Hidalgo Maguey Route: A Place to Explore, Discover, and Eat

Hidalgo welcomes you to tour the maguey culture and its fabulous corners, typical food, and spectacular landscapes are sure to fill your senses.

Hidalgo Maguey Route: A Place to Explore, Discover, and Eat
Hidalgo: A Gastronomic Route of the Maguey Culture in Mexico. Photo by Victor Sauca / Unsplash

Welcome to Hidalgo! The Gastronomic Route of the Maguey Culture includes the municipalities of Tepeapulco, Zempoala, Pachuca, Actopan, Santiago de Anaya, Ixmiquilpan, Mineral del Monte, Mineral El Chico, Huasca de Ocampo and San Miguel. Hidalgo invites you to tour the maguey culture and its fabulous corners, its typical food, and its spectacular landscapes will simply fill your senses.

Because of its history, Hidalgo is home to many of the roots of Mexican identity; it is the home of barbecue and fresh pulque, magical water that makes you dream, your eyes will witness its spectacular natural attractions, your palate will be delighted with the flavors offered by its regional food, from delicious stews to insect food accompanied by an exquisite glass of tunate.

You will also have the opportunity to travel through its pleasant cities, magical towns and admire its countless cultural attractions, so you will surely want to spend more days in this beautiful state and its icy air, for which the nearby cabins and hotels are the best option, as they will provide you with a cozy stay.

The state of Hidalgo is located in the central-eastern region of Mexico. It covers an area of 20,846 km2. The climate varies from a minimum of 4° C to a maximum of 27° C. The population of Hidalgo is 2 million 665 thousand inhabitants.

Gastronomic resources


This plant, of the genus Agave, lives in a semi-desert environment with little rainfall. It reaches maturity between eight and twelve years of age and flowers only once, dying soon after. Its broad, thorny, and protected leaves, called pencas, store the nutrients that allow it to survive in a hostile environment, as well as provide shelter for several insects, among which are the maguey worm and the water ant, both of which are food for man.


The eggs of the ant Liometropum apiculatum are edible and highly valued in Mexico. The escamoles are the food of pre-Hispanic origin, with a high nutritional value and a very fine, slightly sweet flavor, so it is always recommended to accompany them with something equally soft to enhance it. Their delicacy makes you eat them without realizing that soon the sensation of fullness will prevent you from eating anything else. They are prepared fried with butter and epazote, with egg, in sauce, in mixiote, with barbecue, in gorditas, and tortillas, among other ways.


This is a pest that attacks the maguey native to this area, the Agave salmiana. They are reddish caterpillars of about three centimeters, larvae of insects called chinicuiles. During the rainy season, they gnaw through the leaves of the maguey to reach its juicy interior; the pest is combated by collecting the caterpillars for consumption and harvesting them towards the end of August.


The rainbow trout is a fish belonging to the Salmonidae family, bluish-brownish green in color, dark on the back, with a lighter tint on the abdomen, black spots distributed on the body and fins. Along the body, it has an iridescent stripe that reflects the light, from which it derives its name. In its free state, it can reach a weight of more than 10 kg and a size of more than 70 cm. This trout, appreciated for its flavor, is a common product in aquaculture and recreational freshwater fishing in Mexico.

Typical dishes and drinks in Hidalgo


They have their origin in the first quarter of the XIX century when a contingent of Englishmen arrived to bring capital for the mining industry in the area. The "Cornish pastry" was the precursor of this recipe.


The pieces of meat, for example, mutton, chicken, or rabbit, are marinated in a mixture of guajillo chile, pasilla chile, pulque, and spices; then they are placed in a square of mixiote leaves and tied with yarn to be steamed.

Huevos a la albañil

Dish made with chinicuil (reddish caterpillar) fried with onion and chile, to be mixed with egg; it is served with tortillas and if desired with a martajada sauce.


Meat dish, wrapped with maguey stalks and baked in a subway oven, where it is cooked in its juice or steamed. The term refers mainly to the traditional method of preparing meat, which can be pork, fish, or, less frequently, rabbit or chicken.

Salsa borracha

The sauce is based on pasilla chile, oil, and vinegar, seasoned with a touch of pulque, which adds consistency, and flavor and gives its characteristic name to this sauce.


Lamb or goat meat wrapped in maguey stalks, cooked in an earth oven. The meat is sliced, salted, and wrapped in the leaves of the cactus; a single large wrapper can be made or several smaller ones that are placed in the casserole in which it will be cooked. Between the wrapper and the casserole, it is put a little water, so that the meat receives humidity during the cooking; in many places, it is customary to put chickpeas, carrots, pulque, and green chilies in the water, to obtain the so-called barbecue consommé.

Mole xiqueño

To elaborate this dish several ingredients are used that must be fried and ground, one by one, in a hand grinder. This dish includes mulato, pasilla, and guajillo chiles, boiled raisins and almonds, corn tortilla chips, peanuts, roasted hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, chocolate, cinnamon, plantain, sesame, prunes, and aniseed. To give the final touches of flavor, chicken bouillon, salt, and sugar taste, and a little cumin is used.

Hidalgo Tourist Activities

In Pachuca you should see Ex Convento de San Miguel Arcángel, Centro Cultural Rehilete and Museo Interactivo. Pulque Museum in Tepeapulco. Try Aero-Towing and Mountain Biking in Ixmiquilpan. Santiago de Anaya offers activities such as sport fishing, hiking, and hot springs. In places like Actopan, Mineral El Chico, and Mineral el Monte you will enjoy a beach, an ecological park, and a fish production center. While in Huasca de Ocampo a streetcar ride, basaltic prisms, Ex Hacienda de Santa María Regla, and El Zembo await you.

We are in the center of the country, in the State of Hidalgo, characterized by its mosaic of historical delicacies. To begin with, we must visit the Ex Convent of San Miguel Arcángel, an Augustinian construction of the convent-fortress type that dates back to 1550 and is located in Ixmiquilpan. In this place, you will live the experience of tasting the barbacoa fresh from the earth oven and eating a taco with a drunk sauce made with pulque. In the municipality of Actopan, you will visit the attractive Grutas de Tolantongo where you can also bathe in its hot springs.

A trip to the past awaits you on a tour of the pulque haciendas such as San Antonio Tocha, one of the few that continue to exploit pulque; it has a magnificent old tinacal (pulque deposit or concentration) and carefully cultivated land. Here you can taste this delicious drink, but if you prefer beer, opt for the Hacienda Zempoala brewery tour with a tasting of this bitter beverage and a guided tour of the plant. Back downtown you will find the delicious pastes at Kiko's.

On the way to San Miguel Regla, passing through Pachucade, you must visit the El Rehilete Cultural Center, an interactive museum with permanent modules focused on children. We cannot leave aside the visit to El Chico National Park, located in the Mineral with the same name, which provides lodging services with toilets, showers, a kitchen, ample parking, and firewood sales.

A cultural delight is the content of the Maguey and Pulque Museum, where you will be amazed by the more than 1,800 products derived from the maguey and the objects related to this plant. The San Miguel Regla Fish Production Center offers sport fishing for rainbow trout.

If you are adventurous, you can also eat the past in bites by enjoying the pre-Hispanic gastronomy, since in the region of El Mezquital you will find a great variety of typical ancestral dishes. Enjoy the tourist and gastronomic charms of the Route by also visiting the Magical Towns of Mineral del Monte and Huasca de Ocampo.

Gastronomic activities

Gastronomic activities you can visit in Hidalgo are the pulque haciendas in Tepeapulco, the Hacienda Brewery in Zempoala. In Ixmiquilpan try barbecue in an earth oven and Pre-Hispanic food. Participate in the preparation of pulque at the Hacienda de San Antonio Tocha in Actopan. Pastes Kikos is located in Mineral El Chico. You will find the Hacienda de San Miguel Regla in Mineral del Monte. Trout fishing is available in Huasca de Ocampo.

Barbecue products from the Tulancingo Valley

Vacuum-packed barbecue. You will be able to see the whole process that is carried out to obtain this delicious and ancestral dish, from how the animal is fed, how the meat is cooked in ovens that simulate cooking in earth ovens and learn about the new technique of high vacuum bagging for export.

Buenavista Natural Products

Production and commercialization of nopal cactus. The guided visit to this company begins with the commercial nopal plantations and continues with the areas where it is industrialized and the different treatments given to this cactus to obtain products such as tortillas, flour, or dehydrated nopal.

Pear Liqueur

A company that uses the pear as raw material to obtain a delicious liqueur that is left to ferment naturally as it is an organic product; you will witness its production process and you will be able to taste a range of more than 25 products made with this delicious fruit.

El Mapache Handicrafts

With manual basketry techniques, you will make your handcrafted kitchen accessories, such as tortilla holders, tablecloths, and napkin holders, among others.

Santa Teresa

Maguey honey products. Maguey nectar is a sweetener that enhances the flavors of any dish. Therefore, on a guided tour of these facilities, you will learn all about the process of this delicious extract, in addition to its many benefits.

Kiko's Pasties

You will witness the elaboration process of these delicious empanadas that have been made here for almost two centuries since this 100% Hidalgo company is one of the few in which the traditional recipe is still preserved.

Hacienda San Antonio Tocha

In the semi-darkness, in an atmosphere charged with humidity and amid the strong smell of pulque, you will find the tinacal of this historic hacienda with its mead that is fermented in vats with a soft noise of bubbles. You can enjoy the delicious resulting pulque in one of the few haciendas that still produce this pre-Hispanic drink.

Hacienda Brewery

A 100% Mexican microbrewery, where this beverage is brewed with a lot of effort and distinction. So far they produce three types of beer: Hidalgo is a Stout, Catrina is a Red Ale, and Jaguar is a Pale Ale. For you to take part in this detailed process and appreciate it, the brewery offers tours inside the hacienda and beer tasting. Appointments are required. Location: Hacienda San Juan Pueblilla.

Museum of Maguey and Pulque

This museum is alive and unique at a national level, with a thematic and documentary area, which is not contemplative as museums traditionally are, apart from showing more than 1,800 derivatives of the maguey, among other objects related to this plant, and where you can also purchase different products derived from the maguey.

Hidalgo is located in the central-eastern region of Mexico. Extension: 20 thousand 846 km2. Climate: Minimum 4° C - maximum 27° C. Population: 2 million 665 thousand inhabitants. Some typical festivals in Hidalgo are Feria Hidaltur (March 21 to April 10, Pachuca), Feria Internacional San Francisco (October 3 to 20, Ixmiquilpan), and Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe (December 12, Pachuca).

Services offered

Premium hotels in Pachuca and San Miguel Regla are Hotel la Joya, Hotel Gran Independencia, Hotel Villa Alpina El Chalet, and Hotel San Miguel Regla. Family hotels in Pachuca are Hotel Valle Inn and Hotel Real Plaza.

Premium restaurants in Ixmiquilpan and Pachuca are Restaurante El Sabino and Restaurante La Blanca. Family restaurants in Pachuca and Mineral del Monte are El Parador San Miguel, Restaurante Real del Monte, Restaurante El Serranillo, El Campo Feliz, Restaurante El Cazador, Restaurante La Laguna, and Restaurante El Embarcadero.