Huasteca Potosina: Mexico’s Hidden Gem of Waterfalls and Wonders”

huasteca potosina
Huasteca Potosina is a beautiful and remote subregion located in the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. It is known for its stunning natural scenery, including waterfalls, swimming holes, mountains, and caves. The region is in the northeastern part of Mexico, not far from the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range.

Some must-see attractions in Huasteca Potosina include its stunning waterfalls and swimming holes, which have an aquamarine hue due to the high calcium content in the surrounding rocks. Additionally, you can explore caves, go bird-watching, and engage yourself in the rich culture of the local Huastec people (Tének).

The best time to visit Huasteca Potosina is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to March. During this time, the weather is more favorable for outdoor activities, and the water in the rivers and waterfalls is clear.

Here are some things to know before arriving in Huasteca Potosina:

Huasteca Potosina is a stunning region in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, known for its natural beauty, including waterfalls, mountains, and more. It’s a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Mexico.
Huasteca Potosina is located in the state of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, which shares borders with seven other Mexican states: Nuevo León to the north; Tamaulipas to the northeast; Veracruz to the east; Hidalgo, Querétaro, and Guanajuato to the south; and Zacatecas to the northwest. Major cities in the state include Ciudad Valles, Matehuala, Rioverde, and Tamazunchale.
The best time to visit Huasteca Potosina is in February or October and November. February offers a more peaceful and less congested experience as it’s not the peak tourist season. During this time, the rainy season has finished, resulting in clean water, milder currents, and excellent swimming conditions. Similarly, October and November provide favorable weather and fewer crowds, making them excellent months to plan your journey.

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

Visiting the Huasteca Potosina, located in the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, is a dream come true for many travelers. This region boasts a breathtaking network of rivers, magnificent waterfalls, and captivating caves to explore. Here’s how to make the most of your visit:

  1. Choose Your Starting Point: My journey to the Huasteca Potosina began in the charming city of Queretaro. Depending on your starting location, you can plan your route accordingly.
  2. Consider Public Transportation: If you’re not renting a car, don’t worry; you can still explore this region by bus. From Queretaro, I took a bus that connected me to Xilitla and Ciudad Valles. Xilitla is a great place to start your adventure, and it’s known for the Edward James Enchanted Garden.
  3. Understand the Logistics: Get a grasp of the region’s logistics and how the waterfalls are spread out. Understanding the layout will help you plan your itinerary effectively.
  4. Plan Your Itinerary: Based on the information I gathered from my guide in the Sierra Gorda, I devised a plan that worked perfectly for my bus travel. I’ll share this plan in detail in this post, so keep reading.
  5. Travel by Car: If you’ve rented a car, your options expand significantly. You’ll have more flexibility and can explore at your own pace. I’ll also provide insights on visiting the Huasteca Potosina by car later in this post.

If you’re contemplating a trip to the Huasteca Potosina, keep reading for a detailed guide on what to see, how to get to different waterfalls, and how to organize your itinerary. Your adventure in this stunning region awaits.

When it comes to expenses in Huasteca Potosina, here are some pointers:

  1. Food: Dining outside of Mexico City is budget-friendly. In San Luis Potosi, you can savor an outstanding meal for around 200 pesos, approximately $10 or less.
  2. Park Entrance Fees: If you plan to visit a park or attraction independently, entrance fees range from $16 to USD 30 per person in most locations.
  3. Night Out: For a night out, consider visiting the Tamasopo Fair. You can enjoy local food, skill games, drinks, and rides without generally paying an entrance fee, making it possible to have a good time for $15 or less.

Local Adventures also suggests all-inclusive tour packages that cover food, park entrance fees, transportation, and lodging, which can be a suitable option for your trip.

San Luis Potosi is known for its involvement in the livestock sector, and various occasions celebrate this industry throughout the year. One of the most important events is the National Fair of San Luis Potosi, or FENAPO, held in August. This fair is a highlight in the state, suggesting a wide range of activities for the whole family.

In the city of San Luis Potosi, you can explore the creation of various artists, witness bullfighting, enjoy sporting and cultural events, explore livestock exhibitions, browse artisanal and gastronomic booths, and even experience the nightlife in bars and clubs. FENAPO is a deep and diverse celebration that takes place not only in the state capital but also across the complete territory of Potosi.

If you visit the Huasteca region during FENAPO, you can check the official calendar to find livestock-related events in the municipality of Tamasopo. It will allow you to immerse yourself in the local livestock culture.

Safety is a common concern when traveling, but in the case of Huasteca Potosina, there are some reassuring facts and advice to keep in mind:

  1. Tourism is Important: Tourism plays an important role in the Huasteca Potosina area, providing income to the local communities. As a result, the reserves, parks, and tourist areas are well-protected by municipal and local authorities who depend on visitors to sustain their livelihoods.
  2. Group Travel: Traveling in a group or taking a recommended tour can provide an added sense of security. Knowing you can depend on someone in an unknown place can be reassuring, and it’s an option to create lasting memories with friends or fellow visitors.
  3. Solo Travel Tips: If you prefer to travel solo, it’s essential to inform someone you trust about your whereabouts. Additionally, consider hiring a specialist guide who is aware of the area and can enhance your security and experience.

As for transportation, while it’s likely to travel by bus to Huasteca Potosina, it’s advised to explore the picturesque mountain landscapes by car. Having your transportation allows you to access various parks and resources more conveniently. The journey from Mexico City generally takes 6 to 8 hours, so be ready with a great playlist, good company, and some snacks to make the road trip satisfying.

Here’s a simple list of needs to pack when visiting Huasteca Potosina, considering the temperate climate:

  1. Dry-fit t-shirt
  2. Swimwear
  3. Underwear
  4. Sweatshirt or jacket
  5. Pants/jeans
  6. Comfortable walking shoes
  7. Sunblock
  8. Insect repellent
  9. Personal hygiene items
  10. Towel
  11. Backpack for water and snacks
  12. 1-liter water container
  13. Sunglasses

With these items packed, you’ll be well-prepared for your adventures in Huasteca Potosina. Now, you can explore the region’s attractions and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Must visit places in San Luis Potosi …

Surrealist Garden of Edward James

huasteca potosina

One must-visit place in San Luis Potosi is the Surrealist Garden of Edward James, located in Xilitla. Edward James, initially from Scotland, settled in Xilitla in the middle of the last century and created one of the most iconic works of surrealist architecture.

Locally known as the “Ruinas del Ingles” (English Ruins), this garden is a destination you shouldn’t forget in San Luis Potosi. The garden’s infinite staircases seamlessly mix with the surrounding nature. After exploring these beautiful staircases, you can discover natural pools hidden among the trees. To finish your visit, take a dip in their interesting blue and crystal-clear waters, and you’ll feel like you’ve strolled into an enchanted forest from a fairy tale.

The Basement of the Swallows

Another must-see natural wonder in the area is the Basement of the Swallows, found in the village of Aquismón. This natural monument resembles an infinite hole in the earth’s surface, with a remarkable depth of 1680 feet and a diameter of about 200 feet.

The site earned its name, the “Basement of the Swallows,” because it serves as a sanctuary for various bird species. However, what truly attracts visitors, athletes, and even world-class filmmakers to this location are the diverse activities. One of the famous activities here is rappelling along the grotto, an exciting experience that’s a must-try for adrenaline enthusiasts.

Micos River

In the Huasteca region, eco-tourism is a highlight, and one of the exciting activities you can enjoy during your stay in San Luis Potosí is jumping the waterfalls of the Micos River.

The Micos River boasts seven waterfalls of varying heights, spread along its kilometer-long course. Your adventure starts with a scenic half-mile hike along the river. Upon reaching the “Toro,” the largest and most popular waterfall in Micos, you’ll face a choice: take on the rapids with a raft or opt for an adrenaline-pumping adventure of jumping the waterfalls with a lifejacket.

After all the physical activity, you’ll likely work up an appetite. If you’re as adventurous with food as you are with waterfall jumping, don’t miss trying one of the roasted elotes (corn on the cob). These typical Mexican snacks have a unique flavor thanks to a chili pepper from the area, making them a tasty delight.

The Bridge of God

Hidden within the lush tropical forest surrounding Tamasopo lies one of its best-kept secrets— “Puente de Dios” or The Bridge of God. The name completely captures the enchantment you’ll find upon arrival.

This natural oasis is a part of a river that can be explored, but its main attractions are its two pools of water. The first pool lies just below a waterfall, offering the chance to leap from rocks ranging from five to 40 feet high into the captivating depths of this beautiful location. While this initial pool is attractive, it’s only a prelude to what awaits.

Once you’ve indulged in the natural water massages beneath the waterfalls, you can swim towards a small hole on the right side, seemingly guided by the current. Trust in this journey because beyond that passage, you’ll discover the bluest and clearest water you’ve ever seen. This section of the river earned its name due to the second pool’s heavenly appearance.

Inside this aquatic cave, a gentle filtration of light reflects in the water, casting a mesmerizing sky-blue glow throughout the cave. This breathtaking physical phenomenon might make you feel like you’re swimming in a portal to another world.


Huasteca Potosina, nestled in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, is a natural wonderland with waterfalls, caves, and mountains. The best time to visit is the dry season, from November to March, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. This northeastern Mexican gem features captivating aquamarine waterfalls and includes adventurers interested in caves, bird-watching, and Huastec culture. Begin your journey from cities like Queretaro, using public transport or renting a car for flexibility. Plan your itinerary, grasp logistics, or opt for all-inclusive packages to manage expenses.

The Huasteca Potosina FAQ

The duration of your visit to the Huasteca Potosina depends on your schedule and what you want to experience. Here’s a general guideline:

  1. 5 Full Days: If you want to explore the region thoroughly and enjoy all it has to offer, plan for a 5-day trip. This will give you ample time to see everything and immerse yourself in the beauty and culture.
  2. 4 Days: I spent 4 days there, and while it was a fantastic experience, it felt a bit rushed. If you’re tight on time but still want to savor the highlights, 4 days can work.
  3. 3 Days: If your goal is to visit the waterfalls, take some pictures, and have a taste of the Huasteca Potosina, 3 days should suffice. It’s a good option for a shorter getaway.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, and you can tailor your trip to your preferences and availability. Whether you have 3, 4, or 5 days, the Huasteca Potosina promises unforgettable natural beauty and adventures.

For your stay in the Huasteca Potosina, Ciudad Valles can be a strategic base despite not being the most charming city. Here’s why:

  1. Central Location: Ciudad Valles is centrally located in the heart of the Huasteca Potosina, making it relatively close to many of the region’s stunning waterfalls and attractions.
  2. Transportation Hub: From Ciudad Valles, you can easily access various waterfalls by taking buses or hiring a taxi. It serves as a transportation hub for exploring the area.
  3. Car Rentals: While there were limited car rental options in Ciudad Valles during my visit, it’s worth checking Google Maps for any local car rental agencies that may have emerged since. Having a car can provide more flexibility in your exploration.

By staying in Ciudad Valles, you can efficiently plan your visits to the different waterfalls and other attractions scattered throughout the Huasteca Potosina, ensuring you make the most of your trip.

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