Rancho Santa Elena, Hidalgo, Mexico

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Rancho Santa Elena, Hidalgo, Mexico

Rancho Santa Elena is located near Huasca, Hidalgo 119 kilometers (about 2.5 hour drive) north of Mexico City in a mountain range called the Sierra de las Navajas. It is a large forest reserve that consists of dense pine and oak with three lakes and many streams; this ecosystem houses 18 species of amphibians and reptiles, >86 bird species, and >17 mammals.

Santa Elena is a private forest reserve that offers outdoor activities, ecotourism, and adventures that cater to active families and groups. There are seven sites throughout the park that offer secluded, eco-friendly camping with an accessible water supply, tent-covered tables, fire pit with firewood provided, recycling/garbage, and clean outdoor toilets. Hundreds of miles of marked trails are maintained for running, hiking, and all levels of mountain biking. Large basalt rock formations throughout the forest provide beginning to advanced options for rock climbing and rappelling. In addition, the lake offers activities, such as fishing, (cold) swimming, and kayaking. In case that isn’t enough excitement, they have a zip line that ends in one of the lakes is as well.

If you are not inclined to camp, there are other accommodation options available. The Estancia house can sleep up to 37 people and the Cabana can accommodate 15 people. Each of these cabins have bunk beds, fireplaces, and hot water baths available 24 hours a day. The shared water closet has five toilets and five showers in gender specified bathrooms. If you prefer a little more privacy, there are also new private bungalows suitable for two people, each with a private bathroom.

The dining room has capacity for 40 people and is a large, rustic kitchen where homemade, healthy food is prepared. This option is also available to the campers, but as everything in Santa Elena, this must be requested prior to your arrival.

When you choose to vacation in Rancho Santa Elena (which you absolutely should), don’t forget to bring your hiking boots, climbing gear, biking helmet/gloves, wet suit (if you plan to swim much), warm clothing and layers, camera, and your sense of adventure. And don’t forget your dog!

***As Santa Elena is very eco-oriented, the electricity to the cabins, bathrooms, and dining room is provided by solar panels.

Notes:
-Kayaks and life jackets are provided for free.
-Firewood is provided for camping.
-Bikes are available for rent; request in advance. Helmets and biking gloves are required.
-Guide services are available for walks, interpretive trails, rappelling, and mountain biking.
-Tents for 20 people are available for rent.
-Dogs are allowed


    • This place is good for

    • Little kids
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    • Grade schoolers
      (6-9)
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    • Tweens
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    • Everyone
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      100%
    • Children with
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    • Recommended length

    • Up to 1 hour
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    • 1-3 hours
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    • A day is not enough
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    • Price

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      Features confirmed by parents

      • Parking on-site

Reviews (1)

  • User avatar

    Brinavet

    Mexico, Mexico City

    6, 5

    Favorite camping experience in Mexico

    Reviewed 05 December 2017

    Fantastic place to explore with the dogs and the kids. Love the proximity to CDMX and the ability to get there in a 2-day weekend. The best part of all is how secluded you are; you feel like you have the place practically to yourself! Next time we'll bring the climbing gear.This is a personal opinion of a KiddieMundo user.

    Tips

    -The temperature varies a lot, so layers are beneficial. -Make sure you have a spare tire as the roads aren't great for the final stretch to the ranch. -Don't forget your helmet and biking gloves as they are required by Santa Elena. -Thought 2 days is doable, I recommend 3-4 days to explore. -All the camping sites are very nice and each has their perk, but Fondo de Presa is the best. It is also meant for large groups, so this may be an issue when you try to book in advance if you are just going as a family.

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    Insider tips

    • -The temperature varies a lot, so layers are beneficial. -Make sure you have a spare tire as the roads aren't great for the final stretch to the ranch. -Don't forget your helmet and biking gloves as they are required by Santa Elena. -Thought 2 days is doable, I recommend 3-4 days to explore. -All the camping sites are very nice and each has their perk, but Fondo de Presa is the best. It is also meant for large groups, so this may be an issue when you try to book in advance if you are just going as a family.

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