Toluca is the state capital of Mexico State as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico, and one of the top business destinations throughout the country. Like many colonial Mexican cities, Toluca’s development has created a ring of urban sprawl around what remains a very picturesque old town. Traffic problems are a concern, but those who take the time to visit will find Toluca a pleasant, if bustling, small city. It’s an enjoyable place to spend a day or two exploring attractive plazas, lively shopping arcades, art galleries and museums.
Must See: The Valley of Toluca was known as Matlatzinco valley in ancient times and was ruled by a large powerful capital city whose ruins are located today in the village of Calixtlahuaca, just north of Toluca. The ruins at Calixtlahuaca feature incredible architecture, design and craftsmanship, and are always a great day trip.
Lodging: Though a large and growing city of increasing economic importance, with a population of 1.6 million the city is smaller than many other international destinations, and there are not as many luxury lodging options as some other places for private jet charter visitors. That said, two of our favorite hotel options are Las Alcobas, an intimate boutique hotel with world class spa, and perfect for both business and shopping, and Galeria Plaza Reforma, with its elegant rooms, rooftop pool and bar, and extensive wine cellar.
Ground Transportation: Other than basic public transport, for those renting a car Toluca has a good infrastructure of highways, almost all of which transit in the north and that connect the city with the main cities of the country as well as its international airport, and inter-city bus station. The Libramiento (bypass) Toluca directly connects the Toluca-Mexico City highway to the east of the city to the Toluca-Atlacomulco highway which extends north. It permits easier access to the airport as well as a bypass route for traffic heading from Mexico City to the west and northwest. Toluca has the best taxi system in the world, with over 5,000 taxis for a city of about half a million.
Recommended Books: The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene (1940). In a poor, remote section of Southern Mexico, a paramilitary group called the Red Shirts have taken control. God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest is on the run. Too human for heroism, too humble for martyrdom, the little worldly “whiskey priest” is nevertheless impelled toward his squalid Calvary as much by his own compassion for humanity as by the efforts of his pursuers.
Currency: The Mexican Peso is the local currency.
Calling Code: 011 + 52 + 722 + phone number
Best Travel Dates and Packing Tips: Toluca is in the tropical zone of Mexico, so the temperature is usually warm. Instead of temperature changes, the seasons here correspond to dry and wet. The peak of the dry season is from February to July; southern areas of Mexico like Toluca are best avoided at this time. Meanwhile, the rainy season is typically around June to October. During this time, the coast areas experience the most rainfall.
The best time to go to Mexico is around the months of October until May, when the weather is quite agreeable. The remaining months are usually very humid, especially in the southern areas of the country. If you plan to visit around December to February, better bring a coat, as it can be really cold in certain areas.