Hacienda Santa María Regla next to the Basaltic Prisms of Hidalgo, México

The Hacienda Santa María Regla, in Huasca de Ocampo, was built between 1760 and 1780. Photo: (El Universal)

This hacienda-turned-hotel has its own waterfall and little-used view of the Basalt Prisms. In addition, there are dungeons and tunnels to go through the mountain.

HIDALGO, (May 18, 2021).- 261 years ago, one of the richest and most powerful men in New Spain ordered the construction of a large mining hacienda with aqueducts, dungeons, labyrinthine facilities, and tunnels. It was built at the foot of a ravine, just 800 meters from a unique wonder in Mexico: the rock columns now known as Basaltic Prisms. And, for our good luck, today that property still stands, transformed into a hotel that is open to the public.

The hacienda is called Santa María Regla and is located in the state of Hidalgo, just 15 minutes by car from the Magic Town of Huasca (which this year celebrates 20 years since its appointment). It is approximately 3 hours from CDMX. 

This is what you should know before heading to this fantastic place. 

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Photo: (El Universal)

This is Santa María Regla 

As you have probably heard, the history of Hidalgo State is deeply tied to mining. Thanks to the extraction of silver and other minerals from Real del Monte, the Spanish Pedro Romero de Terreros accumulated an extraordinary fortune. Also called Conde de Regla, he was the owner of Hacienda Santa María Regla and 3 other similar properties in the surroundings of Huasca, Hidalgo. 

Fortunately for those who love historical places, Santa María Regla retains many of its original facilities. It is like a huge stone maze, where you can spend more than an hour walking through and admiring gardens, bridges, arches, stairways, old smelting furnaces, and even a pond. It is surrounded by a large wooded area and lush trees full of moss. It is very common for photo sessions to be organized in these facilities. 

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Photo: (El Universal)

Guided tours of the hacienda facilities are offered, in case you want to know some of its secrets as well as taking the obligatory photos. On these tours, they take you through “hidden” tunnels and you can visit the dungeon where smallpox and measles patients were once isolated. Legend tours are organized frequently, in case you’re a fan of the paranormal. 

The hacienda also has a beautiful chapel with a baroque façade. It is worth mentioning that Pedro Romero de Terreros chose his noble title because he was a devotee of the Virgin of Santa María de Regla. 

From the property it is possible to admire a part of the Basaltic Prisms; It is not a complete view, but it deserves to be enjoyed because it is a much more private point. There is also a waterfall that falls over the canyon. 

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Photo: (El Universal)

Stay at the hacienda 

In the property, two types of rooms can be booked: hacienda and vintage. The first category is characterized by its more rustic style, aligned with the architecture and history of the place: they have wooden furniture, beams, and very cozy interiors. The “vintage” rooms are more conventional (although very nice) and generally have more lighting; neutral tones predominate in them.

Each room has bathroom amenities and a coffee maker, but there is no television. There is internet only in the hotel reception and the restaurant, so the plan is to disconnect the guest almost completely from the outside world. Some of the suites are equipped with a fireplace, a bathtub, and even a small totally private sauna. 

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Hacienda guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, surrounded by ancient stone walls. Photo: (El Universal)

The restaurant is traditional in style and has both indoor and outdoor spaces. There is a la carte and buffet service. Medieval-themed dinners are frequently held at the hacienda, for which accommodation packages are offered; you can check for dates on their social networks. 

Accommodation rates start from 1,500 per night in a standard room for 2 people. It is possible to book different services such as a romantic dinner, a campfire for groups, tours, and photo sessions. 

The night tours have a cost of 100 pesos per person during the week, and 150 pesos on Fridays or Saturdays. 

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Photo: (El Universal)

The Basaltic Prisms 

Millions of years ago, nature modeled a large set of rock columns along a ravine. These symmetrical formations, which appear to be precisely cut by a giant hand, are the famous Basaltic Prisms. 

The stone columns can reach up to 40 meters in height, although their size is very varied; several waterfalls dot the formations, which makes the landscape much more spectacular. 

You can cross a suspension bridge to see the prisms from above or descend a staircase to admire them up close and take a souvenir photo. There is also a zip line. 
 
According to an article in the Revista del Sistema Geológico Mexicano, the first written reference to prisms was made by Alexander von Humboldt, who visited the region in 1803. 

Source: El Universal

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