It was 2019 and I had travelled by bus from Mexico City to Pachuca de Soto with my girlfriend at the time.
We moved to Pachuca because she had to move back to the city for her medical studies.
Once we arrived, we took a taxi to the apartment building of my landlord.
A white Mexican woman named Maria who owned various properties with her husband.
After finding the apartment building, she took us in and showed me around the building so I can check out the various rooms that she had to offer.
Soon enough, I signed the contract, paid the first month’s rent and that was it.
My life in Pachuca was set for the next 9 months.
Was it worth visiting?
Personally, I enjoyed it but, if I’m being honest, I actually signed a contract for 12 months.
Near around the 9 month mark, I decided to ditch the place and head back to Mexico City because I was just too bored staying in the city any longer.
I had to leave.
But Pachuca de Soto isn’t a terrible place to be.
Who would do well in Pachuca?
Personally, I could see myself moving back to Pachuca someday if it involved raising a kid in a happy family.
To me, it really came across as that type of city more for the family man who prefers a calm environment for raising kids.
Otherwise, the city could also work well for the type of expat who prefers living outside the expat bubble in a small city where he doesn’t need too much urban activity to be entertained.
A man who wants to live more among Mexicans than gringo expats.
Someone who is satisfied sitting in a park than getting wasted in a club.
The city itself has its charm in many ways and I like Pachuca de Soto.
However, for someone as young as me, I had to move back to a place like Mexico City for more fun and excitement.
But, as I said, Pachuca de Soto has plenty to offer for those like above that would be more satisfied than I was with the calmer environment.
Having said everything that comes to mind with my first impressions of the city, let’s discuss various topics that come with living in Pachuca for those curious on learning more about the city.
And, if you don’t want to read the whole article, I recommend trying this Table of Contents below.
Let’s get to it.
Ten Quick Facts About Pachuca de Soto
First, Pachuca de Soto is the capital city of the Mexican state of Hidalgo.
Second, it’s population is 256,584 as of 2018.
Third, the Mexican state of Hidalgo where Pachuca is located is bounded by the following Mexican states: San Luis Potosi to the north, Veracruz to the north and northeast, Puebla to the east, Tlaxcala to the state of Mexico to the south and Queretaro to the west,
Fourth, the nickname of Pachuca de Soto is La Bella Airosa or The Windy Beauty.
Fifth, Pachuca is home to the Club de Futbol Pachuca which is one of the oldest football clubs in the Americas after being founded by Cornish miners in 1901.
Sixth, as you can tell by the last quick fact, Pachuca has a history of English and Cornish immigrants that have also left their market on the city’s history and architecture.
Seventh, Pachuca has a large mining history that still goes on today in which the city produces 60% of the state’s gold and 50% of its silver. This detail to the city’s history has also influenced it in other ways as you’ll notice some degree of a “mining” emphasis in the city with all its museums on mining, depictions of miners in some parts of the city and more.
Eighth, about one-sixth of the people of Hidalgo speak an indigenous language with the Otomi culture being one of the more notable indigenous cultures of the area.
Ninth, evidence of human activity in the general area can be found going back as far as 12,000 BCE with early groups looking to extract mineral resources for arrow heads, scraping tools and more.
Tenth, the Mexican state of Hidalgo was founded in 1869 by a former Mexican President known as Benito Juarez and added the words “de Soto” in Pachuca to give credit to a Mexican congressman known as Manuel Fernando Soto for his role in creating the state. The name Hidalgo was named in honor of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (known as the leader of the Mexican War of Independence).
Best Time to Visit Pachuca de Soto
Personally, I think your best bet would be to visit sometime before it begins to rain too much.
Perhaps before April basically.
In the months before April, you can't go too wrong.
During that time anyway, a visit around December would be nice because you can enjoy some of the winter festivals that I wrote about here.
How to Get to Pachuca de Soto
So are you finally ready to visit Pachuca?
While Pachuca de Soto does technically have a national airport known as Ingeniero Juan Guillermo Villasana National Airport, I’ve never stepped foot inside it.
If you are traveling from another part of Mexico that is far from Pachuca, obviously it would be ideal to just show up to that airport.
Otherwise, if you happen to be in Mexico City or some other nearby city, a bus ride is easy enough to get to Pachuca.
From Mexico City, I would show up to the “Central de Autobuses del Norte.”
If there wasn’t much traffic, the bus ride would sometimes be as short as an hour and a half roughly if I was lucky.
Otherwise, expect a two-hour ride from Mexico City on other days.
All around, it’s easy to get here.
How Much Time to Spend in Pachuca de Soto?
Like in a lot of places in Latin America, you could live here for as long as you want given it's not a bad city to live.
Perhaps a bit boring compared to other places in Mexico like Mexico City or Acapulco but it still has its charm for those looking for a calm life outside the gringo touristy areas.
However, if you wish to be a tourist here and plan on moving on soon, how much time do you need for Pachuca?
Well, to get all the main touristy things done within the city, I could see you covering it all within 1 to 3 days at most depending on how much time you spend in each area.
And if you want to see spots outside of Pachuca but within the state of Hidalgo, give yourself maybe a full 7 days depending on how much you plan on seeing.
Then maybe give yourself another 4 days of leg room just in case you need it for anything in the moment that you wish to enjoy.
So a total of 2 weeks is a solid amount of time for a tourist to see the main things.
But, be it you are a tourist or a long term expat, where should you stay in Pachuca de Soto?
Where to Stay in Pachuca de Soto?
While there are various neighborhoods obviously, I’d recommend you stay around Centro of the city.
Try a place near Plaza Juarez or close to the Monumental Clock.
That’s where I lived.
Of course, there are other neighborhoods where you could live but I’m just being honest in saying that, over my 9 months there, I felt around the Centro of the city was best to live for me personally and, if you're not going to spend too long there, you'll probably find that area to be better to live in for tourism purposes.
Anyway, because I’m not as familiar with every neighborhood of Pachuca, I did some research for other neighborhoods to live in. According to this source here, these other neighborhoods supposedly are good also (and quite possibly suited more for those thinking of spending months here instead of a few weeks):
- Zona Plateada
- Fraccionamientos del Sur
- Real Toledo
- Valle de San Javier
On that note, I do remember the word "fraccionamiento" when I lived in Pachuca.
It seemed to be, from an outsider perspective, that parts of the city known as "fraccionamientos" were safer or had a better reputation. One of them being a place known as Real Toledo like you can see in the list above.
And what neighborhoods should you NOT live in because of how unsafe they are? This source here gives us some ideas for areas to avoid living in:
- La colonia 11 de Julio
- El barrio El Arbolito
- La colonia La Raza
- El barrio El Lobo
- La colonia Cubitos
- La 20 de noviembre
For those thinking of staying long term over many months, you can obviously use Airbnb for some of the areas I recommend.
Though I’d also try to get an apartment if you could outside of Airbnb. That’s how I do it anyway.
Of course, you could arrive to Pachuca and keep and eye out for any postings for apartments in the street while spending a few days in a hotel first.
But you do have online resources to help you find a place too.
Personally, I’ve always had the best luck finding an apartment in Facebook rental groups.
Just go onto Facebook and search in Spanish “departamentos" en renta en Pachuca."
Something like that anyhow. That’s how I found my apartment in Pachuca and it was pretty good with a great landlord. You got plenty of good options anyhow on Facebook groups. I included links to a few below that I found briefly.
1. Venta y Renta de Casas Pachuca: Click here.
2. Renta-Venta Casa y Departamentos Pachuca: Click here.
3. Rentas Pachuca: Click here.
4. Renta de Casas, Departamentos Pachuca, Hidalgo: Click here.
There's plenty more though that you can find on Facebook.
When it comes to hotels to stay at, I’d go for Hotel Ciros or Hotel Emily. Both of which offer great views of the Center of Pachuca with its Monumental Clock.
While both hotels cost roughly 45 to 50 bucks a night as of this writing in 2022, I get some people are on a tighter budget.
For that reason, try looking at Hostal Casa Viajero. It’s in front of a park called Parque Hidalgo and you can’t go wrong living close to that park. It’s quite nice!
Cost of Living in Pachuca de Soto
Let’s first discuss what my expenses were before we get into broader numbers.
For context, I live a pretty simple life without too many expenses anywhere I live.
In Pachuca de Soto, I had a one-bedroom apartment to myself right next to a popular enough area known as Plaza Juarez.
I spent 5,000 MXN Pesos a month or roughly 250 USD for it. Utilities included.
For food, I spent roughly 200 USD a month.
For black tea and water, I spent probably 25 USD a month.
For liquor, I spent maybe 30 USD a month.
Let’s throw in another 45 USD in there per month for roughly 550 USD a month.
From what I remember, my cost of living basically hovered around 450 to 500 USD a month depending on how much I spent on food and liquor as those were the two costs that varied.
Of course, there were occasional side trips to see cool stuff in Pachcua or the broader state of Hidalgo but it’s hard to say how much I spent on that because every trip is different obviously.
Now, having laid out the broad numbers, what was I spending on other basic things?
If I ever wanted a taxi to take me to some place like the Soriana supermarket or the bus station, I’d spend roughly 40 pesos or 2 USD.
For a combi ride, it was 9 pesos or 45 cents.
While I wasn’t always eating at the fanciest restaurants, the places I did eat out at were never really more expensive than cooking at home.
Was easy enough to get two large tacos for roughly 50 pesos or 2.5 USD.
Or get a double meat hamburger with bacon and fries for 5 USD.
If you wanted to buy a container of 20 liters, it would’ve been about 20 pesos (1 USD) if you bought it from a delivery man or 40 pesos (2 USD) if you bought it at an OXXO.
Similar to the rest of Mexico, buying liquor at the supermarket is slightly cheaper than in the US. A normal bottle of vodka for 5 to 10 USD for example.
If you went to a bar, beer prices could hover between 20 to 40 pesos or roughly 1 to 2 USD.
When it comes to cost of a rental, this is where things were really crazy to me.
As I said, I had my own one bedroom apartment near the Center for 250 USD a month (utilities included).
But I also remember seeing entire houses with multiple rooms being rented out in other areas that were not bad for 150 bucks a month at cheapest (utilities not always included though for something as low as that).
Want to know how cheap it can be to rent a house though in Pachuca and what you could maybe get for it?
I did some brief research on Facebook rental groups and this is what I found as of February 2022.
Now, keep in mind, I was looking for houses in the price range of around 700 bucks. All of these houses, outside of the first one, range from 500 to 750 USD.
The first one, which has 3 bedrooms, rents out for 250 USD a month.
Utilities seemingly not included in most of these options. Unfurnished to be fair.
Still pretty fucking cheap though, huh?
As I always said, if I was to raise a family in Mexico, I'd seriously have my eyes on a city like Pachuca because of how insanely more affordable it is if you want a house with multiple bedrooms.
And, as we move into broader numbers beyond my personal experience with cost of living in Pachuca, check out this source here. The information below can be credited to Numbeo.
It has more up to date information on basic expenses for various everyday items.
Is Pachuca de Soto Safe?
From my personal experience, I never felt in danger anywhere in Pachuca de Soto.
Compared to other Mexican cities like Mexico City, you’ll notice a lot less homeless people and the ones you notice tend to be less aggressive than what you’ll see in other parts of the country.
There were plenty of times where I walked home from a house party or somewhere to get back to my apartment until as late as 4 AM and never had any issues nor did I ever feel unsafe.
Also, as I said before, you can take combis safely most of the time but, as I have heard about in Mexico, you do have those who assault rob the groups of people who ride them.
And, when it comes to using the combis, obviously make sure to ask if they are going to where you want to go before getting in or else you’ll be taken to a completely different destination.
Admittingly, I made a novice mistake with that one once in Pachuca where I just assumed that the combi was going to Soriana and I found myself at some random neighborhood far away that looked kinda shitty. Nothing happened to me but it took a combi ride and an hour of my time thrown away to eventually get to Soriana.
Next, as I wrote here, I remember the areas up in the hills to have more of a reputation for not being as safe. I have been up there a few times in a few spots and it did look less nicer than other parts of the city.
Having said that, what do the numbers say?
While crime isn’t always very well reported in Mexico, here’s some data I could find here from Numbeo.
Weather in Pachuca de Soto
I never found the city to be too hot. It often felt roughly around the 50s or 60s F during most days.
If you’re from the Midwest like I am, you won’t need a coat or ever go outside with more than just a jacket during the winter.
Similar to Mexico City, I found there to be more rain during the months of around May to September.
And, keep in mind, I was living in Pachuca roughly around July to April (if I remember right).
So that was my experience anyway with the weather in Pachuca de Soto.
How Nice are the Locals in Pachuca de Soto?
I generally found the locals in Pachuca de Soto to be nicer than what I found in Mexico City.
They had more of a “small town feel” to them in that they seemed more humble, not as arrogant, not as loud and all around more pleasant to talk with.
In fact, you’ll generally notice folks in areas of Mexico outside the gringo bubble tend to be nicer and more curious about you in general than the locals in the gringo bubble.
And that’s a separate detail about them – more general curiosity about you.
When I went to bars by myself like one across from my apartment, I remember being invited over to the table by complete strangers to have drinks with and be invited over to casinos as I wrote here.
The locals in small corner shops would make more small talk and pleasant to talk with.
You had more “normal” women who seemed to have less daddy issues and more humble also. In a way, women are more enjoyable to talk with I find if they are from a smaller city like Pachuca. Nicer attitudes all around and less chicks with man-hating tendencies.
When I went to house parties, I found the dudes to be less passive-aggressive than the fresas of CDMX and cooler to hang out with.
Even the upper class Latinos in Pachuca of around my age didn’t have as much snobbery as what you’d stereotypically find in a place like Polanco of CDMX.
Al around, how nice the people were in Pachuca was definitely one of its highlights.
The only negative that I found to be more common in Pachuca than elsewhere is that you have more folks who are “religiously snobby.”
Those who take the Bible and beat you over the head with it using religion as a way to feel better about themselves.
You’ll especially notice that among small town folks in towns like Ixmiquilpan outside of Pachuca where that “religiously snobby” attitude exists.
Especially with the stepmom of my last girlfriend. The Horror.
Still, even in those small towns, most people aren’t “religiously snobby” but it’s something where you might notice it to be a little more common in Hidalgo than in areas like Mexico City.
How Solid is the English in Pachuca de Soto?
Pachuca is a small city that really doesn’t get too many foreign tourists for the most part when compared to other Mexican cities.
Obviously, that will decrease the pressure on the locals to ever learn English.
Having said that, it’s been in my experience in Mexico over the years that Mexicans tend to take English learning a little more seriously than locals of most Latin American countries.
Even in Pachuca, it wasn’t extremely uncommon to come across someone who knew broken English.
But, in my experience, broken English is what you’ll commonly find in Pachuca if the person actually speaks any English at all.
The person who spoke English the best that I met in Pachuca happened to be my landlord, Maria, who spoke English basically perfectly with only a minor accent as to be expected.
Everyone else? No English whatsoever with a handful who knew some basics.
Therefore, if you live in Pachuca, it is recommended that you learn Spanish obviously.
Expat Community in Pachuca de Soto
Being honest, you are not going to see that many expats or digital nomads in Pachuca de Soto.
In my 9 months of living there, I think I met a total of 4 other foreigners (a German, a Italian, an American and a South Korean).
And, keep in mind, my landlord ran a volunteer group that sought to bring in foreigners. If I was to see other foreigners, I would have as she brought in other volunteers into our building to handle paperwork sometimes. Most of them were Mexican.
And, having lived by the Center of the City, I would’ve been in the perfect place to see other foreigners.
Outside of the 4 foreigners I met that my landlord brought in for volunteer work, I never met another one just walking around the city in the areas you’d expect to see them.
Instead, most tourists I saw seemed to be Mexicans from other parts of the country.
In short, Pachuca de Soto is more of a city that serves the expat or digital nomad that wants to live away from foreigners than in the same area with them.
Facebook Expat Groups: None that I could find for Pachuca de Soto as of February 26, 2022. These groups can be a solid way to finding other expats though.
How to Make Friends in Pachuca de Soto
Pachuca de Soto had some minor challenges when it comes to making friends and it had some positives.
For one, as we’ll discuss in greater detail next, English levels are not as good here. That wasn’t a problem for me but you’ll absolutely need Spanish to make it work.
Second, given it’s a smaller city with less activity, you’ll have less local events to meet cool people.
Third, as we’ll discuss, the expat scene isn’t very strong here.
Anyway, there are some things you can do outside of learning Spanish to make friends.
For one, try visiting a small bar that isn’t too touristy where you’ll notice other locals to be. As said before and as I’ll say later in the article, I found it easier to make friends with strangers in a few specific bars in the city.
Second, obviously keep your eyes out for any local events that do occur. We’ll discuss a few later.
Third, try a volunteering event. With my landlord, she ran some event where she made friends with the volunteers. Even if you don’t need a local job and work online or have retirement, obviously keeping your day busy with some volunteer work can make it easier to meet people.
Fourth, check out Meetup for events to attend. Here's a link to all events for Pachuca on Meetup here.
Fifth, I “oddly” found the people in parks to be very friendly. In Mexico City, rarely has anyone ever approached me for a conversation.
However, in Pachuca de Soto, it really does have a “smaller town” feel in some regards (compared to Mexico City anyway) and so I got approached A LOT more by complete strangers in parks who wanted nothing more than a conversation, ask me where I’m from, etc.
Either way, as I said, I found a lot less local events to attend to meet new people in the city.
What worked the best for me when it comes to meeting new people were parks and bars (and a few house parties).
Anyway, Pachuca’s best quality for making friends is really, as I said before, how nice and inquisitive the people are.
Now let's get to things to do in the city.
Cultural Events in Pachuca de Soto
In Pachuca de Soto, you had a few cultural events that I remember.
First, I remember the Mexican Independence Day celebrations being had on September 16th. Outside my apartment by Plaza Juarez, you had plenty of decorations, stuff being sold, etc.
Second, I remember VERY clearly the celebration of Christmas and New Years as I wrote about in this article here.
To summarize what happened that night: I walked out of my apartment to get something to eat when I noticed all this activity outside of my apartment building.
You had a huge line headed towards Plaza Juarez and everyone had to go through some minor security to get past.
Past the security, you could see hundreds of people easily.
Soon enough, you had dancers, singers and whatever else on stage celebrating the moment.
And you had either the mayor of Pachuca or the governor of Hidalgo (some important politician, I forgot) celebrating the moment with us.
Then a lot of fireworks went off.
Compared to all the other small and big cultural events I saw, that was probably the coolest and most active.
Third, you have the Feria de Pachuca. It’s arguably one of the most important events in Hidalgo and usually held around October. You’ll find the event starting with a bunch of men dressed as monks partaking in the festival with other events being held such as horse shows, rodeos, folk dance shows and much more.
There’s also concerts held during the time and plenty of good food to enjoy.
Here’s a video showing it and, if I'm not mistaken, I believe this is the Facebook page for the event here.
Fourth, you got the Feira Hidaltur in March and April where you can appreciate a lot of arts and crafts from Hidalgo.
Fifth, there’s also a cool musical event called the Ramon Noble Guitar Festival. It’s basically a bunch of concerts by guitarists from around the world.
Here’s an article on the event.
At any rate, there’s likely other cultural events that you can see when you show up but these are some of the ones that come to mind personally.
Things to See in Pachuca de Soto
First, you’ll obviously want to check out the Monumental Clock in the center of the city. Here’s a photo of it.
Second, another great thing to see in the Pueblo Mágico of Real de Monte. For those who don’t know, Mexico these small towns around the country known as Pueblos Mágicos. They mostly have their own charm and history that is unique in their own ways. Always worth a visit.
Third, for those who are religious, you got various churches in the city. For one, you got the Church of Ex Monastery of San Francisco. It has history dating back to 1596 with a cool colonial Spanish Baroque style. Right behind this church is also the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Luz
Outside of that church, you also have the Asunción Church. It is the oldest church in the city.
For those who are Methodist, you also have one for that with its Romanesque Revival Style and is reflective of the Cornish influence in the city.
Fourth, you have numerous museums in Pachuca de Soto. Here’s a list of some of them for you to check out:
- Museo de la Fotografia: Obviously a museum with works by famous photographers.
- Museo de Mineria: A great museum on the history of mining in the city dating back centuries.
- Museo de Mineralogia: This is a mineralogy museum with a large collection of minerals.
- Archivo del Estado de Higalgo: A cool place with lots of history on the state of Hidalgo.
- Museo El Rehilete: Do you have a family that you are bringing to Pachuca? Then try this museum. It’s more friendly for children as it has exhibits on science and the arts.
Fifth, if you like football (soccer to us Americans), then try visiting the Sede del Salón de la Fama del Fútbol. As said before, this state has a cool history with soccer and this attraction is basically a giant football (soccer ball) that you can check out briefly.
Sixth, like soccer? Go enjoy a game at the Estadio Hidalgo.
Seventh, you’ll notice a lot of colorful houses on the hills that look nice from a distance. Here’s a video of them.
Eighth, in typical Latin American fashion, you also got a nice little statue of Jesus Christ overlooking the city that you can check out.
Ninth, like parks? Here’s a few good ones I recommend.
- Parque Ecologico Cubitos
- Parque David Ben Gurion
Tenth, what about art? Check out the Cuartel del Arte.
Eleventh, you have the Mercantil Bank. It’s located in front of the main plaza and has a neoclassical style and designed in 1902.
Twelfth, you have the Cajas Reales. This is an historical place where the miners of the city had to pay 20% of their extractions to the Spanish Crown. It’s from the 17th century and definitely worth a visit.
Thirteenth, you have the Municipal Palace. It belonged to a man known as Francis Rule who was a rich Cornish miner. It was constructed at the end of the 19th century.
Fourteenth, as we’ll discuss soon enough later in this article, don’t forget to visit the markets! Specifically the Mercado de Barreteros.
Fifteenth, you have the Casa Colorado. Built around the 18th century with a Gothic style, this place has historical importance being part of a hacienda of the Conde de Regla.
Though I’m not an expert on the “Conde de Regla,” I did look it up and apparently he was a mining magnate as you can see here.
A bit fitting I suppose given the city’s emphasis and history on mining.
Sixteenth, I also highly recommend a visit to Hidalgo Park in Pachuca de Soto. It was one of my favorite parks to visit often.
Seventeenth, speaking of parks, there's also another one that I enjoyed a lot that is right next to Plaza Juarez. I would recommend you visit both Plaza Juarez and the small park right to the side of it.
Makes for a nice place to relax for an hour or so.
At any rate, I’m sure there is a lot more to visit in this city but these are the things that come to mind. This will give you a good start anyhow!
Trips to Organize from Pachuca de Soto
What are some things you can see in the state of Hidalgo on an occasional trip while you are living in Pachuca de Soto?
First, you can check out some small towns in the area. One well known town is Ixmiquilpan.
I’ve actually been there because my last girlfriend was from that town. It’s an OK place to visit if you enjoy visiting small towns outside the touristy trail. Nice people.
Second, you have the Zona Arqueologica de Panhu. It’s basically a cool place to check out the Mexico Valley. Makes for great hiking.
Third, do you like blue streams, hot springs and cool caves? Check out Grutas Tolantongo.
Fourth, if you like to check out another park with lava stream formations, try visiting Prismas Basalticos.
Fifth, if you enjoy cool water activities, some nice caves, a canyon and more, check out Parque Acuatico La Gloria Tolantongo.
Sixth, while plenty of tourists visiting Pachuca de Soto tend to also Real del Monte, why not check out another Pueblo Magico if you got the time? You also have another Pueblo Magico known as Huasca de Ocampo.
Seventh, if you enjoy a nice canyon with plenty of hiking and a great view of nature, don’t forget Pena del Aire.
Eighth, ever thought about going to Bosque de Las Truchas? Cool little spot for fishing, going into a cave, ziplining and more.
Ninth, since we’re in the habit of talking about parks today, how about visiting Parque EcoAlberto? Another cool spot for enjoying nature.
Tenth, if you’re interested in another small town to visit, why not Tecozautla? It has its own little charm also with a cool area known as Plaza de la Torreón. Apparently, they have an open air market on Thursday. For those who enjoy visiting small towns in Latin America outside the gringo bubble, this place is a solid choice for you out of the options that Hidalgo has.
Eleventh, you also have a place that kinda comes across as an aquatic park or a resort really known as Balneario Spa El Geiser. If you want a relaxing place to stay for a few days away from this city, this could work.
Twelfth, in writing this article, I realized some of what I’m writing here is more for single expats or at least is maybe not as helpful for those with kids traveling through the state. So, for those with a family, I did some minor research and it seems like Tephe Park could work for you. It’s a place with a solid reputation for families looking to spend a few days at a hotel and enjoy all of the pools that they have.
Anyway, there’s obviously a lot more you could go in Hidalgo but hopefully that gets you on a solid start to having fun in this charming Mexican state.
And while I imagine some of you reading this might be tourists, I'm sure a few others thinking of visiting Pachuca are digital nomads or expats who work online.
For those who need to work while in Pachuca, I'm sure you got two questions:
- How good is the wifi in Pachuca de Soto?
- Where should you go in between checking out all of the cool spots above?
How Good is the Wifi in Pachuca de Soto?
I did have some connectivity issues when I lived in Pachuca but that was because my laptop was dying on me. Aside from that, I didn't notice the wifi to be bad at all. It works perfectly fine in my experience.
Coworking in Pachuca de Soto
Compared to other cities in Mexico like CDMX, you aren't going to find as many coworking spaces where you can work with other foreign digital nomads.
Having said that, there are a few coworking spaces that I heard about in Pachuca de Soto.
Here's two that you can try out with their addresses:
- Revo 300: The address is Av Revolución 300.
- Piso 77: The address is Blvrd Everardo Márquez # 115-2o. piso, Ex Hacienda de Coscotitlán.
But, if none of those options above seem appealing to you, are there any cafes that you can visit to perhaps work, meet other digital nomads or expats and perhaps just enjoy a nice cup of coffee?
Cafes in Pachuca de Soto
While Pachuca de Soto doesn't have many foreign digital nomads or expats, there's a few cafes I can recommend anyway.
First, you got Café Oso Boca Negro on Esq. G. Barrera, Calle Mariano Matamoros 200.
If there was ever a café where you’d find other foreigners, I’d think that would be it because my landlord took any new volunteers for the city to that specific café. If she happens to be showing up with a foreign volunteer, you might make a friend.
Second, you have Churreria “LOPEZ” on Calle Melchor Ocampo 200. Has great churros also as you can guess by the name.
Third, you have Coffee Park 612 on Calle Ignacio Allende 612. It’s one of the more popular cafes that I’ve seen.
Fourth, you have Mi Antiguo Café on C. Pl. de la Independencia 115.
And after you have a bit of coffee, where should you have a nice meal?
Food in Hidalgo
Before we get into specific restaurants to try, what are some specific foods that I recommend?
While in Hidalgo, I tried various foods that are well-known to the areas.
I’m definitely not an expert on the food in the state and it’s been two years since I lived there but here’s what comes to mind.
For starters, you have pastes that are basically meat-filled pastries as you can see here.
Next, we have mixotes. It’s basically chicken or beef from what I remember that was wrapped in a film and sometimes came with rice whenever I tried it.
Then we have the Mexican version of a barbecue known as barbacoa.
Basically, you have pieces of meat (lamb, beef or whatever else) with blue corn tortillas. I think it came with other ingredients though like rice but I can’t remember perfectly. Here’s a video showing what it looks like.
There was also a dish known as moles de jacala that I liked. It’s basically, from what I remember, a mole with some type of meat (like chicken for example) with chili peppers, spices and sesame. Here’s a video of Hidalgo style moles.
Restaurants in Pachuca de Soto
There were a few places that I visited quite frequently.
For one, if you are new to Pachuca de Soto, you need to try the pastes.
A place known as Pastes Kiko’s was my favorite. Regardless of where you try some pastes though, I recommend you get the tinga con pollo, papa con carne, papa con pollo, hawaiano or cajeta con nuez.
Second, do you like hamburgers? There’s three places I strongly recommend.
The first is known as Benji's. For a place to sit down at, this is the best place I have seen in Pachuca for sitting down to eat a good hamburger.
The address is Pl. Benito Juárez 116, Centro. You can find the place actually across the street from Plaza Juarez. It was literally down the street from where I lived.
If you eat here, I recommend the BBQ Ahumada.
Another great option for hamburgers is “Burger la Fiesta S.A. de C.V.”
The address is C. Belisario Dominguez 103, Centro.
This place was just right behind my apartment on the other street and had some of the best hamburgers I could find without question.
I recommend you get the double meat hamburger with bacon and fries.
Also, for those with no Spanish skills, the owner is a middle-aged man who knows a tiny bit of English. So if you’re worried about communicating, he could understand you probably.
Finally, check out “El Canibal” on Calle Gral. Felipe Angeles 604. While their hamburgers are delicious, you shouldn’t forget to try their corn. Highly recommended.
Third, want a sandwich?
Try a restaurant called Antojitos Pily on C. Belisario Dominguez 122, Centro.
I used to go there often for a chicken “torta” and they weren’t bad.
They also make other decent food beyond tortas as well.
Fourth, what about steak?
Personally, I didn’t try too many places with steak but there was one that I liked that I went to on various visits. It’s known as Alex Steak located on Glorieta Revolucion 102, Centro.
Fifth, when it comes to tacos, there’s one place I always liked known as Taqueria La Mina.
As you can see here, the tacos have a pretty good size. Cheese included and it was only 25 pesos or 1.25 USD per taco.
The customer service at that place was pretty good too. The owner is a nice lady.
It’s located on Calle Vicente Guerrero 609B.
There’s also another taco place known as Taqueria Arandas on Calle Ignacio Zaragoza 117-B. It’s basically in front of the Monumental Clock.
Sixth, I also highly recommend Mirage Centro Historico.
Anything on the menu is worth trying.
Personally, I was always a fan of their enchiladas and steak.
From what I remember, they have some “executive option” that you should try out.
Seventh, speaking of enchiladas, there’s a small mom and pop restaurant in the same area that is good also.
While I couldn’t find its official name on Google Maps, I can tell you how to find it because their enchiladas are really good.
So there’s another place called “Respados” on Calle Mariano Matamoros 403. It’s on a street that leads you down towards the Monumental Clock.
Just get on that street, find “Respados” at that exact address and then go for the small orange building with the white words “Pozoleria” that is right next to “Respados.”
They also have other good Mexican food worth trying beyond enchiladas.
Eighth, if you want a cheap pizza that tastes good enough, go for “Saborizzima.” It’s on Calle Mariano Matamoros 202A.
At any rate, there’s plenty of other restaurants obviously but it’s been 2 years and I don’t remember the name of every place (though if I was in Pachuca, I could show some other nice options).
And, for those who prefer to eat at home instead, where can you go to get groceries?
Where to Buy Groceries in Pachuca de Soto
First, you can obviously go to any Soriana or Walmart in the city. In my experience, the main supermarkets are a little bit far from where you’d ideally live.
Therefore, you either take a combi for 9 pesos (45 cents) or a taxi for roughly 40 pesos or 2 USD.
If you are not experienced taking combis by the way, just know that they are these small vans that people get in to be taken somewhere.
Every combi has a list of places that it’ll visit that you can see in the front before getting in. Make sure to obviously verify that it’s going to where you need to go before getting in or else you’ll be lost heading to the supermarket.
Quick Warning: It’s well known that combis have a little bit of danger to them as they are targeted in Mexico by thieves with guns who’ll demand the phones and wallets with everyone inside the combi. I have never had this happen to me while using them anywhere in Latin America (Pachuca included) but just know that they do carry some risk like you can see here.
Now, if you prefer a more local market, you got options in the center of the city.
For starters, you have Mercado Barreteros in Calle Vicente Guerrero S/N, Centro.
And you also have Mercado Primero de Mayo on Calle Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, Centro.
Of course, you got plenty of other markets to choose from but these two were ones I actually visited and I highly recommend them.
On top of that, if you plan on living in or close to the Center of Pachuca, these two markets will be the ones you are more likely to visit in my opinion.
The Drink to Enjoy in Pachuca de Soto
While having any of the food above, make sure to enjoy a nice drink with it known as pulque. It’s one thing I liked also that you can see here.
And, be it drinking on the beach or at a nice club, you might not know yet where to have a nice drink.
Let's fix that.
Any Beaches Near Pachuca del Soto?
First, let's cover what beaches you can have a nice drink at.
As the gringo expat dream to Latin America often involves a beach, I'll mention what your beach options are that are closets to the city.
To keep it short -- you got none.
There are no beaches to the sea in Hidalgo because it doesn't have a coastline to begin with.
Still, outside of flying domestically to some place like Cancun, do you have any options closer to Pachuca de Soto?
Well, based on what I could find out online (as I never traveled from Pachuca to a beach before), here are some relatively close options for you. They all involve crossing the state border from Hidalgo to Veracruz. And enjoy this video showing what the closest one looks like.
1. Túxpan de Rodríguez Cano Beach (2.48 hours).
2. Tecolutla beach (3.35 hour drive).
3. Nautla Beach (3.59 hours)
4. José Cardel Beach (4.1 hours)
And, while those beaches are a bus ride away, how about something more local in Pachuca for a drink?
Nightlife in Pachuca de Soto
Outside of strip clubs, what about just normal bars and clubs?
Here I can actually recommend what to visit based on actual experience and not just what the internet says.
If you’re used to bigger cities like Mexico City, I’m not going to tell you that the nightlife in Pachuca is amazing.
It’s a bit calmer in my opinion.
And, to be honest, I’m not the biggest expert on nightlife in Pachuca. I haven’t been to most bars. Only a few that I really liked and stuck to.
Anyway, what were the bars I went to when I was in Pachuca?
First, I was a fan of a bar called “Bar Chucky Chelas” on Calle Mariano Matamoros 512. I primarily liked this bar because it was across the street from my apartment and so an easy walk.
I’ll be fair in saying though that it’s not a very active bar. You won’t find other gringos there either. It’s a small space with cheap beer to drink at.
The one other thing I liked about it, outside of the proximity to my apartment, was that the bar owner seemed like a very chill dude to talk with and the other clients were very welcoming.
It was one of the friendlier bars I have met where the atmosphere isn’t pretentious and the other clients were very cool to hang with.
Second, you have a bar known as “Black Metal Pub.” Located on Calle Gral. Felipe Angeles #204.
Third, you got By Republik on Av. Revolucion 1014-Local 23. Main thing I liked about it was the live music.
Fourth, another place with live music that I liked was Dunkelheit Bar. It’s located on Blvrd Everardo Marquez #305.
Fifth, if you like a little bit of salsa or cumbia, try La Mal Portada in Francisco Villa 110, Adolfo Lopez Mateos. Also has live music.
Sixth, for a nicer club, you also got Prime Club on Blvrd Everardo Marquez 1100, Adolfo Lopez Mateos.
Similar to the food section above, there’s a few other spots that I remember going to but their names have slipped my mind over the years.
And, along with nightlife, you might ask yourself how the dating scene is.
Any cute women in Pachuca to take with you to a good bar or club?
Dating in Pachuca de Soto
Understandably, many of you might be more interested in seeing more "normal" women.
So what's the dating scene like in Pachuca?
Any nice normal women to take to some of the more normal bars way above?
Well, here's my experience.
After sometime moving to Pachuca de Soto, I eventually broke up with my girlfriend because I was kinda falling out of love with her.
Having said that, I soon found myself messing around with dating apps after I broke up with her.
In my experience, I remember meeting chicks primarily through Tinder or Bumble.
Between the two, I found Bumble to be much more useful because A LOT of my Tinder matches were living in Mexico City and not Pachuca.
While my experience might not represent everyones, I simply found online dating to not be very successful compared to Mexico City but that, when I wanted to meet a new chick, Bumble was more useful than Tinder for me.
And, when it comes to meeting new chicks, I found the women to be somewhere in between medium brown and white looking.
Sounds like a lot of Mexico I know.
Well, that’s true isn’t it?
Most of my time in Mexico has been close to Mexico City so the women here aren’t that much different looking than what I’m used to.
Plenty of fat chicks (a lot of fat chicks) and normal looking women also.
Were they hot?
Honestly, there were plenty of cute women I saw around the city like with anywhere else.
The chicks weren’t special or hotter than what I’ve noticed elsewhere but you could easily find some cute chicks here without issue.
And were they easy?
Honestly, I found women in Pachuca to be a little bit more conservative than women in Mexico City.
And I emphasize “a little bit more” because it wasn’t like they were all Catholic nuns either.
How “more conservative” they were really wasn’t that important or noticeable.
As I hinted at before, some of your main issues with dating in Pachuca (at least compared to Mexico City) will be:
- Lack of women from other countries (Peru, Argentina, US, Russia, Colombia, etc).
- Less interesting nightlife options.
- Online Dating kinda sucks.
Having said all that, it obviously does have cute women, bars and nightclubs and women who use dating apps.
I just think that, when having lived elsewhere like Mexico City, you’ll be a bit spoiled and find the dating scene here to be relatively tame.
It’s not like you’re living in an indigenous village of 10 people but the dating scene will leave you “wishing for a little more” if you’ve lived in bigger cities.
Now, while I prefer only meeting more normal gals myself, I get some of you prefer more "adult" entertainment.
Any of that in Pachuca?
Strip Clubs in Pachuca de Soto
While I’m no Catholic priest, I’m not judgemental either.
Haven’t been to any strip clubs in Mexico but, similar to Casinos, I know what you degenerate expats like so here we are.
What are some strip clubs to visit in Pachuca de Soto?
Well, strictly for “research” purposes only, here’s what the interest recommends as places to visit:
- Foxis’s Men’s Club Pachuca: The address online says that it’s on Carretera Federal Pachuca-Cuidad Sahagún, Junto al Motel Marte.
- Calypso Men’s Club: The address online says it’s on Carr. Cdad. Sahagún-Pachuca 511, La Providencia.
- New York Men’s Club: the address online says that it’s on Carr. Federal Pachuca - Mexico km 80, El mirador, 42083 Zempoala, Hgo.
- Punto Cero’s Mens Club: The address online says that it’s on Carretera México Pachuca km 9, Zempoala, Hidalgo.
Anyway, just want to say that all of these places look to be outside of Pachuca technically but still not TOO far from the city. Just keep that in mind.
And I listed the places in order from most popularly reviewed to least so you have some idea of where to go if you want to see a strip club.
Warning: If you visit any of these spots and find the chicks are 50 pounds overweight, have ugly faces or a missing left tit, don’t sue me for wasting your time. I haven’t been to the spots above so I don’t know how good they actually are for watching sexy women dance. If your experience is terrible, tell me all about how you had scopolamine from a Colombian woman blown into your face. I won’t help you get your stuff back but I enjoy a good story.
Recommended Motels in Pachuca de Soto
So you found a nice gal somewhere in Pachuca to have fun with but maybe your hotel doesn't allow visitors.
In that case, what motels should you try?
Personally, I never needed a motel in Pachuca de Soto because I always had my own apartment to take gals to but I asked around some old folks who live there that I know and these are some options they recommended.
- Motel de La Plata: The address is Blvrd Luis Donaldo Colosio 30, Abundio Martínez. The number is 771 718 3257.
- Motel El Encanto: The address is Carretera Federal, Carr. Cdad. Sahagún-Pachuca km 3.0, Fraccionamiento La Reforma. The number is 771 716 3194.
- The Paradise (Sweet Motel): The address is Carretera Pachuca-Actopan S/N Santiago Tlapacoya Col. Santiago Tlapacoya and the number is 771 107 6372.
- Motel Dubai City: The address is Boulevard Luis Donaldo Colosio s/n, El Portezuelo and the number is 771 259 6809.
- Motel Franquette: The address is somewhere along Pachuca - Actopan and the number is 771 397 2176.
- Motel Motor's: The address is Blvrd Luis Donaldo Colosio 298, Amp. Santa Julia 3ra. Secc, San Cayetano el Bordo and the number is 771 715 9250.
Keep in mind also that a lot of these places seem to be almost outside of the city or closer to the edge of it anyway from what I can see on a map.
Also, if you don't want to go to any of these places, just ask any taxi driver to take you to the nearest motel and I'm sure he'll know where to take you.
If you don't know Spanish, just write this down: "Quiero ir a un motel. Cuanto cuesta?"
Anyway, let's move on.
Casinos in Pachuca de Soto
Aside from hot women, do you like to gamble?
Personally, I’m not big into gambling but I figured some of you might be interested in gambling while in the city.
So I did some minor research for you to figure out what to suggest when it comes to casinos in Pachuca de Soto.
Here’s two that I found that seem well recommended online:
- Winpot: The address is Camino Real La Plaza, Zona Plateada.
- Casino Life Pachuca: The address is Blvrd. Luis Donaldo Colosio KM 8, Colinas de Plata.
Here’s a video of what Winpot looks like inside.
At any rate, let's wrap this up by now getting into some more miscellaneous spots you might be curious about knowing how to find: gyms, malls and hospitals.
Gyms in Pachuca de Soto
Being honest, I didn’t go to any gyms in Pachuca de Soto.
And while I encourage you to do your own research as to which gym is best for you depending on what part of the city you live in, I’m going to try to be helpful on this one here by at least mentioning gyms closer to the center of the city as we’ve been focusing on that area more than other parts of Pachuca.
- Pro-Gym: Calle Ignacio Zaragoza 110-113
- Fitness Empire: Calle Manuel Fernando Soto 420
Now, from what I have noticed briefly from when I was there, I did notice there being a few nicer gyms in malls that had supermarkets or at least close to those malls.
For example, you have a Smart Fit on Camino Real de la Plata 100 Colonia.
Still, I’m not an expert on gyms in Pachuca so I hope this minimal information on gyms at least gets you started in finding a good option for you.
Malls in Pachuca de Soto
There's various malls in the city but a few more notable ones that might have whatever you are looking for with various shops and well-known American companies like Walmart, Office Depot, etc.
Here's a few that you should know about if you are looking for something:
1. Plaza Comercial (Galerias Pachuca): The address is Camino Real de La Plata 102, Zona Plateada.
2. Plaza Gran Patio Pachuca: The address is Blvrd Luis Donaldo Colosio 2009, Ex-hacienda de Coscotitlán.
3. Plaza Bella Pachuca: The address is Av Revolución 1307, Revolución.
Anyway, let's move on.
Healthcare in Pachuca de Soto
While I'm not a big expert on healthcare prices and so forth in Mexico, I do have some minor experience.
For starters, it's been my impression that it's easier to get certain things over the counter in Mexico (Pachuca included) than in the US.
For example, as I wrote here, I've always been able to get Testosterone (TRT) over the counter without doctor approval.
And you have these pharmacies where not only can you buy certain things over the counter that you couldn't necessarily back home but they also tend to be much cheaper than what you would pay elsewhere.
On top of that, many of them have an on-site medical expert that can perform basic examinations, injections and more for very low prices (can be as low as a dollar for some services).
The cheapest pharmacy I have seen anyway is Farmacias Similaries that you can see here.
Outside of pharmacies, what about hospitals? Which ones are better recommended?
Well, while I'm familiar with pharmacies, I've never been to a hospital before anywhere in Mexico.
So I sent some messages to folks who I know live in Pachuca for advice on which hospitals they would go to. I can't verify if these places are good but I'll take their word for it.
It'll hopefully give you a start for what to look for.
1. Sanatorium Santa Maria Pachuca: The address is Av Francisco I. Madero 403, Guadalupe.
2. Hospital Sociedad Española de Beneficencia de Pachuca: The address is Av Benito Juárez 908, Centro.
3. Hospital Intermedica: The address is Blvrd Luis Donaldo Colosio fracc, Arboledas de San Javier.
Overall, what are my thoughts on Pachuca?
Is it worth visiting?
Worth living in?
Even worth reading an ENTIRE guide about?
Well, going back to my personal opinion, I genuinely do like Pachuca.
For me, the main highlights of the city were how calm and peaceful it was compared to how chaotic Mexico City is.
It truly does make for such a great place to live in if you want less activity and more peace and quiet.
Second, as a foreigner like myself (with strong British and Irish roots), I appreciated seeing the history of people like me in Mexico. That was personally kinda cool.
Third, if you want better deals on buying or renting entire houses, you get A MUCH better deal in Pachuca than you do in Mexico City.
Just for a quick story: Some odd months ago, regular readers would know I had a pregnancy scare with a chick I had been seeing known as Jovi.
When I heard she was pregnant, I genuinely considered raising the kid in another Mexican City like Pachuca because what you pay for a small apartment (around 700 bucks) in Mexico City can get you a NICE house in Pachuca.
Before I even moved to Pachuca, I remember seeing this one house for rent for 14,000 MXN Pesos or roughly 700 bucks and it was bigger than my dad’s house in a gated community. It was NICE.
Without question, if I had to raise a family, I’d strongly consider a place like Pachuca.
Finally, the people in Pachuca were generally friendlier than what you see in Mexico City.
As an expat in Latin America, you notice people tend to be friendlier in areas where we are more of a novelty to the locals.
There was more humbleness and a down to earth personality that I quite liked.
In contrast to parts of Mexico City where some people have that “bravo” attitude I see that, while it has its appeal, also comes across to me as “lesser educated” in the nicest way I can put it.
People generally just seemed more chill in Pachuca.
Even the homeless people were chill!
In Mexico City, they’ll be more in your face and a lot more of those with mental health issues lashing out or whatever.
In Pachuca, I remember making friends with a homeless guy very briefly in a park near Plaza Juarez where the dude was even kind enough to tell me about his plans to stab someone in the face as I wrote about here.
What a nice guy for telling me his plans for the day!
Let me tell you – homeless people in Mexico City never tell you about their plans to stab people. They’re too impersonal.
At any rate, you already know why I like Pachuca and can guess at some of the negatives (like how it can be relatively lacking in activity compared to Mexico City).
And you know who I think would fit in better than others when it comes to living in Pachuca.
So when you ask “should I visit or live in Pachuca?”
Depends heavily on what you are looking for.
If you have any questions that are left unclear, leave a comment below and I will answer without a doubt so you can better know if Pachuca is right for you.
Or leave me an email here.
Either way, leave your comments below if you wish.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.
PS: Interested in reading more about Pachuca de Soto? Check out my other articles I wrote on the city when I lived here in the ones below. Enjoy!
Celebrating the Holidays in Pachuca de Soto: Click here.
Sexual Assault & Attempted Theft in Pachuca, Mexico: Click here.
Homeless Mexican Guy Hiding from Union Tepito in Pachuca: Click here.
We're Not a Third World Country, Matt. We Flush: Click here.
It's Dangerous Up There in the High Neighborhoods: Click here.
Cheat on Your Girlfriend & Fuck Whores in Latin America: Click here.
Best and most thorough article I’ve ever read on any place I have researched.
Matt, you are the best. Thanks so much.