La Huasteca Potosina
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Are you planning to visit the beautiful La Huasteca Potosina Mexico? I have the perfect guide with everything you need to know to visit.

Tucked away in the lush jungles of San Luis Potosi state lies a hidden gem that will take your breath away – La Huasteca Potosina Waterfalls. This magical region is blessed with some of the most stunning natural scenery in all of Mexico, from towering turquoise waterfalls to vibrant green forests teeming with wildlife. But what makes La Huasteca Potosina so special? Is it the jaw-dropping colors of the water, the tranquil swimming holes, or the sense of discovering an unspoiled paradise? Read on to learn about this incredible destination and start planning the adventure of a lifetime.

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Discover the Magical Waterfalls of La Huasteca Potosina: The Ultimate Guide to Mexico’s Hidden Gem

No time to read it all? Here are the highlights:

  • La Huasteca Potosina is a stunning region in San Luis Potosi state known for its magical turquoise waterfalls and lush jungles
  • The best waterfalls to visit include Tamul, Minas Viejas, El Salto, El Meco, Puente de Dios, El Trampolin, and Micos
  • Other top attractions are the Edward James Surrealist Gardens, Sotano de las Golondrinas cave, and Selva Teenek animal sanctuary
  • The best time to visit is during the dry season from November to April for good weather and full waterfalls
  • It’s safe to visit and best explored by a guided tour or renting a car, but can also be visited via bus/taxi or tours
  • Allow at least 5 days to see the highlights, with El Naranjo, Ciudad Valles, Aquismon, Xilitla, and Tamasopo being the main towns
Man Rowing Boat Across River in Mexico

What is La Huasteca Potosina? Where is La Huasteca potosina Mexico?

La Huasteca Potosina is a region in the northeastern part of San Luis Potosi state in central Mexico. It borders the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Hidalgo, and Queretaro. While the larger Huasteca region extends into these neighboring states, the Huasteca Potosina refers specifically to the portion within San Luis Potosi.

This area is characterized by rugged mountains, deep canyons, and dense tropical forests fed by abundant rainfall. The defining features are the many rivers that wind through the landscapes, creating spectacular waterfalls of various shapes and sizes. The striking blue-green color of the water comes from the mineral composition and crystalline clarity.

While it’s starting to gain international attention, La Huasteca Potosina is still an off-the-beaten-path destination in Mexico, especially compared to the more famous beaches and colonial towns. Those willing to venture off the typical tourist trail are rewarded with some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the country.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/la-huasteca-potosina-mexico/

La Huasteca Potasina Tours and Car Rentals: how to get to huasteca potosina

Guided tours are a great option for accessing waterfalls and adventures safely plus learning about the area from a knowledgeable guide.

Recommended La Huasteca Potosina tours:

To explore independently, rent a car from these agencies:

Book ahead, especially for peak season. You’ll likely need a credit card and passport.

The Best Waterfalls in La Huasteca Potosina

With so many cascades to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are the must-see waterfalls of the region and why each one is worth a visit:

Tamul Waterfall (Cascada de Tamul)

La Huasteca Potosina
  • What: A towering waterfall up to 345 feet (105m) tall and 980 feet (300m) wide, formed by the meeting of the Gallinas and Santa Maria rivers
  • Why: The sheer scale and power of Tamul is unforgettable. Seeing the huge wall of bright blue water thundering down into the canyon is a humbling experience.
  • Tip: To reach the waterfall, you can either hike 3 miles (5 km) through the forest or take a 2 hour boat ride up the Tampaon River from the village of La Morena.

Minas Viejas Waterfalls (Cascadas de Minas Viejas)

Minas Viejas
  • What: A series of waterfalls and pools with the main drop over 180 feet (55m) tall, surrounded by lush vegetation and steep canyon walls
  • Why: Minas Viejas has an almost dreamlike beauty with the vines hanging down the cliff faces and the turquoise waters. Swimming in the pools beneath the falls is magical.
  • Tip: These falls are located about 30 min from the town of El Naranjo. There’s a short hike down to reach them. Come early to beat the crowds.

El Salto Waterfall (Cascada El Salto)

Cascada El Salto
  • What: A powerful waterfall normally about 230 feet (70m) tall flowing into a huge blue pool, though the flow stops in the dry season
  • Why: Even without the waterfall flowing, the color of the water in the pools is a stunning blue that looks surreal against the surrounding forest.
  • Tip: Visit El Salto in combo with nearby El Meco falls. Though the falls may not be running in dry season, the swimming is amazing year-round.

El Meco Waterfalls (Cascadas El Meco)

  • What: A tall waterfall over 130 feet (40m) high that pours into stepped pools and the El Salto river below
  • Why: The view of El Meco from the mirador (lookout) is spectacular and it’s less crowded than some other waterfalls.
  • Tip: You can rappel down the side of the falls or take a boat trip up to the base on guided tours for extra thrills.

Puente de Dios (God’s Bridge)

  • What: Not a waterfall but a natural rock bridge formation over a beautiful swimming hole and small cascades
  • Why: Puente de Dios is in a stunning jungle setting and swimming in the bright blue pool surrounded by vines and ferns is an experience you won’t forget.
  • Tip: This is a popular spot that can get very crowded. Go as early as possible for a more serene visit and to get photos without people.

El Trampolin Waterfall

  • What: A small waterfall and swimming area with natural rock formations that create pools, slides, and jumping spots
  • Why: El Trampolin provides lots of fun for jumping off rocks and playing in the water in a beautiful setting not far from Puente de Dios.
  • Tip: Use caution when jumping and check water depths. Follow the lead of the locals for the safest spots.

Micos Waterfalls (Cascadas de Micos)

  • What: A series of 7 waterfalls along the Micos River with bright blue pools for swimming
  • Why: Micos is super fun for waterfall jumping! You can jump your way down the falls into the refreshing waters.
  • Tip: Wear water shoes and a life jacket. Guided tours are available to jump all 7 waterfalls.

Summary of the Best Waterfalls Huasteca Potosina

WaterfallLocationFeaturesTip
TamulNear El Sauz345 ft tall, 980 ft wideHike or boat to reach
Minas Viejas30 min from El Naranjo180 ft main drop, swimmable poolsVisit early for fewer crowds
El SaltoNear El Meco230 ft drop, huge blue poolPair with El Meco falls
El Meco1 mile from El Salto130 ft tall, stepped poolsRappel or boat trips available
Puente de DiosNear TamasopoNatural bridge, blue cenoteGo early to avoid crowds
El TrampolinNear Puente de DiosJumps, slides, poolsCheck water depths before jumping
MicosNear Ciudad Valles7 falls, bright blue waterGuided jumping tours available

Other Top Attractions in La Huasteca Potosina

While the waterfalls are the star of the show, there are other natural and cultural wonders to explore in La Huasteca Potosina:

Edward James Surrealist Gardens (Las Pozas)

  • What: Surreal concrete sculptures and structures in the middle of the jungle outside Xilitla
  • Why: It feels like stepping into a bizarre dream world, with spiral staircases leading to nowhere and giant flowers sprouting from the ground.
  • Tip: Access is now by guided tour only to limit crowds. English tours are at 9am and 11am. Book ahead on weekends.

Address: Camino Paseo Las Pozas, 79902 Xilitla, S.L.P., Mexico

Sotano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows)

  • What: An enormous pit cave that’s home to thousands of birds who fly out in a swirling mass at dawn
  • Why: Witnessing the nightly exodus of swifts and swallows from the over 1100 feet (370m) deep cave is an unforgettable sight.
  • Tip: The birdwatching is best Sep-Apr. Go 1hr before sunrise for the most activity. The hike to the cave involves lots of stairs down.

How to get there: 30 min drive from Aquismón

Selva Teenek Animal Sanctuary

  • What: An animal rescue and rehabilitation center housing big cats like jaguars, pumas, and ocelots
  • Why: Learn about conservation and see rescued animals up close in the jungle surroundings. Night tours are available for an extra thrill.
  • Tip: Selva Teenek is close to Micos waterfalls. Combine a waterfall visit with supporting the sanctuary’s rescue work.

Address: San Nicolás de los Montes, 79380 Ciudad Valles, S.L.P., Mexico

Best time to Visit La Huasteca Potosina

The best time to visit is during the dry season from November to April. At this time, the weather is sunny and comfortable, the waterfalls are at their fullest flow, and the rivers have the bluest color.

Holiday weekends like Easter and Christmas can get crowded with domestic tourists. Waterfalls may have lower flow in late dry season.

The rainy season from June to October has smaller crowds but muddier trails, browner rivers, and dangerous water currents. Some waterfalls may be inaccessible.

How To Get To La Huasteca Potosina and how to get Around La Huasteca Potosina

By Plane: The closest airports are Tampico (TAM) and San Luis Potosi (SLP), both about 3-4 hrs drive from Ciudad Valles. Connection flights go through Mexico City.

By Bus: Executive and first-class buses go from Mexico City to Ciudad Valles or Xilitla taking 6-8 hrs. Having a car really helps as many sights are hard to reach by bus.

By Car: Driving allows the most flexibility to visit the waterfalls and sights at your own pace. Having your own vehicle or renting a car is the best way to get around.

There are no rental agencies in Ciudad Valles itself, so rent from San Luis Potosi, Tampico airport, or Mexico City and drop off at the same location. Roads are paved but often potholed and winding. Don’t drive at night for safety.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/la-huasteca-potosina-mexico/

Getting to La Huasteca Potosina from Mexico City

Getting to La Huasteca Potosina from Mexico City is relatively straightforward, with a few options depending on your preferred mode of transportation and budget. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

By Bus: Taking a bus from Mexico City to Ciudad Valles

the main hub of La Huasteca Potosina, is a convenient and affordable option.

  • First-class buses depart from Mexico City’s Terminal Norte (North Terminal) and Terminal Oriente (East Terminal) to Ciudad Valles several times a day.
  • The main bus lines serving this route are Vencedor, ETN, and Primera Plus.
  • The journey takes around 6-8 hours depending on the bus and route.
  • A one-way ticket costs approximately 700-1000 pesos ($35-50 USD) for a first-class bus with air conditioning and bathrooms.
  • From Ciudad Valles, you can connect to local buses or rent a car to explore the waterfalls and sights.

Tip: Opt for a bus that departs early in the morning to maximize your time in La Huasteca Potosina and avoid arriving late at night.

By Plane: Flying is the quickest way to get to La Huasteca Potosina

Flying is the quickest way to get to La Huasteca Potosina although it requires a connection.

  • Fly from Mexico City International Airport (MEX) to either San Luis Potosi Airport (SLP) or Tampico Airport (TAM), both about a 3-4 hour drive from Ciudad Valles.
  • The flight takes about 1 hour to either airport.
  • From the airport, rent a car or take a bus/taxi to Ciudad Valles.
  • A one-way flight starts at around 1500 pesos ($75 USD) to SLP or TAM, although prices vary depending on the airline and how far in advance you book.

By Car Driving from Mexico City to La Huasteca Potosina

gives you the most flexibility to explore the region at your own pace.

  • Take Highway 57 north from Mexico City towards San Luis Potosi.
  • In San Luis Potosi, take Highway 70 east towards Ciudad Valles.
  • The drive takes about 7-8 hours total, depending on traffic and stops.
  • Be prepared for tolls, which total around 700 pesos ($35 USD) each way.
  • Rent a car from a reputable agency in Mexico City or reserve a car in advance from Discover Cars and make sure you have the necessary insurance and documents.

Tip: Break up the drive by spending a night in the charming colonial city of San Luis Potosi or the magical town of Xilitla.

ways to get to La Huasteca Potosina from mexico city

RouteDurationCost (One-Way)Tips
Bus from Mexico City to Ciudad Valles6-8 hours700-1000 pesos ($35-50 USD)Take an early morning departure
Fly from Mexico City to SLP or TAM, then drive1 hour flight + 3-4 hour drive1500+ pesos ($75+ USD) for flight + car rentalRent a car in advance
Drive from Mexico City to Ciudad Valles7-8 hours700 pesos ($35 USD) in tolls + gasBreak up the drive with an overnight stop

Main Towns in Huasteca Potosina and Access Points:

Here’s a summary of the main towns for lodging and services:

TownHighlightsWaterfalls & Sights Nearby
Ciudad VallesLargest city, most hotels, restaurants, busesTamul, Micos, El Trampolin
XilitlaPueblo magico, cool hotelsLas Pozas Gardens, Comales falls
El NaranjoSmall waterfall townMinas Viejas, El Salto, El Meco
AquismonTiny village near sightsCave of Swallows, Tambaque
TamasopoWaterfall meccaPuente de Dios, El Trampolin, Tamasopo falls

How Long to Spend in La Huasteca Potosina

We recommend at least 5 full days to see the main highlights of La Huasteca Potosina without rushing. More time allows a slower pace to relax and enjoy each place and account for travel time between sights.

5 day La Huasteca Potosin itinerary:

  • Day 1: El Salto & El Meco waterfalls, overnight in El Naranjo
  • Day 2: El Trampolin & Puente de Dios, overnight in Tamasopo
  • Day 3: Minas Viejas waterfalls & Micos falls, overnight in Ciudad Valles
  • Day 4: Tamul waterfall, overnight in Aquismon
  • Day 5: Cave of Swallows, Xilitla and Edward James Gardens

Feel free to customize based on your priorities and pace. With more time you can add activities like rafting, ziplining, caving and more.

Safety in La Huasteca Potosina

By Mexican standards, the Huasteca Potosina is a very safe region to visit with a low crime rate. Locals are friendly and welcoming to respectful tourists enjoying nature.

Take normal precautions like not leaving valuables in the car, driving only in daylight, and camping in established sites. Rivers can have strong currents so use caution swimming and don’t jump or dive without checking depths. Beware of slippery rocks.

Basic Spanish helps with logistics but many people speak some English at hotels and sights. Guides are available for non-Spanish speakers.

Tap water is not safe to drink. Bring a reusable bottle and purify water or buy purified water. Hand sanitizer is useful.

Where to Stay in La Huasteca Potosina

There’s a variety of lodging from rustic cabins to jungle glamping to resort-style hotels. For exploring the region, we prefer splitting your time between a few main hubs:

El Naranjo

  • For: Minas Viejas, El Salto, El Meco waterfalls
  • Hotels: Huasteca Express, Hotel Bella Vista on the river
  • Camping: Bel-Ha Eco Park or along the Rio Huichihuayan river

Ciudad Valles

  • For: Tamul waterfall, Micos waterfalls, Trampolin waterfalls
  • Hotels: Casa Ortiz, Mision Valles, Kima
  • Camping: Selva Teenek animal sanctuary

Tamasopo

  • For: Puente de Dios, El Trampolin, Tamasopo waterfalls
  • Hotels: Refugio Huasteco, Cabañas Aventura on the river
  • Camping: Campamento Rio Tama or river-front cabañas

Aquismon

  • For: Cave of Swallows, Tamul waterfall
  • Hotel: Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia, Gran Tamoanchan eco-hotel

Xilitla

  • For: Las Pozas Gardens, Comales falls
  • Hotels: Hotel El Castillo, Hotel Paraíso Encantado near the gardens
  • Glamping: Glamping Xilitla

What to Pack for La Huasteca Potosina

Be prepared for jungle adventures with this packing list:

  • Lightweight quick-dry clothing
  • Swimsuits and towels
  • Water shoes or sandals with good grip
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, reef-safe sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Lightweight daypack
  • Dry bags for electronics
  • Camera with waterproof case
  • Biodegradable toiletries
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Personal medications and first aid kit

Cash in small bills is essential as credit cards are not widely accepted and ATMs can be unreliable. Bring a few days’ extra supply.

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FAQs About La Huasteca Potosina

What is the best waterfall in La Huasteca Potosina?

It’s hard to choose as each has its own unique appeal, but the most jaw-dropping is probably Tamul for its sheer size and power. Minas Viejas and Puente de Dios are other standouts for their magical swimming holes surrounded by lush jungle.

How do you get to the waterfalls?

Most waterfalls require a drive and short hike to access. Tamul involves a boat trip or longer hike. Having your own rental car provides the most flexibility, but guided tours can provide door-to-door transportation for the most popular falls.

Is it safe for solo female travelers?

The Huasteca Potosina has a reputation as a safe region in Mexico. Take the normal precautions of not walking alone at night, camping in established areas, and being cautious about accepting rides from strangers. Knowing some Spanish will help if traveling solo.

How much does a La Huasteca Potosina trip cost?

Costs depend on your travel style but it’s a relatively economical destination. Expect to spend about $50-80 USD per person per day for food, lodging, and activities, plus extra for guided tours. Renting a car can add $30-50 per day.

Can you swim in the waterfalls?

Yes! Swimming is one of the biggest draws of La Huasteca Potosina. Most waterfalls have clear blue pools perfect for taking a dip. Just use caution around currents and check depths before jumping.

Do you need a guide to visit the waterfalls?

You do not need a guide as most waterfalls can be accessed independently with a car. However, guides can provide an extra level of safety, access to rappelling and boat trips, and local knowledge. Some spots like Tamul are easier with a guide.

Are there restaurants and food options?

Most waterfalls have small restaurants or food stands serving simple local fare like quesadillas, tacos, and fresh fruit. Larger towns like Ciudad Valles and Xilitla have a wider variety of restaurants and grocery stores. For remote waterfalls, it’s a good idea to bring snacks and pack a lunch.

What is the closest airport to La Huasteca Potosina?

While there is a small airport in Ciudad Valles, the closest international airports are Ponciano Arriaga International Airport (SLP) in San Luis Potosi and General Francisco Javier Mina International Airport (TAM) in Tampico, both about a 3-4 hour drive from Ciudad Valles. Mexico City is about 6-8 hours away.

What is the best time of year to visit La Huasteca Potosina?

The dry season from November to April provides the sunniest weather and fullest waterfalls. November-January are coolest and April is hottest. Avoid Easter and Christmas holidays for fewer crowds. May-October is rainy season with increased water flow but muddier trails.

Can you drink the tap water in La Huasteca Potosina?

No, the tap water is not safe to drink in Mexico. Drink only purified bottled water or use a filtration system. Bring a reusable bottle to reduce plastic waste. Also use purified water to brush teeth and wash produce.

La Huasteca Potosina is truly a hidden gem for waterfall chasers and adventure seekers. Around every bend in the trail and every pool at the base of a thundering cascade, there’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of the jungle and the breathtaking power of water.

By planning your trip with this guide, you can experience the best waterfalls, cultural sites, and natural wonders safely and thoroughly. As you plunge into that surreal blue water surrounded by emerald green ferns and vines, you’ll understand why La Huasteca Potosina is one of Mexico’s most magical treasures waiting to be discovered.

So what are you waiting for? A waterfall wonderland awaits in La Huasteca Potosina – come chase those rainbows and find your bliss under the jungle canopy!

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