Las Estacas: The Ultimate Guide to Mexico’s Hidden Oasis

With crystal-clear springs, exciting water activities, and mesmerizing natural surroundings, Las Estacas is a location that truly exemplifies the breathtaking beauty of Mexico’s untouched landscapes.

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Chloe sitting on the river bank at Las Estacas in Morelos Mexico

Picture this: A 1 km-long river with the clearest water you’ve ever seen, flowing steadily from a natural underground spring and inviting you to jump in. The only sounds that you hear are the birds chirping from the tree above you and the soft flow of water from the stream below you.

This isn’t fantasy. It’s a real place in Mexico called Las Estacas.

We discovered Las Estacas by chance.

While sitting outside Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City, we struck up a conversation with a local. We knew a bit of Spanish and he knew a bit of English, so it was fun conversing with each other about where we were from and what we liked to do for fun.

Eventually, we asked him where his favorite place in all of Mexico was.

Without hesitation, he said two words: Las Estacas.

Las Estacas – An Overview

Waterfall at Las Estacas

Welcome to Las Estacas, a magical oasis nestled in the heart of Morelos, Mexico! With a year-round water temperature of 23 ºC (73 ºF), it’s the ultimate destination for water enthusiasts and relaxation seekers.

At the end of the park, a water spring feeds the river. In fact, you can swim directly up to the point where the water gushes out from a hole in the riverbed! An impressive volume of around 7,500 liters of water bursts forth from the spring every second.

This cool, refreshing water is channeled via subterranean rivers, originating from the meltwater of nearby volcanoes. The water’s hidden journey beneath the earth takes around three months, and by the time the water reaches the spring in Las Estacas, it’s crystal-clear!

Trey swimming to the source of the spring water in Las Estacas Mexico
Trey swims down to the source of the spring water at Las Estacas. The water comes out of this hole!

Along the river, there are tons of places to jump in and make a splash! There are also multiple points of entry and exit, so you can take your pick at a spot to swim in!

The river isn’t the only wonder at Las Estacas – it’s brimming with thrilling activities and cozy nooks to chill out. A zipline for the daredevils, kiddie pools for your little munchkins, and the perfect spots to unwind amidst nature – they’ve got it all.

Getting to Las Estacas is difficult since it is out in the countryside. If you need transportation to Las Estacas, you can check out the top-rated Las Estacas Day Trip, which includes transportation to and from Mexico City.

Ways to Stay at Las Estacas

Choices, choices, and more choices! Las Estacas offers four unique accommodation experiences:

  1. Hotel
  2. Glamping
  3. Camping
  4. Hostel


Want convenience and comfort? Say hello to the Las Estacas Hotel.

Perfectly positioned at the heart of the resort, it’s your one-stop shop for luxury and accessibility.

Staying in the hotel is the easiest and cleanest way to stay at Las Estacas. The hotel is right on the property in a central location, so you have easy access in and out of the park area.

The hotel rooms at Las Estacas are clean and comfortable, and have everything that you would expect to find at a resort hotel room – a TV with cable, a full bathroom, and beautiful furniture.


Trey standing outside glamping tent at Las Estacas
Trey packed up and ready at our glamping tent!

For those seeking a blend of adventure and comfort, glamping is the way to go. It’s what we did on our visit to Las Estacas, so we’re going to get pretty detailed in this section!

The room – a spacious tent boasting a king-size bed, a lamp, and a fan for those warm nights. And when it’s time to freshen up, a wooden cabin housing a lavish shower and toilet is all yours!

For tech junkies, there is a power outlet in the tent, but you should bring a small power strip if you want to plug in all your devices since the lamp and fan use up both plugs (we use this small travel power strip whenever we travel – it packs down nicely, and it has two outlets and three USB ports).

Here’s a video from our arrival at our glamping tent in Las Estacas!

The tent itself has a two-layer door system. The first layer is a screen to keep bugs out but let air in. The second layer is a thick canvas material.

The tent is secured using a small padlock with a key. It’s not the most secure system, but we didn’t feel as if anyone would be breaking in – entry in and out of Las Estacas is very controlled and there is security patrolling around the resort 24/7.

Each glamping tent gets its own shower and toilet. They’re in a separate wooden building outside, and quite luxurious – even for glamping.

The shower was a personal favorite of ours – it’s large and spacious. Taking a shower outside is always a nice vibe.


If you want to rough it, you can bring your own tent and camp at Las Estacas. Camping is by far the cheapest way to stay at Las Estacas, so if you’re strapped for cash and have a tent, then camping is a good option.

We didn’t investigate the camping area very thoroughly while we were at Las Estacas, but we saw that some of the campsites had tables and grills.

However, according to the Las Estacas website, the tables and grills are first come first serve, so don’t count on having one, especially during high season.


There are two different types of “hostel” accommodations at Las Estacas:

  1. Quinta Margarita – 9 beds
  2. Fuerte Bambú – 6 beds

If you’re traveling with a big group and want to stay at Las Estacas on a budget, then booking one of their hostel rooms is a good option.

The Quinta Margarita room can sleep up to 9 people and has its own bathroom and lockers. The first 4 people are included in the price of the room, but starting with the 5th guest, there is an extra cost per person.

The Fuerte Bambú room can sleep up to 6 people. The rooms have communal bathrooms, so you’ll have to share toilets and showers with the other rooms. The first 3 people are included in the price of the room, but starting with the 4th guest, there is an extra cost per person.

Dining Options at Las Estacas

There are three dining establishments within the park:

  1. Los Amates – A full-service sit-down restaurant
  2. Poza Azul – A full-service sit-down restaurant (only open on weekends)
  3. Mercadito – A casual take-out food stall

Los Amates and Poza Azul don’t allow swimsuits, so we ate at Mercadito for lunch every day. There are benches nearby where you can sit down and eat your food after you receive it.

For dinner, we took some time to shower and dress, then ate at Los Amates.

Dining area of Los Amates full-service restaurant at Las Estacas
The dining area of Las Amates is pretty huge – there are two other sections that can’t be seen in this photo!

All the park’s restaurants aren’t super expensive, but the food is “meh” – nothing to write home about.

Things to Know Before Your Visit to Las Estacas

As exciting as Las Estacas sounds, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to take full advantage of everything this paradise offers.

Here are some insider tips from our stay:

The Essentials: Bug Spray and Sunscreen

Las Estacas is a natural park, so the wildlife is left to be wild! Bugs (especially mosquitoes) roam free around the park, so bring bug spray to keep them away.

We neglected to use bug spray while at Las Estacas and that was a huge mistake! The mosquitoes are Las Estacas are ruthless and much faster than the ones that we’re used to in Hawaii.

Since you’ll be playing outside and in the water, sunscreen is a MUST. The sun was out in full force the entire day during our visit, so we’re glad that we lathered up in sunscreen multiple times a day.

Fortunately, if you forget to buy sunscreen or bug spray, they sell them at Las Estacas – for a premium. So it’s better to bring your own so you don’t need to pay the park’s prices.

Gear Up With Your Own Water Toys and Equipment

Chloe showing shaka while snorkeling in the water at Las Estacas
You can rent snorkels at Las Estacas, but they’re not the best quality.

You can bring your own snorkels, floaties, and water equipment into the park – that’s fine!

The park also rents out equipment – for a fee.

We rented out snorkels from the park for a day and they were pretty rough – not the best quality and my snorkel kept leaking. We wish that we brought our own.

BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) and Alcohol

You can even bring your own food into the park! This is a great option if you don’t want to pay to eat at the park’s restaurants.

Just remember that glass and styrofoam are not allowed! The security at the park’s entrance will thoroughly go through your belongings to check to make sure that you don’t have any prohibited items.

Once You’re In, You’re in

Once you pay the fee and enter the park, you can’t leave without paying again to re-enter the park.

Even if you forget something in your car in the parking lot, you’ll need to pay the entrance fee to enter the park again.

So make sure you take everything in with you the first time!

The Park Has Lifeguards but Not Everywhere

Main swimming area at Las Estacas
The main swimming area at Las Estacas is the deepest part of the river, and doesn’t have much of a current. It is also monitored by lifeguards.

The park has lifeguards posted in all of the main swimming areas, but there are some areas that are unmonitored.

Remember that this is a natural park, not a water park! The will lifeguards rescue people if needed, but it’s up to you to take some initiative and be smart to keep you and your family safe while swimming in the water – especially in the unmonitored areas.

While we’re talking about safety…

The River Has a STRONG Current

Ladder at the Las Estacas River
The picture-perfect Las Estacas River actually has a strong current!

The narrow river areas have STRONG currents. Generally, the shallower and narrower the area, the stronger the current.

These narrow areas are also the areas that tend to have fewer swimmers and no lifeguards.

So if your group has weak swimmers or small children, stay away from the narrow river areas and stick to the large, wide swimming areas where most people swim and play.

Embrace the Activities

From leisurely walking tours to thrilling dive tours, there’s an activity for everyone at Las Estacas. Make sure to check the activity board each day!

Some activities (such as the dive tour and snorkel tour) cost extra, while others (such as the rafting tour and walking tour) are free.

Staying Connected With WiFi

If you need to stay connected while visiting Las Estacas, the park has WiFi in its main areas. However, if you venture out into the far reaches of the park near the camping and glamping areas, the signal gets weaker the further you wander.

The cell service in the park is spotty. We had decent 4G cell service in our glamping area one night, but the next night it was so slow that it was unusable, so don’t rely on cellular data for surfing the web.

Dive Into the Park’s Pools

Need a break from the river? Las Estacas offers three heated swimming pools that are just begging you to jump in!

The swimming pools are a nice change from the river since they are much warmer and perfect for lounging and relaxing in.

Ditch the Wallet, Grab the Bracelet

The park has “money bracelets” that you can use to pay for almost everything.

Use your credit card to load up the money bracelet and then use the bracelet to pay for food, drinks, and even rental equipment as you go about your day.

This is super convenient because the waterproof money bracelet stays strapped to your wrist so you don’t need to worry about carrying your credit card around with you to pay for everything.

Most People Don’t Speak English at Las Estacas

Las Estacas isn’t really targeted at foreigners, so barely any of the staff at the park speaks English.

So if you don’t speak much Spanish, make sure you have your translator app downloaded so you can be ready to communicate with their staff.

We don’t speak much Spanish, and we got by just fine.

One situation in particular that Google Translate saved us was on our checkout day.

We needed to get a taxi from the park back to Yautepec, so we used our translator app to communicate that to the front desk person. The front desk person was able to call and book a taxi for us, and everything went smoothly!

Maximize Your Time by Arriving Early and Leaving Late

Chloe on the swing at Las Estacas

Even though the official check-in and check-out times for the park’s lodging are at 3 pm and 12 pm, respectively, you can arrive as early as 8 am and leave as late as 6 pm.

The park will gladly bag-check your bags and keep them behind their front desk so you can go and enjoy the park while you wait for your room to be ready.

On your check-out day, you can also leave your bags with the front desk after your check-out time and go enjoy the park. It’s awesome that they allow you to do this to get the most out of your time at Las Estacas.

How to Get to Las Estacas

Now that you’re familiar with the wonders of Las Estacas, you might be wondering: How do you get there, anyway?

Fortunately, Las Estacas isn’t too far from Mexico City. In fact, you can even visit Las Estacas as a day trip from Mexico City if you don’t want to stay overnight.

If you need transportation to Las Estacas, you can check out the top-rated Las Estacas Day Trip, which includes transportation to and from Mexico City.

There are three main ways that you can get to Las Estacas:

  1. Day trip tour
  2. Driving
  3. Public transportation (bus and taxi)

We’ll go over them below.

Day Trip to Las Estacas

A day trip to Las Estacas from Mexico City is feasible because of its location. It’s within driving distance, but getting to Las Estacas is difficult since it is in the countryside.

If you want to escape Mexico City for a day and swim in the clear waters of Las Estacas, you can check out the top-rated Las Estacas Day Trip, which includes transportation to and from Mexico City.

Driving to Las Estacas

📍 Las Estacas – Google Maps

If you’re driving to Las Estacas, search on Google Maps for Las Estacas Parque Natural – that’s the correct location.

The drive from Mexico City to Las Estacas is about 2 to 2.5 hours. Most of the drive is along a highway, so it’s hard to get lost.

As you get closer to Las Estacas, you’ll be out in the country and go through some small towns. Make sure to drive slowly through the small towns since they all have speed bumps to keep drivers in check.

The last half hour or so of the route to Las Estacas also has signs posted on the roadway directing you to Las Estacas, so you’ll know that you’re on the right road.

Taking the Bus to Las Estacas

If you want to get to Las Estacas by public transportation from Mexico City, you must take a bus from Central del Sur Taxqueña to Yautepec, then catch a taxi from Yautepec to Las Estacas.

The bus line between CDMX (Mexico City) is served by ADO and it should cost around $160 pesos per person.

After getting to Yautepec, you can catch a cab right from the bus station. Let the cab driver know that you’re going to “Las Estacas” or “Las Estacas Parque Natural” and they’ll know exactly where to take you.

It also may be helpful to show them the location of Las Estacas on Google Maps, just so you’re clear about where you want the cab driver to take you.

The cab ride from Yautepec to Las Estacas should cost about $350-$400 pesos.

Best Time to Visit Las Estacas

Trey and Chloe float down the Las Estacas River in tubes
Floating down the Las Estacas river in tubes is a relaxing way to enjoy the river!

The best time to visit Las Estacas is April and May. April and May have the best chance of clear, sunny, rainless days which are perfect for water activities.

Nevertheless, these months also coincide with the peak of heat at Las Estacas. Thus, it’s important to consider this factor, especially if your plans include camping or glamping.

One advantage of visiting during spring is the relatively low humidity at Las Estacas. While it can be a bit hot, it’s not overly humid, ensuring that the heat doesn’t feel suffocating.

Another thing to remember is the high season dates at Las Estacas. Accommodation rates go up during these periods.

Las Estacas Details

  • Hours: 8 am – 6 pm. If you stay at one of the park’s accommodations, you can access the park outside these hours.
  • Day Pass Price: $495 MXN, $315 MXN for kids under 1.25 m (4′ 1″)
  • Stores: The park houses a convenience store that sells snacks, drinks, water toys, and camping supplies. An additional small stand offering similar items is also present.
  • Food: There are three dining establishments within the park – two full-service restaurants and a food stall. One of the restaurants operates only during weekends.
  • Bars: All dining locations also serve alcoholic beverages.
  • Pets: Pets are not allowed within the park. However, a pet boarding facility is available where you can leave your pet for a fee.
  • Parking: There is ample free parking at the park.
  • Accessibility: Las Estacas is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and paths designed for people with mobility issues. However, it is advisable to ask the park’s staff about any specific needs or concerns before your visit.
  • Contact: To contact the park, the most effective method that we have discovered is messaging them on WhatsApp at 52 1 734 114 2287
Trey Lewis is an outdoor enthusiast. Whether its hiking knife-edge ridges or just fishing by the river, Trey isn't afraid to get dirty in search of the next adventure.

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