Huasteca Potosina

Published
Huasteca Potosina

La Huasteca Potosina Mexico: what to see and how to get around

We started to walk on the road back to the bus stop and we had calculated that if we didn’t find a ride we would have needed to walk about 3 hours as it was about an 18 km distance.

How to visit the Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

The Huasteca Potosina is a spectacular region in the central part of Mexico, in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosì, northeast of Mexico City. The most amazing attraction is the network of rivers and magnificent waterfalls and caves to explore.

I have finally visited the Huasteca Potosina after I have been dreaming about it for so long. It is indeed one of the most magnificent places to visit in Mexico In this post I will tell you all about it, what to see, how to get to the different waterfalls, and how to organize your itinerary.

In my case, I was coming from the beautiful historical city of Queretaro . I wanted to visit the beautiful Sierra Gorda and I saw that from there I could have reached Xilitla and Ciudad Valles by bus and so I did.

I made a stop in the Pueblo Magico of Xilitla first to visit the Edward James Enchanted Garden . I stayed there for one night, visited Xilitla early morning, and continued with my journey to the so much acclaimed Huasteca Potosina.

Huasteca Potosina

With the help of my guide in the Sierra Gorda, I had finally understood the logistics of the area and how the waterfalls are spread out. I made a plan that turned out to be perfect.

I am therefore going to share this with you this post.

Keep in mind that I was traveling by bus. If you have rented a car it’s all a different story, of course, much better, but I will also explain how to visit the Huasteca Potosina by car later on in this post.

Read on if you are thinking about visiting the Huasteca Potosina.

The Huasteca Potosina FAQ

How many days do you need to visit the Huasteca Potosina?

It all depends on how many days you have available in your schedule. There is no specific time.

However, if you want to see absolutely everything and enjoy it to the fullest, you will need 5 full days.

I was there for 4 days and it was not enough. If you only want to see the waterfal and take a picture, well, 3 days will be enough.

Are you planning a trip soon? Here are my favorite travel resources!

Where to stay in the Huasteca Potosina: the logistics

I was staying in Ciudad Valles as a base, a not-so-charming city but strategically located in the heart of the Huasteca, at a relatively close distance from all the waterfalls, which are not all in one place, as you might believe.

From there you can take busses or hire a taxi to take you to the different waterfalls.

If you plan to rent a car, mind that there is no car rental in Ciudad Valles, there were no car rentals from Ciudad Valles when I was there. Now I found two local car rentals on Google Maps but I have no idea how they operate.

I would check out rates in Discover Cars and pick the most convenient.

Car rental

Discover Cars Mexico Review

Browse through international and local car rentals and find the best deal.

The safest way is to rent a car in San Luis Potosi or in Tampico, in which case I would suggest moving around and camping or renting a place close to the waterfalls, much more fun.

There are camping places almost everywhere. You don’t need to book in advance, you just get to the destination and ask around.

But I would still suggest you make an approximate itinerary, at least, for which this post will be useful.

Best Hotels in the Huasteca Potosina

If you have a car, the best way to enjoy the Huasteca Potosina is to stay by the waterfalls.

There are many cute hotels scattered around the area for any budget and style. Here are my favorites.

Best hotels near Tamasopo and Puente de Dios

Meson Carranza – Basic but very clean and with excellent service – perfect if you travel on a budget.

Guests love this hotel for its great location in Tamasopo in a beautiful setting, and the great restaurant on-site. They also appreciate the cleanness and the great shower, besides the lovely staff.

An amazing upscale boutique hotel in Tamasopo. If you are willing to splurge this is your place.

This hotel has simple but ample rooms in an extensive property with a pool. The main plus is the location by a river, which offers a relaxing surrounding.

Huasteca Potosina

Best hotels near El Meco, Minas Viejas and El Naranjo

Rustic but cute cabañas immersed in nature. Guests loved the exceptional service of the staff.

No-frills hotel with spacious rooms close to El Naranjo waterfall and a short distance from other natural attractions.

Conveniently located in the village of El Naranjo, this hotel offers spacious room and a great restaurant serving local food.

Huasteca Potosina

Best Hotels in Ciudad Valles- Huasteca Potosina

Casa Ammah is probably the most upscale hotel that you can get in Ciudad Valle. So if you are looking for a bit of an extra comfort, you may want to check it out.

A relatively new property with modern and stylish room, in the center of town. Very convenient place, offering a good value for money.

Hostal Casa Huasteca is where I stayed. I love the small garden and the friendly staff. You can choose among dorm rooms if you are on a budget or private rooms with bathroom.

Waterfall surrounded by vegetation

Is it safe to visit the Huasteca Potosina?

I am telling you. Here I have hitch-hacked for the first time in my life and I have never felt safer. it was two of us because I met a girl in the hostel where I was staying and we went exploring together.

Probably if I were alone I wouldn’t have done that. But I really felt super safe everywhere in the area overall.

Where is the Huasteca Potosina?

The name Huasteca Potosina defines a region within the state of San Luis Potosi and it’s part of a bigger region of the Huastecas, which embrace the other Mexican States, so named after the Huastecan, the prehispanic civilization that was living there.

It’s a spectacular area with a variety of landscapes, from flatlands to hills rivers ad waterfalls.

The soil is mainly made of calcified sand, and basalt from old lava flows which penetrate the primarily sedimentary rock molded by the wind and water erosion and that’s perfect for the water to flow forming river waterfalls, natural pools, and caves. An amazing area to enjoy.

How to organize your itinerary in the Huasteca Potosina?

As I was mentioning before there are different options.

If you travel by car, you can move around and enjoy day by day all the different waterfalls and surrounding areas.

If you are traveling by bus, keep in mind that there are certain waterfalls, such as el Salto, which local busses don’t reach. We rented a taxi for the day and the knowledgeable driver took us around to different places.

For other waterfalls, we took a bus, and for other sites we hitch-hacked. FUN!

There are also Huasteca Potosina tours that you could join by contacting local travel agents but they normally leave from San Luis Potosi.

waterfalls and blue lake

When is the best time to visit the Huasteca Potosina?

There is not the best time to be honest, in the rainy season you will be sure you will see all the waterfalls at full capacity of water, but currents could be stronger and colors might not be as beautiful if it’s raining or cloudy.

During the winter, in the dry season, you have better chances of sunny skies but El Salto might be without “salto”.

I would still choose the dry season if you are a photographer or maybe the shoulder season. I would definitely avoid Easter weeks cause it would be extremely crowded.

What to see in the Huasteca Potosina

The main attractions in the Huasteca Potosina are waterfalls and caves. They are scattered all around the region and not always at a close distance, especially if you are traveling by bus.

So I have grouped them according to their geographical location and for each different day also to suggest how to organize your trip.

Day 1 in the Huasteca Potosina – Tamasopo and Puente de Dios

My first visit was to the waterfall of Tamasopo and then Puente de Dios.

Tamasopo

Temosopo is easily conected with ciudad valles by bus. (Bus terminal of Vencedor busses. It costs 70 pesos (4 USD) and it takes 2 hours to get there)

Of course, by taxi, it would be about 1h 20′ because it wouldn’t make all the stops. The bus will leave you right at the gate of the waterfall, which is a huge well-kept garden with natural pools and two big waterfalls.

It costs 30 pesos 2$ to get in. It is not as dramatic and impactful as Puente de Dios is, but still worth visiting.

The watrfalls are surrounded by a beautiful garden with a path and small huts where you can find your changing room, showers, and restaurants.

There are platforms and cords where play your shenanigans. It’s a fun place where to enjoy swimming and jumping, on a hot day.

We stayed for a couple of hours before heading to Puente de Dios, a short distance from there.

We hopped on a taxi that took us to our next destination for 70 pesos.

Huasteca Potosina

Puente de Dios

Puente de Dios was probably my favorite waterfall to photograph and to swim.

Entrance fee 30 MXN

You will have to walk down 380 stairs to get the spectacular (mind that you will have to climb them up afterward.

You will find some detours long the way which will take you to the on the left but that will take you just along the river which is nothing really as remarkable as the waterfall further down.

When you finally arrive, you will find a very deep lake carved into impressive rock formations with high walls from where water keeps pouring in from every side.

There are two main lakes connected by a small tunnel where you can let the current take you but you can use the cords, strategically placed to help you swim against the current and get into the other lake.

In the beginning, I didn’t want to jump in because the water was cold and I was afraid to leave my camera, but there are lockers kept safe by a couple of local guys that inspired trust and so I decided to leave everything with them and jump in. Best decision ever.

It is mandatory to rent the lifejacket to keep you safe.

The water was crystal clear which makes it even nicer and refreshing. From the waterfall to town, it’s just a 3 or 4 km pleasant walk among the sugarcane fields.

In town, we reached the bus stop and waited for our ride to Ciudad Valles. This was the only day we had everything at easy reach with local busses.

Huasteca Potosina

Day 2 – La Huasteca Potosina – Tamul Waterfall

The day we visited Tamul waterfalls we had a real adventure.

I would suggest you just hire a taxi for the day if you don’t have a car, and spare any risk to be left stranded on the road.

But here is what happens, if you want to read about our adventure.

Following the suggestions of our hostel staff, we took the bus to Rio Verde and got out at the crossroads to Aquismon.

There we started to walk towards the town with the intention to stop at a place called LA MORENA, where we were supposed to find a ride to get to the waterfall.

Unfortunately, as we walk nobody was actually driving along that road.

After a good 20 minutes walk, we found 4 motorbikers passing by. We stuck out our big fingers to ask for a ride and they waved at us happily.

Damn! A good bike ride would have been nice.

Huasteca Potosina

After about 5 minutes they did stop and turned back to pick us up. That was awesome!

They seemed nice guys and they were going as well to Tamul. We ended up renting a boat together and they actually paid for us.

We really had lots of fun together and had a good chat all along the tour.

I was almost sad that we had to split after the tour was over.

My new friend and I were trying to find a ride to the Sotano de las Golondrinas and see the bird come when the sun went down, but we had no luck and we decided to head back to Ciudad Valles, which was not so easy either.

We started to walk on the road back to the bus stop and we calculated that if we didn’t find a ride we would have needed to walk for about 3 hours as it was about 18 km distance.

It was 3 pm, which meant that in the worst-case scenario, we would have arrived at the bus stop before dark.

I felt quite safe along that country road, although I wasn’t really longing for the 18 km walk. But we got lucky again.

A nice gentleman picked us up and took us to the bus stop in about 20 minutes ride.

Huasteca Potosina

How to visit the Tamul Waterfall

But now let’s get to the practical information that you will need.

To visit the Tamul Waterfall, you will need to get to the entrance of the waterfalls, called La Morena where all the fishing boats and guides are stationed at about 3 km from the spectacular waterfall.

This is located about 3 km from the waterfall and you will have to row to get to see it. It’s a beautiful ride through a canyon where you will be surrounded by solidified sand rocks and small waterfalls spilling from the sides every now and then

You need to contract a boat which has a fixed cost of 1500 MXN which is splitted into participants. If you want the boat all for your group you just pay the amount if you don’t want to pay that much, because you are alone, you will be put with another group.

You are actually supposed to row, but if you can’t, no worries, because the guide will take you. (maybe, just give them an extra tip at the end). If you manage, it’s better to be with a smaller group for better enjoyment.

Once you get to the fall, the boats take turns to get close to a big rock where you can climb up and enjoy the full view of the majestic waterfall and of course get the picture.

Unfortunately, you will need to be quick because boats there take turns as there is not a lot of space.

On the way back you will have the current in your favor and you can let the boat float all the way down. You can even float yourself on your life jacket. it’s so much fun.

You will also stop to see a cenote. It would have been a spectacular stop if it wasn’t so crowded. So I didn’t even dare enter.

Huasteca Potosina

It’s advisable to wear those funny shoes that go in the water. They are not very fancy but super practical as they prevent your feet to hurt.

In fact on the way up to the waterfall at a certain point, you will have to leave the boat and walk for a bit.

Doing that barefoot is not fun! If you don’t have them, you can buy them at the entrance for 150 pesos and you would use them for all the waterfalls visits.

Although I enjoyed my little adventure I would suggest you should go by taxi. it’s half a day and it shouldn’t charge more than 700 MXN.

Day 3 in the Huasteca Potosina – Visiting el Naranjo – Salto del Meco – Minas viejas – Micos

El Naranjo is a region (locally called “Municipio”, where all these mentioned waterfalls are located.

Basically, all those falls are scattered along the same river, in different locations. So cool, if you think about that.

The highest one is El Salto, at about 2 hours from Ciudad Valles. then you will see Salto del Meco, minas Viejas and Micos.

Huasteca Potosina

We packed all of that in one day and we hired a taxi for 1000 MXN for the entire day, which is really cheap if you think about that. However, for better enjoyment I would suggest you should split it into two days.

That’s what I would have done if I had more time. But I am thinking of going back by car.

Anyway, doing it in one day even by taxi only gave us the time to swim in one of the waterfalls, the most beautiful actually, for all the others we could only admire them and take a picture. But let’s see them one by one.

El Salto

El Salto is the farthest and the most spectacular. Too bad we could only see the emerald green pools underneath, and only imagine the waterfall.

The thing is we went in the dry season, which allowed us to see the beautiful colors of the water but there was a waterfall on that side because, I was explained, in the dry season, the hydro-electric company situated just beside the fall, is using all the water which is therefore deviated from its original stream right before the fall.

If you want to see it you will need to go there in the rainy season when there is enough water for all.

The scenery was still beautiful anyway, and the natural pools at the bottom were still full of emerald-colored water coming from subterranean or lateral streams.

I was glad I went anyway and enjoy that view.

Huasteca Potosina

El Salto del Meco

You can see the beautiful waterfalls from the “Mirador” (viewpoint). A man-made terrace created by the most suggestive point of the river from where you can watch massive and powerful waterfalls.

If you have time you can take some tours such as jumping from one natural pool to another, following the stream of the heavy waters, and a boat tour upstream from the riverside towards to fall to take you as close as possible. There was a guy offering them from there.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time as we wanted to see them all and move on to the next destination.

The tours were not expensive at all. 300 pesos for the jumping one and 200 for the boat ride, per person of course.

Right by the “Mirador” there is a restaurant which is open to the public only for lunch and dinner, from after 2 pm. It belongs to the nearby luxury hotel, which is actually a great option if you wish to travel easily and comfy.

The hotel is called Huasteca Secreta a sort of Glamping and luxury room right by the river below Salto del Meco.

From there they will take you on private tours anywhere you go. This is a very comfortable way to see the Huasteca Potosina if you are willing to splurge.

Huasteca Potosina

Minas Viejas

We did enjoy Minas Viejas, probably the highlight of the day.

Even to get to Minas Viejas you really need a taxi (or a car rental) because it’s about 30 minutes drive off the main road, which was also deserted. So impossible to find a ride.

See also  What is Ireland famous for for kids?

The entrance cost is also 30 MXN. Once you park your car in the parking lot you must climb down some stairs about 200 steps during which you will have a glimpse of the beautiful waterfall among trees.

It’s just so spectacular, it will leave you speechless.

Huasteca Potosina

Once arrived by the waterfall base, you can leave your stuff with a guy and jump into the little lake.

I wanted to take some pictures first since it was indeed a photogenic place but once I was satisfied with my photo shooting I left my stuff and jumped into the freezing water.

There I was left breathless. It was so freaking cold, I couldn’t speak. But once you are inside you can get used to the low temperatures.

Also here the lifejacket was mandatory for 1 USD:

Right, where the water is falling there are some rocks where people had fun climb up and jumping down. I managed to do it too just because there were a couple of guys helping me, as I am scared of everything.

There is no official locker room but if you ask the guy who sells the lifejackets, he will look after your belonging.

Also remember on the way back up, halfway where the bathrooms are there is a path that leads you to a “mirador” where you can check out the fall from above. It’s amazing.

Huasteca Potosina

Micos waterfalls

The waterfalls of Micos are located only 30 minutes from Ciudad Valles and you can easily make it a half a day trip from the city if you are staying there, and join the multiple activity options you have.

Unfortunately, we just stopped by on our way back and we only had time to have a look. Besides, it was 4 pm and the sun was down, and so was the temperature.

Among the things you can do in Mico Waterfalls, you can hike up and swim down with big floating device which takes you down the small waterfall terraces. That must have been fun.

Also, there are small boats that take you close to the waterfall as well, for a better view. (200 pesos (10 us) for 30 minutes ride.)

Remember to visit Micos Waterfalls in the morning or around midday, especially in wintertime.

The entrance is 30 PESOS (2 USD) then you will walk through a lovely park and pass through shops and restaurants and you will get to a huge concrete terrace right in front of the waterfalls.

Huasteca Potosina

Day 4 – Sotano de las Golondrinas, Puente de Dios y Caves of Mantezulel

After the amazing day we had at El Naranjo we decided to hire the same driver for the next day to take us to the Sotano de las Golondrinas, and other interesting places in the surrounding.

Now you know why you need more time, there is so much to do and see in this area.

INSIDER TIP – If you are coming from Xilitla, like me, it’s much better if you make a stop to Aquismon and from there visit all these places and then move to Ciudad Valles and do the rest.

Sotano de las golondrinas

To see this amazing place you need to be there before sunrise, which meant leaving Ciudad Valles by 4.30 am to the latest. That’s why I was suggesting staying in Aquismon for this tour.

The show you will see is thousands of birds coming out of the cave forming a huge vortex. It was totally worth it, in fact.

We also manage to see the sunrise right after the birds came out, and although we were devastated by the early wake-up call, it was all worth it.

Entrance fee 20 pesos.

you will have to hire a local guide to take you down, but we were happy to do it to support the local community. We gave him 50 pesos each.

Once we arrived at the cave, a huge dark deep hole, we all sat there with other visitors waiting for the birds to come out.

When the sky started to clear up, a few birds started to come out, and after that, more and more every second until a black cloud moved like a whirl in the sky. It was unbelievable, a real show.

Huasteca Potosina

You can also get closer to the edge, as a guide was there helping you and holding you with a cord skillfully placed around your body. Although I am scared of heights I did it and it was so much fun.

Once we climbed out of the cave we found an amazing sunrise lightening up the entire valley which we couldn’t see when we arrived. It was beautiful a beautiful surreal place off the beaten path.

After a rich breakfast, the thoughtful taxi driver took us to our next stop, the Caves of Mantezulel.

Caves of Mantezulel

I didn’t know about the existence of these caves until the taxi driver told us. It was amazing and I am glad I followed his advice and went to explore them.

This area is managed by a local community that lives there and looks after the maintenance of the paths and the caves.

There are 3 caves one of which is the biggest and the farthest. It was a 45-minute hike all up. It was an easy hike as it was made of all man-made steps although tiring.

Huasteca Potosina

The first cave was a beautiful natural artwork of stalactite and stalagmites forming internal canals and spaces.

It was huge and overwhelming. On the way down you will find the other two caves, although we saw only one as we were exhausted. It was like walking in the belly of mother earth and feeling so small.

The cost of this tour was only 150 pesos per group. We reached back to the car happy and tired and off we went to the next and last stop.

Puente de Dios (2)

Huasteca Potosina

This was another unexpected waterfall, less known and in the middle of nowhere. The driver almost wasn’t sure he was in the right direction.

The locals explained that it would be much nicer to visit in the rainy season from September through December as there are more streams of water coming down from the top of the hills and filling the natural pools that were empty when we were there in January

With some imagination, we thought that place was another secret magic place of the region. If you have a spare time you should definitely go and see it. The ride is only 300 pesos, for one hour.

Final tips on how to move around in the Huasteca Potosina

As you could see, if you have read through the post, there are multiple ways to visit the Huasteca Potosina, and although I had so much fun, I didn’t choose the best way. Anyway here below is a summary of how to visit the Huasteca and the different options.

Rent a Car to visit the Huasteca Potosina

This is obviously my favorite way to travel around because you will be free to drive at your own pace, store your staff, and do basically everything that you want to do.

With google maps now you can find everything – If you don’t have roaming or don’t have data, remember to set up the route before leaving your hotel while you have the wifi so that it will stay registered in google maps even when you are on the road.

However, I wanted to remind you that there are no car rentals from Ciudad Valles and you would need to rent it either from San Luis Potosi or Tampico.

Also bear in mind that if the rental pickup city is different from the drop-off, there is an extra fee to pay which is usually quite expensive.

Huasteca Potosina

Visit the Huasteca Potosina waterfalls via private taxi

This could be even better than the car so that you don’t have to worry about anything else other than having fun.

You should ask the hotel or hostel where you are staying because they are normally able to recommend trustable drivers that they always work with.

Book organized tours

I don’t normally like to join organized tours unless it’s the only possible way to visit a place.

I am sure they are all very reliable and efficient but their groups are too large and noisy and I don’t really like to be told at what time I have to eat or to swim or to take a picture. I love to do things my own way.

Therefore, however, I believe there are situations in which you really need to be with an organized tour for your safety and costs, this is definitely not the case.

Public transportation

As you have read before there are some tours where you can definitely get there by local bus like Tamasopo, for all the rest it’s just not possible because the busses don’t take you to your destination and you need to rely on a passerby which is not always possible or available.

Visit the Huasteca Potosina: Final thoughts

I hope this post is helpful to organize your trip to the spectacular region of the Huasteca Potosina. Feel free to get in touch should you have any questions.

La Huasteca Potosina Mexico: what to see and how to get around

This massive guide to la Huasteca Potosina Mexico will tell you everything you need to know about this magical place, how to get around, and what to see.

I visited la Huasteca Mexico on my own without organized tours, by local busses, hitchhiking, and walking.

It was a great adventure but you don’t have to do it, too, if you don’t want. In this post, I will share with you all the different ways to visit la Huasteca Potosina in San Luis Potosì, Mexico.

I am planning to go back soon and I will definitely either rent a car or join an organized tour next time.

I have been wanting to visit la Huasteca Potosina in the 7 years of my life in Mexico since I found out about this magical place, a natural work of art.

I never understood what exactly the Huasteca was until I asked my guide in the Sierra Gorda , Queretaro (Another amazing place, that you should definitely check out), who finally managed to bring some light on the region and how to visit it.

Short on time? Book your tour to La Huasteca Potosina with my favorite tour company here below

👉 Rafting in the Tampaon River – Book your tour on VIATOR

👉 Rappelling in Minas Viejas and Mico Waterfalls- Book your tour on VIATOR

👉 The huasteca Potosina Tour: Mico – Minas Viejas – El Meco – Book your tour on VIATOR

✔️ 7-hour rafting trip down the Tampaon River in Ciudad Valles

✔️ Paddle your way through class III rapids and capture beautiful landscapes along the way

 ✔️ Enjoy lunch after rafting

✔️ R ound-trip transport from centrally-located San Luis Potosi hotels included

Rafting in Tampaon River from Ciudad Valles

Multiple day tour from Ciudad Valle

If you have more time you can book a 3 days tour from Ciudad Valle so you will be all set and you don’t have to worry about the logistics.

You will just enjoy the Huasteca Potosina and the spectacular waterfalls.

✔️ 3-day adventure tour to Huasteca Potosina from Ciudad Valles

✔️ Experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the Tampaón River

✔️ Rappel down the magnificent Minas Viejas waterfall

✔️ Admire eclectic sculptures in the surreal Las Pozas garden in Xilitla

✔️ Enjoy 2 nights of luxurious 4-star accommodation in a Ciudad Valles hotel

3-Day Adventure and Nature in Huasteca Potosina

Practical Facts about the Huasteca Potosina Mexico

Huasteca in English

The Huastec civilization (sometimes spelled Huaxtec or Wastek) was a pre-Columbian civilization of Mesoamerica, occupying a territory on the Gulf Coast of Mexico that included the northern portion of Veracruz state, and neighboring regions of the states of Hidalgo, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Tamaulipas.

How many days do you need to visit the Huasteca Potosina?

The first thing I found out was that one day was absolutely not enough to visit it all, I would have needed at least 5 full days to make it through all the waterfalls and so I did.

I stayed in Ciudad Valle and from there I visited different waterfalls every day.

I was lucky as at the hostel where I was staying I met a girl who was traveling with the same purpose and we decided to venture together for a couple of days on local buses and a couple of days by a private taxi.

Needless to say, the latter was much comfier and easier although hitch-hacking for the first time in Mexico was really fun!

But you can read below and know more about each place, how to get there, and how much it costs.

Is it safe to visit the Huasteca Potosina?

To be really honest I never felt myself in danger, even hitch-hacking. If you want to know about safety in Mexico, here is a full guide on how to stay safe while traveling in Mexico.

Where is the Huasteca Potosina?

That was actually my main issue here. I mean, it’s easy to see where it is if you look at the map.

But what was the best and closest place to keep as a base and what is there to see and to do in the Huasteca Potosina?

So, first and foremost the Huasteca Potosina is a region within the state of San Luis Potosi northeast of Mexico City, and it’s part of the bigger region of the Huastecas, so named after the prehispanic civilization living here, the Huastecan.

Morphologically speaking the entire area presents a variety of landscapes, from flatlands to hills made of calcified sand, and basalt from old lava flows which penetrate the primarily sedimentary rock molded by the wind and water erosion.

As a result, the Huasteca Potosina is characterized by a huge amount of waterfalls, canyons, natural pools, and caves; a huge natural playground to discover, for nature lovers like us.

I’ve spent only 5 days but if you like to really familiarize with everything this area has to offer, one month is not enough.

Let’s see how to discover this amazing land.

La Huasteca Potosina Map

How to organize your itinerary logistically and visit the entire region of la Huasteca Potosina?

You have two main options:

✔️ You could stay in every place you go visit and keep moving around, if you are not heavily loaded like me or you have your own car, you can do that since pretty much every attraction has places to stay or if not, the nearby village has, although most of the times, accommodations are very simple and modest.

So if you are the type of person that loves comfort and luxury, this is not the best way to do it.

✔️ Or you could split your trip into 2 parts, 3 or 4 days in Xilitla and the rest, around 4 full days in Ciudad Valles, which is the most convenient city from where all the organized tours start and the most strategically located.

Although I need to warn you, Ciudad Valles in itself is not a particularly attractive city, you will arrive at the end of your day happy and exhausted.

✔️ So make sure you will book a comfortable place to stay where to relax and chill to get ready for the next day.

✔️ Therefore it depends on where you are arriving from. If you arrive from Queretaro and the Sierra Gorda you should stop first in Xilitla and then move to Ciudad Valles. (see below for the bus schedules). If you are coming from San Luis Potosi (the city) then you should better stop in Ciudad Valles first.

✔️ Many people stay in Ciudad Valle the whole trip and go to Xilitla just for one day, which is about 2 hours by bus (130mxn).

✔️ In Xilitla, beside the Edward James Garden, the most popular attraction which you would find within walking distance from the town center, there are a couple of other things to do if you have time and budget availability.

✔️ The Sotano de las Golondrinas, one of the amazing attractions of the Huasteca Potosina is much closer to Xilitla than Ciudad Valles, on the way to.

✔️ So keep it in mind when you are planning your itinerary, especially if you are planning to see it early morning when the birds come out and need to be there by 6 am, you will want to sleep as close as possible.

We went from Ciudad Valles and had to leave from there at 4.30. It’s not fun! 🙂

✔️ There are also Huasteca Potosina tours that you could join by contacting local travel agents.

What to see in the Huasteca Potosina

I have grouped the waterfalls according to their geographical location and in the order that I consider the most convenient and practical way to visit them for their location. I will explain each place in detail.

Visit the Huasteca Potosina from Ciudad Valles

Day 1 – Temosopo and Puente de Dios

From Ciudad Valles to the Waterfall of Temosopo, you can definitely go on your own by local bus and it’s a great and easy adventure. The bus leaves from Ciudad Valles downtown bus terminal of Vencedor busses. It costs 70 pesos (4 USD) and it takes 2 hours to get there.

Of course, by taxi, it would be about 1h 20′ because it wouldn’t make all the stops. The bus will leave you right at the gate of the waterfall, which is a huge well-kept garden with natural pools and two huge waterfalls.

It costs 30 pesos 2$ to get in. It is not so dramatic and impactful as Puente de Dios is, but still worth visiting. The place offers changing rooms, lockers and bathrooms, restaurants, and life vest rentals since in one of the pools it is compulsory to wear it.

You will have platforms and cords hanging to play Tarzan and jump in the water.

It’s a fun place.

Once you get out of Temosopo you will need to ask for a ride to get to Puente de Dios which is just a few km past Temosopo town.

You can either wait for the next bus, or get a taxi or, if you are more fortunate, get a ride (hitchhiking). I felt really safe there but, although we were trying to get a ride, the first car that stopped was a taxi.

We decided to pay the 70 pesos requested and get to our place as soon as possible.

In Puente de Dios, once you get there and pay the entrance (30 pesos) you will have to climb down around 380 stairs to get to the waterfall, which means that you will have to climb them up also. 🙂

It’s not hard though. You will need to go straight to reach the falls.

You will find deviation on the left but that will take you just along the river which is nothing really remarkable.

When you finally arrive at the fall you find impressive rock formation creating a very deep lake with high walls from where water will continue pouring in from every side.

The current was strong, you could tell.

The water was running underneath the rocks and continuing its stream on the other side where you could enjoy natural pools of turquoise waters and a mild current to get your natural massage.

The area was very safe and well kept.

I decided to jump in although the water was so freezing, yet inviting.

See also  Fun Facts About Argentina

I rented my lifejacket which was compulsory and then I jumped in, on the side of the river where the access was easier.

Only then did I find out that you could actually swim through a tunnel and get on the other side where the bigger waterfalls were. That was really cool.

The water was crystal clear and there were cords strategically placed to help you swim against the current which sometimes was very strong. It was a fun swim and very refreshing most of all. The area has also lockers if you have the stuff to store.

I left my big camera and money and I felt it was in good hands. You don’t actually lock it; instead, you hand it to a guy who put your stuff in a box and gives you a number and you will have to write down on the book your name and the given number. Easy.

On the way back we didn’t find any ride to town but it was just 3 or 4 km distance and it was really a pleasant walk among the sugarcane fields.

In town, we reached the bus stop and waited for our ride to Ciudad Valles.

It was a long day but all worth it if you wish to try the adventure and leave the comfort for one time.

This is the only day where it’s easy and doable to go with public transportation.

Day 2 – La Huasteca Potosina – Tamul Waterfall

The day we visited Tamul waterfalls we had an adventure indeed.

I suggest you not to repeat it and hire a taxi and after you read this you will understand why.

We got the bus to Rio Verde and got out at a crossroads to Aquismon.

There we started to walk towards the town with the intention to stop at a place called LA MORENA, where we would have to find a ride another 5 km inland.

As we walked we doubted our luck in finding somebody, not because they didn’t’ stop but because the road was deserted, apparently nobody was going in that direction.

After a good 20 minutes of walking, we found 4 motorbikers passing by. We stuck out our big fingers in sign to ask for a ride and they waved at us happily.

Damn! A good bike ride would have been nice.

After about 5 minutes they did stop and for an unknown reason, they came back to ask if we wanted a ride. Of course, we did, with no hesitation.

They seemed nice. It turned out that they were going exactly where we were going, to the Waterfalls of Tamul. That was an awesome ride.

Once we got there we introduced to each other and we decided to hire a boat altogether and it was great fun.

However, our luck had abandoned us for a moment, and on the way back we didn’t find a ride to get to the Sotano de las Golondrinas where we were supposed to go, and we decided to get back to Ciudad Valles, which was not so easy either.

We started to walk on the road back to the bus stop and we had calculated that if we didn’t find a ride we would have needed to walk about 3 hours as it was about an 18 km distance.

It was 3 pm, which meant that in the worst-case scenario we would have arrived at the bus stop before dark.

I was still hoping for the ride and it eventually came.

Phewww! A nice gentleman picked us up and took us to the bus stop in about 20 minutes ride. We were lucky once again.

How to visit the Tamul Waterfall

You will need to get to this place called La Morena where all the fishing boats and guides are.

This is located about 3 km from the waterfall and you will have to row to get to see it.

It’s a beautiful ride through a canyon where you will be surrounded by solidified sand rocks and small waterfalls here and there.

If you can’t row, no worries, the guides will take you. (just tip them a little more).

Once you get to the fall you will get out on the boat and stand on a huge rock from where you can get your picture.

You will need to be quick because boats there take turns as there is not a lot of space.

On the way back as you go with the current, it will be much easier to row and you can also swim and let the current take you.

There are a couple of mild rapids as well which was so much fun.

On the way back you stop to see a cenote which would have been beautiful if it wasn’t so crowded with people (and I was told there were not a lot- AH! I don’t want to imagine if they were.).

At the entrance before embarking you can buy those kinds of shoes that go in the water and prevent you from hurting your feet if you walk on rocks.

Those are useful there because there is a point in the river where you will have to leave the boat and have a brief walk on the side and it’s not advisable to go barefoot.

They sell them for 150 pesos and you would use them for all the waterfalls visits.

It was a great morning, but I would suggest you should go by taxi and have them wait for you or rent a car. It will spare you lots of time unless you love adventure.

Day 3 – la Huasteca Potosina – Visiting el Naranjo – salto del Meco – Minas viejas – Micos

El Naranjo is a region or better said “Municipio”, where all these mentioned waterfalls are located. Actually, the falls are happening in different locations of the same river, the first being El Salto, at about 2 hours from Ciudad Valles.

For this tour it is very convenient to take a taxi because the busses would take you to the town El Naranjo but to reach the waterfalls you need to take secondary roads where no bus is going or if they do, God knows when.

So you will risk standing in the middle of the countryside waiting for Godot! 🙂

My new friend and I decided to hire a taxi driver who for 1000 pesos ( 50 USD) altogether would take us anywhere we wanted and knew his way around.

This way it was very easy to move from one fall to another and enjoy it all, and most of all we have managed to see all the waterfalls.

We left the hostel at about 8.00 am in order to see as much as possible.

El Salto

Is the farthest and the most beautiful to me, the only problem was that there was no fall, just natural pools but they were still filled with water coming from below and from lateral smaller streams. ;).

They explained that in winter, the dry season, the hydro-electric company situated just beside the fall, is using all the water which is therefore deviated from its original stream right before the fall.

If you want to see it you will need to go there in the rainy season when there is enough water for all.

The scenery was majestic anyway, with a little imagination, and the natural pools at the bottom were still full of emerald-colored water coming from subterranean or lateral streams.

It was a beauty indeed and definitely worth the trip.

We didn’t swim there, just took lots of pictures and admire the scenery.

El Salto del Meco

…or just commonly called EL MECO. You will see these waterfalls from “El Mirador” a terrace created on the road for you to admire the huge massive waterfalls.

Over there you might find somebody offering tours, such as jumping from one natural pool to another, following the stream of the heavy waters, and a boat tour upstream from the riverside towards to fall to take you as close as possible.

We didn’t have time to do the tours, however, it would have been much fun for sure and they were not expensive at all.

300 pesos for the jumping one and 200 for the boat ride, per person of course.

Right by the “Mirador” there is a restaurant which is open to the public only for lunch and dinner, from after 2 pm.

It belongs to the nearby luxury hotel, which is actually a great option if you wish to travel easily and comfy.

The hotel is called Huasteca Secreta a sort of Glamping and luxury room right by the river below Salto del Meco.

From there they will take you on private tours anywhere you go. This is a very comfortable way to see the Huasteca Potosina.

Minas Viejas

This was our fun moment of the day. You will get there in 30 minutes driving off from the main road.

It’s impossible to find a ride, so you will definitely need a private taxi or to rent your own car. The site is incredible.

Once you park your car in the parking lot you will need to pay a 30 PESOS (1.5usd) fee and then climb down some stairs.

It looks long but it’s just about 200 stairs. Once you get to the river and waterfall you will just be left speechless by such beauty.

It is compulsory to wear a life jacket for your safety and the rental costs only 20 pesos. ( 1 USD). The water was freezing cold but all worth it.

You must enter to appreciate the whole place, or not, depending on what you like.

I did swim up to the rocks in between the two bodies of the waterfall and if you manage to climb up you can have fun jumping.

I could only because there were a couple of guys helping me, as I am scared of everything.

There is no official locker room but if you ask the guy who sells the lifejackets, he will look after your belonging.

Also remember on the way back up, halfway where the bathrooms are there is a path that leads you to a “mirador” where you can check out the fall from above. It’s amazing.

Micos waterfalls

On the way back towards Ciudad Valles and at 30mins only, you will find the waterfall of MICOS.

You can decide whether to include them in your tour at El Naranjo or keep them for another day.

The thing is if you go there after the other falls above mentioned you would get there by 4/4.30pm right before it closes and if it’s wintertime from October through April or May, it might be cold by that time.

If you go there in the morning or by noon it would be the best time and you can enjoy the water.

The entrance is 30 PESOS (2 USD) then you will walk through a lovely park and pass through shops and restaurants and you will get to a huge concrete terrace right in front of the waterfalls.

There are a couple of activities that you can do inside the park. You can take a boat ride to get close to the waterfalls, which costs 200 pesos (10 us) for 30 minutes ride.

Or you could hire a guide to take you across the mountain up to the beginning of the waterfalls and natural pools with a special life jacket that allows you to float and jump from one fall to the other.

I don’t remember the price for this one but I guess it would be around 350 pesos (18 USD ) for up to 3/4 people. When we arrived there it was quite late and we were tired and cold.

Therefore we had skipped it but I manage to take a nice picture anyway. 🙂

This was the last stop of the day and reached back to the hostel around 6.30 pm tired and happy.

Day 4 – Sotano de las Golondrinas, Puente de Dios y Caves of Mantezulel

We have done this tour from Ciudad Valles but I have included it in the attraction of XILITLA since it is much closer and therefore more convenient.

While visiting El Naranjo (see above), our taxi driver talked about another couple of places of which I hadn’t heard of before.

One was called Caves of Mantezulel, in a community close to Aquismon where the Sotano de las Golondrinas was.

And the other was another part of the river which they called Puente de Dios, it’s the same river of the Tamul Falls, just further down the stream.

We decided to go and check it out, since we were there, an extra day of tours wouldn’t hurt.

I was tired, though, I really wanted to get on my computer and start writing and editing all the thousands of pictures and information I have been collecting in the past 3 weeks.

I was starting to feel overwhelmed thinking about the next weeks and the amount of work waiting ahead and I was kind of exhausted, but I thought that since I was there I should have made the most of my time and seen as much as possible.

My friend Karla who has been my travel buddy for the past 3 days agreed with me and we planned our trip for the next day with our taxi driver/guide.

Sotano de las golondrinas

The first stop was the Sotano de las Golondrinas, but there was a little detail. We needed to leave the hostel at 4.30 am, which means waking up at least at 4 am.

Oh gosh! we can do it, we thought, and sure we did but it was tiring and for the rest of the day we felt a lack of sleep despite the excitement.

The reason for this early wake up was that we had to get to the cave (Sotano) before dawn, so as to see the birds coming out forming a huge vortex, thousands and thousands of birds use the caves as their night refuge and come out early morning just before the sunrise and go back to sleep in the evening around 4.30/5 pm.

So if you want to see the show you got to be there by those times. We chose the mornings, it was more surreal.

Also there you need to go by car either private or by taxi as there is no public transportation at that time and in the afternoon, you risk getting there.

Once we arrived at the entrance, we paid a 20 pesos fee and a guide took us down to the cave the guide is not necessary if not for the darkness in which we had to walk, as he had a light to help us see where we were stepping. You will just have to tip him at the end of the tour.

We gave him 50 pesos each. I would hire the guide anyway just to help and support the local community.

Once we arrived at the cave, a huge dark deep hole, we all sat there with other visitors waiting for the birds to come out.

When the sky started to get clear a few birds were starting to come out and then more and more until we saw a black cloud moving like a whirl in the sky. It was impressive indeed.

You can also get closer to the edge, as a guide was there helping you and holding you with a cord skillfully placed around your body.

I did it and I was scared to death but it was fun.

Once we climbed out we found an amazing sunrise sky waiting for us lightening up the entire valley which we couldn’t see when we arrived. It was beautiful and only for that view it was worth our so very early wake-up. (see above picture)

We had breakfast and then off we went to the next stop.

Caves of Mantezulel

This was an extraordinary surprise since I had never heard of them and they are not really advertised as they should.

This area is managed by a local community that lives there and looks after the maintenance of the paths and the caves.

There are 3 caves one of which is the biggest and the farthest. It was a 45 minutes hike all up. It was an easy hike as it was made of all man-made steps although tiring.

Once we arrived at the cave we could not believe our eyes.

It was a beautiful natural artwork of stalactite and stalagmite forming internal canals and spaces. It was huge and overwhelming.

On the way down you will find the other two caves, although we saw only one as we were exhausted. It was like walking in the belly of mother earth, reconnecting with your source.

And you feel so small. I loved the experience. The cost of this tour was 150 pesos per group. We reached back to the car happy and tired and off we went to the next and last stop.

Puente de Dios (2)

This was another beautiful boat ride on a calm river up to a cave where you would leave the boat and climb on top of the tunnel where the river was passing through.

You can swim in the turquoise chilly water and jump from the cliff. I loved that place because it’s not very much known and quite isolated.

However, it would be much nicer to visit it in the rainy season from September through December as there you will see more streams of water coming down from the top of the hills and filling the natural pools that were empty then.

With some imagination, we thought that place was another secret magic place in the region. If you have some spare time you should definitely go and see it. The ride is only 300 pesos, for one hour.

Visit the Huasteca Potosina from Xilitla

Edward James Surrealistic Garden

This place is definitely the main attraction of Xilitla and the only reason why I stayed there.

It’s been created by one of the most eccentric surrealistic collectors of art, Sir Edward James, who came to Mexico in the 40s and remain so impressed by Las Pozas and its tropical forest that decided to build his home there mimicking forms he found in nature and create an art space unique in the world.

So much so that he has been featured in many art magazines such as Art Daily.

You can walk to the Garden from town. If you are coming from Ciudad Valles on a day trip, remember to ask the driver to leave you close to the Garden as it has a stop right before the main station.

It’s a 30 minutes drive in the jungle on a dirt road surrounded by trees, birds, a few random houses, and a little bed and breakfast. If you wish to stay there are a couple of options (check out the below link ).

Right before arriving at the Garden, you can check out two beautiful waterfalls: the first is Cascada Cebolla and Cascada Comales, which are right before Las Pozas, where the garden is.

The entrance to the Garden is 70 pesos (4$) which includes the garden itself and the waterfalls Las Pozas.

You can leave your bag in a locker room for free.

On-site, just outside the garden there are a couple of restaurants that are not remarkable. Inside Las Pozas there is a coffee shop instead, quite cute.

See also  Explore the Best Washington State Road Trips: Scenic Routes, Destination Highlights, and Hidden Gems

The visit to the garden could last from 2 to 3 hours depending on whether you get lost or not. 🙂

There is so much to see in the garden and area where you just want to sit down and observe. It is structured like a maze and you could go up and down right and left and never pass by the same place.

I was there on a misty day and it was the perfect weather for such a place.

I also was alone at the beginning, very surreal. I left after a couple of hours when a huge noisy group arrived and the sun came out and the magic ended.

About Xilitla

Xilitla is also been nominated pueblo Magico although, besides the historical Monasterio of San Agustin, I didn’t find it particularly attractive for any other reason than Edward James’ Surrealistic garden and the Sotano de las Golondrinas.

However if you love to hike and you have a couple of extra days available you should pass by the tourism office by the main plaza, where they can offer you information on how to hike the Sierra Madre, the surrounding mountains.

I didn’t stop as I was too tight with time and it was freezing cold when I arrived in Xilitla.

How to get to Xilitla and move around

As I was mentioning before you can get to the Huasteca Potosina from either San Luis Potosi or from Queretaro through the Sierra Gorda.

FROM SAN LUIS POTOSI – there are different bus lines that will take you to Ciudad Valles from where you can start your tours (see above).

FROM QUERETARO – If you are traveling from Queretaro you will want to stop in Piñal de Amoles and visit the Sierra Gorda and all its natural wonders which I will talk about in the next post.

Then you can travel from Jalpan (a Pueblo Magico in Queretaro right in the heart of Sierra Gorda) to Xilitla by the bus line VENCEDOR.

I need to warn you that it’s going to be 2 hours winding roads. I was scared I admit because sometimes you had a cliff on your side of the road and it’s not fun, because it was foggy and rainy.

But my bus had a great driver who was very cautious and careful and took us all safely to the destination.

Since you are in Xilitla you can spend 1 night there, visit the Surrealistic Garden early morning, and in the afternoon head to the Sotano de las Golondrinas.

You could take the bus to Aquismon which is on the same route to Ciudad Valles. And once you get to Aquismon you will hire a taxi to take you to the Sotano by 5.00 pm so you will be able to see the birds coming back to the cave.

If you want to visit the caves of Mantezulel you will need to spend one night in Aquismon and then hire a taxi the following morning to visit the Caves and also Puente de Dios and you can jump on a bus to Ciudad Valles the same evening so that the following days you can start the waterfalls tours.

How to move around in the Huasteca Potosina

Rent a Car

Which is my favorite because you will be free to drive around at your own pace, store your stuff, and do basically everything that you want to do.

With google maps now you can find everything – If you don’t have roaming or don’t have data, remember to set up the route before leaving your hotel while you have the wifi so that it will stay registered in google maps even when you are on the road.

However, keep in mind that there are no car rentals from Ciudad Valles and you would need to rent your car either from San Luis Potosi or Tampico.

Also bear in mind that if the pickup city is different from the drop-off, there is an extra fee to pay which is usually quite expensive.

When renting a car I recommend DiscoverCars because you can compare prices and prebook your insurance straight away.

Find the best car rental deals and explore around freely, at your own pace. My favorite way to enjoy a destination!

Huasteca Potosina Mexico: A Complete Adventure Guide

huasteca potosina mexico

The Huasteca Potosina in Mexico is a synonym of beautiful and immense natural landscapes, splendidly cultivated fields, gorgeous scenic spots, beautiful streams and waterfalls, excellent culinary art, and artistic expressions.

The Huasteca Potosina is a Mexican region bordering the Atlantic Ocean, which goes deep into the interior of Mexico, covering part of the states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, and to a lesser extent, Puebla and Queretaro.

Therefore, it is usually referred to as the Huasteca Veracruzana, Tamaulipeca, Hidalguense, Poblana, Queretana and Potosina.

The Huastecan people still live today in the region conquered by their ancestors, preserving some of their cultural traits.

Their language, also called Tenek, is of Mayan origin and is the only one that has survived among its linguistic family members.

The Huastecans were brilliant potters from their beginnings, which were passed down from generation to generation.

Other preserved cultural manifestations are the Huastecan huapango and some peculiarities of the dress.

Where is the Huasteca Potosina Mexico?

The Huasteca Potosina comprises 20 municipalities with territories belonging to the ancient Huasteca civilization in the current state of San Luis Potosi.

Among these municipalities are Ciudad Valles, Xilitla, Aquismón, Tamasopo, Ébano, and Tamuín.

However, each municipality has its charm, which is worth knowing.

The Huasteca Potosina is a predominantly mountainous region, with abundant vegetation, fertile land, and spaces crossed by rivers and many streams that form beautiful waterfalls and countless pools of fresh, crystalline waters.

In the foothills of its mountains and caves, tourists have everything they need to practice their favorite sports.

At the same time, each town in the region offers some particular attraction for the visitor.

Where to start the tour?

huasteca potosina mexico

You can start in any town, staying overnight in one of the many hotels and hostels along the way as you travel through the territory.

huasteca potosina mexico

The Micos Waterfalls stand out among the natural places in Ciudad Valles.

They are staggered waterfalls, which allow extreme sports enthusiasts to practice their disciplines, generating good doses of adrenaline in a paradisiacal environment.

The local guides provide an excellent orientation to make the tours and activities safe.

In Taninul, there are sulfur hot springs and temazcal baths.

The Regional Huastecan Museum of Ciudad Valles offers a complete overview of the Huastecan culture through a collection of figures, seals, representations, winches, and other pre-Hispanic pieces.

Among the objects stand out a representation of the god of the wind in a shell pectoral and an ear of corn with a human head.

Also on display are some knives used by the Huastecans for sacrifices and some of their work tools, such as axes and knives.

Where to stay in Ciudad Valles

  • Quinta Mar has a nice swimming pool and occasionally they welcome their guests with a typical dance to introduce them to the Huasteca culture. They offer an abundant breakfast buffet
  • Hotel Valles has a beautiful colonial-style building, surrounded by gardens and Huastecan greenery
  • Hotel Pina is a centrally located and economical establishment, which users highlight for its cleanliness and functionality
  • Other options are Sierra Huasteca Inn, Mision Ciudad Valles and Hotel Spa Taninul

What are the best places to eat in Ciudad Valles?

  • La Leyenda is a cozy restaurant where you can enjoy Huastecan food and other international dishes. Among its specialties, La Leyenda’s customers recommend the heart of palm ceviche
  • La Bella Napoli is an Italian food restaurant, with spaghetti with traditional sauces and a special pizza called serrana. The Neapolitan sauce honors the name of the place
  • Rincón Huasteco is a restaurant whose specialty is grilled meat, chorizos, kidneys, and other cuts, served in an iron bowl with an assortment of sauces
  • El Palmar handmade ice cream is famous in the city

Coxcatlán

This municipality of Huasteca Potosina Mexico is located in the south of the state of San Luis Potosí and is noted for its scenery.

Although it doesn’t have a large river, it has several streams, one of which, the Suchiaco, crosses the town.

The town’s main building is the Church of San Juan Bautista, a temple of gothic lines built in gray stone. The artisans of Coxcatlán are very skilled at making clay pots and bejuco baskets.

Visit Aquismon in Huasteca Potosina

huasteca potosina mexico

The municipality of Aquismon is a mandatory stop on any trip to the Huasteca Potosina to admire the Sótano de la Golondrinas.

This vertical cavern is considered the most interesting of its kind on the planet.

This cave is frequented by tourists, ornithologists and speleologists.

In the enormous cave, 500 meters deep, thousands of swifts, very similar to swallows, enter and exit in curious and organized formations, emitting their particular sounds.

What else is there in Aquismón?

The largest waterfall in the Huasteca Potosina, Tamul, is in Aquismón. It is a crossroads of three Potosino rivers, as the 105-meter waterfall belongs to the Gallinas River until it cascades into the Santa Maria River, which flows below.

From the point where the waters meet, the current, more abundant, is called the Tampaón River.

From the community of Tanchachín, boat rides depart to admire the waterfall and the biodiversity present in the one-hour tour.

Attractions in Axtla de Terrazas

huasteca potosina mexico

It is a municipality with well-kept public green areas and a beautiful church where Santa Catarina is venerated, whose fiesta is celebrated on November 25 with religious events, typical dances, and lots of fun.

The Tamancillo River flows near the town, where the villagers go to cool off on hot days.

The village of Aguacatitla is very picturesque and cozy. Suitable wooden washbasins are only made in a few places, and one of them is Axtla de Terrazas.

Ebano in the Huasteca Potosina: A historical site

Ebano is a municipality with some important historical events in Mexico’s past.

The Huasteco Indians at the beginning of the 20th century must have been amazed when on April 3, 1904, saw that from the depths of the earth, a strong gush of a thick black liquid began to come out.

Ebano had become the cradle of the Mexican oil industry.

Today Mexico is an oil country of world importance, and it all began in the Huasteca Potosina more than a century ago.

The oil industry in Ebano

Ebano was the cradle of Mexican trade unionism, although the first union recognized by the company, the Sindicato Católico “Pio XI” was openly a bosses’ union.

The oil transnationals exploited workers everywhere, and Ebano was no exception.

The Ebano battle

During the Mexican Revolution, in 1914, there was a conflict between the constitutionalists (supporters of Venustiano Carranza) and the conventionists (supporters of Pancho Villa).

The Carrancistas wanted to take over the port of Tampico to receive supplies, and the Villistas tried to prevent them from doing so.

Ebano was a strategic site on the way to the port, and it was there that the two forces clashed. Another historical fact is that this was the first time an airplane was used in a war event in Mexico.

In the end, the Villistas retreated, and the Carrancistas reached Tampico.

El Naranjo

This municipality is located in the central-western part of San Luis Potosí. Its mainstream, the El Naranjo River, forms beautiful waterfalls that are the place’s main attractions.

Among these waterfalls stand out El Naranjo, El Meco, Salto de Agua, and Minas Viejas; this last one falls in two waterfalls that seem to be twins during one time of the year.

Huehuetlán

The municipality of Huehuetlán is located in the south of the state, with its lands bathed mainly by the Huichihuayán River and its tributaries.

The cave or grotto of the Four Winds is a place of difficult access and sacred to the Huastecans, who make offerings to a stalactite that, according to legend, takes the form of the goddess Tlazolteotl.

vamonos to mexico

The main tourist attraction of the municipality of Tamasopo, located in the southeastern region of the state, is its waterfalls.

The waterfalls that bear the municipality’s name are a single stream that divides into several jumps when falling, separated by a few meters.

The natural spa they form is delightful, and camping is available. Puente de Dios (God’s bridge) is another waterfall that falls at several points to an exquisite turquoise blue pool.

In Puente de Dios, there is a cavern where the sun’s rays beautifully illuminate the rock formations inside.

Can I stay in Tamasopo?

Huasteca Potosina

In the center of Tamasopo, 5 minutes from the waterfalls, is the Hotel Cosmos, whose guests report a good service-price ratio.

The Raga Inn, at 510 Los Bravo Street, is known for its comfortable simplicity and cleanliness.

Another lodging option in Tamasopo is the Hotel Campo Real plus.

Archaeology in Tamuín

huasteca potosina

The attractions of the municipality of Tamuín are mainly archaeological, with two sites standing out.

The pre-Hispanic site of Tamtoc could have been the pre-Columbian capital of the Huasteca region.

It is a monumental complex with buildings, rooms, plazas, and works of art, surrounded by beautiful vegetation.

This 2,500 year old and exquisitely worked figure is one of the great jewels of Huastecan art.

Among the structures are Paso Bayo, El Tizate, and El Corcovado, a circular area believed to have been a center for meetings and trade; and La Mujer Escarificada, a female sculpture also known as the Venus of Tamtoc.

The other crucial pre-Columbian site in Tamuín is El Consuelo, near the municipal capital on the road to Tampico.

The place was built by the Huasteca civilization shortly before the arrival of the Spaniards and was inhabited in the times of Cortés.

The main piece found at El Consuelo is El Adolescente Huasteco, a masterpiece of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican art, which appears to be an image of a young Quetzalcoatl.

Murals and very well-worked ceramic pieces have also been found.

What is there to see and do in Tancanhuitz de Santos?

One of the outstanding contributions of this highland municipality to Mexican culture is the Voladores de Tamaletóm, which predate those of Papantla. However, it was the latter that gained international fame.

The craftswomen of Tancanhuitz make beautiful tangles and huipiles with multicolored thread.

The town’s festivities honor San Miguel Arcángel and are celebrated between September 25 and 29.

The town’s main attractions are the Church of the 149 Steps, the Cave of Los Brujos, the Coy River, and La Herradura Dam.

Tanlajas

Tanlajás has a temple that calls attention at first glance because the tower is considerably separated from the main structure.

This does not prevent them from celebrating Santa Ana between June 25 and 26 with all the enthusiasm and colorfulness of the festivities of the patron saint of Potosí.

Other attractions of Tanlajás are its lakes, Tabasaquiche and Lagartos, and the Choy River.

What to see in Tanquián de Escobedo?

This municipality of San Luis Potosí on the border with the state of Veracruz is bathed by the waters of the Moctezuma River, forming beautiful lakes, among them El Tecolote, El Mezquite, and Unión.

Another tourist attraction is its archaeological huasteca zone. They celebrate their patron saint festivities on March 19, in honor of San José, with religious activities and typical dances.

Xilitla, San Luis Potosi

This municipality of the Huasteca Potosina Mexico is known worldwide by the Edward James Las Pozas Surrealist Garden.

It is a natural and artistic space in which many beautiful constructions and extraordinary sculptures are integrated into the paradisiacal landscape of trees, flowers, grass, streams, and pools.

Another impressive attraction in Xilitla is the Sótano de Huahuas, a vertical cavern 500 meters deep with a bird sanctuary considered a natural wonder.

The vast and unique cave is the habitat of several bird species. Also, in Xilitla, you can go mountaineering in the massif of La Silleta and caving enthusiasts can visit the cave of El Salitre.

The Surrealist Garden in Xilitla

vamonos to mexico

Again, this garden designed and built by Edward James, a British aristocrat, artist, and millionaire, has 36 constructions and sculptures of grand format, among which stand out The structure of three floors that can be five, Stairway to heaven, The bedroom with a whale-shaped roof, The house of Don Eduardo, The house of the peristyles, The aviary and The summer palace.

The works give the impression of being unfinished due to the artistic criterion of the author that every piece of art must remain incomplete for someone else to continue it.

Why did a British aristocrat think of making this garden in Mexico?

Edward James had a large fortune that he had inherited from his father. He was also a surrealist poet and artist, a friend of great masters trying to make a name for themselves, such as Dalí, Picasso, and Magritte.

He wanted to live in the Garden of Eden on Earth, and a friend recommended that he build one in Mexico. James erected the garden in the 1960s and died in 1984, leaving as his heirs the Mexican family that helped him build it.

The Potosi government and private organizations later purchased the garden to make it available to the public.

Other things to see in Xilitla

In the municipal capital of Xilitla, there is a church and former Augustinian convent from the middle of the 16th century, which is one of the great monuments of San Luis Potosi since it was the first religious building erected in the state.

Also, next to the former home of Plutarco Gastélum, Edward James’ main Mexican collaborator, is the El Castillo inn and museum.

The exhibition includes photographs and personal documents of the artist and some of the tools used to construct the prodigious garden.

Huasteca Potosina Mexico: The Food!

A 30-kilo tamale is enough for a busload of tourists. This is the zacahuil, the typical Huastecan tamale, which can be two meters long.

It is enormous and delicious since its filling is a mixture of meats, usually pork loin and chicken, very well seasoned with chiles and other ingredients.

Slow cooking, wrapped in banana or plantain leaves, in a wood oven, are fundamental requirements in preparing zacahuil, the maximum gastronomic expression of the Huasteca Potosina.

Other dishes of the regional gastronomy are the enchiladas huastecas, the xochitl broth and bocoles.

The Huastecos’ traits

  • The Huastecos are recognized as an ethnic group, regardless of the Mexican state in which they live
  • Indigenous people are not easy to census, but it is estimated that there are more than 200,000 Huastecos living in their ancestral territory
  • They are brown, short, very strong and healthy, with straight black hair
  • Since immemorial times, the Huastecans have made a living from agriculture and raising domestic animals
  • They grow corn and other grasses, coffee, beans, peanuts, avocados, bananas and sugar cane, among the most important crops
  • They are also lumberjacks, selling the logs to sawmills. Huastecan women are extraordinary potters and very skilled embroiderers

Huastecan music

Huapangos or sones huastecos have transcended the Huasteca Region to become a musical manifestation of national presence in Mexico.

Huapangos are not as old as the Huastecan civilization, since they emerged during the 19th century, but they constitute a rhythm that has Spanish, African, and indigenous features.

The Huasteco trio features huapanguera guitar, jarana huasteca, and violin, with zapateo and improvisation rounding out the magnificent musical and artistic production.