  • A dancing parade called Apaches, represented by local townspeople on September 15 and 16 in celebration of the Mexican War of Independence.
  • Fiesta de San Martín Obispo - a celebration to honor the town's patron saint, San Martin Obispo. Festivities include parades, traditional dancing and music, fireworks, carnival games, and a midway.
  • Feria de la Sal: Celebrated during the month of January, this is one of the most imporant events of the town's social calendar. It features agricultural exhibitions, artesanias and crafts, concerts, music and dancing, and food and drink galore.
Mercado Municipal

The principal handcrafts are pottery, carved wood and confectionery and also the production of pipían pumpkin candy in October and November. The most prominent are the wooden copalillo and pottery.

  • 1 Mercado Municipal, Independencia Pte. Manzana 009. Daily 08:00 - 17:00. Traditional town marketplace where vendors sell farm fresh produce and other goods. The market features a number of food stands serving traditional regional dishes using authentic ingredients and recipes.
  • 1 Mariscos el Delfin, Blvd. Arturo San Roman, Ixtapa 711, Col Ixtapita, +52 721 690 1455. Daily 11:00 - 20:00. Popular casual seafood restaurant with balcony dining area with excellent views. M$300.
  • 2 El Rincón de Puga, Ignacio Allende Nte Sur 48, Santa Catarina. Daily 09:00 - 22:00. Elegant restaurant serving traditional Mexican cuisine in an outdoor courtyard and restored historic indoor dining room. Homemade everything from the handmade tortillas to fresh squeezed juices at breakfast (served until 1pm). Off-street parking available.
  • 3 Mariscos El Timon, 16 de Septiembre Ote. 57, Barrio de San Gaspar, +52 721 143 1896. Daily 08:00 - 20:00. Traditional seafood restaurant that also has a few burgers, salads and other options. Huge shrimp cocktails. Fish is fresh. Good caldo de camarones. M$200.
  • 4 Zapata Restaurante, 51900 Av.Juarez Norte #35, +52 721 690 1652. Daily 08:30 - 19:00. Traditional Mexican cuisine served in a Mexican Revolution themed atmosphere. M$200.
  • 5 Arcoiris, Benito Juárez 69, Barrio de San Gaspar. Daily 08:00 - 20:00. Bright, cheery restaurant serving basic Traditional Mexican cuisine with a few standout dishes, like the conejo en adobo (rabbit). M$200.
  • 6 Mision San Jose, Benito Juárez 403, Barrio de San Gaspar, +52 721 143 0055. Daily 08:00 - 17:00. Traditional Mexican cuisine at reasonable prices.





Some internationally-known hotel chains have locations here, most often placed on or right next to a thermal spring. The best known of these hotel-spas are the Ixtapan Spa Hotel and Golf Resort, Marriott Ixtapan de la Sal, Hotel Rancho San Diego Grand Spa Resort. These resorts offer guests baths in volcanically-heated waters, massages, beauty treatments and other services.

  • 1 Hotel Ixtapan Spa and Resort, Blvd. Arturo San Roman Pontente s/n, Barrio de San Gaspar, +52 721 143 2440. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Full service spa hotel close to the aquatic park. On-site restaurant. On-site swimming pools.
  • 2 Hotel Bungalows Lolita, Eva Samano de Lopez Esq. Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Barrio de Santa Ana, +52 721 143 0016. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Cozy bungalows with good furnishings (except for the hard beds), beautifully landscaped grounds, and excellent on-site restaurant. M$1000.
  • 3 Hotel El Romano, Benito Juárez 36-Sur, Centro, +52 721 143 2955. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern hotel with moderate rooms, spacious but basic furnishings. M$750.
  • 4 Hotel Ideal, Blvd. Arturo San Roman Poniente 809, Barrio de San Gaspar, +52 721 143 0486. Attractive traditional hotel with swimming pool on-site and off-street parking. Rooms are furnished basically with uncomfortable beds.



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