In Mexico we experienced a lot of amazing adventures, in the region San Luis Potosí we definitely found the most unexpected ones. There are a lot of places to visit in this state, but La Huasteca Potosina is the most impressive of them all. La Huasteca Potosina is a region in San Luis Potosí, which is famous for its hidden waterfalls and rivers. In this state there are two bigger cities, from which you can start your day trips to the different waterfalls: the capital of the region, San Luis Potosí and Ciudad Valles.
All the waterfalls are wonderful, but it can be quite difficult to reach them. In this article we will show you how to get to the most beautiful waterfalls of Huasteca Potosina. We stayed in Ciudad Valles because it‘s more central and there are several public transportation options. We spent 3 days there, but we recommend some attractions that you can watch if you stay longer.
Remember to use a life vest in every location in la Huasteca, you will find people renting them for a very cheap price (not more than 3 euros). The currents can be very strong, respecting the forces of nature should be your priority if you decide to explore this region.
All these places are run by locals, so by visiting them you support local tourism. It’s also very rare to find foreigners in these places, the 80 % of the visitors are coming from other Mexican regions and states for a weekend trip. Our goal with this article is also to advertise less touristy places, especially because other parts of Mexico (Cancun, Tulum) are too popular, so these hidden wonders of other regions don’t get enough attention. If you want to avoid overtourism, you should definitely visit these hidden waterfalls.
Ciudad Valles - How to get there?
Ciudad Valles used to be a very small city, but thanks to the increasing tourism in the region it became a bigger city with a lot of accomodation options. Our hostel was called “Hostal Casa Huasteca” and it was one of the most beautiful and clean hostels that we have ever visited (not sponsored). The only rental car company in the city is also in this hostel. (in the summer of 2018)
If you use public transportation, you can reach Ciudad Valles (also San Luis Potosi) by bus. There are big bus companies in Mexico (Primera Plus, Adeo), that are very comfortable as well. There are direct buses from Leon to Ciudad Valles, it takes approx. 7 hours to get there. We arrived at 5 am to the bus station of Ciudad Valles. You may think that it was too early to do something, but this was actually the best for us. At 05:30 we took our second bus and went directly to Tamasopo.
Tamasopo was our first stop in this amazing trip. It takes approx. 1 hour to get there by car from Ciudad Valles, by bus double the time (we were sleeping, so it was no problem). Just take care to get out at the station Tamasopo, ask the bus driver to let you know when you arrive. Tamasopo is a little town, but the two waterfalls are located a bit more far from the bus station. The two waterfalls are: Puente de Dios and Cascada de Tamasopo.If you arrive early, then you’re able to enjoy the waterfalls and the nature before the tourist groups arrive. You can walk 30 minutes from the bus station to the waterfall, or you can take a cab. For both waterfalls it takes half an hour by foot.
Puente de Dios
Puente de Dios is our number one. This amazing paradise is located in the middle of the tropical forest. To arrive there you can just follow the signs from the bus station or the market and walk, or you can take a cab (like us). After climbing up on a lot of stairs the main wall of waterfalls welcomes you, where you can jump and swim. The best part of Puente de Dios is the surrealistic cave where you can find a lot of little fishes swimming around your feet, but also a lot of little bats flying next to your head. Don’t worry, they won’t harm you at all, it’s a breathtaking experience.
After the cave you will find the river where you can also chill and swim a bit, but be carfeul! There is rapid section that can take you by surprise if you are distracted and you can be taken by the river steam! Zsuzsi and me got actually almost taken by this current. We were saved by some ropes that the locals have set all around the river for security, so be always aware of the surrounding currents.
Cascada de Tamasopo
After spending some hours in Puente de Dios, we went to eat some quesadillas to a little restaurant, then we went to our next stop: the Tamasopo waterfall. This one is very different from Puente de Dios, the waterfalls are a bit bigger and taller. This place is also more touristy, you can even find a hotel inside, restaurants and bars. It’s full of life, food, people and music, so it’s not such a calm place as Puente de Dios. There are also several places to swim and jump here into the fresh water. The most amazing part for us here was the big log place from where you can jump into the current of the waterfall, it feels very extreme and exciting! But you need to wear a life vest for your own safety.
The Tamul is another impressive waterfall in La Huasteca worth seeing, although you can’t swim under it. It’s actually the most difficult one to reach in the region.
This fall is 105 meters high, and reaches 300 meters wide depending on the amount of rain that falls. Beside you can practice all kinds of ecotourism activities: mountain biking, rappelling, hiking and more. Consider that you have two choices to admire: boat from below, or through the town of El Sauz from above.
You can take a bus from Ciudad Valles and then get off in the middle of the highway in a little town called El Sauz. There you have 3 options: walk 1 hour to the port where you can take a boat, take a cab that takes you to the port, or hitchhike. We had the funniest hitchhike ever, we were travelling on a truck for like 30 min! That is pretty common in Mexico, but Zsuzsi was really afraid of falling down. We don't recommend you to walk, because it is a very long way and the sun is very strong, meaning you can get serious sunburn or worse case scenario - get a sunstroke!
After that, you need to rent a boat (“lancha”) with some other travellers with whom you split the costs (one boat costs approx. 100-120 euros, and then you split it with other 10-15 people). You have to wait at the renting store until there will be enough people. Tamul waterfall is one hour from the base river rowing against the current, so be prepared to do some very good arms and chest exercises!
If you will bring something valuable like a camera, phones or something that can be damaged with water, you should bring a water proof backpack with you. People get very excited while rowing, and they won’t hesitate to splash you if they are rowing also next to you. All our things got wet of course, and we got super tired, but the feeling that the Tamul waterfall brings about is worthy every second of the trip. This view was something that we will remember forever.
After exploring for two days in la Huasteca, we decided to complete our journey in the region known as “El Naranjo”. El Naranjo is rich in hidden natural wonders but is also the furthest part of La Huasteca. The central town of the region is also called el Naranjo. From there, you have to go a bit to the north, to find some of the waterfalls.
How to get around in the region?
There is no suitable transportation to arrive to all the locations here, so the best that you can do for exploring this region is renting a car or a taxi for the whole day. We decided to rent a car, because like that we were able to spend the time as we wanted. Just take into consideration that the roads here are a bit dangerous, it is just one road with one rail in one direction and another one back, it is full of holes and heavy trucks. During rainy season other surprising waterfalls can just appear closing the road itself! Always check the weather conditions before and drive focused on the road.
You can imagine the road to El Naranjo as a slide, it’s convenient to go first to the furthest point and then from there, “go down” catching all the locations. It’s what we did, and in this order we wrote them down:
El Salto waterfall
If you visit this waterfall in dry season (May-September), you might find it empty, because the company next to it takes all the water to provide energy for the region. It was our first stop, and even if we didn’t catch the waterfall with water, the natural pools and the rocks make the place look as a landscape of another planet. You can swim there also, but it’s better to do it in rainy season. In dry season the place is so lonely and far from everything that it can be a bit risky, there are no life jackets and no people.
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Mexico/Huasteca Potosina The waterfall of "El Salto" has the most difficult access in El Naranjo, because they are no signs showing you the direction and no other travelers or locals nexto to it. When we were searching for it, we accidentally found the Hidroelectric power plant that is built next to it. This place generates energy for the communities of El Naranjo region and also for some of the San Luis Potosi region. On one hand, the government choosed this not so polluting way to generate energy, but on the other hand, almost all the water that was originally going to the waterfall is used by the generators, so the waterfall is just visible during the rainy season. 😢 But even if the water is not falling, the little natural pools are always there, clean and ready to be explored 😍 We would definitely go back in rainy season. ☔ Is there any place where you would like to go back? Let us know in the comments 💞 *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. * Connect with us and use the hashtag #deertravelers or #livetoconnect so that we know what are you up to ❤️ . . . Check out our blog and our latest post about Rome here: www.deertraveler.com🦌 . . . #visitmexico #ig_mexico #huastecapotosina #huasteca #travelblogger #goexplore #wonderful_places #waterfalls #travelphotography #bloggersofinstagram #wordlerlust #lovetravel #pinningpixel #travellingthroughtheworld #thattravelblog #travelmore #TravelAwesome #traveldudes #wonderfulglobe #travelcommunity #travelgam #globetrotter #travelingcouple #wanderluster #LetsGoEverywhere #mexicodesconocido #mexico_maravilloso @vivamexico @mexicosorprendente @mexicodesconocido @mexicotravel @mexico_amazing @mexicosorprendente
Salto del Meco waterfall (and river)
This on can be divided into two main parts. If you just want to see the waterfall from above, you have to go to a viewpoint from where you are able to hear the powerful sound of the water and take some beautiful photos. But if you want to watch the base of the waterfall, you can get there by boat. Even if the waterfall is very powerful, the river is very calm, so it’s not so hard to reach it.
For this one, we just decided to make some shots from the viewpoint and then take some time to swim and refresh in the river. The water is very clear and blue, and there is even a swing next to the river.
This is how the waterfall looks like from the viewpoint:
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📌Mexico/ Huasteca Potosina 🇲🇽 In the last days we just posted photos about us, so it's time for a nature photo🏞️ Please take us back to La Huasteca! 🙆🙌 We had a lot of funny and unique adventures in a lot of places during our trips: we lost a flight in Berlin, we experimented the coldest days in Rome, we faced an unexpected winter blizzarrd in St. Petersburg. But one of our the most adventurous trips was definitely the road trip to the waterfalls of La Huasteca, when Dante's hands were shaking after he was driving on the highway in the first time in his life. 🚘 The road was looking like an animation frame of Hayao Miyasaki, full of curves and holes 😂 Tell us about one of your most memorable adventures! 🤙🏻🌍❤️ *. *. *. *. *. * Vamos a la Huasteca de nuevo! 🙌🙆 Hemos tenido muchas aventuras unicas y graciosas en nuestros viajes: Perdimos un vuelo en Berlin, pasamos los dias mas frios en Roma, enfrentamos una nevada sorpresa en San Petersburgo. Pero el viaje en carretera a la Huasteca fue uno de los mas aventurosos! Las manos de Dante temblaban despues de manejar en carretera por primera vez 🚘 El camino parecia una animacion de Hayao Miyasaki, pero lleno de curvas y baches 😂 Cuentanos sobre tus mas memorables aventuras! . Connect with us and use the hashtag #deertravelers or #livetoconnect so that we know what are you up to ❤️ . . . Check out our blog and find inspiration: www.deertraveler.com🦌 Follow our journey: @deertraveler 💓 . . . #visitmexico #ig_mexico #huastecapotosina #huasteca #travelwriter #travelogue #travelphotography #justbackfrom #traveldiary#travelbuddies #mytinyatlas #aroundtheworldpix
Minas Viejas has a small infrastructure, there is a parking place for cars, and we suppose that you have to buy tickets as well (we paid 30 pesos for parking, but we did not pay entrance fee, because it was a free day for visitors). Little stores and restaurants are surrounding the waterfall, so that means it’s usually full ( most probably on the weekends). We went on a Tuesday, so there were just other 5-10 visitors. We had the place for ourselves.
This was probably our best experience, because here you can swim very close to the fall. Like that, you are able to feel the power of the water and the drops and the fresh air on your face, that makes the whole experience so memorable. There are more places here where you can swim and jump. You can also walk to the top of a wooden construction from where you can adore the waterfall from the top (the view compensates for the whole climbing thing).
Micos is an amazing place that combines 7 waterfalls all along the trace of 1 kilometer of river. The most exciting thing here is that you can swim through the river and jump from each of the waterfalls! Of course that you will need the proper equipment, but don’t worry, here you will find a lot of people offering you to rent it. If you’re an adrenaline lover, this is a must in your trip to El Naranjo.
Our day was full of adventures, and unfortunately we didn’t achieve to reach this last waterfall because it was already very late, but be sure that we will come back soon and visit the waterfall that we miss here!
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Mexico/Huasteca Potosina In order to find all the waterfalls in the region of "El Naranjo" you need to go through a lot of adventures. 😂 There is almost no public transportation, so we decided to rent a car to visit all the 4 waterfalls. You need to drive on a long road full of holes, in the middle of a sugar crane field, and then in the mountains full of curves, then a long walk until you find these little paradises. You can stay there and swim, but if you want to see the amazing view of the waterfall from above you need to go to the top of a wooden construction. 😨 Maybe the first part doesn't sound so bad for an experienced driver, but in my case, it was the first time in my life that I was driving on a highway! I was very afraid of course, but Zsuzsi was supporting me and she was watching the map, and navigating the whole way 😊🎶 At the end I conquered my fears and it was worth it: we could watch everything and I was even surprised by myself that I could drive on such a dangerous road. It's important to conquer the fears, because we are able to achieve much more things that we would ever think about 😍 you just need to take the first step 💪🏾 *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. * Follow our journey: @deertraveler 💓 Check out our blog for travel tips: www.deertraveler.com . . . #livetoconnect ❤️ #deertravelers #visitmexico #ig_mexico #huastecapotosina #huasteca #travelblogger #goexplore #wonderful_places #waterfalls #travelphotography #bloggersofinstagram #wordlerlust #lovetravel #pinningpixel #travellingthroughtheworld #thattravelblog #goexplore #TravelAwesome #traveldudes #wonderfulglobe #travelcouple #travelcommunity #travelgam #globetrotter #thetravelleague #globecouples #LetsGoEverywhere #mexicosorprendente #mexico_maravilloso @vivamexico @mexicosorprendente @mexicodesconocido @mexicotravel @mexico_amazing @mexicosorprendente
If you have the chance to stay longer in this region you can still visit other two amazing places of La Huasteca:
El Sotano de las golondrinas (The swallows basement).
This amazing vertical cave was formed by the power of the water through the rock. If you visit this place, you should always do it in the sunrise or the sunset, because is at this two moments when thousands of birds go out and in performing an spectacular natural show while they flight and sing. The cave is so big that the Eiffel tower would fit inside leaving still some space!
To arrive to this place, you need to keep the same road that leads to Tamul, and keep straight instead of taking the road deviation.
Edward James surrealistic garden
This dreamy place can be defined as: "walking inside of a Dali's paiting". Designed and constructed by the writer and artist Edward James, this beautiful garden located in the middle of Xilitla jungle is an amazing experience. This is a very beautiful photo spot, full of amazing structures and statues. The entrance fee is just 50 pesos (aprox. 2. 50 euros)
Where to stay?
Ciudad Valles is a very warm city! So it would be better if you can get a place with air conditioner. We stayed at a cheap hostel, Hostal Casa Huasteca, which is a good option for backpackers.
If you're travelling with a group and you want to share the costs of an apartment, this is the best option for you. On airbnb you can also find great options if you're travelling solo or as a couple, and you feel more comfortable in room or flat just for yourself. The rooms and flats are rented by private people. Click here and get a discount for your booking with airbnb!
Booking.com is the biggest website for booking your accommodation, with thousands of hotels, hostels, and reviews of all of them. As frequent travelers, we get the best deals here if we want to stay in hostels or hotels. Click here to get a 10% discount for your next booking as well!
We hope we could help you with our guide! Have a wonderful trip to this amazing region!
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us or leave us a comment here below! 🙂